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Digital Video Forum Discuss camcorders, HD video, HD DSLRs, video editing, DV software, and video techniques. Your DV forum moderator is Skyman.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    VIDEO CAMERA EXPERTS: Recommend a specific model for my purposes

    I've been looking online for weeks, but still am boggled by the many choices out there, and am looking for specific recommendations so I don't end up with a camera that doesn't fit my needs.


    I will be shooting teaching videos in a very small room. Will use a tripod with very little camera movement. Mostly shots of myself at a green marker board. Will rig up some flourescent lighting.


    After editing the videos (simple cuts, titling, music) in a program like Sony Vegas, I will upload them to YouTube and other free file hosting sites, as well as to my own website. In time, I hope to be able to create a subscription service, so the videos should have a commercial look. As well, I hope in the future to compile my lectures onto a DVD that I can sell. Until that point, though, I do not need any hard copies of the lectures, so I have been looking at hard disk cams.


    I don't think I need any special bells and whistles (zoom, high-speed motion capture, etc), just a high-quality picture that seems very professional, as well as clear sound (which I worry about in such a small room; I'll have to cover the walls to reduce echo). I'm not sure if there are certain models that faciliate editing and internet publishing, but if so I guess I should be looking at these. I'm also unsure as to whether or not I'll need a mic jack and wireless mike in such a small room, or if the camera's internal mike will be able to capture my lectures clearly enough.

    That's a summary of things so far. What kind of camera can fit these needs? I'm looking ideally in the under-$1000 range, but think that for my very simple purposes I could get away with a cheaper model. Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    Re: VIDEO CAMERA EXPERTS: Recommend a specific model for my purposes

    If you want your videos to look and sound professional you really do need professional equipment. Flourescent lighting may not be enough, unless you very carefully white balance the camera. a built in mic almost certainly won't cut it unless the room is really quiet (sound proofing the walls doesn't help it, you actually make yourself sound "dead" and empty. Ideal if recording a band where you can add in reverb to bring back the live feel of the sound, but not so good if you don't want to audio post produce. So I would be looking for a 3ccd camera with full manual control and the ability to plug in an external microphone (with gain control on the mic) I would also be looking either at a boom mic, something like the sennheiser k6 / me66 module and or a lapel mic. If you had the budget I would be looking at lighting as well.

    ok so that is the dream deal. it really depends on knowing your cameras limitations. If your end use is web you don't need HD, so you can save a buck there. my preference is for mini dv cameras as they record higher quality video than hard drive or dvd based cameras, so you should be able to pick one of these up quite cheaply. an external mic is still a good idea, but since most consumer cameras don't have control over the mic, you might have to play with this a bit. I believe rode makes a couple of models that are desinged to go on a compact camera, but in an ideal world you would have a boom or lapel although this would mean getting a device to control the audio input so your volume levels are ok. Since you are not going to be moving a small mixing desk would work. You are still recording in a format that is more than you will need for you tube. exporting from adobe premier for example you have a range of export and compression options and you will need to play around to find out what settings work best for you.

    I know you asked for recommendations for specific models, but there really are too many suitable cameras to go into looking at all of them. stick with a major brand (sony panasonic canon JVC) and you can't really go wrong.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Buffalo New York

    Re: VIDEO CAMERA EXPERTS: Recommend a specific model for my purposes

    Well thanks for posting this topic, my goals are similar to yours, I have a really nice Sony Handycam which has a 40GB harddrive, and is very easy to post video on line, But I would suggest going more professional. Most small camcorders do not have the option to add a shotgun Mic.
    Anyway.Beside that.. I too am stuck right now in my decision whether to buy miniDV, Dvd, out of fear they become obsolete, but then as Skyman says, he prefers this type. So I hope to keep asking and will share any info I receive with you too.
    Good luck is like I wrote this blog because I am in the same place as you Robot

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