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Hello,

I'm looking to upgrade my video camera, and was wondering if you guys had any recommendations.

I'm using it to film stand-up comedy performances in comedy clubs. In these, generally the stage is very well lit (and the camcorder will be framing the stage) though the surrounding area is dark.

Sound is also important - picking up the laughter as well as the noise from the sound system. I'd be willing to sacrifice a little on video quality or buy an external mic if that would help. The camera may be positioned anywhere 25-100' away from the stage, depending on the setup of the club.

My budget is $200-400.

All the best,

Toby
 

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With your budget, I recommend a $398 Panasonic FZ200. This camera records for hours continuously, has a viewfinder, a standard hot shoe for a top mounted external microphone, a 2.5mm external mic jack (needs a $1 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter for standard mics) and a lens that has a maximum aperture of f2.8 throughout the zoom range.

Here's a picture of my FZ150 (the FZ200's older brother) with a top mounted mic:





Here is what the FZ200 can do in a low light club setting with a camera mounted mic (please watch at 1080p):










Hope this is helpful and good luck!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 

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The mic pictured on my camera is the $80 Audio Technica SMX-10.

The mic used in the videos, however, is the $200+ Rode Videomic Pro (to be clear, I didn't shoot these videos, YouTube user Proacguy1 did - but he was kind enough to list what mic he used in the notes below each video).

I have, however, used the Rode Videomic Pro, and it is a much better mic than my Azden.

Again, hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 
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