I have a tape based canon hv20 which anyone can buy used for $100, I use it as a b cam for events since it will record up to an hour. Not used very often, but I am still impressed how good it looks. Then I also have a couple of canon eos-m cameras that I paid about $150 a piece. They can use the free magic lantern software that gives many video features, very capable cameras and with the prime or kit lens cost very little but have great video capability. It may take some time to learn, but there are many quality choices for cameras on the low end and skill in using the camera and skill in lighting for quality trump any expensive purchase. How you use your camera is far more important than what you use. I have a friend that is retired, but is a multi emmy award winning cameraman and director. He will not talk gear, his advice for me is how we use the tools that is important. You can spend big bucks on cameras, but it is unlikely you will be able to make video that looks as good as mine. However when you know how to light, compose and use your camera effectively, then virtually any video recording camera will work great for you.
just curious, I am still using Sony Vegas Pro 13, didn't see a need to upgrade to 14, still don't see a need to upgrade to 15. Just wondering if either v14 or v15 contains any must have upgrade for you? I realize that this is subjective and there are some things easier, but when you use it for years, you learn ways to make things happen like having 4 screens at once, now automatic function, but I can do it easily in 13 so need more compelling reasons, if I were buying new instead of being a long time user, then would be a no brainier to buy the newer versions.
I couldn't say it better myself
Check meetup for filmaking groups, get a good book on dslr filmaking definately watch youtube videos on filmaking. Do not get hung up on gear none of that matters, using even an iphone and technique matters, lighting matters, composition matters. Watch your backgrounds, notice what is back there and keep it simple. Often I get a good take and then see an ugly electrical outlet while editing. Stay away from cheesy transitions like where a book opens or the image turns into a bird, instead make most of the edits cuts and occasional dissolves esp to show passage of time. With everything ask yourself the question, "What is the motivation" so in lighting if the scene is angry, show angry lighting, angry costume, angry composition, think about the height of the camera and if shooting two people talking, line up their eyes to the same height, lots of good material, be your own film school and don't just read, but do. I do practice video all the time to test out an idea, concept or to see if the scene works casually, before bringing in actors, lights etc.
Pros do use vegas, in addition I use Vegas, it may not be your choice, but it is mine. I hate Premiere and love Vegas, but the difference is, I don't impugn the skills of others who make choices different than my choice. Likely the problem is that you don't know how to use it? but All big NLE including the competition for Vegas do 90% of the same thing. Vegas has superior audio tools which are important to me, likely others use a separate program.
clarification, bottom line, it is not the camera and your beautiful cinematography will be dependent on your beautiful skills and vision. Buy what ever you like, use it well