stefanaalten wrote:I'm considering a Zoom Q2n-4K as an option to record our concerts: budget price, compact form, records audio very well and that is the main (>50%) consideration, but I'm concerned about compromising too much on the video aspect
My $.10 is that "if you have to ask".. :D
In all seriousness, at the stage where you have these questions, you don't yet know what you want (or what you are missing). Like we said in the other thread, it's much better to get cracking with a couple phones for a gig, so you'll be able to answer the question "what would I have liked to do that I couldn't?". Missing a gig, go film a rehearsal, or simply set yourself to film something in similar lighting conditions. That will tell you more than dozens of forum replies.
The question you want to make yourself is where your primary interest lie: if it is only about taking concert shots without learning that much about filming, from what I read the Zoom is a good offering. The only limit I'd see is that the battery time is very limited especially in 4K (a common issue with most cameras) and since it's consumer level, it doesn't use the many solutions which exist for more advanced kit. There's a separate power supply to buy but that means being connected to a power outlet, which can be complicating things.
If not.. a full manual control camera is the way to go of course. But it comes at a cost, but surprisingly not to your wallet: to do better than the automation present in most cameras, you have to get pretty good
: the software in modern camera is very, very smart. And for normal video, most of the result comes down to lighting and cinematic techniques more than the kit; advanced camera features come in play only when you want to do specific things like heavy slowdown, extra long exposures etc.
It's mega-fun to learn and get better and better, but not a short term thing.
When it comes to quality, it really depends what you mean by it. You can have the same sensor in two 4K cameras, for example, but the more consumer oriented may be using a simpler codec which results in lower grade footage. The best camera footage often looks pretty "meh" (even ugly) out of the box, because it's made for processing: if you do process it, it becomes fabulous.
Better quality, as we discussed, means bigger files, faster and (way) more expensive memory cards or storage and much more performant hardware to process it.
All this said, quality camcorders as Mike says are an option.. but unless you go quite a bit over your max budget, you have small sensors and more modest codecs, so not sure how much a step up from the Zoom it would be (besides having a zoom :).
The advantage of a zoom lens is that allows you to change the shot proportions and/or have to move around less, but you pay in quality: unless you pay serious money (way more than your camera budget) fixed lenses have better quality overall (which is probably why the Zoom camera is what it is).
I would avoid a "proper" DSLRs - if your aim is primarily shooting video, the mirror-based design is just a nuisance (and imho, also for stills.. :)). Mirrorless cameras are the way to go for video. For mirroless, I would absolutely recommend to buy used (mirrorless cameras generally dont suffer from "click count" issue, as you often use an electronic shutter, not a mechanical one).
However, with £600, you're looking at a Panasonic g80 or an Olympus EM10 with kit lenses - which are absolutely great cameras with which, with a little effort, you could shoot a full cinema feature film :D
These are MFT cameras, so the main downside is low-light performance. Important to understand what that means tough: concerts aren't usually a problem as stage lighting is plenty enough and, if you know what you are doing, you can get pitch-black blacks and real shiny instruments and footage and get very cinematic shots. As said in the other thread, the main advantage of the format is lightness and lense size (small!) which allows you, in time, to build a lens park giving you lots of options and carry it around easily. I usually go around with no less than a dozen primes and a couple zooms so I can choose what's what on the field.
Step up, ASP-C ("crop") sensors are a little larger and it's moderately easier to get shallow depth of field (when something is in focus and the background is blurred) but it's not something particularly useful for concerts (actually it's a nuisance).
"Full frame" cameras have a sensor the same size of the old 35mm film and the undisputed king is Sony, but your budget wouldn't strech far at all.
In conclusion, if you go the "full control" way, the Panny or Olympus MFTs would be the logical choice.
One feature specific to the Panasonics that makes a huge difference in the field is battery life - the pannies simply go and go even with the basic included battery, and you have all sorts of aftermarket items that help you shooting for as much as you need. Both brands have remarkably good intelligent modes, and autofocus. At your price range you don't get double card slots so you have to factor in the cost of a good and large SD card - especially with 4K, they get expensive!
As of quality: kit lenses (most often zooms) are perfectly usable, but keep in mind good lenses are hugely expensive and really good zooms even more. A favorite of mine is the Sigma 18-35 (for which you need an adapter) and the cost of it plus the adapter is easily £1000.. used.
If you really want to learn filmography, I would also recommend to have a look at the Pocket Cinema Camera. The 4k version costs a third more than your budget new, but you can try to find a bargain used (you never know), and the HD version as I said before is usually a steal, used. The camera is a bitch and the footage unwieldy and requires great hardware, but it's worth every bit of effort.
All in all tough, if your aim is to simply shoot gigs and reheasals with a static camera, the Zoom seems like a good machine. Or even a GoPro - you can easily correct the barrel distortion in post and the overall quality, form factor and robustness is really good.