wanted your opinion as Canon experts/fans- I work freelance as a video editor and run my own edit boutique for the past ten years and have avoided keeping camera gear. The idea was I know several good cameraman that do great work (and refer business to me) and I wanted to be able to relay work to them and keep the working relationship solid. Additionally, I didn't want to buy and maintain a camera kit (along with light kit, canvases, green screen; etc) when work was more minimal.
But with this economy, I have been getting more inquiries about the ability to shoot and edit and with budgets that I can't really 'split' and assign half to one of my camera colleagues (too little after split). More so the camerawork requests are basic field ENG type with a basic mic/speedlight package, and so forth. And I have shot ENG in the past, so I could handle that with relative ease.
My question then is what recommendations would you have for a Video camera on the prosumer level that has tape capability, but can shoot some HD (HDV, AVCHD; etc) type. I would like 3CCD and controls beyond anything I could buy at Best Buy, but NOT the $7K major models. I think the Canon HV30 - HV40 series are a good starting point (still like something a bit physically bigger (Size=professional ) and would consider HDD cameras and even (gasp!) Sony.
Anywho, sorry for the long post, bu I wanted to give an idea of the niche I'm trying to address and the cost/gear concerns. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. thanks!
Little cams like the HV20/30/40 are great cameras for what they cost, but they are not very controllable as they have no manual modes... you are very much at the mercy of all of their automation. Since you mentioned wanting control, I bet you'll miss having a manual mode.
If I were you I'd hit eBay and pick up a gently-used low-mileage Canon XLH1. You can find lots of them there with very low hours, and usually at a tiny fraction of their original price. They were expensive cameras new, but the used ones can be found quite cheaply.
Anything less than that is not going to give you all the features/needs/wants that you spelled out.
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