Prosumer camcorders are designed for people that fully intend to have a certain level of quality in their videos. There is also an expectation of a return on the investment of purchasing these camcorders.
You will need a grip, as in a grip of Benjamins before you can enter the land of the prosumer camcorders. This level of camcorder is not inexpensive. Neither is the software. You also have to be skilled in setting manual controls, white balancing, understanding light temperature, audio concerns and more.
I repeat, this is not an impulse or vanity purchase. The low end of prosumer camcorders kicks in around $1,800 but the upper range can hit $6,000 easy and that is not factoring in any additional purchases such as recording media, microphones, lights and software.
These are a few examples of camcorders that require are certain level of software performance and power:
At this level expect that you will encounter AVCHD Lite, AVCHD, H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (.mp4), MPEG4-AVC/H.264, DVCAM, DV SP, XDCAM and XDCAM EX and more.
Some of the above camcorders include simple editing software for the AVCHD format. It will do the job but for true video editing you'll have to look at commercial software.
Video Editing Software Options
These are very sophisticated software programs. If you have prior experience with video editing that will help but there is a learning curve. You might need a real world class, video/DVD tutorials or participation in the many professional video editing forums.
My software budget constraints and skill level only allow me to list these programs and point you to the technical specification pages of the various vendors.
Adobe Premier Pro Macintosh OS X 10.4.11, Macintosh Snow Leopard, Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 Operating Systems $799.
Apple Final Cut Pro (FCP) Macintosh operating system only $999.
Avid Media Composer Macintosh Snow Leopard and higher, Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Ultimate $2,295.
Sony Vega Pro 9 Windows XP 32-bit SP2 (SP3 recommended), Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit (SP1 recommended), or Windows 7 $679.95 Boxed $599.95 Download.
Prosumer Video Editing Resources
Before you even think about downloading a trial version there is an abundance of resources. This is just a small sample.
Lynda.com - Online video tutorials. You can watch a preview of setting up a project or a look at the user interface. If you like what you see you can subscribe and view the entire lesson package.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Essential Training
- Apple Final Cut Pro Essential Training
- Vegas 6 (not current version)
On the professional tip, you want to visit the Digital Video Information Network aka DVInfo.net. Certainly you would want to check out the forums that not only focus on hardware, software but the business of digital video.