So, you’re ready to step it up a level and buy a camcorder with some real power? Let’s take a look at the prosumer market, where there is a host of amazing technology currently battling it out for your attention.
You can find these camcorders in various sizes and shapes depending on what you need. Some look like your standard video camera while others remind you of the bigger units the news companies use. To help you find what you want, here are some the the best prosumer camcorders to buy.
Best Prosumer Camcorder for the Money
One of the standout contenders here is the Canon VIXIA HF G30. Canon are really dominating this field and their flagship camera offers some improvements on the previous model in the range, including a larger CMOS sensor and an upgraded version of its Digic Div 4 image-processing chip.
This camera uses AVCHD but now also supports MPEG-4 encoding in 1080p, offering a lot more flexibility in file formats. The camera retains the 8-blade aperture of previous models while offering an enhanced zoom mode.
Those familiar with the Vixia G20 are probably already drooling at the prospect of an enhanced version of such a high-performing model, although the price tag has jumped up too: at $1600, it’s around $500 more expensive than its predecessor. It costs a lot of money to be right on the cutting edge.
Best Prosumer Camcorder for Weddings
Panasonic have produced the AG-AC90 AVCCAM Handheld Camcorder which is a really strong contender in this field. Much larger than the VIXIA, it has three 2.19mp MOS senors and a wide-angle lens with 12x zoom. We also like the responsive 5-axis OIS for image stabilisation, as well as the intuitive UI.
This is a great camera for those looking to move into the more professional market, for example looking at providing a wedding videography service. The price is roughly the same as the VIXIA, so it won’t break the bank.
Best Prosumer Camcorder with Projector
If you want a feature-rich gadget, the Sony 96GB HXR-NX30 will keep you entertained for hours on end. Shooting on this camera is as solid as any other Sony camera and it is in itself a very good product.
But it’s the add ons that will make you go wow. First there’s a detachable XLR Unit to help you ensure you get the best possible audio. Then there’s a massive 96gb HDD to store hours of video right there.
But the killer feature is the built-in projector, allowing you to display your movies cinema-style without any additional equipment. Is it a gimmick? It sure is, but it’s a really neat gimmick.
Best Prosumer Camcorder to Buy
As you move to the more professional end of the market, you’ll find Sony starting to become a dominant force. It costs over $6000, but the Sony PMW-200 offers you everything you need in a camera. The fast maximum aperture setting allows for exceptionally high quality footage, while the audio is captured in high quality 48khz 16 bit LPCM.
Storage is managed on removable 64gb cards and clip-spanning technology allows you to reload easily without breaking the shot. It’s a real professional’s camera that will set you apart as a serious videographer and allow you to shoot professional-quality movies, although there’s a slight nod to the prosumer market in that it only weighs 5lbs, meaning the you won’t get shoulder strain from carrying it around all day. Expensive? Yes, but totally worth it.
Depending on the amount you want to spend and what you are looking to film, there is a prosumer camcorder to suit your needs. Just take some time to read the reviews and to assure yourself that you are getting the right product for you. These are all decent video cameras to get you thinking.