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Thread: Need some help from the experts

  1. #1

    Default Need some help from the experts

    Hey i'm Josh im just about to hit college and do a video production course, Ive always been interested in films and now I need help with buying my own camera for the course and for my own projects.

    Ive looked around the internet and had know luck although i managed to narrow down my choices i also found out about lots of cameras faults. So Ive come to you, the members of digital director, I need help with finding a Mini Dv or dvd camera from £150 to £300 which features a night mode using infra red so i can film in complete darkness, and a mic input so I can plug in a mic. I would be so greatfull for your help.

    Josh

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Totalcameranoob View Post
    Hey i'm Josh im just about to hit college and do a video production course, Ive always been interested in films and now I need help with buying my own camera for the course and for my own projects.

    Ive looked around the internet and had know luck although i managed to narrow down my choices i also found out about lots of cameras faults. So Ive come to you, the members of digital director, I need help with finding a Mini Dv or dvd camera from £150 to £300 which features a night mode using infra red so i can film in complete darkness, and a mic input so I can plug in a mic. I would be so greatfull for your help.

    Josh

    Hello Josh,
    If you're looking for a relatively cheap camera that has a lot of good quality and bang for its buck, I'd go for the Canon Zr500 or Zr800. They're both GREAT camcorders for extremely cheap, the 500's run for about £100 - £130. They feature great manual options that include shutter speeds, how fast your camera zooms in and some interesting stock special effects. Not only that but its pretty small and has a built-in lens cap. It simply slides up from the camera. I have nothing but great things to say about this camera. I own one and I own over 10 camcorders and that one is the one I use the most. The down side is however that the camera does not have an infared nightshot. If you are going into the film major, infared is a big no-no unless it is for an artistic purpose or your trying to achieve something. Many professors prefer you light your dark sets or use the ambient lighting of the environment to achieve the shot you want. It is because infared has this greenish tone that is not very easy on the eyes. However if you are looking for a camcorder with infared, I know of some Sony Handycam DCR-HC48 has a nightshot mode however it does not have an input for a mic, the controls are touch screen so they can be a bit flunky at times and the image quality isn't as preferential as the canon...and its more expensive. Also the cheaper models of the Sony handycams do not offer any sort of external mic jack, and most only offer the touch screen option and that can be bad if you're wanting to manually focus on an object because you first need to access a menu, from the menu you need to access the focus button and the you need to adjust it by touching the screen; not so easy for a quick and efficient shot. If you are wanting to do night vision on other camcorders, they do make external sets for them that you can buy and add on later onto a tripod or handheld.

    If you are wanting further information on the camcorders I have just mentioned I have links to both technical information and test videos located just below to determine for yourself.

    Sony Handycam DCR-HC48:
    Technical information
    SonyStyle.com | DCR-HC48 MiniDV Handycam® Camcorder
    Test Video
    YouTube - Adelaide

    Canon ZR500 OR ZR800:
    Technical nformation
    This is the UK version of the same camcorder, the US version is known as the ZR500

    Canon UK - MV890
    Test video
    Made this test video for youtube
    YouTube - Canon ZR500 & 800 test :: Los Cerritos

    Please take into consideration that american cameras run on a signal known as NTSC and european cameras run off of a signal known as PAL. I found the PAL version for the ZR500 american camcorder, however you made need to find the PAL version of the Sony Handicam I mentioned.

    If you run an NTSC signal on a PAL TV, it will not work, you will get shuttering effects and scrambled vision.

    I hope I was to some help to you and your camera finding, good luck and please write back if you have any further questions.

    Thanks,
    Frank (RET)

  3. #3

    Default thanks

    Thankyou very much Frank thats helped alot, ive also worked out that finding a decent camera with night shot and a mic input is near impossible. Ill have a look at these three cameras the MV890 especially as you've explained what a great camera it is although whats it like at night and do you know of any existing products that improve the night mode of the MV80 or actually give it infra-red capabilities. The MV890 -the camera input whats the quality of the sound when you have a microphone plugged in?

    Thanks

  4. Default

    The low light shooting for the Canon MV890 is OK. It could be a little better, it gets slightly grainy but not that much at all, and for the price, what could be better. I usually shoot a well lit scene even if it's at night by using an external lighting set. As for giving the MV890 infared capability, it will be impossible to do so. The camera was not built to attach an infared lens onto it. However if you're willing to try, there's always ways to jerry-rig a camcorder and modify it to do anything you want it to do =P. I wouldn't recommend it but look into infared nightvision camcorder lenses and you'll find a few lenses. Warning though, the Canon MV80 does NOT have any way to screw on lenses, hence the jerry-rigging I mentioned earlier.

    The sound quality is really good! I owned a JVC before hand and a lot of smaller camcorders have a tendency to be slightly muffled, the canon however has a clean, crisp tone that picks up every little sound in stereo. However the canon and many other tiny miniDV camcorders have a tendency to pick up something called 'motor noise', which is the tiny whirring or buzzing sound the motors make when turning the film, it's a very tiny sound and it's easy to remove with such programs called Magix edit pro, they actually have an audio section devoted to the MV (ZR) cameras to remove its tiny motor noise all together.

    I completely recommend the MV80 camcorder, as stated in other websites and I will say it myself as well, the camcorder is an excellent introductory camcorder in the world of digital filming, it's got everything you need and all the manual options any movie go-er would possibly want and all for a respectively cheap price.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks

    Magix Edit pro- How much does it cost and where can i buy/ download it from? Your video on youtube is a great example of this cameras potential. WHat accessories/programs should i get to further my camcorder experience. Whats the process of transferring from camera to computer is it easy or hard? Is there anything on the market that could ease the transfer process?

    RET80 sorry to be a nuisance but how do you know all this abotu the mv890 apart from having one u yourself of course, have you studied films at school?
    Cheers dude
    Last edited by Totalcameranoob; 07-24-2007 at 09:20 PM.

  6. Default

    It's an ABSOLUTELY amazing program for about $50 U.S. It's even cheaper than Pinnacle studio and about 10 times more versatile because unlike most other programs which make you wait to render footage, this is instant and real-time, no waiting what-so-ever. It's extremely powerful and it includes video cleaning, audio cleaning, SURROUND SOUND capability, tons of transitions, video effects that include chroma keying and over 16 tracks to fiddle with both audio and video, and unlike most other editing programs, it doesn't crash ever five minutes =P. You can buy this program in such online places such as:
    Newegg.com - MAGIX Movie Edit Pro 12 - Retail
    This is a trusted website I buy from all the time.

    The process for transferring footage from a camcorder to a PC is an easy one if you have the right equipment. All you will need is a cable called a FIREWIRE cable. Also you need to make sure that your PC is Firewire capable. Most newer PCs are. If you give me the make and model number of your computer, I will find out for you. All you will need is that cable and you can plug it into your camera and from your camera to your PC and the software that your using should recognize and display your import options there after.

    I studied film (mostly digital) for over fifteen years. I didn't need to go to film school for my prerequisites. I studied computer engineering with a minor in film in college however most of my knowledge came from personal experience. I started out young, working with VHS camcorders, tinkering and toying with how they functioned. There after I started working with TV production for local stations and entered in many film festivals. Right now I own my own segment in a TV Station in Long Beach geared towards educational use, like a discovery channel. I also continue to enter in many different film festivals around the united states. My latest film is a movie by the name of BORNE, here is a snapshot taken below. It is going to be created entirely in 3D:

  7. #7

    Default

    Cool picture tell me when the films finished for a start whats it about?

    My computer Im not sure about I've had a look at my System info and this what it says. All i know for sure is that its a Time.

    System Manufacturer Time Computers

    System Model
    AWRDACPI

    System Type X86-based PC

    Processor x86 Family 6 Model 8 Stepping 1 AuthenticAMD ~2162 Mhz

    BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 14/10/2003

    But looking around the back im not sure if I have a port the same shape as a firewire one so it would be great if you could help. If i dont have a firewire then is there some other way of transferring or some sort of port converter.

    Josh

  8. Default

    Interesting computer you have there. It will be hard for me to determine whether or not you have a firewire capable port. The best solution I would say is to do a guess and check. If you do not have a firewire port already on your PC, you can easily get a PCI slot firewire card and just slip it into an open PCI slot on your PC.
    Imagination and discipline are like yin and yang; both are completely different and yet without each other they are nothing.

  9. #9

    Default

    Damn I was hoping I would be able to do it without having to take my pc apart and Buy a firewire card but thankyou anyway. Ive had another look and I cant see a port which looks like it could fit a Firewire cable. Can it only transfer down firewire what about usb's?

    Josh

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,191

    Default

    Forget USB for video transfer and do not be afraid of opening up the PC to fit a new card.

    It's no harder than changing a fuse in a plug trust me, even though it feels a little daunting the first time you decide to try it.

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