View Full Version : Intro-level Camera

Demosthenes X
07-06-2004, 10:18 PM
So. I'm looking for a good, inexpensive enty-level camera to get started with filmmaking. I've used some of the higher-end stuff, like the PD150 and TRV900, but I can't afford something with that kind of price tag at the moment.

I've been looking mainly at some of the comsumer-level cameras that are available, and I've found one that I think would suit my interests, which is the Sony DCR-HC85. It's only one CCD, but it has manual operation modes for everything, and a focus ring (which is nice), and the LCD is a lot larger than most (which is nice, except that it drains battery power). It also has the mount for a Zoom Mike, which I guess is the next best thing to an XLR setup.

Anyone know of any other cameras that might be better? The guy recomended a Panasonic with three CCD, but personally I liked the setup and size of the Sony better - the Pan was tiny, almost to small to hold, whereas the Sony was large enough to hold steady fairily easily. The menues on the Pan were also a lot more complicated, and it's a lot harder to get to white balance, exposure, etc. That, and the Sony was the only one to have a shutter speed lower than 1/60 (I like my low shutter speeds).

So, anyone have any comments on those? I'm looking not to pay more than about $2000 Canadian - the Sony is about $1300 before extras. I've heard good things about the image on a Canon, but the Opturas seem to have some major problems with audio, from what I've read.


I've also been hearing some good things about the Canon GL2. That's almost $2000 more than I'd like to pay, but it sounds like it is worth the extra money. I'm wondering if anyone has any experiance with this camera, and if it might just be worth it to wait a while longer, earn some more money, and then go with the GL2 instead of buying a lower-end camera and then trying to upgrade in a couple of years.


07-07-2004, 01:16 PM
How much are you looking to spend? You can get your hands on a 3 chip Panasonic PV-GS70 for about $600 which has manual controls for everything (though I dont remember if some were accessed via the menu)

Demosthenes X
07-07-2004, 01:18 PM
Yeah. I've been looking at one 3C Panasonic - it's $1099 up here - and the picture is certainly very nice. But so far, I like the feel and control of the Sony better...

And I can't help but think, if they're making a 3C camera for that kind of price, what have they cut from it to get it that low?

07-07-2004, 01:26 PM
It has 1/6" CCDs ;)

07-08-2004, 10:12 AM
Take a look at the Sony TRV950. It's three chips and runs between $1400 - 1700.


Demosthenes X
07-11-2004, 01:05 AM
I've used the TRV-900 in the past, and I really can't say I was pleased with it. Just size-wise, it's to big for a handycam and to small for a two-handed unit, and it seems to border between consumer and prosumer as far as controls go...

And, up here, it sells for $3300. I can get a GL2 for the same price, assuming I want to pay that much, and it seems to me to be the better camera.

But at the moment, I'm looking at the Panasonic PV-GS200. It's 3CCD, and it's got all the manual controls I need. And I can actually afford it (this is the important part).

07-11-2004, 12:54 PM
Let me ask you this- have you considered renting a camera? If there are any good rental houses in your area, you can always rent more camera than you could buy for the same amount of money.

King Goldfish
07-11-2004, 07:57 PM
I dont like double posting but I just linked this for another guy. its the panasonic thats around 600-700 bucks

im guessing its the same model. its the cheapest 3CCD i have found on the net thats new. says it records in 16:9

Demosthenes X
07-11-2004, 09:00 PM
Yeah... there a couple of film clubs in the city that will let you rent cameras. PD150s, as a matter of fact.

But I just think I would get more done if I buy my own camera. If I ever plan on doing a larger project, I'll probably end up renting a camera, but for beginning, I think I'll be better off with my own camera.