General discussion

Which camera is right for me? Urgent expert advice required

Hi everyone.
I'm looking to buy a camera or camcorder and here are my preferences:
Size/weight does not matter to me.
Look/design does not matter to me.
Price matters i.e. it should be cheap around $600-$700
MAIN THING: Video quality matters!!! I want exceptional video quality.
ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT FACTOR: I want to have the Depth of field look in my videos i.e. I should be focused and my background should not be!
It should take averagely nice photos.
Please help me out as I've googled to the extent of madness!
Thanks in advance.

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Ease of use?

How important is ease of use? A camcorder will be a lot easier to use than a DSLR camera, but it won't have the short depth of field that the DSLR will have. A DSLR is capable of high quality video, but it will take lots of experience to get it.

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a few possible suggestions

You might look into the Sony A33, Nikon D3100, or the Panasonic GF1. Those all have autofocus while filming and are around your price range.

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I checked out your proposals and Panasonic GF1 appealed to me the most.
My questions: does it shoot 1080p video?
will i get the shallow depth of field with it?
will I be able to view live video while recording on my pc?
Thanks a bunch!

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some answers

It does not shoot 1080p, but really, if your television isn't 50" or larger then you don't notice the difference between 1080 and 720. I have a 56" TV and it's still not that much of a difference.

Yes you can get shallow DOF, but not as much as an APS-C sensor camera, but then again, the APS-C sensor doesn't do as shallow as a full frame sensor. It depends on how shallow you want it and also depends on the lens you buy for it.

I don't believe any DSLR or ILC(interchangeable lens camera) can record straight to the PC.

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re: will i get the shallow depth of field with it?

In theory, yes. In practice, not really. The problem is that there's currently a dearth of fast/bright/large aperture native m4/3 lenses. (e.g. 20mm f1.7) While it's possible to use non-native lenses, you will lose some, if not all, auto-functionality.

And personally, I wouldn't classify the GF1's video quality as "exceptional"; "OK for the price" is how I would call it.


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