Video Cameras Under $2000

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  • slinky

    looking for recommendations for best "prosumer" HD video cameras under $2000 for company interviews, etc. Has to have an external mic to hook up lavalier mic.

    I've been reviewing the:
    Sony NEX-VG20H

    Canon XA10 HD


  • spot130

    Panasonic AG-HMC40P may cost a few $$ extra to get the XLR mic kit but totally worth it.

    • thanks. that was also one i looked at a little. prices are not too bad.. around $1500slinky
    • looks like XLR mic kit probably runs around $300slinky
  • Frosty_spl0

    Are these better than a 5d?

    • for video? hell yeahmoldero
    • then again it depends what your working on mostlymoldero
    • If you really want a 5D Mark II, you probably could get one for less than $2k since the Mark III came out.CyBrainX
  • moldero0

    the Sony NEX-VG20H always caught my eye (for me as a second cam) because of the interchangeable lens thing + I believe like other sonys it has the capability to shoot 240 fps (fields not frames) works like a low budget high speed camera for some really great effects, outputs footage at 1080i but is only really useable at 720 at the highest.
    I have a few friends who keep trying to talk me into getting a DSLR as a secondary cam but interviewing DP's with DSLR's for projects I keep getting "I cant do that, nor that, well i could do that if we rent that, but it has to be done that way, nope cant do that either" I came to the conclusion that those things have way too much limitations when it comes to video. the DSLR's picture quality is great though, too bad of their limitations though otherwise I would have picked one up. so decided to make my primary cam (Sony fx-1000) my secondary and take the plunge and pick up a Scarlet Red by December.

  • slinky0

    thanks, any other recommendations?

  • Hombre_Lobo0

    I know very little about 'proper' video cameras like those mentioned previously, but here is some stuff I do know ...

    (and I suppose what I mean by 'proper' are video cans with in built nd filters, as opposed to stopping down or adding nd filters manually to get the shutter speed down)

    Canon video dslr:
    5d mk3

    The video quality on all of these is identical too (not Inc the 5d mk3). They down sample in exactly the same way. Obviously the low light will be better on the 5d due to its bigger sensor.

    For the beat detail and sharpness in video the lumix GH1 and GH2 are still hugely better than all the canons though. The GH1 is fairly cheap too. Obviously the smaller sensor means slightly less shallow dof, but this factor is often overblown and not too different in reality.

    A hacked gh1 or gh2 makes it's even better capturing up to 100mbps video, which some say rival even the Red cameras for detail. Obviously in grading 4k Res of the red can will be a lot more flexible but from a detail pov the gh are incredible.

    You can also use an array of old lenses via adapters on the gh range.

    Plus the ETC feature gives you the option to zoom in to 1.7x (iirc) whilst recording video without losing any quality. It simply reads the very central 1920x1080 pixels of the sensor (which is 4xxx X 3xxx pixels, cant quite remember exactly) and.outputs it as video. Which turns every lens into two lenses! Kind of.

    Also fron what ive seen, and seems to be agreed in film making forums, the gh range have more detail in 720p than the canons do in 1080p. The canons are great, fantasic cameras, but for pure detail the gh are awesome.

    If I were you, I'd go gh2 all the way. Unless you need all the hardcore inputs, monitor options and levels etc found on purpose built video cams.

    • I have a GF2, and was disappointed at the 1080p quality.Frosty_spl
    • Yeh the gf range has much worse video than the gh range. But I find the vids on my gf1 are great, it is hacked though.Hombre_Lobo
  • Hombre_Lobo0

    Also moldero does this shizzle for a living so I'd listen to him.

    Im a tech geek, but know little about proper video cameras. Where as hes a film maker, so he'll offer way better practical advice! :)

  • vaxorcist0

    I'd seriously use a Zoom H4 or similar + lav for sound, on-camera sound for interviews can be weird due to Automatic Gain Control messing up the pauses when somebody's speaking and stops and starts again.....

    I've used DSLR's (5D markII, Nikon D7000) for video, they're cool, but require tripod + careful production + lighting and control of the situation akin to shooting with a bolex... if you're cool with that, borrow somebody's DSLR for a test shoot and see what you get.

    Switching back to a "conventional" video camera for a recent shoot showed me how forgiving they can be, and how unforgiving a DSLR can be....

    • +1 for the Zoom H4, I use that too, that thing is perfect for the price and all it doesmoldero
  • slinky0

    i'm recommending my work get the
    Panasonic AG-HMC80

    anyone used this?

    looks like it will be a good choice and also some of the smaller cameras might have issues with our teleprompter.

  • moldero0

    googling: Panasonic AG-HMC80
    at a quick glance I just seen this cam has low light issues. I wouldnt worry about it if its primarily a studio cam.

  • slinky0

    company trying to save some money... looks like they may go in this direction. (about $900 less than the above Panasonic)...…

    we don't need the 3D feature really... and the guys we'll be interviewing are frightening enough to look at in 2D... but looks like this camera should do fine (at least it has dual XLR inputs)