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Hiya Fellas! First post here!

A little bit about myself... I'm a 3d graphics / Video artist, and currently we are exploring doing some video work at the company.

I've been doing research on a camera to buy, but there are so many options and features I'm finding this a little overwhelming.

First off... our needs...

we want something in HD, something that can take shotgun or lavalier mics, and of course, that it performs well in most circumstances. We are not looking at making a feature length film or anything, just some short vids, such as interviews and some CG composite work. Our work will be streamed on the web, as well as play natively on LCD screens at trade-shows and that sort of stuff.

First I was leaning towards the Sony HDR-SR11 (60gb), this seems to have excellent quality and price for our needs, but its inability to accept external microphones forced me to look elsewhere. Another thing that turned me off, was the ACHVD codec, which seems a little problematic to work with. Although, I have found some *.m2ts sample files on the net, and Premiere CS4 didn't seem to have too many problems working with it.

Then, my boss said he'd be interested in upping the ante a little bit, and possibly getting something along the lines of the Sony HVR-HD1000U ($1,500). This would take care of our dedicated audio needs, and it seems that the video transfer would be easier than using the ACHVD codec. But I'm not too crazy about the giganticness of this camera. Although I must admit it looks a lot more "pro" to the uninitiated eye.

I still have to research Canon's cameras, (what can I say! I love me some Sony products!), but what would you guys recommend for us?

Its gotta be within $1,500, its gotta be HD, and its gotta take additional mics, and its gotta be a competent jack-of-all-trades.
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