Help Choosing Camera...



Hey Guys!

I'm a high school student very serious about filmmaking. Thing is, right now, all I have for shooting are 2 junky home video cameras. I am ready for something more pro. Right now, I'm renting the DVX100A when I need it, but I want to own something. But here's the dilema.

I can't afford to buy the DVX100. I really cannot afford anything over $1000. These are the cameras I am left to choose from. (Please recommend others too)

1. Sony VX1000
2. Canon GL1
3. Canon HV20

Which one? I will be making indie films and hopefully entering film festivals and competitions. Which will be best for me?


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The problem with the cameras above (other than the HV20), is that you won't be able to get it new, and will not be able to get a warranty with it. New cameras cost more, but I highly recommend if you buy used to make sure it has a U.S. warranty, because you never know what can go wrong with a camera, then you end up paying as much as it would cost for a new camera in repairs. The HV20 certainly looks like an able bodied camera. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to you though if your serious, because what it lacks is manual control. And that's really how you learn, is by manipulating f stop, shutter speed, gain, and coordinating all the various functions to achieve your look. Now I've never used the HV20, but the complaints I've read have been from people who didn't think it had sufficient manual control. So it may provide the images, but you will in all likelihood outgrow it very quickly. The other two cameras listed are much better in that respect. Now, for about $200 more or less you could get a camera from the Panasonic GS series (GS400, GS500). Maybe for $1000 actually. This is really a great camera. No it isn't HD, and it probobly won't give you the same image as the HV20, but you will command the image much more, and be able to shape it a lot more. For about $400 more or less you could find an AG-DVC30 which is another great camera (I had one in high school, still do, still love it). A word of advice, in your camera search, if you haven't already, you'll find a lot of websites that offer the camera of your dreams for almost nothing seemingly. These are gray market sites, and not many people seem to think its worth it. It is sketchy. There are people who know how to play it, but most people don't, and most people end up regretting using these sites. My recommendation: stay away. Stick with the workhorses, BHvideo, Adorama, Willoughby's ect.. And try to get it new if you can. Its just better, because you don't know where a used camera has been, or what conditions its been subjected to, or how well its been treated. If you get it used, a warranty is a must.


I cannot spend any more than $1200. So...

I have found a place that I can get both the GL1 and the VX1000 in good condition with a warranty. Also, there are workarounds to the HV20 controls, allowing for manual focus, shutter speed, exposure, and gain. Not as easy, but hey, it's 24p HD for $1K.

Which still says the same question. If you could get warranties and if they were all the same price, which of those three would be my best bet? Just to recap:

Sony VX1000

Canon GL1

Canon HV20


i know the sony is perfered over the g1 by a lot of people... the sound that comes from the 1000 is very crisp and very very good along with the video. I dont know much abou tthe 20 but, between the sony and the cannon id say the sony.


I'd have to disagree, Canon's GL-1 has the superior sound quality. I've used both of those cameras way back when on professional productions, and the Canon always gave us better sound. Sony's sound really isn't up to other cameras yet, and I've been doing sound for many years.