I would recommend Canon Vixia HF G20. I have the predecessor (G10) which works very well. It's a little over your price range at around $1100. But that is quite a reduction from the $1500 I paid for the G10 when it first came out.
One thing to note is while it excels at video, it does so at the expense of taking stills.
Plenty of cameras meet those needs. What also should be asked is what you plan on shooting..or mostly plan on shooting. If it is wildlife and the need for a zoom stems from that, then you can look at small sensor cameras that will have a much better zoom at the expense of low light clarity. If you are doing weddings indoors your needs are entirely different. Long zoom is more easily done with smaller sensors. Larger sensors (and they vary, I think, even in that price range but you should do that research) may have better low light qualities but at the expense of zoom ability. Some cameras have much better stabilization. Not critical for some applications, a top priority for others. It's my suggestion that you carefully consider the kind of shooting you wish to do and research cameras and ask the question again with that in mind because every single camera out there anywhere close to that price range has huge trade offs that make them good for this or that but mediocre for other subjects.
Thanks Thomas...now a stupid question:
I'm not super hip to "optical zoom." in this case it is "10x" 10 times normal?
How does one make an inteligent decision about how much zoom is enough? There are other cameras out there with 15x and more..... Do you have any insight for a beginner?
Thanks for the link.
I was just looking for the same thing yesterday; must have audio-in, and I found this Canon VIXIA HF R400 at B&H for $300. I has a 32x optical zoom, which means it will zoom wide angle to very long tele. Compared to a 35mm lens, that would be like a 38.5 - 1232 mm, that's absolutely great! And with ADCHD on SD cards, it is compatible with FCPX.
… How does one make an inteligent decision about how much zoom is enough? …
A professional would never ever … ok, in very rare cases use a zoom.
A Zoom is always a compromise - in quality (ok, will an amateur notice? No), and, more important, in 'speed'.
Most BigZooms offer very poor speed, starting somewhere at f3.6 and finally on long range, f8.0, f10!
Next: a tele-lens creates tons of shake! Without stabilizer, it's impossible to handle a 500mm lens. Most/many videoDSLRs do not offer staibilizers.
So, the question is: Why using a zoom at all? Why using a SuperZoom at all?
I'm usign a Pana707 - with a very strong zoom, and superb stabilizer (and using a tripod); because; i like to record the soccerr games of my son's team. I need a simple to use aka fast solution. Using the same cam indoors is nice with its 25mm, but it is really poor under low light conditions; a designated device (Canon Rebel, 35mm/f1.4.) offers much, much, much better, superb quality.-
It depends too much on your individual needs and conditions:
• a 'system cam' with interchangeablel glases could be better.
• a tiny all-in-one (like mine) could be better.
hard to give a general advice.
Thanks again for this help.
THe reason I want a zoom is to try to recreate videos like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cer8YF_QoDo&feature=share&list=PLzvRx_johoA_Zhuo_ pRsWSbARe2IZ2XZJ
The camrea is far enough away that the camera person doesn't interfer. This is the goal.
So..... does the PANA707 import direct into FMP? Or do I have to re-encode the files?
Thanks so much... very great info.
Brad in Denver.
Karsten: would you be willing to provide a link to the pana707? …
it's the Eurropean predecessor of Panasonic 720 ...
mine is without WiFi, but a 'huge' sensor (for a camcorder), high bit-rate 28mbps, excellent optics.
ext mic-in, 1080/50p (US: 1080/60p)
• touch-screen control only ('tricky' for manual focus, aperture et al)
• the new 720 accepts only Pana Original Batteries (mine allows cheaper no-names)
• comes without ext loader (additional 30€).
• has the well-known 'cyan sky' -flaw, which is easy to adjust with scopes+highlights lowered by 3% .... (Panasonics somehow manage to exposure 107% ..... )
I paid 380€ - which was a real deal!
Hi Karsten. I bought a panasonic HC-V720 and am having trouble getting the files to read in FCP X
There are severa formats I can record in.... Perhaps that is the problem. (It appears that the AVCHD) is not a Final Cut friendly format.
Can you offer any advice?
Thanks for your help. I'm a rookie and this stuff is making me crazy.
Brad In Denver