Best Under $1500 prosumer Camera?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by riclanders, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. riclanders

    riclanders Guest

    I guess the Canon GL2 is the new standard right, but a bit out my
    range, price-wise.

    Any other suggestions?

    I'm talking semi-professional usage where things like two mics are

    And, of course, 3CCDs.

    riclanders, Jun 28, 2006
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  2. riclanders

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    I wouldn't call the GL2 a standard. There are a number of Panasonic,
    JVC and Sony camcorders in the price range of the GL2 that are also

    What features are most important to you (i.e., XLR inputs, etc.) ?
    Also, do you want to look at HDV or is standard def OK for now.

    Give me some guidance on what you'll be using it for and what features
    you need and I can better answer your question.

    Mr. Tapeguy, Jun 28, 2006
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  3. riclanders

    riclanders Guest

    Wedding photograpy.

    What do you recommend?

    riclanders, Jun 29, 2006
  4. riclanders

    PTravel Guest

    You're not going to get a decent prosumer camera for under $1500. Panasonic
    has some 3-ccd machines, but their low-light performance is dismal. The
    minimum that I'd consider would be a Sony VX2100, which has a street price
    of about $2200. The pro version is the PD-170 (it has two balanced XLR mike
    inputs, versus the single unbalanced stereo input of the VX2100, as well as
    a black-and-white view finder). If money is really tight, you might look at
    a used VX2000 or PD-150, both of which should provide equal performance.
    However, head hours is always a concern on a used machine. The PD-150 has a
    head hour meter, the VX2000 does not.

    I've cross-posted this to, which is a newsgroup
    primarily for professional videographers. Many wedding videographers post
    there, and they'll be able to offer far better guidance than I. You might
    also want to go over to, which is an excellent resource for
    professional videography.
    PTravel, Jun 29, 2006
  5. riclanders

    riclanders Guest

    Are you dismissing Canon's GL 1 and GL-2, both of which can be had for
    under $2000?

    riclanders, Jun 29, 2006
  6. riclanders

    PTravel Guest

    I don't think either are that good, but that's irrelevant. The OP asked
    about cameras under $1500, and this is what I said:

    "You're not going to get a decent prosumer camera for under $1500. "
    PTravel, Jun 29, 2006
  7. riclanders

    riclanders Guest

    Used Canon GL2's and GL1's are selling for under $1000.

    Can they do the job?

    riclanders, Jun 29, 2006
  8. riclanders

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    They can "do the job." If you want XLR connections you'll need to get
    an adaptor from Studio One or Beachtek.

    PTravel gave some excellent references including which is
    run by my friend Chris Hurd and considered one of the foremost
    discussion areas for pro dv cameras. If you want a broader scope you
    can try

    If you buy a used unit (and we have a couple by the way) I would be
    extremely cautious. 4 out of the last 5 pieces of gear I have
    purchased used have been DOA for various reasons. If you get one I
    would pay a little more from a reputable source.

    But before you go with Canon compare the features/specs with similarly
    priced units and make sure that's what you want. If you find one you
    like that's slightly above your price range let me know and I'll see if
    we can get a B-stock unit or demo for you.

    Mr. Tapeguy, Jun 29, 2006
  9. riclanders

    Gertman Guest

    The best Brand in optics is Canon in Features Sony but Panasonic is
    Good Too
    Personal i Don't sugest JVC

    Gertman, Jun 29, 2006
  10. riclanders

    PTravel Guest

    That question is best answered by the pros in I
    suspect the GL2 _may_ suffice, but the reviews that I've seen of it aren't
    that good. Most "entry level wedding videographer" recommendations that
    I've seen have been for a PD-150/170 (or the prosumer equivalent, the
    VX2000/2100). Next up the ladder is the XL2, which offers the advantage of
    interchangeable lenses but, from what I understand, offers video quality
    comparable to the Sony offering. Sony's big advantage is extraordinary
    low-light capability -- I can shoot by candlelight with my VX2000 -- and,
    evidently, that makes it appealing to wedding videographers who have to
    shoot in dimly lit churches, at night, etc. I've honestly never seen the
    GL2 discussed in this context, though I suspect it probably wouldn't be too
    bad (though check its low-light capability). The GL1, on the other hand,
    from what I've seen is pretty bad.
    PTravel, Jun 29, 2006
  11. riclanders

    PTravel Guest

    Chris is a great guy, isn't he?

    I'll offer my usual caution about Robin Liss has,
    sometimes, some rather bizarre takes on equipment. I'm not sure if it's
    because she reviews from the standpoint of the casual consumer, or because
    she is reluctant to offend the sources of the cameras that she reviews (she
    drools over new equipment, just as we all do). Usually, buried within the
    reviews, you can find the pertinent information, e.g. it may sound like a
    rave review, but you'll see something a page down like, "however, in low
    light color saturation is reduced and some grain shows up." If you look at
    the sample frame capture, you'll see that color saturation is reduced to the
    point where there is no color, just grays, the grain is the size of golf
    balls, and video gain is so reduced that it looks black construction paper.
    What the review should say is, "this is a good camcorder if you're only
    going to use it in very bright sunlight, but is unusable indoors or at
    night." Of course, she'll never publish that on her website.
    Obviously, very good advice. One additional point: Sony will, usually,
    repair its gear for a flat rate. For example, it will repair cameras in its
    prosumer line, which includes the VX2000/2100 and PD-150/170 for a flat fee
    of $575 (provided the camera hasn't been deliberately abused or submerged in
    water). A broken PD-170 for under $1,000, after a repair job by Sony, will
    yield a $3,000 camera for a little over $1,500.
    PTravel, Jun 29, 2006
  12. Don't do weddings...
    off_topic_2006, Jun 29, 2006
  13. Don't do weddings...
    off_topic_2006, Jun 29, 2006
  14. off_topic_2006 wrote ...
    LOL! :))
    Watch a couple episodes of "Bridezillas" if you need any
    additonal convincing.
    Richard Crowley, Jun 29, 2006
  15. riclanders

    riclanders Guest

    Here we go again. Every few months I come to this newsgroup, ask the
    same question and get the same royal run-around.

    If I wanted to research the question I'd use the sources mentioned. I
    was looking for a name, not all this back and forth about where I
    should go or what I shouldn't do and how many angels somebody got on
    the head of a pin. Honestly, the header of this thread is plain enough
    -- "Best $1500..."

    What's the problem?

    Give me a name. Save the Fourth of July speeches for Tuesday. :)

    and I know I'm burning bridges, but I got to make a purchase and some
    of you pompous blowhards are ruining my day.

    Give me a freakin' name already.

    Rant turned off.

    riclanders, Jun 29, 2006
  16. riclanders

    PTravel Guest

    On the nose.
    PTravel, Jun 29, 2006
  17. riclanders

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    I think you've had some very good advice. I asked what features were
    important to you. You still haven't answered. I would ask the same
    thing of anyone who called me or walked in the store. Why would you
    want the advice of someone who gave you a simple answer without finding
    out what your specific needs are? I guess that's the difference
    between professionals and, well, whatever you are. There are very few
    options in the price range you mentioned so you have to look at used
    but again, you didn't say what you needed except that you do weddings.
    God Bless America!
    Fine. Sony DCR-HC3. Enjoy.

    Now I think you should apologize to the people in here you called
    "pompous blowhards" who took their own time to sincerely try and give
    you some direction.

    Mr. Tapeguy, Jun 29, 2006
  18. riclanders

    Hal Lowe Guest

    Hi Ricland,

    It's a matter of opinion fo course, but I have a Panasonic PV-GS400. I
    love this camera. It's very easy to learn/use, but has many advanced
    features. It also takes excellent stills with it's 4MP setting, but
    you'll find you have to work a bit if you want to use the flash.
    Anyway, here's an overview of the specs:

    System NTSC
    Format Mini DV
    CCD 3 CCD 1/4.7" 1,070,000 Pixels (per CCD)
    Video Active Pixels 700,000 x3
    Still Active Pixels 990,000 x3
    Audio PCM Stereo 12-bit/32kHz, 16-bit/48kHz
    Zoom 12x Optical, 700x Digital
    Lens Leica Dicomar Lens
    3.3-39.6.5mm f/1.6
    Filter Size 43mm
    Image Stabilizer Yes EIS
    Lux 2 Lux - Advanced Magic Pix Mode
    Viewfinder Color
    LCD Monitor 3.5"
    Manual Controls Focus, White Balance, Iris, Shutter Speed 1/60-1/800,
    Manual Zoom
    Date & Time Yes
    Time Code Yes
    Edit Protocol No
    A/V Dubbing Yes
    Line In Recording Yes - Analog & Digital
    Inputs IEEE-1394 - 4 Pin x1 , S-Video x1, A/V Input x1
    Output Same Input is used for Output, plus USB Port 2.0
    Special Effects Effects 1: Multi Mode, Picture-In-Picture, Wipe, Mix,
    Strobe, Trail, Mosaic, Mirror, Stretch, Slim.
    Effects 2: Negative, Sepia, Black & White, Solarisation,
    Fader Yes
    Titler In Card Mode
    Built-in Mic Yes
    Microphone Input Yes
    Headphone Jack Yes
    Built-in Speaker Yes
    Accessory Shoe Yes - Smart Accessory Shoe (Hot Shoe)
    Built-in Light Built-in pop-up Flash
    Tape Loading Top Loading
    Power Consumption DC 7.9v/7.5w, AC 110-240v, 50/60Hz
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.19 x 3.15 x 7.01"
    81 x 80 x 178mm
    Weight 1.54 lb
    700 g
    Specialties Backlight
    5-Mode Program AE

    Hope this is helpful.

    Hal Lowe (unique logo t-shirts, mugs & more) (digiPhoto) (web hosting)
    Hal Lowe, Jun 30, 2006
  19. riclanders

    J. Clarke Guest

    Fine, Panasonic FZ7.
    J. Clarke, Jun 30, 2006
  20. riclanders

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    Ah shaddap ya pompous blowhard ; >

    Mr. Tapeguy, Jun 30, 2006
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