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Thread: Grrr, Arrgh, translated into, 'Help'!

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Grrr, Arrgh, translated into, 'Help'!

    Hellooo. I'm hoping you camcorder experts can shed some light on a situation I've got myself into (as always) - would be much appreciated.
    A quick background - I'm an artist/musician and am looking to hit a couple of the better quality video sites around (e.g. Vimeo) with some promotional videos. I remain apprehensive about YouTube for some reason... I'm still building my public awareness, and I agree with my management that with the online video world currently booming, it's the perfect time to make my statement...
    My problem is this! I am a perfectionist, and although it has been suggested by quite a few people to invest in a Flip Mino HD or a Creative Vado HD - I'm not so sure I should. There are so many of these pocket HD Camcorders getting released now, and even though they claim to be HD, I'm still not struck on the video quality. Would my money go further investing in an older DV or Mini-DV Camcorder?
    - HD really isn't essential for me as I don't own any HD ready devices.
    - I don't have a need for a pocket-sized camcorder because... I just don't.
    - I own a Canon DSLR camera which has led me to know that resolution is irrelevant when compared to lens/sensor quality/etc.
    I'm not saying I expect the quality of my DSLR camera in a video, but I have fairly high standards and I just feel there's gotta be something better out there for my money... I'm looking for something more cinematic than what these mobile phone-looking camcorders have to offer!
    What do you guys think? And of course the inevitable question - any suggestions?!
    I've been scouring the internet for hours but there are so many options... The Canon range seem to have an external mic input which would be handy, but obviously I have no idea in terms of their video quality.
    In terms of budget, realistically I don't have an endless pot of cash, but second-hand is a major option as this really makes no difference to me...
    So any help at all would be hugely appreciated.
    Thanks - Andrew.
    PS - To be a little more specific, my budget could stretch up to around the 400 - 450 mark..
    Last edited by andrewlowe; 08-19-2009 at 11:52 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewlowe View Post
    My problem is this! I am a perfectionist, and although it has been suggested by quite a few people to invest in a Flip Mino HD or a Creative Vado HD - I'm not so sure I should.
    Wise.
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewlowe View Post
    Would my money go further investing in an older DV or Mini-DV Camcorder?
    Yes. But choice is limited.
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewlowe View Post
    - I own a Canon DSLR camera which has led me to know that resolution is irrelevant when compared to lens/sensor quality/etc.
    So you understand the issue.
    In addition to the above most cams within your budget (whether or not HD) will offer manual control which is only accesible via fiddly menus. Dedicated buttons are much more useful as you will know from your DSLR - but they add lots to manufacturing cost which is one of the reasons "slightly" better cameras are alot more expensive.
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewlowe View Post
    PS - To be a little more specific, my budget could stretch up to around the 400 - 450 mark..
    A second hand Panasonic NV-GS400 should fit the bill nicely.
    Canon XM2 would also be nice but I doubt you'd pick one up for the money.
    Last edited by TimStannard; 08-22-2009 at 08:33 AM.
    Tim

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    If your main reason for buying is to make music videos of yourself, I would suggest getting in touch with a local camcorder club and seeing if they can help out before splashing out on kit. To use a music analogy, just because you own a Fender, it doesn't mean that you can play like Clapton.

    Nowadays clubs are no longer dominated by pensioners and nerds. They will have loads of kit and be looking for reasons to use it. Most of them are all kitted out and waiting for someone to come along and ask "can you help me out please".

    That way you can see what you need and what's out there with regards to quality, before spending your cash. It also gets you a ready-made film crew.

  4. #4
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    That's a great idea of Gaffer's.

    I disagree that they're no longer dominated by pensioners. At 48 I'm the youngest (with the exception of one part timer) in our club with only one or two others not past retirement age.
    From involvement with other clubs in the IAC (the Film & Video Institute ne Institute of Amateur Cinematographers) I'd say this is typical.

    However, nearly all clubs I speak to are desperate to get younger people involved (indeed it's the younger people who are making the more interesting films) and would, I'm sure, be glad to get involved in a project such as yours.

    The IAC website will list clubs in your area.
    IAC - Introduction to great movie making!
    Tim

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    Wow, thanks for your replies - much appreciated.

    TheGaffer - I understand what you mean when you say that owning a fender doesn't equal playing like clapton... Photography was actually my major at Uni, and although the video world is "literally" different, I imagine some of the baseline principals remain roughly the same such as DOF/aperture value, focusing, and of course lighting... Am I on the right track?

    ... I do appreciate the suggestion to check out some local camcorder clubs but, to be honest, I'd prefer to do this myself with the help of people I know as it will be an ongoing thing I imagine, and once the creative juices get going I think I could create some really good videos.

    I've currently got my eye on the Canon HV20 - Seen some beautiful videos around shot on it, and there seems to be a couple knocking around on ebay... With it having an external mic input, that is absolutely perfect for me as I have a high-end mic. Do you guys have any experience of this camera? Or any alternatives with similar spec?

  6. #6

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    "Just because you own a Fender, it doesn't mean that you can play like Clapton."


    Best quote i've read in a long time! Its so true though. However theres nothing wrong with doing this yourself, as any opportunity is a learning opportunity.

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