I have a sony PDx10
, which is the descendant of the PD 100. It is rated PROsumer. It cost about $2000. The industry leader in DV Cams is the rugged Sony PD150 - soon to be PD170, so if you can get hold of a used such, youll be in company with most Professional DV Videographers.
Core issues are:XLR type mike inputs
- preferably two. Headphone jacks are out, as their socket wear easily creating inteference noise. The mike input should preferably be separated from the main body of the camera to eliminate camera noise. Without mike inputs, you will have a hard time recording from a distance and getting the sound right.3 ccd sensors
recording a minimum of 480 TV lines
(Secam) or 520
(Pal) to have TV quality.Light sensitivity less than 5 lux
. The PD 150 has a sensitivity of 2 lux, which enables it to film in the light of 2 candles. Good at night. This is exceptionally good. My PDx10 has 7 lux, and is generally poor performing without videolights indoor.Vertical glare
. Digital cameras record a white vertical line when filming high contrast areas such as a light bulb, concert light or car light. This can be very annoying, and the width of this line varies according to different models. If you can, test your camera by seeing in the lcd monitor while recording bright light.Framerate
. With video, as in TV, you only need interlaced
scan. That is a sequence of 25 (pal) or 29 (secam) half-pictures a second, adding up to 12.5 and 14.49 whole images per second. (Dont ask, its how the old TV is built up) Progressive
scan, that is motion picture quality, needs 24 full frames per second. That is complete pictures recorded sequentally. You wont get this quality under $3000 at least.About has a good introduction to buying digital video cameras here:Here they have a list of the best camcorders under $600. (Single CCD)Once you get your camera, you might as well stick with About on what to do next:
New cameras come out all the time, so Id check out your internet dealer on various models, and then checking these models out by a google search.
I found one camera that looks good (this panasonic)
, but Id really recommend you to first figure out your needs taking into account your budget.
So, I suppose, your left with figuring exactly how much you are willing to spend. Generally you get better quality the more you spend, but what is left up for you to decide, is what quality level is adequate for your present needs.
When I dialled tv stations asking them what I should be looking for, their reply was almost uniformly 3ccd and XLR sound. So if you have any prospects of freelancing for TV, making ads or similar, the answer is given.