After a short 2 year sabbatical I am back in the video business. This time working outside of news.

I am researching cameras and would like you alls opinion on a good camcorder. I like something that is HD and will shoot over the shoulder. I don't think I can convince my employer to spend $30,000 on a camera, but I'm curious as to what people are using now. Also, any advice on lens options is appreciated as well.

I will be shooting commercials, sports, interviews, etc.


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It's hard to just have one camera or a "one size fits all" camera, now. Everyone wants large sensor(s35 or bigger) cameras for features, interviews, etc., but for shooting sports(actual highlights) you still want 2/3" for lens selection and making focus easier. If it doesn't have to be new, you can find screaming deals on eBay for quality 2/3" ENG cameras and HD glass.

If I'm interpreting your post correctly, I'd seriously look at a two camera solution. I run with three VariCams(tape and 2x P2), a C300 and F55.


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Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro. Does it all and does it well. I used to hire 3 different cameras for different shoots but the Mini can shoot everything. EF, PL, B4 lens mounts make it incredibly versatile.


It is always hard to suggest a camera for someone when it really is not clear who the clients are you expect to service.

Good suggestions I am going to go out on a limb and suggest this camera...

the Panasonic AG-UX189

I am a firm Sony Fan Boy...but this camera was impressive when I looked at it.
Especially for it's price!

I know you say "HD"...but if you are really wanting to have a wider variety of clients I suggest you begin to think about 4K as well.

It has a one inch sensor which gives you a little better depth of field control compared to most chips. Not as much as a 35mm sensor..but it's not too shabby!

Being able to offer that as well as "traditional" HD will future proof you for a while and allow you to spend money on quality support gear...which is just as important as the camera itself.

I have seen this camera in action and for it's price point and size it really does a lot.

Not to mention it comes with a $3,000 price tag!

It has pro XLR audio inputs, plus the zoom on this camera is much better than most bigger 4K cameras or current "small" cameras. You would have to spend twenty five or thirty grand to get the same kind of zoom on a larger 4K camera and the image this thing puts out is beautiful!

No, you can not swap lenses.

To be clear...this camera also shoots all the flavors of HD you could want!

Worth taking a look at if you are, like most of us, living within a budget.

Good luck!
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As stated, look at everything and LEARN about everything before making a choice (or 3). Its a very different world from even 2 years ago. LED's have programmable "filters" in them now. No more gels.

Clients might stay a long time and have simple needs. Others might have very specific needs in a small window. Buy for the long term and rent for the short. Find something you like and understand with deliverables being second. External recorders can solve that problem. Maybe buddy up with someone and purchase gear you can rent to each other.

4K needs to be in your arsenal. Why? 8K is already about 20% of my work the last 3 months. Most just want the data, just in case. Some for color correction, some cause they can. I just submitted a estimate yesterday that requires 8K RAW. That's a lot of 1 and 0's.

Newer camera tech has made things "easier." But the craft is still the craft. If you cant light your way out of a paper bag, you will never light a high end interview no matter who owns the camera.