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I run a small travel company in a remote Himalayan region. We are very much interested to shoot some interesting films of your trips and adventures. As our budget is low (somewhere around $200 to $300, what would be the best camera to buy which can give us professional HD quality videos. We have been checking out GoPro but are confused if a proper camcorder would be better option. Would appreciate if someone can help with the best buy for our project.

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For your budget and situation, GoPro is probably the best bet as it is exceptionally light and a good value for the money. It doesn't have a variable length lens, so it can be a little limiting in shot composition, but you won't get the same video quality, weight and durability in any other camera for the same price. That's why they are the market leader in that segment.

Most other cameras that are that cheap sacrifice either quality and durability or size for more versatility and consumer friendly features, but at that low of a price point, there isn't enough budget for making the device to keep much of any quality with any kind of versatility. (As an example, an optical zoom lens of decent quality would probably take 1/4 to 1/3 of the budget of a camera in the price range you are looking for. That doesn't leave much for sensor and processing electronics.)

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Thanks for the help. GoPro it is mostly then! What are good budget HD variable length options and how much do they cost? Or do you think it is better to invest some more and get a proper camcorder, if we talk about long term. –  Vaivhav Oct 31 '13 at 20:17
    
@Vaivhav - that's a much more complex question that depends on what shooting styles you need. If you don't need rapidly panning shots, DSLRs are actually incredibly popular for high end video due to the relatively cheap cost and interchangeable lenses. Professional video from my experience tends to go from GoPro ($200 - $700 range) to DSLRs ($700 to $10,000 range) to professional video camera rigs ($10k to $20k+). Under certain conditions, you might see cheaper professional cameras in the $3 - $5k range take over from DSLRs. –  AJ Henderson Oct 31 '13 at 20:42
    
Also, GoPro has fewer moving parts to break when you're in the middle of nowhere. That added reliability is a big selling point for me when I travel. I use them as "b" cameras, and have had nothing but good results. –  dwwilson66 Nov 1 '13 at 15:33
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