I own the Saramonics as well. They're an awesome budget option.
It's a shame that most NFS readers will learn about the Tulsa Race Riots from this article. Kudos to the team behind Watchmen for taking the time to tackle the topic.
The Panasonic Varicam has traction in television. These are Oscar nominees. Several star big names and, therefor, have the budget for more expensive tools. They are, however, not the only entertaining films being made. Steven Soderbergh just shot his second film with an iPhone. Furthermore, there are several people, including myself, who found Tangerine entertaining and well done. Horses for courses.
I love my G7. The only issue is no HDMI output while recording, so you can't use an external monitor. It does have focus peaking however.
I love the show. It's well written, and beautifully shot.
Sorry I took so long to get back. I don't know what kind of projects you'll be working on, but the G85 does have audio levels. However, I would advise that you not record directly into camera (except to maybe get scratch audio) but get a good mic and a separate recorder. I use the Tascam DR 60D Mark 2. I'm sure there are some good recorders within your price range.