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SO CONFUSED! Independent film/documentary maker looking

by webtalker123 / May 28, 2010 12:14 PM PDT

I'm just so annoyed and confused, but I'm staying calm. Every website out there is just so jumbled up. CNET really is the only one that is actually organized and tried to clearly organized all of these camcorder specs. I just need some 3rd party human advice though.

I don't want to spend over $4,000. I would ideally like to stay under $3,000. I don't mind buying used, but don't want to unless it's really worth it.

I don't care much about HD, especially after reading CNETS 4 myths about HD. I'm editing off of a MacBook Pro with Final Cut Express, and would like great quality SD, with the option of recording in HD if I ever decide to.

I'm very concerned with audio. I need to have great audio controls for an external XLR mic or more that I would attach alllll the time.

I don't want to have to record to tape. I think a removable memory card is the way to go, instead of tape or built in hard drive.

It seems Cannon is the best brand, but if you've got any suggestions that are great, I'm open to any brand.

HELP !!! Happy

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Check out
by d_adams / May 28, 2010 11:05 PM PDT

They've got a very wide selection of camcorders, from cheapo standard ones to a few professional ones. Nearly all of them, over around $450, are HD video capable, and most record on SDHC cards or built in SSDs. Plus, their site is not too confusing and most cameras have a few customer reviews to check through.

Good Luck!

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Limited selection with flash memory and
by boya84 / May 29, 2010 3:04 PM PDT

XLR audio connectors built-in and SD + HD...

Off the top of my head...

Panasonic AG-DVX100. Uses P2 cards. Standard def only.
Panasonic AG-HVX200. Uses P2 cards. DV, HDV and DVCPRO HD. Outside your budget.
Panasonic AVCCAMs. Too bad they record to anemic 24 mbps AVCHD files.

Sony HVR-Z7. Uses SxS Compact Flash memory. DV, DVCAM, HDV, HDCAM formats - I think. Outside your budget.

JVC GY-HM100. I think it meets all your requirements.

By eliminating miniDV tape, you miss out on the Sony HVR-Z5, Canon XLH series and XHA1... and the Sony HDR-FX1000 (just add an XLR adapter like those from juicedLink or BeachTek).

If you are THAT concerned with audio, you will record the audio externally to something like a field recorder from Fostex... or even Zoom (H4) and not depend on the camcorder's audio capture.

What are you planning to archive your video to? THAT is one reason many continue using digital tape. Built-in archive... that and it is inexpensive.

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