big question.... budget. You can spend from under $ 1000.00 to much more than that.
Also, what do you want to use this for? documentaries? music video? Low light situations?
Sounds like you don't have much experience with this stuff, so you might want to get a camera that has decent automatic modes and the ability to customize the settings as you get comfortable with the camera.
I strongly recommend you get a camera with xlr audio inputs and with the ability to set audio levels. Really important if you want high quality audio.
I work a great deal with the panasonic hmc150. I think it's something over $ 3000.00 It records on sdhc chips.
Thank you. I am a student hired by one of the colleges at my university to film a processor lecture. The filming isn't done in the class but in a small studio. They told me their budget is generous but I'm thinking under $5000. Since I basically already have a degree in broadcasting I got the job and they've given me the task of upgrading their family type camcorder to a professional one. However I want to find just the right one.
Tape may not be dead from an editor's perspective, but for production I can't see any reason to choose it over file-based.
There is a very wide selection of well-designed cameras under $5K. As Mr. Grenadier mentioned, XLR inputs are important and I think you'll find most cameras priced above say, $2K will have them.
At the low end of this range are cameras like Sony's XA10; a bit higher and more substantial are products like Canon's XF 100 and the previously mentioned HMC 150 from Panasonic.
You might also consider DSLR's. While they have their limitations (monitoring and Audio connections) they do offer advantages of unobtrusiveness and interchangeable lens at an affordable price.
And speaking of interchangeable lens, one camera that I'm looking forward to working with is the new BlackMagic Cinema camera. Check it out here. Shoots 2.5K RAW images and 1080 Pro Res…and includes a free copy of DaVinci Resolve.