Thursday, March 11, 2010

Did Camcorderinfo's Student buying Guide blow it? has an article posted entitled: "The Student Filmmaker's Buying Guide To Consumer Camcorders." The article is actually a great idea, and I'm sure more than a few people will be interested to read it. The four cameras they chose to include have much to recommend them:
  • Canon HF S21
  • Panasonic HDC-TM300
  • JVC GZ-HM400
  • Canon HV40
I even have to agree that the HF S21 is probably the best of the four...

Unfortunately, I can't help thinking that they didn't cast their net wide enough. They completely overlooked the HD DSLR market segment; specifically the Canon Rebel T2i. At $799 for the body you can add a prime lens (or two) and still come in under the target $1,500 budget.

Maybe they have a good reason; and yes, there are lots of good reasons not to get an HD DSLR. Lenses are expensive and limiting; if you need a long zoom lens with optical stabilization then get the HF S21.  There's the 12 minute length clips and manual focusing. BUT if you're an aspiring filmmaker, the T2i has a lot to recommend it:
  • 24p
  • shallow depth of field
  • DSLR's are the "it" camera of the moment
They also force you to think a little more than those other cameras.

They aren't for everyone, but I'd wager that film students are more likely to see the appeal of an HD DSLR that the average camcorder buyer.

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