Digital Video Forum

Digital Video Forum Discuss camcorders, HD video, HD DSLRs, video editing, DV software, and video techniques. Your DV forum moderator is Skyman.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    New to video, what camera should I get?

    Hey all,

    I'm looking to get a solid HD handheld to shoot 1080p video. Unfortunately, my budget sits right around the $500-$550 mark, as I'm a college (film) student, and this along with the various other tools of the trade has raided my paychecks for months to come. As I said, HD is a must, something that can handle SDHC cards. I hear Panasonic and Canon are solid choices- however, both brands have gotten negative comments on Amazon due to 'low picture quality'. Built-in audio can be a little compromised, since I'll be using a shotgun microphone.


  2. #2
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    Re: New to video, what camera should I get?

    I actually don't think you can go wrong with either canon or panasonic, both make great cameras. One thing you will need to check though is that the camera has a microphone input as many of the cheaper ones don't. Panasonic cameras often come with Leica lenses, and many of their consumer cameras are actually 3ccd as well, so it is really only the access to manaul controls and robustness that they are missing compared to their broadcast cousins. One thing with the shotgun mic is that these cameras don't have gain control so whilst you can get an XLR lead to stereo mini that will let you plug the mic straight into the camera (assuming the mic has its own power and doesn't need phantom power) you will usually find your levels are far to high. Fortunately there are several devices that will let you plug in and control levels for external mics these days, but they might blow your budget.

    If you can afford to spend more a digital SLR like the canon 550d is a great choice as it not only gives you full HD but you can use different lenses etc so you get fantastic control of depth of field etc and tends to give better colour etc than the equivalent camcorders.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Re: New to video, what camera should I get?

    Thanks for the help so far- I've been also looking at DSLRs, but they're just a little too expensive at the moment, my little Canon 990IS will have to make due until I get rich.


    I was close to buying a Panasonic HDC-SD10K, but I found it did not have capabilities for an external mic. Can you think of any similar ones that do?

    Last edited by Chrpica; 10-01-2010 at 02:43 PM.

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