Independent filmmakers are often uncertain when they enter the market for a new camcorder. They become more skeptical when looking for a camcorder for under $1000 becuase gimmicky camcorder options like “100X zoom” or “film look” clog the marketplace.
However, you can get many high performance video cameras for under $1000. While it’s true you won’t have access to a 3 CCD chip camcorder that can shoot 24P (although our top few choices can shoot 24p on 1 chip), you will nevertheless be able to acquire a camera with great manual control, a decent sensor size, great color control as well as the capability for shooting HD (High Definition).
First thing is first: Brands. While Sony and Panasonic make great pro-sumer level professional camcorders (over the $2500 range), Canon comes in as the winner for cheaper camcorders. Sony’s video cameras have great lenses (Carl Zeiss) and they’ve managed to find a way to keep a relatively large CCD chips which helps the cameras capture high quality images and also helps them perform better in low light situations.
1. Canon HV30 – Estimated Price – $570 – Can shoot 24p and 60i
2. Canon HV20 – Estimated Price – $399 – Can shoot 24p and 60i
3. Canon HF10 – Estimated Price – $570 – Can shoot 24p and 60i
4. Canon HF11 – Estimated Price – $825 -
5. Canon HF100 – Estimated Price – $530