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· Registered
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for an HD camcorder with good manual controls and that will not limit me in a rigorous 9 month filming course and there after. I am assuming that this camera will last around 5 years before I feel the need to upgrade.

Background: I have taken art classes for many years in many different media, but film is not one of them, so I have decided to try it out. I will be doing a variety of experimenting so I cannot say exactly what features to emphasize and which could be downplayed. I will also be enrolling in a local art magnet school which has an exceptional film program in the fall. (btw, the school uses Final Cut for editing software)

I will be taking this camera to Europe in June so i would like to have it by the beginning of May at the latest.

The max I could spend is about $1500 for everything (body, lens(es), filters, media, lighting, mic, etc). However, I do not really know what I need to start with. This budget basically gives me free range of the consumer camcorder selection, and maybe some used prosumer equipment, I don't know.

Key features/specs:

-the smaller the better

-manual mode

-mic/headphone jacks

-highest resolution possible, preferably 1080i

-good low light performance

Basically I want the best all around camera with good manual controls.


· Premium Member
82 Posts
In your price range, the Canon HV20 likely has the best set of manual controls. HV30 might make an excellent choice as well, but it's not out yet.

· Registered
5,743 Posts
I second HV20/HV30. Buy a better mike, a small tripod, extra battery, small video light and save some money.

Prosumer cameras are MUCH heavier and bulky and even a used HD will probably be more than your budget. Keep in mind that the best SD prosumer will be no match to the worst HD consumer in picture quality.

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