1) What is your budget?
2) Does that budget include mics (shotgun, handheld, wired or wireless, lavaliere systems, etc), lights, tripod or other steadying device, cases, and other accessories?
3) What are you planning to edit on (computer hardware) and with (Video editing application)?
4) What is your expectation for archiving video? Not "back up" but long term archive of the original video for when you need that specific clip months or years after it was captured?
"Many corporations in the sector I know of have prosumer independent film grade camcorders you nearly have to support with your shoulders (you see them constantly at expos)." They continue to use them because they work - and the manufacturers continue to make and improve them... but I digress...
Prosumer and pro-grade camcorders generally do a lot better in low light because they have large lenses (72mm filter diameter or larger) and they have large imaging chips (1/4" 3-chip arrays - CCD or CMOS or larger). Their manual controls are easy to get to and use on the outside of the camcorder - difficult to do when the camcorder is small and there is nowhere to put a button, switch or whatever. And certainly not buried in a menu when access is challenging - and can shake the camera if the setting is changed. The Shoulder mount is a steadying "feature" - humans were not built to be steady and hand-held steady for anything over about 8 seconds is pretty much not possible by mere mortals (at least not any I've met).
XLR connectors for external mics are preferred over a 1/8" stereo plug because it is a much more secure connection - Two XLR connectors (left - right audio) would not fit a consumer camcorder. XLR connectors are used by pro grade mics because the cabling is shielded - significant reduction in any RFI or EMI (common to florescent light or incandescent light on dimmers environments found in convention floor and office settings). And if you use wireless gear, the portable base station attaches to the camera - a challenge with a small footprint camcorder - and adds weight if you use multiple mics/base stations - hence the shoulder mount.
There's more, but this is a starting place for the thread...
(Note: I've gone through the CNET and google search engine before starting this thread.)
So I have the honours of cutting business costs by doing in my free time what we would otherwise outsource. :-p
What I'm looking for is a camcorder that would allow for the following (difficulty gradually increases):
1. Interviews in office settings
2. Interviews in outdoor settings
3. Reports at expo's (so lot's of people walking around)
4. Reports at low light events (a concert would compare to it)
I could add '5. a small documentary', though that's more ambition than demand right now.
Although there will probably be some promo-DVD's and big screen presentations, youtube-ish HD quality will be the norm.
Many corporations in the sector I know of have prosumer independent film grade camcorders you nearly have to support with your shoulders (you see them constantly at expos). But as far as I have read, this is huge overkill in the 21st century.
In fact, something the Panasonic HDC-TM300 would do fine for example. But I would like confirmation. Price is not so much the issue here, but overkill is just... waste.
Also, the thing I still haven't understood at all is whether 3CCD is necessary. 3 Colour channels or 1, does it make that much a difference?
Of course external audio appliances will be used.
So, who will give me some professional input to let me come to a conclusion?
Thanks in advance!