View Full Version : What is the best camera for me? Around $2000

Bolin Media
09-04-2012, 12:09 PM
I am currently finishing up primary shooting on my horror film He Brings Death. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QGnRFFp4og&feature=plcp It was shot on a JVC GZ-HD7 and a few shots on a canon T2i. I totally forgot how much I emjoy run n gun shooting on and acutal video camera with a fixed lens until I began filming with the JVC again at the beginning of this film. DSLR just has so many draw backs for me. So, I want to get a new camera, and here are the things I would like it to have...

1- Good Low Light/for indoor and outdoor shoots
2- built in lens, (I have heard that most interchangeable lens cameras have bad/nonexitent OIS and Autofocus)
3-Good Auto-focus
4-Good OIS
5-XLR inputs (the audio for DSLRs is bad right now, and I dont want to have an external recorder)

I have been looking hard at an HMC150 (more like obsessively staring) but have heard it isn't the best in low light, and it isn't as sharp as it should be. However, the 3 ccd is a plus due to not having the artifacting that cmos does. But is it a good enough camera to fill my requirements? I cant find any feature films shot on it to see how the end result is.

I recently was looking at the JVC hmq10 with its 4k recording, and while it is out of my price range, I considered saving up for it with that high of a resolution. But then I read that the OIS and auto-focus aren't the best, and it is bad in low light. Deal-breakers for me. The JVC I use now is terrible in low light, has a shitty auto-focus, and bad OIS as well.

So, would the HMC150 be worth buying at this late stage in its life? Would it fulfill my requirements? Since I can get a used one pretty cheap, have really been thinking hard on it. And now that I have the money to get one, I am looking at what else might be better for the same price point.

Thanks guys! This place is always a help :)

09-04-2012, 12:16 PM
An HMC150 is a fine camera; but you don't hear about them being used in feature films because it's 1/3" chips, and all the rage today is using large-sensor cameras to get that shallow-DOF look.

Of course, as you experienced, the limitations of the large-sensor cameras is that they don't have video-style lenses so you don't get OIS and autofocus and servo zoom and all that stuff.

An interesting rumor (and as of now it can only be classified as a rumor) would be the GH3. It's supposed to be a large-sensor camera with video-style autofocus and excellent OIS (when combined with the 12-35 lens) and the latest rumor (emphasis: rumor) is that there'll be an add-on XLR box. So it sounds like it'd probably tick all your boxes, plus have the large sensor. However, none of this is confirmed, and even if it is, we have no idea when it might be released, it might not be out for two months or six months or a year, who knows? And we also don't know price; I would guess a body & lens might be in the $2000 range but that's just a wildly unsubstantiatable guess.

If you want something that's proven, a workhorse camera that absolutely works, the HMC150 is a great cam. No it's not quite as sharp as the sharpest modern-day cameras, and low light performance is decent (500 ISO native, 1000 ISO with 6dB of gain and not much noise). Ergonomically it's excellent, and it's one of the best event cameras. If you liked working with the HD7 you'll probably love the HMC150. But, the drawback is difficulty in achieving shallow-DOF shots...

Bolin Media
09-04-2012, 02:02 PM
Thanks Barry! The GH3 is sounding (rumor wise)to be just the right thing. But as you stated, price and release date are big question marks. I think that the HMC150 my be what I need. The shallow DOF is cool and all, but not everything some make it out to be. I like setting the camera on auto and getting stuff done! Plus, the hmc looks very similar to the DVX 100 (which was my first pro-camera, and I loved it) which seems to have all the stuff I need. As long as the picture quality will last me a couple years.

Now, I need to find someone selling one for around $2000...

09-04-2012, 04:53 PM
I don't think this is exactly what you want, but the Canon T4i has auto focus in video mode with the new Phase Detection (in addition to Contrast Detection) capability built into it's sensor.

There are 2 new Canon STM leneses that have silent auto focus for video, a really stunning 40 mm 2.8 pancake at $200, and an 18-135 mm kit lens that is $350 as part of the kit. The IS on the 18-135 is also optimized for hand held video.

The auto focus has 3 modes, including a continous, face tracking Servo Auto Focus. You can select a face (or object) on the LCD touch screen, and it will keep the face in focus as it moves across the field.

This same capability will be implemented on the C100. I would expect taht there is also an "in between" camaer in the works - between the T4i and C100 level - that will use the same auto focus.

It does not take the camera all of the way into the realm of a camcorder, and I think it will fall a bit short of what yoyu are after. I just thought I would mention it since you mentioned shooting some scenes with the T2i.

Let us know what you decide on if you go with something other than the HMC150.


Bolin Media
09-04-2012, 05:12 PM
Thanks unadog. I looked at the t4i n from what i gather, the autofocus is very abrupt, and switches real fast. Also, not sure if there is better audio on it or not. I guess I would have to either have someone with hands on video filming in auto tell me what they think. The videos I saw on the net didnt look too good... but then again this was day one footage I think.

Bolin Media
09-05-2012, 12:38 PM
Well, I went with the HMC150. Bought it from jimmycrack here, and got some extras at a good price. Now I just can't wait for it to arrive in the mail!! :)

11-07-2013, 09:30 PM
With a budget around $2,000, you'll find outstanding DSLR cameras -- as well as an occasional mirror-less DIL camera