What cameras are recommended for an independent filmmaker?

I'm planning on getting in to college for film, so I've been looking for a great camera to help me out. Preferably, a professional camera but not anything that's going to pull my arm off since I'll be carrying it around places. It will be used for independent filmmaking so I want it to have a great... show more I'm planning on getting in to college for film, so I've been looking for a great camera to help me out. Preferably, a professional camera but not anything that's going to pull my arm off since I'll be carrying it around places. It will be used for independent filmmaking so I want it to have a great picture. I don't mind the cost, as long as it gets the job done well.
I was also wondering what video format is recommended for transferring videos onto my mac. I figured hard-drive cameras would obviously be the easiest but that's more focused in the handycam area and I'm looking at professional cameras.
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