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Camcorder recommendations?

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  • Camcorder recommendations?

    Hey all,
    Just joined this forum hoping to get some opinions from people, mainly on the type of camcorder to buy.

    I've been doing lots of research, and I find that most professional camcorders found are actually DSLR's. I know DSLR is a great way to go for a indie film makers and what not, but even if I chose that route I'm never 100% certain. I want to have a great camera to get great shots to produce a legit looking web series.

    So pretty much what I'm asking is, with a budget around 2500 (also looking at a lot of used camcorders) what can you recommend that I look at in terms of professional camcorders for indie shorts and web series', or DSLR if fitting.

    Thank you for reading my post! :whip:

  • #2
    Is your overall budget $2500? Or is that just the budget for the camera?

    Because if you are looking to make quality video you have to think about equipment as well.


    • #3
      What do you mainly want to do, Documentaries or Cinematic films?
      Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


      • #4
        In addition to the above questions, I would ask the following:

        Is the camera you're buying strictly intended to shoot one particular film, or is it something that will be used on multiple projects?

        If the former, I really recommend you take the $2500 and advertise for a DP with equipment. For that amount of money, you're not going to get too far in purchasing your own system. Even though you can pick up a D-SLR body for that, you're still going to need a decent set of lenses. Then, who is going to operate it? Are you an experienced cinematographer? What about lighting? And sound -- D-SLRs are worthless for sound recording.

        Alternatively, for that same money you might attract a halfway decent up-and-coming cinematographer who would bring his own camera and lighting package and give you a far more professional-looking product than you could produce yourself.

        On the other hand, if you intend to shoot other things with the camera it may benefit you more to buy it and practice making pretty pictures yourself. In that case, you may want to avoid a D-SLR and go with a regular camcorder. As I said before, a D-SLR is nothing without good lenses. And you will definitely need someone who knows what they're doing in order to keep things focused properly. And you will always need a sound recordist with you. Camcorders, on the other hand, have deeper depth-of-field, so focusing is easier, and microphones can be plugged directly into the camera for decent quality sound.
        2001 Productions Web Site


        • #5
          I plan on shooting multiple projects with the camera. 2500 is what I'm willing to spend on the camcorder itself, I'm well aware of other costs and equipment but my primary focus is the camcorder itself.

          Many of the DSLR's I've seen have XLR inputs, but the draw back of many is that there are no interchangeable lenses. Many have 3CCD which is a plus, and 24p, 30p, 1080p etc...

          I'm fairly experienced in the field, I just want to be 100% sure on something before I invest in it. Bare in mind, I am not purchasing this for business purposes but more independent work. I still want it to look professional, of course, but I don't plan on filming any weddings anytime soon.

          I do want to achieve a cinematic look, I plan on doing a few short films and a web series in my free time and I want it to look legit.


          • #6
            <code><iframe src=" " width="100%" height="300"> <p>Have you thought about this?</p> </iframe></code></pre>
            Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


            • #7
              It is really funny how much of a different opinion Nick and myself have on these topics haha. I am a huge DSLR fan and I think you can achieve cinema quality easier and just as effeciently with a DSLR.

              I would go all out and get the Canon Mark 5D ii or the Mark 5D iii.

              They are incredible, like absolutely amazing when it comes ot quality especially in low light settings, which is usually a hassle.


              • #8
                ive just had so much success with the Panasonic DVX and HVX - I filmed all my films with them except my last few where on the RED
                Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


                • #9
                  Ah well I mean if I could have any camera it would of course be the RED haha, just absolutely amazing. but I know where you are coming from. All of my shorts, music videos and commercials were shot with a DSLR.


                  • #10
                    I would go on youtube and type in the cameras being recommended and check what matches your taste