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Hey there,

I'm looking for a camcorder up to $1000 for recording pranks with hidden camera in public (camera size and weight don't matter though). I have very few requirements in terms of features but very high requirements in terms of recording quality.

Important:
- Can record 1080p/60fps in very good quality
- Big sensor, good results at all light conditions, good autofocus
- Autofocus etc. should allow good recording quality if I hand the camera to somebody inexperienced who is using it for the first time
- 10x optical zoom is enough for me, it just got to work well (by good image stabilizer and whatever other things it needs for that)
- After Effects is all I use for editing. That should be possible with the recording format.

I don't care about:
Camera size and weight - Quality is more important to me than a well-hidden cam and I record from long enough distance
- Microphone (I record audio separately)
- I don't mind about zoom higher than 10x (on the contrary, I prefer a big lense)


Please let me know if you know a model that fits my requirements.
 

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Hey there,

I'm looking for a camcorder up to $1000 for recording pranks with hidden camera in public (camera size and weight don't matter though). I have very few requirements in terms of features but very high requirements in terms of recording quality.

Important:
- Can record 1080p/60fps in very good quality
- Big sensor, good results at all light conditions, good autofocus
- Autofocus etc. should allow good recording quality if I hand the camera to somebody inexperienced who is using it for the first time
- 10x optical zoom is enough for me, it just got to work well (by good image stabilizer and whatever other things it needs for that)
- After Effects is all I use for editing. That should be possible with the recording format.

I don't care about:
Camera size and weight - Quality is more important to me than a well-hidden cam and I record from long enough distance
- Microphone (I record audio separately)
- I don't mind about zoom higher than 10x (on the contrary, I prefer a big lense)


Please let me know if you know a model that fits my requirements.
Assuming you want a camcorder with a 10x power zoom lens that can record for more than half an hour at a time, the highest image quality you're going to find in your price range is the Ultra High Definition "4K" Sony FDR-AX33, which is on sale for $998 right now.

Here is the image quality you can expect from this camera:

http://vimeo.com/116142485


http://vimeo.com/120943700


Hope this is helpful and good luck :)

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 

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I am very happy with Panasonic VX870 which is cheaper than AX33 but almost equal (or even better in low lighting) to AX33 in terms of quality. Watch below for its quality.

 

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I love Panasonic camcorders (I have an older TM900), but they've removed the viewfinders from their high end consumer camcorders, forcing shooters to use the LCD outdoors in bright sunlight, where it can be difficult to see.

That's why I recommend the Sony AX33 - when you're spending almost $1000 for a camcorder, it ought to have a viewfinder.
 

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I love Panasonic camcorders (I have an older TM900), but they've removed the viewfinders from their high end consumer camcorders, forcing shooters to use the LCD outdoors in bright sunlight, where it can be difficult to see.

That's why I recommend the Sony AX33 - when you're spending almost $1000 for a camcorder, it ought to have a viewfinder.
Is it the same AX33 that does not have full manual exposure mode?
 

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Is it the same AX33 that does not have full manual exposure mode?
No. The camera that lacked manual exposure control in video mode was the 2010-era Sony SLT-A33, a 1080p translucent mirror still/video camera from Sony's old Alpha line.

The camera I recommended is the brand new Sony FDR-AX33, an Ultra High Definition "4K" camcorder with a manual control ring for iris/shutter/exposure/white balance. They are two completely different cameras.

Sure, Sony re-used the number "33", but it's not a marketing trick. The two camera designations are about as similar to one another as the Sony FDR-AX100 is to the Sony NEX-FS100 or to the Sony DSC-RX100.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
 

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I actually own the AX33 and enjoy it very much. I was just goofing with Ungermann since I've seen him frequently on the AX100 thread. I wonder about the AX100 guys who pop in on the AX33 thread to deliver irrelevant and wrong information -- even if they think they are being clever and posing it as a question. All I'll say is don't underestimate the value of BOSS -- there is no other system like it that I know of. It delivers rock solid images.
 

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No. The camera that lacked manual exposure control in video mode was the 2010-era Sony SLT-A33, a 1080p translucent mirror still/video camera from Sony's old Alpha line.

The camera I recommended is the brand new Sony FDR-AX33, an Ultra High Definition "4K" camcorder with a manual control ring for iris/shutter/exposure/white balance.
Well, having a ring does not mean having full manual exposure control: http://www.cinema5d.com/exclusive-sony-fdrax33-4k-handycam/ AFAIK, the only way to lock exposure is by using "Exposure" as a generic lighter/brighter dial. There is no way to have locked exposure with one or more specific exposure parameters locked, like shutter speed or aperture.

The HDR-HC1 allowed setting, say, shutter speed, and THEN using Exposure control to darken/brighten the image. The camera would juggle gain, aperture and ND filter to adjust overal exposure while keeping the shutter speed value intact. And the positions on the exposure bar were repeatable! The AX33 does not seem to have this feature.
 
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