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| p.1 #1 · Cheap camcorder suggestion? JVC GZ-HM40 |
Hi guys. I know FM isn't really a video forum, but I'm hoping some of you have been in a similar situation and could offer some insight.
I've been kicking around the idea of picking up a cheap, small camcorder to use to film my deer hunting season. Nothing professional, just home movie type stuff to show the family. Stuff from the tree stand and the blind, during drives, (hopefully) during tracking a deer post-shot, reactions, commentary, etc. I've got a capable DSLR setup (D600 + myriad of lenses) but that's way too big and bulky to drag around the woods, and doesn't offer one handed shooting. I also have a small J1 with the 30-110 (70-300 equivalent) but again, it really requires two hands. Plus I don't think the 300mm equivalent is long enough to film stuff from the tree stand until it gets in close. I also want something easy to use so my technologically challenged brother-in-law can get footage of me with it as well.
I was browsing Amazon, and stumbled across the JVC GZ-HM40 for about $90 refurbished. I watched some reviews and test videos on Youtube, and it seems to have decent image quality. It's small and light, and can be operated with one hand. Image stabilization isn't great but it seems usable at long zooms if I can brace it (or even put it on a monopod). Low light tests seemed OK -- there was one video on Youtube of a guy driving around the city at dusk and it didn't really seem smeared or too dark. Mic isn't great either but actually sounds better than the D600's mic, and picks up significantly less zoom/focus noise.
Any thoughts? Should I just take the J1 out once and see how it performs before jumping into a dedicated camcorder?
I really like the price point of sub-100$. I suppose I could invest more if I trimmed the photography collection a bit (transfer funds from one hobby to another as opposed to just saving up), but I shoot stills far more often than I shoot video.