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Thread: Shooting live music in small venues...

  1. #1

    Default Shooting live music in small venues...

    Hi,

    I'm after some advice, so i'll try not to waffle.

    I'm researching which camcorder will be most suitable to shoot video, mainly of live concerts in small venues, but also to interview people on the street.

    I'm a big fan of canon equipment, so i've been mainly looking at their products.

    My budget is roughly 600. Perhaps I don't need to spend as much as I think I do; but while I definitely don't need state-of-the-art equipment, I don't want to have to upgrade for a good while after my purchase.

    The two i've been looking at are (in no particular order) 1) Canon FS22 Digital Camcorder and 2) Canon Legria HF200 High Def SD Camcorder.

    I'm very naive and certainly won't pretend to be an expert.

    I'd really like something fairly low-maintenance, should give decent quality video in dimly lit places, have the ability to take stills, and have a decent amount of memory.

    I will not be producing feature movies, just live music and interview footage (roughly 3-5 mins of video i'm guessing for each clip), so I don't mind if the video has that 'home video' feel about it - as i'm mainly shooting new bands.

    Will it be possible for me to edit video through iMovie and then upload it to my website using adobe flash? (again, I don't intend to out-do Scorcese!)

    Is HD or SD better for me?

    Or am I just as well buying a brilliant camera which shoots video as well, ie Canon EOS 500D?

    I know this is probably really basic stuff for a lot of you, but any help, recommendations, or advice will give me confidence moving ahead with my idea.

    Thanks,

    Martin
    Last edited by elpredicto; 07-24-2009 at 08:14 AM.

  2. #2
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    My quick Google of both seems to show the FS22 has a mic socket (albeit only jack socket) the other not... in view of the fact you want to do interviews, a mic socket is a must, so given the choice it would seem the 22 is the best bet.

    The rider to that though is that live music is a total bitch to get right in recording terms. You need manual level controls for sound at the very minimum. You need manual control of image too really, but I guess you can get away with it if you've only got a camera thats fully automatic.

    I appreciate the 'amateur' angle of your ambition, but trust me - save a bit more and get something better. Something much better equipped audio wise, (dont forget with bands the sound is just as important as the visual) and don't forget stuff like a decent tripod and so on.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for taking the time, it really does help me with my decision.

    What sort of budget do you think would be reasonable for what i'm doing? Can you give an example of a feature I should look for in the camera specs to solve the sound and image issues you'd pointed out?

    I thought (i'm going to sound daft, i know it!) the image stabilizer would allow for good video presentation, and I wasn't too concerned with sound as I wanted the live experience to come across.

    Is the sound issue something that can be sorted through editing, ie Adobe soundbooth?

    Is this closer to suitable -Canon Legria HF S10 High Def SD Camcorder - 1299?


    Canon Legria HF S10 High Def SD Camcorder

    Superior audio features. A microphone input connection and headphone jack let you capture and monitor superior audio. Manual audio level control provides even more options.

    Canon Legria HF200 High Def SD Camcorder

    Better audio. A microphone input lets you attach an external microphone to record better audio monitor levels using the headphone jack. Manual audio controls offer even greater precision

    Canon FS22 Digital Camcorder

    can't find extended review of audio performance. sorry!
    Last edited by elpredicto; 07-24-2009 at 08:48 AM.

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    Have a look at the HF10 and HF11 from Canon. Both are around your budget (one is slightly under, the other is slightly over) as they have mic inputs. They both will take stills.

    However... It sounds like you're trying to sing, juggle and ride a bike at the same time. Trying to do too much will end in tears. In your position I would concentrate on one aspect, and get a friend (or pay someone) to take the stills and make sure that you have someone to record the sound. If you're shooting live concerts then the sound is just as important as the video and getting it right is not just a case of taking a feed from the PA!

    Working with a slr camera which takes video will give you a completely different "feel" compared to a video camera. If you're working "live" then, unless you really know your stuff, you may find that you're missing a lot of shots with the EOS. The full-frame cameras have a certain aesthetic but shooting from the hip in lens-wide-open situations with cameras with a non-existant depth of field ain't easy.

    If you're starting out it might be worth dipping a toe in the water and doing a few trials with a secondhand SD camcorder to start with, just to see how you get on with it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by elpredicto View Post

    Is the sound issue something that can be sorted through editing, ie Adobe soundbooth?
    You can't polish a turd. The idea that everything can be rescued in "post" was put about by nerds with zero feeling for aesthetics. Software can alter some parameters but can't provide what isn't there. To use a visual analogy: If you take a picture of someone which is out-of-focus, it doesn't matter what software you use, you can't get it sharp. You can increase contrast and add unsharp masking but you will never get a pin-sharp portrait anywhere near the quality that you would have if you'd got the focus right in the first place.

    Same with sound.

  6. #6

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    Thanks again,

    I won't be taking photo's for the website, i just thought it would nice to have the option. Photography students will handle all of the stills.

    I just want to stop people in the street, ask them questions and edit that in with a few minutes of live footage/interviews with the bands.

    I'll have a look at the HF10 & HF11. What features do they have that i'd been missing in the others i'd listed?

    Thanks again for taking the time. i'm on a shoe-string budget (bet you've not heard that one before), but need to add a video element to the website.

    also, are my thoughts of editing my video using iMovie just taken the piss?!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Guru View Post
    You can't polish a turd. The idea that everything can be rescued in "post" was put about by nerds with zero feeling for aesthetics. Software can alter some parameters but can't provide what isn't there. Same with sound.
    agreed. it makes sense, and i'm being honest that i'm learning on a steep curve.

    if budget permitted i would experiment taking videos with a cheaper secondhand SD, but just as i may be asking for too much from my camera budget, i'm definitely asking a lot of my start-up cash!

    thanks again for taking the time.

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    If you're just going to put the video on your website then you don't need to go HD just yet, although it will provide a bit of "future proofing" and will often deal with low-light situations better than SD.

    Rather than list the differences, if you go to Canon's UK website you can chose a "compare" option which allows you to view the attributes of three camcorders side-by-side. Worth doing.

    If you're going to be doing street interviews you will need a separate microphone.

    imovie is a good editting app, there's no reason why you shouldn't use it for this. There's no point in buying extra software if all you need is already in imovie.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Guru View Post
    If you're just going to put the video on your website then you don't need to go HD just yet, although it will provide a bit of "future proofing" and will often deal with low-light situations better than SD.
    that advice has got me leaning towards HD, as i can't imagine i'll be upgrading for at least 12 months.

    these post's have been really helpful.

    i'll go to the canon website and compare.

    i'm thinking as i'll have a listening booth for the music, i may start with band and crowd interviews first, before i move into concert footage.

    i'm really excited about the project and i don't hesitate to ask daft questions, but i am a keen learner! i honestly do appreciate any input.

  10. #10

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    so what would be the secret to filming (and then posting on the web) good quality live music footage?

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