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Not Just Another Budget Camera Recommendations Thread

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Joshua Jackson
Not Just Another Budget Camera Recommendations Thread
on Oct 10, 2017 at 9:06:27 pm

First of all, I've read multiple threads about people wanting to be the next Martin Scorsese with $50 cameras.
I want you to know that this is not that kind of thread.
I'm posting this in the Vegas forum, as that's what I normal use and I didn't see any general video camera threads (all for specific brands and stuff).

How about a little background...
I've done various "free"lance (emphasis on the word free) video, over the last couple decades.
I've done some event work (weddings and stuff), FOV (off-road, motorcycle, etc...), and other "home movie"-type stuff (certainly nothing worthy of charging customers).
I did the principle photography (like how I'm throwing professional jargon out there?) for a music video and some of it even ended up on a local college TV ad.
Back in the Mini-DV days, I had a Canon XL1 (don't remember if it was the 1 or 1s) and Panasonic AG-DVC200p (the Panny is what I did the music video with).
Most of my stuff has been done with cell phone cameras (including my current Lumia Icon with 4k), action cameras (various Contour models), etc... (read "no budget").
A lot of my stuff is multi-camera and it's usually a hodge-podge of what is around (I'm editing an 80th birthday video from 3-4 cell phones, a point-and-shoot camera, and downloaded streaming video - with varying frame rates).
I do the editing, disc production, etc... (one-man-band).

What I would be interested in, though, are a few options (varying price-points are fine) that would fit what I would really use it for.
Some points that I do think would be appropriate...
1080p/30 (I don't do 24fps) - 4k is fine
Ability for manual white balance would be nice (I rarely do a white balance card before filming)
Ability for manual focus would be nice (auto-focus when off-roading has been worthless)
Ability to control/view multiple cameras from a central location would be nice
Optical image stabilization is nice
I do want optical zoom in at least one camera (think center cam for a church wedding)
Some kind of timecode system that all the cameras could use would be really useful when importing (theoretically, all my cameras would have the right date/time set)
Not wide-angle (I hate fish-eye video)
Ability to do interval shooting (just did a road-trip at 5 second intervals and it was pretty cool)
Ability to record while plugged into AC would be nice (swapping batteries every hour is lame)
Reasonable low-light performance (for those "home movies")
Tripod mount
Interchangeable lenses aren't of much value (never changed lenses on the cameras that could)
Shallow DOF isn't really my thing (again, not a film guy)
Not looking for a shoulder-mount camera
Again, keep in mind what I've been using and that a lot of things would be an upgrade.

These are some new cameras that I've been looking at (I'm fine with the used market for quality gear)...
Action cameras that can be controlled/viewed from the remote/mobile app:
Sony AZ1 (AC power recording, 120 degree view option)
Sony AS300 (optical image stabilization)
Sony AS200V (manual white balance)
Sony X3000 (4k, optical image stabilization, timecode)
Sony X1000V (4k, manual white balance)

Camcorders that can control other Sony cameras (optical image stabilization, optical zoom):
Sony CX455 (AC power recording)

Others (not sure if these Sony's can control other cameras):
Sony CX675 (optical image stabilization, 30x optical zoom, accessory shoe, AC power recording)
Sony AX33 (4k, only 10x optical zoom, manual focus/white balance, accessory shoe, bigger sensor)
Sony AX53 (4k, 20x optical zoom, manual focus/white balance, accessory shoe, bigger sensor, timecode)

So, what do you guys think?
I would really like to try out the Sony Action Cams.
I've been a long-time user of the Contour line and I've been really pleased with them.
I didn't see any reference to the bigger Sonys controlling other cameras, but maybe you guys know.
JJ


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