Camcorders forum

General discussion

inexpensive cameras with audio input

by markhunter / May 23, 2007 2:45 AM PDT

ive been searching all over for a cheap camera with an audio input of some kind. the best ive found so far was a sony for 899. can anyone point me to a sub 500$ one? im sort of amazed that its such a difficult thing to find.

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Canon ZR500.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 23, 2007 2:57 AM PDT
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Inexpensive cameras with audio input illusive!
by Robin_Chappell / December 15, 2008 7:37 AM PST

I have been searching high and low for the same... No luck! If ANY company makes one for $300 or less, I will buy it from them RIGHT NOW!

Good luck!


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The least expensive - of which I am aware
by boya84 / December 15, 2008 11:46 AM PST

are the Canon ZR900, ZR930, FS10, FS11. None have manual audio control (which is the other half of the equation).

The least expensive with mic jack AND manual audio control are the Canon HV30 and Sony HDR-HC9.

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audio inputs
by MandoBill / February 23, 2011 1:34 AM PST

I would love to see a cheap ($400 of less) camcorder with a couple of RCA inputs and the ability to opt out of automatic level control. I guess that would require it to have VU meters somewhere on the display. Really doesn't sound like it would be such a big deal, considering some of the other whizbang stuff they're doing with camcorders... seems like anyone with a band could set up a couple of mics, run them thru a cheapie mixer and RCA them into this (probably non-existent) camcorder -- voila! Greatly enhanced sound quality. If someone does know of a camera like this, I'd really like to find it.

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There's always the
by boya84 / February 23, 2011 8:00 AM PST
In reply to: audio inputs

Alesis Video Track, Zoom Q3 or Q3HD... Not VU meters though - digital audio level visual monitoring... And small lenses makes for problematic low-light capture... but that would be the same for others in the same price range.

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This is a really great thread.
by bkn7000 / May 31, 2011 7:36 AM PDT
In reply to: There's always the

Unbelievable that there isn't an affordable video camera with mic input and manual gain control. I have the FS200 and was generally happy with it for a few months until I started to record music and hit a brick wall with the hiss problem that I haven't found a way around.

I also have the Canon 7D and it's the same problem. No way to bypass the automatic gain control. It's so frustrating. I tried recording audio separately using a Tascam recorder, but it's just too much work synching it with the video. I also tried it with an XLR adaptor to see if that might be able to trick the AGC but it didn't work.

I was also looking into the Q3HD since it seems like the ideal camera for shoot quality audio with video, except it doesn't say anywhere that you can control the audio gain manually. There's just a low / hi / auto setting. Not really sure if that's good enough though.

I don't even care about the HD resolution at this point. I just want mic in and manual audio control more than anything else now. All the cameras under $500 are crap with it comes to audio.

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Canon HF R20
by bkn7000 / June 4, 2011 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: There's always the

I just found a good deal... the Canon Vixia HF R20. It's high-def, it has 1/8" audio jack input, as well as manual audio level control, for $399 at Bestbuy. The touchscreen menu system is terrible, but otherwise it seems like a great option.

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Canon VIXIA HF M300
by bkn7000 / May 31, 2011 4:12 PM PDT
In reply to: audio inputs

Ok, the best one I've found so far is the Canon VIXIA HF M300 which is $500. It's HD, has mic input, and also has manual audio control. Slightly cheaper than the Canon HV30, but still not good enough. $500 is still too much. I think I'm going to hold out. It's not worth it yet.

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