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Thread: Cheap and cheerful viditing

  1. #1
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    Default Cheap and cheerful viditing

    Fed up with "camcorders" either failing, breaking, or making me look like uncle fred, I've decided to take a different approach to making "home movies". At first I mocked the flip generation cameras, but then I started to marvel at their size and general quality. At 120, and no need for expensive tapes, the Kodak zi8 seems to fit my needs.

    And as my next foray, after a lengthy gap in viditing, will be at "Go Ape", it will hopefilly fit the bill perfectly. I'm going to couple it with GoPro HD that should get some decent action shots.

    I'll update this thread with how I get on. Ordered both yesterday...
    Last edited by Marc Peters; 03-22-2010 at 10:24 AM.

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    That GoPro would be great for the plethora of Free Running Videos we've been getting on the forum lately.

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    I've just had a call from dogcam (distributors) to say that since being featured on the gadget show, they've had a MASSIVE surge in orders for the unit. They're going to see if they can make up a package for me (I wanted to the helmet package), and hopefully I'll have it on Wednesday. The first thing I need to do when I get the unit is to see if I can edit footage in Premiere Pro CS4. My laptop has issues with AVCHD, but I've tried 720p .mp4 files and these scrub fine using a custom preset. 1080p files did not. But as they say, the proof is in the editing.

  4. #4

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    must say the footage from the GOPRO website looks pretty impressive.

    HD footage on youtube from "real" users in less than perfect light ... not quite so impressive. also seems to be an issue with audio i guessing its heavily gated to cut down on wind noise ?

    look forward to your test footage

    edit: whats the spec on the gopro BTW ?
    seems to have a fairly wide angle lens
    Last edited by enc; 03-22-2010 at 05:34 PM.

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    It hasn't been plain sailing.

    As usual, my laptop and editing software (Core2Duo 2.1GHz with 2GB RAM running Premiere CS3 and CS4) weren't up to editing the files. So the first hurdle was converting to something I could edit. Whilst the videos are in 'HD', the test run was on a very gloomy and wet April afternoon. As such, the video shot with the Kodak viewed directly on a 40 inch LCD screen was pixelated, and generally in need of tidying up. Based on this, I decided to downconvert to SD (DV NTSC) to edit the video and apply filters etc.

    The second problem was a corrupt file from the GoPro. It was about a 40 minute recording, but the header file wasn't save properly. I remember having difficulty turning on and off the camera at that point, and it seems my fumblings caused the corruption (perhaps I turned off the camera before the file was saved?). So unfortunately I lost some of the better footage where I was trying out different head positions.

    Anyway, in light of all of the above, the video is . Don't judge on the quality as the video was shot in very very gloomy conditions, has been down-converted etc. But remember I was strapped into a harness and wasn't allowed to use a camera unless it was tethered to my body. Without these cameras, the video wouldn't have been possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post

    Without these cameras, the video wouldn't have been possible.

    I think that's the most important phrase of the whole thread. I got my Lumix because the camcorder I originally bought to have with me all the time, was simply too big to carry comfortably. However, within a couple of days of delivery I found myself surfing for some way of recording better sound with the Lumix, adding a light, some sort of stabilizer etc. etc. and had to remind myself that the point of the thing was video where I normally wouldn't have a camcorder.

    Your gizmo is much more rufty-tufty and built for those extreme situations, so you can't judge it like other camcorders. Okay, someone might point out that the quality is not acceptable for a professional wedding vid for paying clients but the bottom line is that it's bloody good for what it's intended, ie situations where...
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post

    Without these cameras, the video wouldn't have been possible.

    Marc,
    A word to the wise. That swinging from trees 'n' stuff is unnecessary, just get a 4x4.

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    I would say that some creative editing can make almost any footage enjoyable...you have the ability to obtain the footage and certainly the creativity to put it together...Really not bad for a zi8 considering less than optimal conditions...pretty decent.

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    The contrast seemed very high. Is that from the Camera or the editing or something?

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    Here's some Kodak Zi8 raw footage uploaded to Vimeo. If you go the page, you can download the raw .mov file:


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    I must say that the quality is actually pretty good. Much better than I expected and certainly excellent when you consider the cost of the camcorder.

    Nice edit on the monkey-film by the way.

    Edit: Out of curiosity, which one did you get?
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-05-2010 at 02:48 PM.

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