by boya84 - 9/30/12 2:24 PM
"good lowlight" requires LARGE lens diameter and LARGE imaging chip (preferably 3-chip array). Both these items (typically the lens) cause the camcorder to get bigger.
Fast action means low compression since fast action and high compression do not get along.
In my opinion, if you have only $200, save your money. In this budget range, the cameras and camcorders available have neither large lenses nor large imaging chips so low light behavior will be poor. As well, assuming you are depending on the camcorder's audio recording capabilities to take care of anyone actually using the camcorder (or camera), there is no video capture device with automatic audio gain control that can keep up with loud audio - the result will be lots of static on top of very muddy audio recorded.
Nothing to be confused about. There is no solution to your requirements at the stated budget.
If you increase your budget a bit, very good manual audio control in the Zoom Q3HD comes into play. The audio insides of the Zoom H2 or H4 with video added. But the lens and imaging chip are small so we have not solved the low light issue and the fast action item remains in play because of high video compression. Add a little more to the budget and we get to the Canon HF M or HF S series. These have larger lenses (though still not terribly huge) and the single imaging chip gets larger. These also have acceptable manual audio gain control... and some optical image stabilization added in. You should not be shooting hand-held, but that is another discussion thread.
dSLR cameras get interesting at this price range ($800 and up). They were designed to take still images and do that well - and while captured video can be quite good, they can overheat when used for long sequence capture and their audio (at the low end) is usually mono (unless an external stereo mic is added). Capturing video is a "convenience feature" just like most camcorders designed to capture video (and audio) do that well and capturing still images is a convenience feature...
If there is stage lighting during the show, that *could* be considered good lighting (we don't know what you'll have) but that does not resolve the audio problem.
If you need the widest range of good video capture possible, then use of something along the lines of a standard definition (used) Canon GL2 miniDV tape based camcorder would be minimum. A Panasonic AG-DVX100 would be awesome. A Sony HDR-FX1000 is about where good lowlight (72mm lens filter diameter, 1/3" 3CMOS imaging chip array), decent audio (manual audio gain on the outside of the camcorder) and low compression standard definition DV or high definition HDV format recorded to miniDV tape really starts.
And yes, I have captured to video loud, lots of fast action, bands in small venues over the last many years... with Panasonic PV320, Canon Elura 90, Sony HDR-HC1, Canon HF S100, Panasonic AG-DVX100, Canon XL2, Panasonic AG-HVX200, Sony HDR-FX1 and HDR-FX1000 - among many others... including a few more which record to flash memory and including dSLRs...