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What camcorder should I get?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys! I'm really just posting this to get help assessing my options I need to buy a camcorder for the documentary class I'm about to take at my local community college. I'm a junior in high school but I've already decided that after senior year I'm going to take a sabbatical and go to the Gaza Strip, Libya, Syria, Mali, The Korengal, etc to either photograph or film the various conflicts in that area.

Unfortunately I probably wont have enough $$$ to buy plane tickets an apartment, and buy another camera so the one I buy now will have to do. I was going to buy the Sony HVR Z1 until I learned its been discontinued. How are the Z5's and Z7's?

I need something rugged, reliable, HD, low light capable, and light enough to run through a battle field with wink.gif
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #3 of 12
Any reason for preferring a tape-based camcorder?
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTaxi View Post

Hey guys! I'm really just posting this to get help assessing my options I need to buy a camcorder for the documentary class I'm about to take at my local community college. I'm a junior in high school but I've already decided that after senior year I'm going to take a sabbatical and go to the Gaza Strip, Libya, Syria, Mali, The Korengal, etc to either photograph or film the various conflicts in that area.
Unfortunately I probably wont have enough $$$ to buy plane tickets an apartment, and buy another camera so the one I buy now will have to do. I was going to buy the Sony HVR Z1 until I learned its been discontinued. How are the Z5's and Z7's?
I need something rugged, reliable, HD, low light capable, and light enough to run through a battle field with wink.gif

If you're going to be in the desert, consider a dustproof (and rainproof) camcorder:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/761581-REG/Sony_HXR_NX70U_HXR_NX70_Compact_Dust_and.html

I don't know if you are going to be near actual fighting, maybe also consider having a point--of-view camcorder on you that you can just wear:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=point+of+view+camcorder&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&Top+Nav-Search=

Will you be running and pointing a hand-held camera might not be an option(?) Any footage/better than no footage.

Or perhaps look for a mega-zoom camera and stay as far away as possible. biggrin.gif
post #5 of 12
Take a look at Sonys' GW77.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Railfan View Post

Take a look at Sonys' GW77.
That is exactly what I would buy to run through a dusty desert battlefield. Not only is it rugged and dust proof, it has enough "incognito" factor to aid in avoiding being a target! The price might be a little closer to a students budget too.

Bill
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

If you're going to be in the desert, consider a dustproof (and rainproof) camcorder:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/761581-REG/Sony_HXR_NX70U_HXR_NX70_Compact_Dust_and.html
I don't know if you are going to be near actual fighting, maybe also consider having a point--of-view camcorder on you that you can just wear:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=point+of+view+camcorder&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&Top+Nav-Search=
Will you be running and pointing a hand-held camera might not be an option(?) Any footage/better than no footage.
Or perhaps look for a mega-zoom camera and stay as far away as possible. biggrin.gif

Haha! That might be a good idea! I'm planning on having a GoPro HERO3 Black on a head or chest mount in case I neeed to turn off my other camera.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Any reason for preferring a tape-based camcorder?

No. I suggested those cameras because they used a Z1 to film Restrepo. Although one of them died while filming in Libya, so this might be one of my worst ideas ever...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

That is exactly what I would buy to run through a dusty desert battlefield. Not only is it rugged and dust proof, it has enough "incognito" factor to aid in avoiding being a target! The price might be a little closer to a students budget too.
Bill

I'm not trying to win Sundance with this but, I'd like to make something I can turn into a low budget film, so if that is a good camera disguised as a flip I will definitely buy it. Also, I was reading some guidelines for journalists and standard procedure in a war zone is to jump behind cover and hold your camera up if you come under fire. I'd like to have something easy to spot...biggrin.gif
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys!
Edited by SuperTaxi - 11/27/12 at 12:00pm
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

That is exactly what I would buy to run through a dusty desert battlefield. Not only is it rugged and dust proof, it has enough "incognito" factor to aid in avoiding being a target! The price might be a little closer to a students budget too.
Bill

yeah ...great imago quality and rugged. I was going for OP's price point as it looked like he wanted a more serious camcorder for documentaries.

I don't know how it works out there, maybe having a larger camcorder would designate you more as "neutral" media.
I certainly wouldn't get the black GW77, as it may be mistaken for a pistol....

post #10 of 12
But the bright blue one can be more easily spotted by snipers...
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

But the bright blue one can be more easily spotted by snipers...
heh-heh
post #12 of 12
For days in the rain and mud I take a Kodak PlaySport Zx3 and 5 extra (aftermarket) batteries. Otherwise it serves as a quick out of the pocket camcorder and backup. The later Zx5 model is stuck with a built-in battery so avoid.

http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-PlaySport-Waterproof-Pocket-Camera/dp/B0030MITDK/
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