What kind of camcorder and equipment for recording 1-hour videos?


Novice Member
I have been tasked with buying a recording device to record sermons and bible study sessions for our church. I admit that I'm out of my element here but I'm willing to learn.

The primary use will be to make videos of the sermons and also to make separate video recordings of the Bible study lessons, each of which will last about an hour.

I would think that the video camera would need to allow a separate microphone input instead of relying solely on a built-in microphone. I first looked at the Sony HDRCX405 Handycam but saw that it doesn't allow a separate microphone input. The price was right though!!!

The Pastor wants to record onto DVD's, or at least be able to transfer the videos to DVD for most of our congregation has a DVD player at home.

As I mentioned, the $230 price of the Sony 405 would have been in the budget, so it is obvious that we do not have a lot of money for this project.

Can you point me in the right direction to at least get me started?

Thank you.


Welcome to the forum @Glockjock :hiya:

Unfortunately entry level camcorders do not have features such as the required mic input. Even mid range cams are not likely to have the input. So you are likely to need to look at the second hand market to keep within your budget, but as DVD is only SD there is no need to try to find a 4K camcorder.
Unfortunately I am UK based so not able to offer advice on specific models to look out for, but anything from Sony, Canon or Panasonic should offer more than enough for the intended purpose of the camcorder.

Good luck with the search and let us know how you get on.



Novice Member
Thank you! In light of the fact that we'll probably have to move into the professional-quality camcorders in order to get the extra mike input, we may back off and verify that we need it first.

Looks like I can buy a new Sony 405 for about $230, or maybe even a used one for much less. I'm thinking that perhaps we'll get one of these and give it a try, and perhaps the sound quality will meet our needs. If not, then we'll look into a more expensive model.

What size SD card will I need for 1 hour recording times?


Well-known Member
Have a look second hand. Something like Panasonic HDC-SD700 is around £250 used. Often don't have much use. Record to SD so easy to transfer to computer and from there to DVD. Has Mic input, remote control, HDMI out, can be mains powered, tripod mount and triple CMOS for decent picture quality.

A 32GB SD card will do around 3 hours of recording at highest resolution.


Novice Member
I appreciate your help. I'm a technological Luddite, but since I'm only 74 years old my church thinks I know all the new stuff! LOL!

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