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Thin depth of field...?

I'd love some help from some boffins. I'm a keen photographer but new to video.

Is it possible to get a half-decent thin depth of field with a low to mid-range camcorder? My budget is slim (about $800) and I'm hoping to record interviews in front of camera, the sort of thing that would suit a thin DOF.

The Panasonic SD700 looks smashing (from what I've seen online), but it's top end of my budget. If I get something cheaper but with manual aperture / shutter / focus controls, do you think it might do the job?

Or is it basically a case of "you get what you pay for" and "you can't get a decent thin DOF without a decent lens"? Any model suggestions by any chance...?

Thanks!

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