OT: Need a new Camcorder

im.away wrote on 3/8/2014, 3:46 AM
One of my beloved Sony HDR-HC3 cameras has finally shuffled off its mortal coil and has been given a suitable burial. I need to replace it and would love some suggestions from forumites as the only acquisition I have made in recent times is a GoPro Hero 3 and I've lost touch with where the industry is at.

The camera should be Full HD 1920x, preferably 50p. It would be nice to have an external mic. I/P. It does not need to have interchangeable lenses. I would prefer a camera that does not use proprietary memory for storage. The camera will be used mainly for B Roll stuff at weddings, seminars etc and for travel documentary work, where the talent will operate the camera themselves. In other words, a lot of hand-held stuff. I am prepared to pay for a product in the mid to high end of the camcorder range.

I am not interested in 3D or 4K and have a perfectly functional EX1R for serious work.

Over to you and thanks in advance.


Kimberly wrote on 3/8/2014, 5:14 AM
I replaced my HDR-HC3 with a CX760v. You can get the PAL or NTSC version. I use it in a Gates underwater housing. It's about 18 months old now so you might save a little coin when you buy it.

Overall I love it although the white balance can be funky at times at depth. I have some tricks to force out a good white balance underwater. At the surface it seems fine.



im.away wrote on 3/9/2014, 6:07 AM
Thanks Kimberly. Your reply and another post on the forum has me looking into the CX series of camcorders. Certainly seems to tick all the boxes.
Rob Franks wrote on 3/9/2014, 12:24 PM
I'm not so wild over the Sony cams these days. I replaced my HC3 with a sony sr11 which has now been replaced by my new Sony PJ790. It's a nice enough cam and the active stabilization is pretty amazing, but what I have noticed over the years is that the build quality has gone down hill. I didn't mind paying Sony's typically higher price before because I enjoyed the more expensive 'feel' of their cams, but now Canon is looking pretty much on par with the lower price to boot.

The other thing I don't like about the newer Sony cams is that they have changed the hot shoe so that some of your older accessories (even with an adapter) no longer work. I have a nice little Sony blue tooth mic set up which cost $250 that I can no longer use. :(
Paul Anderegg wrote on 3/10/2014, 2:00 AM
I actually bought a 760 and a Panasonic X920 at the same time, and decided to keep the "better" one. As you can see from my posts on this other forum below, I was very happy with the X920. I actually shoot stuff that airs on broadcast news all the time with it.


Make sure you check out my tinypic inks in regards to the Sony horrible CA.

I am replacing the X920 with a Sony AX100....yay!
D.Anne wrote on 3/10/2014, 7:17 PM
Paul, I checked your link, and it says that you compared a CX-710 to the X920, not a CX-760. I have the CX and love it for low light. The 760 has a Zeiss lens, not a Sony lens. No sign of chromatic aberration in my video or stills.
(The CX-760 is out of production, replaced by the PJ-790, don't know if there is a CX-790). PJ series is same as CX, but has the builtin projector.
Paul Anderegg wrote on 3/12/2014, 6:28 AM
The 710 has a Zeiss lens too, sorry, forgot the model number. I think the PJ710 is the 760 with a projector basically. I don't think you will find any lens or sensor differences between the 710, 760, and 790. I was very surprised at how bad the Sony lens was, I am assuming I got a bad unit. The Sony does do better in ow light, by about a stop, and allows manual control of lower shutter speeds, where the Panasonic stops at 1/30th.
Kimberly wrote on 3/12/2014, 1:57 PM
The 760 comes in a projector and non-projector model. I chose the non-projector model and I would never have a reason to project my unedited footage.

I'm generally happy with the cx760v except for it's funky white balance in certain water conditions. There is too much red in the image and sometimes blue water comes out magenta. I can fix most of this with some tricks underwater or color correction in Vegas, but I wish it wouldn't do this at all. I don't know if any of the Canon's white balance any better under water.
_Lenny_ wrote on 3/12/2014, 3:56 PM
I have the Canon M52 which keeps me happy with its superb low light capabilities.

It's auto white balance is good, but can take a while to kick in. Once it has kicked in, I find it quite accurate. Typical Canon colours, I'd say. I find Sony a little too red, and Panasonic too blue/green. I suppose Canon is biased towards the yellow.
[r]Evolution wrote on 3/16/2014, 1:27 PM
I'd love to replace my GY-HM100U & GY-HM150U with 2 Canon XA20's.

Do you have a link to some Talking Head or Interview footage shot with the XA20's?
sample clips are usually of people's yards or other useless sights
im.away wrote on 3/16/2014, 7:41 PM
Thanks, all, for your continued input. All good grist for the mill. The XA20 is a little too much camera for what I need, but am looking closely at many of the other suggested cams.

Arthur.S wrote on 3/17/2014, 11:11 AM
"Do you have a link to some Talking Head or Interview footage shot with the XA20's?"

Not something I've ever had the need to hunt down Evo! :-)
Rainer wrote on 3/17/2014, 4:39 PM
I've got some talking head at It's my travel cam and B/C cam for weddings, and I think it's amazing.
OldSmoke wrote on 3/17/2014, 6:12 PM
If the XA20 is too much, have a look at the HF-G30 from Canon. It's basically the same without the XLR audio.

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