Looking for semi pro video camera


New member
Hey all,
Well this is my first time here and possibly my first time writing for info on a video subject considering I mainly work in audio, but I'll pretty soon be needing to look into the video avenue.

I'm looking to buy a camera and while I've searched a little and found some mixed results, I thought I'd just ask. I know the basics of this question has been beat around the bush like 100 times, so forgive me if I ask something already mentioned.

Ok I'm trying to stay within a $3000 - $3500 range (though if it's like $200 more, I might consider it). The camera I'm looking for must be able to record in 24p, 1080i (1080p preferred), NTSC, has good or even great stabilizers, pretty good white balance and works well in low lighting conditions, and hopefully a medium that's easy to find and transfer from (Like SD cards). I prefer not to go with DV disks or tapes as I've found that with disks, it's very common to get noise in the initial audio recording, or they are proprietary and become extinct after little years. Ohh and XLR input options, or external audio input options via optical or XLR. Would be great if I can implement a shotgun mic on it as well, and MABE even lens change but not entirely necessary.

What I've heard around is that the bigger the CMOS sensor is or something the better it is at night shooting? Sorry I'm not completely sure. Anyway,What I'm looking at right now based on test footage I've seen, and a couple ratings is the Sony HDR-AX20000, and the Canon XA10. Oddly enough, even though the Canon has one CMOS sensor, it appears (from the test footages I've seen) to do better in low light, though there may be some obscurity involved and only thous who have actually used both may be able to tell me the real deal. I was recommended the Panasonic HMC150 on another community but after seeing some test footage from that camera....meh.

I'm not a big video head (yet) so I'm not even sure if these camera are even current ^_^. What was recommended to me by a friend and a couple others was some kind of DSLR like the Canon 5D MKII (or just wait for the MKIII). They claim it will give me a lot more control especially since it's light and the lens is interchangeable, but what I've read around a couple places is that it's a lot more complex especially for beginner shooter like me and works better as a compliment to an existing video camera rig rather than your primary. Even though I may not be doing a lot of the shooting myself, I'd still like to know how to use my equipment lol. Despite the quality and the connivence of these DSLR cameras like the MKII, I'm also not too pleased about the 15min record time to protect the camera from over heat. This makes it inconvenient if I need to record a band show. What was suggested then was to use two or more DSLR cameras instead which makes sense, but then goes back to the initial problem of me being a beginner.In general, I'm using the camera to record band shows (hence why I need low lighting support) possibly some novice indie music videos, and interviews for EPK's.

Please help with this dilemma. Any camera suggestion or otherwise is welcomed . Please dont break my wallet though lol.


New member
I'll try to help a little...

I'll try to help a little...

You should set a minimum of 24Mbps for AVC-HD, but I think you should actually look at the newer, truly professional formats like AVC-Intra, Canon XF (50Mbps 4:2:2 Mpeg-2), Apple ProRes, etc.
Get to know the recording codecs and how they relate to real, on screen image quality and to the whole NLE workflow.

Cameras that are optically cinematic, that is, APS-C format, Interchangeable-lens cameras, like DSLRs and the Sony NEX-VG10, don't offer much except AVC-HD, which is not a professional level codec.

If you're OK with a one-sensor camera, as you indicated you were, then you might like the Canon XF100 HD.

A 3 sensor DVCPRO HD from Panasonic looks decent also, the Panasonic AG-HVX200A.

I've read the rumors that some new Canon and Sony DSLRs would be pro-video oriented, but can't say about price or codecs.

Other that those two pro camcorders above (Canon & Panny), I'd say hope for a new professional-codec, APS-C, Interchangeable-lens camcorder.

Good luck.
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