This time tomorrow I’ll have a new baby. There’s a lot of stuff that I need to do today, and probably should have already done. I’m procrastinating, and you, the reader, are my enabler. But job number one? Our stupid digital video camera broke so I either need to fix it (unlikely), or buy a new one (probably.) This means a visit to Manhattan one-stop-photo/video-shop, B&H. Ever been there? What a trip that place is, in every sense of the word. Way over in the railyard hinterlands on Ninth Avenue at 33rd Street, this unique superstore spans an entire city block and is crammed full of more cutting edge electronics than Iron Man’s garage. And it’s a total madhouse.bh-photo-visite-1Staffed by a hundred beard-and-payess sporting tech experts, it is always packed with customers and has an almost cartoon-like energy to it. I don’t care what you need, how esoteric or unusual the peice of equipment: B&H probably carries several versions. Even the expediting system is spectacularly kinetic: a series of conveyor-belt tracks with caster wheels are mounted from the ceiling inside the store and send ordered products whizzing overhead to the checkout at high speeds. Think of a Rube Goldbergian roller-coaster, but for microchips. I find the place simultaneously awesome and panic-attack inducing, I can only imagine how the products feel. No need to wonder; enjoy this awesome short video.

Inside B&H conveyor system… from Lense on Vimeo.

But when I worked in television, this is the only place we went for critical A/V supplies, and a good rule is to go where the pros go… so off I must go to B&H. But I need your help! I currently own a Canon Vixia HD, which up until the point it crapped out was perfectly good. Not sure what I should get next. Anyone out there got any suggestions for a solid prosumer HD camera?

We'd love to hear what you think about this one.