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New Camera suggestions

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Kristian Stevenson:
We have decied it is time to upgrade our video recording system. We currently use an old consumer mini VHS camcorder ran to a dvd recorder. We are going to upgrade to an HD Camcorder of some sort and a Mac with Final Cut Express for video editing. I know what we are going to need as far as the computer but I wasn't sure about a good camera.

We have about $3000 to spend on the camera. It needs to be HD. It needs XLR inputs so we can come straight out of our mixer (yamaha 32LS9) into the camera. It also needs a composite video output to go into our video switcher to send video signal to other parts of the church (nursery, overflow..ect).  I figured we would film the service and transfer the recording to the mac for editing and publishing to a DVD. I'm not sure whether a tape or Hard drive/flash camera will work best for our needs. Any suggestions or other things to consider??

thanks in advanced!!
Kristian

George Linkenhoker:
Hi Kristian,

I know it is just over your $3000 mark, but we have been looking at the Canon XH-A1s.

I have seen it on-line in the $3300-3500 range.  It does have stereo XLR input line/mic level selectable, 20x optical lens. It would give you recording to mini-DV, firewire straight to your Mac, a composite out with stereo audio that could go straight out for your switch. This is not full HD,but still HD at a 1440 x 1080 or 1080i. Remember though that the composite output will only give you a standard def output, which sounds like what you would want to make the feed to your video system as described.

My experience with Canon has been mostly working with the Canon GL2, but this looks like a nice step into HD and I have seen good reviews.  I do think that Canon has a great lens system and works well a variety of lighting situations, especially good at keeping up in low light situations compared to some others.  

Also, it may be worth a look at B&H photo video, just to take a look at other options.

Hope that helps.

-George L.

(edit: fixed the SD thing)

Kristian Stevenson:
That canon looks awesome. I really like the capability to record to either DV tape or SD card. I also like the 20x optical zoom. That's something I forgot to mention: our sanctuary is about 80 feet long and the camera will be mounted in the very back and will need to zoom to the stage.

I also found this Sony on B&H:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/384527-REG/Sony_HVRA1U _HVRA1U_HDV_Camcorder.html

It doesn't have the SD card capability and only a 10x optical zoom. But the price is pretty nice.

Kristian Stevenson:
Actually, I was looking at the specs on that canon xh-a1s, and I dont think you cant record video to the SD card. The card is only used for user settings and photos.

George Linkenhoker:
I think you are right, I miss-read something somewhere. I will edit my above post to take that out.  Looks like the SD is just for still shot.

-G

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