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Another Low Cost Camcorder With Mic Input- For Those On Very Tight Budgets

“John The Budget Camcorder Guy”

If you have read other posts that I have on this site in regard to the Canon Vixia HF R2 model, you see that I highly recommend that camcorder for shooting great video and its richness of features along with the ability to add a microphone of one kind or another.

However, it is still in the $400.00 price range.  This can still exclude some people if they do not have that big of a budget.  So, I have been searching and have found another option for a camcorder that will allow you the same ability to add a microphone,  at a price below $175! 

 

 

 A Camcorder With A Mic Input For People On Even Tighter Budgets!

It is the Toshiba Camileo X200 HD 1080p Camcorder

In the case of the Toshiba Camileo, you gain an advantage in better audio with the microphone input jack.  It has a lot of good, basic features including a 3 inch touch LCD screen, simple record and playback buttons, and a swivel screen to monitor your video productions.

There are a few drawbacks in dealing with a camcorder at this price point, you have to keep a few things in mind when you are doing a video shoot or you are going to be disappointed.  This is not a pro-level camcorder or even a prosumer camcorder.  In this case, a lower price means you are going sacrifice a few things.

The stabilization and zoom are not of the highest quality.  This just means, don’t expect to be able to zoom in and maintain the same quality as you would with a camcorder like the Canon Vixia camcorders.  At the maximum zoom setting, the Camileo is going to have grainy footage and some wobble.  If you have video editing software that can stabilize your footage you can eliminate that problem but the grainy footage will still be evident.

The fact is, you should not be using zoom much anyway if you are doing your videos correctly.  You should get as close as possible to your subject matter when you are doing your videos and hold your camcorder still.  Panning and zooming in and zooming out spells one thing– AMATEUR!   Any camcorder loses some ability to stay stable when you use a zoom feature.  This is especially important to remember in the case of the Toshiba Camileo.

This camcorder is good for the following kinds of video shoots:

  • Contained Action- Video produced at one location, with action contained in a given area reducing the amount of zoom and pan such as a wrestling match, or a volleyball game from a medium distance.
  • Interviews- With the addition of a camcorder mic, you can produce very good interviews at close-medium range.
  • Secondary Shots- At this price point, you can use this as a secondary camcorder to capture footage at a different angle for variety.

You probably don’t want to use this camcorder in the following instances:

  • Dramatic Action- Video of live events requiring zoom and pan, and fast action such as races or speed events.

Below is a video from Toshiba demonstrating the features and the HD qualities of the camcorder.  As you can see, it produces very good HD video, but just be aware that the camcorder has limitations.

 

Cheap Accessories That Will Turbo-Charge Your Toshiba Camileo X200 Camcorder

 

 

My suggestion would be to purchase an inexpensive L-bracket, such as the Adorama Heavy Duty L-bracket .  This is a $9.00 item that can aid in stability and allow you to mount a microphone if you so desire. 

If you are looking to add a all around good microphone, you could opt for the Rode Video Mic at $150.00, or the lower cost option of the Opteka Video Mic at $80.00.

Personally, I use the Opteka on all of my camcorders, and the sound quality is outstanding.  It is powered by a 9 volt battery so you get great gain and comes with a deadcat windscreen for outdoor shooting.  Makes you look very professional on your video shoots.  The mic will plug right into the Toshiba Camileo using a 1/8 inch input jack.  Simply mount the mic to the L bracket and mount your camcorder to the screw on the bottom of the bracket.  Presto!  You now have great audio, and the bracket arm adds to the stability of the camcorder, reducing shake and increasing the stabilization of the camcorder.

Keeping these things in mind, you can now get yourself a camcorder with a microphone input jack for under $175!  In fact, everything together is going to cost you around $260.00 including the camcorder, bracket mount and microphone.  If you are just starting out or need a backup camcorder to get other shots or angles, this is a good, low priced option for sure.

 

 

 

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The Canon Vixia HF R20 Hard At Work!

The video below was shot with my Canon Vixia outfit.  I shot the video in 24p so it is grainy on purpose.  The audio is as clear as it can be considering the vocal mix and atmosphere.  I shot the band from about 15 feet away, and mixed cuts from previous songs into the edit to make it a little more interesting.

My other camcorder audio sounded terrible when I tried recording, with pops and hisses, as well as garble. I could only use some of the video, I had to delete the audio.  As you will see though, using the Cano Vixia HF R20 and the Rode VideoMic- it did not pick up all the background noise from the bar, which was full of people yelling and maintained fairly clean audio from the band. I was happy.

Enjoy!   These guys are great.

Searching the web for the best product deals...

 

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Discover The Canon VIXIA HF R20 Camcorder… Low Cost With A Microphone Input Jack

End Frustrating Camcorder Audio Problems For Good…

The number one reason people “click off” online videos like YouTube is not because of poor quality video, it is because of poor quality audio.  Think about it.  If you do a great job of recording a video of your son or daughter’s school play, but cannot understand a thing they are saying, the video is just about useless.  How often do you watch TV with the volume off.  Simply put, if you cannot understand what is going on, you lose interest fast.

This is the problem  I faced after I purchased my first camcorder at the local “big box” retailer.  It looked like a great camcorder until I started trying to do some videos in a crowded room.  It was a really great video I shot in HD, but you could not hear what anyone was talking about because I was using zoom, so it was too far away for the crappy built in microphone to pick up. GRRR!

 

This Camcorder Was Hard To Find!

I went online, and over the next few months, I found out more about doing great video.  The secret was to get a camcorder that would allow me to attach a microphone.  Sadly, most of those that I found online were professional HD camcorders costing two or three thousand dollars. GRRR!

Well, as luck would have it, I finally found a camcorder that will do the trick after doing a lot of digging.  The camcorder is the Canon VIXIA HF R20.  It is a reasonably priced camcorder (under $400) that readily supplies a microphone input jack as well as audio level monitoring.   This allows you the opportunity to put a microphone near the subject matter you are trying to video, or a number of other options.

You can see a full video review of this camcorder at the video below:

 To see the best price for the Canon VIXIA HF R20 click on this Amazon link

Not only does this camcorder help you capture great audio, it has a laundry list of other great features.  Here are highlights of just a few of them.

  • 8GB internal flash drive and 2 SDXC-compatible memory card slots- Huge ability to capture HD video depending on what size of SD cards you put into the camcorder.
  • Genuine Canon HD video lens with 28x advanced zoom- Canon is a reputable manufacturer of lenses, with very smooth zoom capabilities.  Allows you the flexibility to capture a wide range of footage.
  • Capture video in 24p- Make near cinema-like film with 24p capture ability.
  • External microphone input jack- We already covered this.  Here is what Canon has to say…  “A Microphone terminal with manual audio level control and a Headphone terminal provide exceptional audio adaptability. For the ultimate in flexibility, the VIXIA HF R20 is compatible with the optional Canon wireless microphone WM-V1. Using a receiver which plugs into the microphone terminal, its audio can be captured from up to 164 ft. away. Use it to record audio from a distant subject, or as a transceiver to cue shooting from a third party.”

What Do Other People Have To Say About The Canon VIXIA

As a video producer, this camcorder does the job, it has all the features I need to create high quality video in HD, as well as the ability be small and portable.  I use a beachtek to capture sound from 2 different microphone sources, which helps in narration of video or during music shoots.  I highly recommend this camcorder.

John M.

To see other reviews, click on this Amazon link.

To sum up, if you are at the point where you are finding the features on your camcorder are just not doing the job, consider the Canon VIXIA as modestly priced upgrade.  Or, if you are venturing into video, and understand the importance of audio along with video, then this might be an option for you as well.

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