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Old 01-04-2013, 04:24 AM   #1
Crono
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Default Best camera for video under $600?

I'm looking for a good video camera to buy in less than a week.
I wouldn't mind looking at an entry level DSLR, but my priority is being able to shoot a lot of video at 1080p at 30 FPS+ with external microphone input being a must. Zoom isn't important, but video quality in moderately lit environments should be good (but mostly I'll be using this camera in well-lit rooms). I also need a tripod, but I guess I can decide on that after getting the camera.

Any recommendations?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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You didn't mention if still photos or capturing movement is important - but if you just want to shoot video, a camcorder will give you better active focus than a camera.

The Canon m5xx series has the best low light performance for current camcorders, you can get the M50 with wifi for $500 from B&H. It has an external mic jack.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
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Take a look at the Hero3 Black Edition.

http://gopro.com/cameras/hd-hero3-black-edition
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Panasonic GH2. Google for it, there are a lot of users. GH3 way more expensive, if you want level of quality just hack your GH2 (again, Google for it).
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkyg View Post
Take a look at the Hero3 Black Edition.

http://gopro.com/cameras/hd-hero3-black-edition
I'm considering getting that. Even with mic adapter, tripod adapter, and LCD BacPac (and maybe an extra battery or two) that's well within my price range.

The Engadget review seems pretty positive, too, and the speed at 1080p (60 fps) and 720p (120 fps!) with good quality is impressive.
I'll probably buy it on Thursday - I'll try and remember to update this thread with a mini-review after I've tested it a bit.

Thanks, everyone. I'll still take a look at the other suggestions if the Hero 3 doesn't pan out for whatever reason.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:51 AM   #6
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Just realized the default FOV of the GoPro Hero 3 is too wide for my needs.
While I might be taking some outdoor action video, most of what I'll be taking is indoors.

I'm leaning toward the Canon M50, now.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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Anyone know anything about the Sony NEX-F3K/B? Just came across this camera searching.
It looks like it fits all my requirements, and would be great for stills, as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-NEX-F3K-C...pr_product_top
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:34 AM   #8
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I believe the Sony only takes 1920x1080 video in AVHCD format or something. I never figured out how to work with that format.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throckmorton View Post
I believe the Sony only takes 1920x1080 video in AVHCD format or something. I never figured out how to work with that format.
I think it says on the product page it has the option for standard mp4?
As long as I can transcode, I'll be fine I think, but I use Sony Vegas, which I think supports all their proprietary crap.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crono View Post
I think it says on the product page it has the option for standard mp4?
As long as I can transcode, I'll be fine I think, but I use Sony Vegas, which I think supports all their proprietary crap.
Their mp4 ends up being 1440x1080 (stretched out to 1920)

AVCHD technically isn't proprietary, since all the HD camcorders use this format as well
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #11
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No camera will come close to a hacked GH2 at that price point. They are still selling for quite a bit though so shop around.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blastingcap View Post
Panasonic GH2. Google for it, there are a lot of users. GH3 way more expensive, if you want level of quality just hack your GH2 (again, Google for it).
Yup this, many people aren't sold in the idea of mirrorless/micro43rds cameras yet, but for the price it's hard to beat.

For detail and sharpness it beats out the Canon 5d Mark 2 (which was once $3500) http://www.eoshd.com/content/7722/5d...s-gh2-vs-nex-7

Buying it used will be right around $600 with a lens
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...condition=used
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the input.

I was leaning heavily toward all the GH2 looking at all the positive mentions and reviews online, but decided to go with the Sony NEX-F3. It was hard to find a GH2 under $600, and I didn't really want to go over budget.

The NEX-F3 only set me back $390 on ebay (like new condition), which leaves me a little to get a new tripod and an external mic. All the reviews I've looked at so far have been fairly positive, with reviewers commenting that image quality and low-light shots are good. Video at 1080p seems to be good, as well. Only major downsides seem to be poor menu and no viewfinder, neither of which bother me that much.

I'll post a little mini review when I get it. Hopefully I'll be happy with it and don't wish I had gotten a DSLR instead, lol. I didn't know about the whole ILC/MILC (personally, I prefer the acronym EVIL: Electronic Viewfinder with Interchangeable Lens ) category until now. It seems like the perfect compromise between point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs, at least for my purposes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:45 PM   #14
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Best bet is GoPro Hero 3 black edition for less than 499.00
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:02 AM   #15
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Looking for a camera for film student family member. I have been told that most of the students are using Canon T3i. Which of the above mentioned cameras are close in performance / sutability .- Thanks
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Looking for a camera for film student family member. I have been told that most of the students are using Canon T3i. Which of the above mentioned cameras are close in performance / sutability .- Thanks
Used GH2 trumps T3i for film and nearly matches it in stills.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottie View Post
Best bet is GoPro Hero 3 black edition for less than 499.00
I agree. With a 12 ft boom pole it's a brand new world in your eyes :

http://youtu.be/7_G3oicGJUg
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:52 PM   #18
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GH2 still best bet unless you need some sort of weatherproofing etc. A GoPro doesn't have the kind of lens selection and control you get from a GH2.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 PM   #19
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I got the Sony NEX F3. I'm pretty happy with it so far. Rejected the GoPro because I don't want the wide angle, fisheye look which is apparent even with a 90 degree FOV. The Panasonic GH2 was just above my budget, though maybe if I looked more I would have found one under $600.

Major selling point for me with the NEX F3 was the price, got it for $400 new on ebay with the kit lens, and I just ordered another lens, a 16mm "pancake" lens for $105, making it pocketable. I also ordered an external condenser mic (Audio-Technica ATR6550, $60), but the camera doesn't have mic in, so I'll end up syncing audio whenever I need the mic (only for recording stuff in my church), which is fine and easy enough to do on the program I use for editing.

I'm fairly new to digital photography, other than owning a point and shoot a few years ago, but here's two sample shots I took on Saturday and a video I just took 20 minutes ago. I wasn't too steady with the cam, just ran outside barefoot because I wanted something quick to try video with, lol. I let YouTube "fix" it, but it doesn't look quite right to me. I'm going to be using it inside 90% of the time, though, and with a tripod. Which reminds me: I need a tripod. Any recommendations, or will any cheap one do?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8yISXSiwI8&hd=1






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Old 01-22-2013, 05:48 AM   #20
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i got this tripod to use with my lx7 and love it, its cheap but sturdy and has the features i wanted. ive *really* been happy with it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o02_s02_i00
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xSauronx View Post
i got this tripod to use with my lx7 and love it, its cheap but sturdy and has the features i wanted. ive *really* been happy with it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o02_s02_i00
Reviews and price are good. Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xSauronx View Post
i got this tripod to use with my lx7 and love it, its cheap but sturdy and has the features i wanted. ive *really* been happy with it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o02_s02_i00

+1 on this tripod. It helps to do a few things to steady it up. Always hang a weight on the hook. Your camera bag helps a bit, use a sandbag outside. Don't use the lowest (skinniest) leg extensions unless you have to.

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
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+1 on this tripod. It helps to do a few things to steady it up. Always hang a weight on the hook. Your camera bag helps a bit, use a sandbag outside. Don't use the lowest (skinniest) leg extensions unless you have to.

not bad advice, its pretty light. mine fell over in the wind on the beach and weighing it down some would have prevented that.

thing is....my camera bag doesnt weigh squat. the lx7 is a high end point and shoot, pretty small, so the bag i have is juuust big enough to hold it, a fisheye lens, a cleaning cloth, and the quick release mount for the tripod. i got the camera because it was budget friendly....and i hated borrowing friends gear and having to lug around a dslr and bag of lenses.
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