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Thinking of buying a videocamera....

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(If this is posted in the wrong forum, my apologies. I believe i have seen other threads like this posted before here, so i thought this was the right one.)

I'm a third year student in audio/visual, and in my last two years, i managed to get by by relying on other people, or renting a camera to make my video's with. However, my projects and assignments grow bigger, so i guessed it was time for me to buy one for my own.

However, i have to confess that i don't really know the specifics or every camera. So, can anybody help me out by giving me any sort of advice?

My preferences are: (full) HD video quality, HDD, and a moderate/good life of the battery. Money isn't really a problem, seeing how it's an investment, but i refuse to buy anything that's over 800 Euro's or something. In that case I'd settle for something less.

Does anybody have a model which you can recommend? Any brands?

Any help whatsoever is appreciated. :)

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If you're wanting to stay under 800 euros, you're going to be hard pressed to find anything of professional or prosumer grade without buying used. Did a bit of web browsing on the subject, and as far as I've been able to find, the cheapest NEW prosumer HD camcorder is this guy for a little over $1500 USD (about 1100 euro).

That being said, I really like JVC cameras. However Sonys are great too, and you'll likely find them in the lowest price range.

My recommendation: Spend a lot of time getting to know eBay and Craigslist.

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If you're wanting to stay under 800 euros, you're going to be hard pressed to find anything of professional or prosumer grade without buying used. Did a bit of web browsing on the subject, and as far as I've been able to find, the cheapest NEW prosumer HD camcorder is this guy for a little over $1500 USD (about 1100 euro).

That being said, I really like JVC cameras. However Sonys are great too, and you'll likely find them in the lowest price range.

My recommendation: Spend a lot of time getting to know eBay and Craigslist.

I guess i should've explained this. :)

I was talking about these kind of camera's. While in most cases they aren't as high quality as their bigger brothers, a few mates of mine have these and for their size and specs, their video quality is AMAZING. The price range for these is anywhere between 300 and 1000.

Yes, i know that these might not cut it, but i want to keep it a bit realistic.

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Gotcha. Well, I can't say I really know much about them, but I assume that since JVC professional cameras are so good, that it's gotta be a similar situation with their consumer grade stuff.

I know what you mean about the quality. I got a FlipHD for Christmas, and while at first I thought I would be annoyed with the lack of features like white balancing and manual focusing, I was really surprised at how high quality it was for only $150. It sounds like you're going for something a bit bigger than that, but I get what you're saying.

What kind of stuff are you planning on doing with it?

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I've heard many good things about the canon Hv 20/30/40's. They're supposed to be good, inexpensive HD camcorders (You can probably find an Hv20 for around 200-300 dollars somewhere). I'm planning on getting one to shoot some short film stuff on a budget at some point, but I haven't used one yet.

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Gotcha. Well, I can't say I really know much about them, but I assume that since JVC professional cameras are so good, that it's gotta be a similar situation with their consumer grade stuff.

I know what you mean about the quality. I got a FlipHD for Christmas, and while at first I thought I would be annoyed with the lack of features like white balancing and manual focusing, I was really surprised at how high quality it was for only $150. It sounds like you're going for something a bit bigger than that, but I get what you're saying.

What kind of stuff are you planning on doing with it?

Basically all round stuff, depending on the assignment or my idea's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ovh6sSNym8

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This might be a hair off-topic as the OP was looking in a slightly higher price range, but does anyone have any experience with the Zoom Q3? I'd like to start recording video at some of my gigs. A lot of guys I know are using the zoom audio recorders and seem to get decent results. I guess I'm mainly curious if the video quality is up to par, or if it's just more of a gimmick and I'd be better off looking for a decent digital camcorder with an audio input jack.

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I'm going to second Canon only because my friend owns one. It's pretty good, compact and delivers HD quality. I'm not too sure which model his is, but it's definitely in the Canon VIXIA line. It has on-board memory and expandable using SDHC which is relatively cheap. I can't think of many cons, but then again, I'm not the one using it personally. We usually film stupid shorts and sketches together using it.

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I used some Sony brand full HD video cameras with hard-drives in my last semester. I think you could probably get a good HD video camera for around $400 these days. I've got a standar-def JVC that is pretty nice though. :(

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Hey, a few boxes of these JVC Everio cameras were shown on the last episode of Chuck. They're not the best, actually I bet they just bought cheap ones or had them laying around just to fill background space in the show, but I've had some pretty good times with the JVC Everio GZ-MG130

Not sure if you found one yet, but W00t has thishttp://www.woot.com/

but this is only for march 11th so..

THAT looks really awesome and would probably take great video, but I don't think you can get much HD video on a 1gb stick. Does it have a hard-drive?

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I would check out the Canon cameras. They have the HV series for relatively cheap and you can get some aweeeesome footage from it. It shoots full 1080p and can even shoot 24 fps if you want that nice film look.

Here's a quickly done student short my buddy and I did with a Canon HV30. It's got pretty beast quality considering it's only, like $500 now. Youtube puts it in 1080p so the camera shoots high quality video. Granted, this is a miniDV camera, but I know they make a HDD equivalent, I just can't remember which series it is.

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