This a copy of a response to another post-
I am a video producer working with a local community TV station. I understand your problem. I use a JVC GY-DV500 (12 pounds, on the shoulder) for most of my video, but needed a small camcorder for some interior shots for an airplane sequence we're working on.
I ended up with a Panasonic PV-GS150 for the following reasons:
3 CCD for good image quality
External mic input
Cheap extra batteries
Decent image stabilization
Inexpensive wide angle adaptors available
Decent low light, but mot much better than competing models
Price- Approx. $600 with rebate at Circuit City
I avoided Canons because of all the tape transport issues I have read about.
I purchased an extended warranty from Mack for I think $60 for 4 years.
This camcorder produces an excellent image for the price. Not as good as my DV500, but not that much different. Also, this cam was the easiest to set up because of it's joystick, so it's buried menu features are quite usable. Manual focus is difficult, but rarely needed (auto focus works well most of the time). I can also monitor the audio with headphones while using an external mic.
I would go to a retailer and try a few models. My priority would be:
Good image stabilization
Low light performance
Hope this helps.
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