• Best Prosumer Level Camera for under $2000 & Advice •?

Hello Reader.

I'm a film student and I'm currently looking for a Prosumer Level Video Camcorder with a budget of $2,000. Our needs will be some outdoor footage, though nothing too fast-paced or demanding, some interviews, green-screen, and some indoor, on-set filming. Main use would be on a Camera Jib/Crane.

-I would like one that looks, and feels professional.

-I would like a Prosumer Camcorder, not a DSLR.

-I would perfer a camcorder with Digital Recording for SD Cards, but I can work with Mini DV Tapes and record with a FireStore. But I would perfer SD recording over DV as it is more economically feasible.

-Now tell me, would it be better to purchase a camera that can record onto SD Cards, or a camera with DV Tapes, with a flash storage FireStore. Which would be better quality? Remember, I need to transfer this footage onto a Computer.


•XLR Inputs

•Full 1920 x 1080p HD Resolution


•High Definition Video Capture

•View Finder & LCD Screen

•Display Output (For External Video Displays)

•LANC Remote Input (Optional)

•Cinematone Gamma/Color

•High Frames per Second (Optional)

•Good in Low-Light Conditions (Optional)

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time, have a nice day.

3 Answers

  • Mmm J
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The advice provided to you at CNET is sound


  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I'm vote for Panasonic AG-HMC80, she's going into a well deserved "backup" role, after about 6 years of steady work without a hiccup. Recently she's shown her age and the zoom servo is dying (and too many freelancers dropping her). I looked at this Ag-HVC80 and I'm buying it today for mainly event coverage. The sound inputs/outputs are what made me decide specifically on this model...and at $2k. Main reason I'm writing this review is to say the specs on Amazon say it's 30 pounds! It is going to get pretty heavy quickly when lugging it around. And only a couple of my tripods could even carry that weight without splaying! So looked at the Panasonic site and downloaded the manual It's less than 8 pounds...closer to 7. So don't get scared about the weight description!


    The top AVCHD rate is equal to the canon HF 10 - about 25 MB/s into a 32 GB card, however the panasonic can only hold one card. The canon could only hold one card too, but it had 32 GB of internal ram for 64 GB total (that's 6 hours or 6 tapes folks!). With one sd chip holding 3 hours I don't find the need to have 2 or even 4 comming out now. Plus there is rumored to be a 64GB sdhc class 10 comming for us digital shooters.

    Watch the photos section on the camera as I take more photos and explain how the buttons all come together to work. My final addition to this review will be with a second camera. I may use my HF 10 and a/b the two so you can see the difference in video. It's slight, but the panasonic has the better video picture.

    I did make a small change to my panasonic by removing their 2nd deadshoe bracket for a microphone and replaced it with a 2 deadshoe bracked for 2 mic receivers. The HMC80 has cable management clips all over the side of it so that your XLR cables from wireless receivers will stay close to the camera body and not snag on things as you carry it around -- that's a professional touch.

    FINALLY - the stability you gain with the right hand on the lens, the left hand on the viewfinder, and the camera on your shoulder makes for a solid system. Short of a $50,000 ENG camera this has all the features I would want for at a price I can afford. It deserves serious consideration in selecting an avchd cam as the tiny little ones just do not have the stability that the shoulder mounted cams do. I can zoom in digitally + 12x optical for 120X zoom which isn't 400x, but at 400x you can't make out the detail anyways. I had my HF 10 set to stop at 10x + 4x digital because beyond that was noise. The 120x I get here is all usable up to the last little bit which is a little noisy.

    I have more AG-HMC80 cams on order for work because of their features and quality, so I will be able to study their lifetime longevity. And on that note, if you register within 30 days of purchase (electronically or phone) your warantee goes to 3 years. That's almost unheard of in a commercial camcorder.

    The AG-HMC80 is much more than a prosumer camcorder - it's a 3-ccd professional camcorder and has all the features you would expect

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