When you are in the market for a new professional camcorder, there are many things to consider. Choosing the right professional camera for production in use of films and videos is crucial. It can also be very confusing with all the various camcorders, DSLR’s, and latest offerings from Sony and Panasonic. However, when researching a professional camcorder there are a few things you may want to consider.

  • What is your budget?
  • What type are of shooter are you?  i.e events, weddings, films
  • What format do you wish to invest in?
  • Image quality or look.

The first question really should not be taken lightly. Your budget will really dictate the answers for the other 2, and provide you with what is really viable. Setting aside enough funds for both the Camcorder and any other accessories such as Tripods, lights and media. Don’t forget you will be needing a powerful PC to handle all that HD footage. You may want to consider a minimum Intel i7 processor. To see how to set up an edit suite click here.

Type of Shooting

Personally, I fall into the category of film making and broadcast. Therefore I need a variety of tools that I have acquired over the years. MY camcorders range from DSLR’s such as Canon 5D MKII, and Canon 7D to professional camcorders such as the Sony Z1U, and Sony EX1. By understanding what you are going to be shooting,  you can select the right tool for the job. Buying too big can be a waste of money, and buying to small can result in buyer’s remorse.

 

Format

When choosing a professional camcorder consider the formats for Example Panasonic and Sony both have property based flash media for the camcorders to record on to. Panasonic’s P2 media, and Sony’s SxS media. Both flash based media cards are fast reliable and expensive. Both Manufactures also have other cameras that too to tape. Although this is considerably cheaper, tape is outdated and harder to find.

Now it terms of looks for camcorders the ones I mentioned above have a fantastic image. However, the latest offerings Panasonic and Sony , you can now get the film look. The Panasonic AF 100 shoots to a cheaper media as well. It uses SD cards which are relatively inexpensive and the camera allows you to use interchangeable lens from Canon and Nikon. The latest Sony NEX FS 100 offers similar features but provides you with a Super 35 mm sensor. This closer resembles what Hollywood uses to shoot their films.

As you can see there is a lot to consider when purchasing a professional camcorder. Just remember to do your research first. If possible even take a trip to you local rental shop and rent one for the weekend. This way you can get a feel for the camera and see if it suits your needs. Just don’t forget to budget for a PC to edit all that beautiful HD footage.

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