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Old Nov 6, 2009, 6:47 PM   #1
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Default Best budget camcorder for recording rock concerts

Wasn't sure if this was the best place but I thought I'd try in here. I'm looking at a few digital camcorders in the $250 range. I want it to have some low light ability. Be able to record at loud levels. Something above 30x or so optical zoom. Good quality for general recording family home movies and such. Digital memory and SD card preferred.
The canon fs200 seems like a good candidate. It has the ext mic capability although I'd be happiest if the int mic could do the job functionally. Its 37 or 41x depending on revue. Its SD and has decent battery life. The down side is replacement batterys seem expensive and hard to find. Unimpressive image stabilization
The main contender I'm finding is the panosonic SDR-S26. It has 70x zoom with amazing image stabilization. Never had a zoom that good so I'm not too sure of how often I'd use it over 40x but it sure is cool. Cheap batteries and uses sd.
Down side is short batterylife.
How would you compare these 2 units general use video quality and if roughly similar how do they compare in low light when used at a kids school concert or a rock concert. Does either model have some way to adjust audio input levels and is that likely to help on loud sounds? And how usable will the panosonics 70x be at low light levels and how does that influence its ability.
I'm also open to JVC or samsung but they seem to review as lesser quality. I could consider a sony although their mem stick memory just really irritates me as a general principle. I could be talked into going to about $300 if it were to get me a big step up in my wanted features.
Is there any opinions on what is best or any options or models/brands I've missed.
Thanks for any help.
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Old Nov 17, 2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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Default Panosonic wins

Guess no one had anything more to add so I went with the panosonic. I ran the cameras in the store and compared the playback and couldn't find a big difference. I liked the long zoom theoretically anyway and didn't know if Id ever use the ext mic on the canon but in the end I let the price decide. it was $260 for the canon and $194 for the pano pricematched to amazon. So far its very good as I knew both would be and so far it records band practice well.
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