So I'm currently looking around for a decent HD camcorder to use on my vlog mainly (shameless plug here). But I really want one with a customisable f-stop so I can choose how I want my videos to look. I know I could very easily go for the DSLR route, but I film my vlogs basically by me rambling at my camera and seeing what looks funny. So unless I fork out for a shiny new Canon 60D with that nice articulating display, DSLRs are pretty much a no go.
Preferably looking for a 1080p one, since I like the idea of having top notch quality and I don't want to be kicking myself when everyone else is streaming their videos in 1080p. So are there any camcorders out there that let me change f-stop? Or am I doomed to remain slave to whatever setting my camcorder decides on that day?
(Also I apologise if this is in the wrong forum but I couldn't see one labeled "Camcorders")
As far as I know, the cheapest video recording device that you can get with full manual control over exposure (including aperture f-stop) is a DSLR. The Canon 60D is overkill for video, unless you feel that $300 over the T2i is worth it just for an articulating screen (the 60D has more differences, but they're not applicable to video). Another worthy contender is the Nikon D3100, which I think has manual control of video exposure; someone else will have to confirm that.
I can't speak for Nikon but the Canon software suite has a remote view application that, if the camera is plugged into a desktop via USB, you can view the output on your computer. This might be the same for the HDMI output but I haven't tested it. I have a 5D mkII and can try this out if it helps you out. I believe the 60D has better capabilities when it comes to video so it might not be a appropriate comparison.
@JoeH:@simian: Oh yeah, that remote view software is a great feature. I've got a T2i, and the video output can be viewed over USB, along with full control over the camera. The video isn't shown at the full framerate (USB limitation), but you can get an idea of whether it is composed/exposed properly. Also, if you really wanted to, the camera could be used as a webcam. But again, the video capabilities/modes on the 60D and T2i are identical, so if you're not interested in still photography (which is what those cameras are really for), then the only thing you gain going from the T2i to 60D is the articulating screen.
@CROM: Yeah that app is pretty awesome. I use it a lot if I'm shooting portraits or can get away with hauling my MBP with me. I suppose I should just get a better eyepiece for my camera but framing shots on a 15" display is a lot easier than with the on camera LCD.
@JoeH: You're actually looking for the 550D (the equivalent of the T2i). The 450D is called the XSi over here, and doesn't have a video recording mode. Yes, the naming scheme is confusing (not even taking into account that they're marketed with yet another name in Japan).