Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Camcorder recommendation needed, please

  1. #1

    Default Camcorder recommendation needed, please

    My husband and I are in the process of setting up a small video production company offering a 'make your own pop video' experience for kid's birthday parties.

    I have experience of art directing in my day job (stills photography though, not video) and am confident with the editing side of things but have no experience whatsoever of shooting video.

    The partner of an ex workmate (a pro cameraman) suggested a Sony PD150 but it appears to be no longer in production and I'd rather not buy second hand as, knowing nothing at all about them, I'd like the back up of a warranty.

    I'd like to shoot in HD and I'm thinking onto memory stick would be safest so if there are multiple shoots on a day/week I can keep each shoot separate/safe until it's been edited.It needs to download in a standard format that can be worked on in imovie/final cut etc.

    We will be recording vocals separately so the quality of the inbuilt mic isn't crucial. Depending on the size of the studio a wide angle option might be an advantage.

    I've read up a little on here that I should largely ignore the term 'professional' but, since we're going to be charging folk money it kind of needs to look the part. I like the look of the Sony semi-professional but don't really want to spend 1,800 (I'd like to keep it below 1,000 if I can.)

    I'd be really grateful to hear if anybody could recommend something fairly easy to use (I have roughly 4 months to get to grips with it) that will produce good quality footage.

    Many thanks.

    PS Please be gentle with me

  2. #2

    Default

    You're not going to get a professional "looking" cam for that kind of money unless you're willing to start looking at used ones I'm afraid , and then you'll have to settle for standard def. But an SD cam with all the bells and whistles will out-perform a cheap HD cam any day, and you can still bump up the footage to HD in post later and it'll look pretty darn good. You ought to be able to find a DVX100A on Ebay for that price. That's the one I would look for.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks, Swoopie.

    You were spot on price-wise, there is one of those listed on eBay at the moment at 999 but I'm really dubious about buying second hand as I really, really would like a warranty.

    If I stretch the budget a bit Amazon are selling the Sony NEX-VG10E for 1,550. If you (or anyone else!) has time I'd be interested to know how you think this would compare/how good it would be for our purpose?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

    Default

    Well, a couple of things... that price is hard to believe. I'm guessing that's not Amazon, but one of a multitude of retailers selling through them. Generally speaking, these ultra-cheap internet retailers are selling black market items that don't come with a "real" warranty, and when you call them they'll do everything in their power to sell you something more to go with it. You can't trust them.

    As for the cam itself, I was looking at that one too a while back. It ought to be decent in low light. It only shoots in 50i, so if you want to do anything theatrical with 24p or 25p it won't, so it depends on your needs there. I've read that the manual focus is fine, but the autofocus is really bad. (Everyone seems universally agreed on that). So if you're an run & gunner who needs autofocus you're out of luck. It also has no servo zoom, meaning you have to zoom by hand. That can be a real pain depending on your working conditions. There is no way to turn off the internal mic leveling, and even pluggin in an external mic with something like a Beachtec won't turn it off. In short, the internal mic is supposedly really bad, and it's no use trying to use an external mic through the 1/8" minijack. This means that audio is best recorded separately onto another recorder. But for something as simple as birthday parties, you might find the internal mic is good enough. The picture quality seems to be quite good. You can find many examples on YouTube.
    Last edited by Swoopie; 12-19-2010 at 01:33 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Posts
    335

    Default

    It's worth looking at Digital SLR cameras / DSLRs.

    I own a Canon 550D / Rebel T2i that shoots 1080p 25fps and 24fps. Fully adjustable focus ring, and other settings. It's great quality with amazing shallow depth of field that puts the quality up with much more expensive cameras. It also doubles as a stills camera so you can tap into your history for stills photography too.

    It's definitely worth considering. It's not the conventional camera, but I bought it for just over 600.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swoopie View Post
    Well, a couple of things... that price is hard to believe. I'm guessing that's not Amazon, but one of a multitude of retailers selling through them. Generally speaking, these ultra-cheap internet retailers are selling black market items that don't come with a "real" warranty, and when you call them they'll do everything in their power to sell you something more to go with it. You can't trust them.

    As for the cam itself, I was looking at that one too a while back. It ought to be decent in low light. It only shoots in 50i, so if you want to do anything theatrical with 24p or 25p it won't, so it depends on your needs there. I've read that the manual focus is fine, but the autofocus is really bad. (Everyone seems universally agreed on that). So if you're an run & gunner who needs autofocus you're out of luck. It also has no servo zoom, meaning you have to zoom by hand. That can be a real pain depending on your working conditions. There is no way to turn off the internal mic leveling, and even pluggin in an external mic with something like a Beachtec won't turn it off. In short, the internal mic is supposedly really bad, and it's no use trying to use an external mic through the 1/8" minijack. This means that audio is best recorded separately onto another recorder. But for something as simple as birthday parties, you might find the internal mic is good enough. The picture quality seems to be quite good. You can find many examples on YouTube.
    Thanks again, Swoopie.

    That price seems to be from Amazon themselves (though there are several other suppliers on there that I've never heard of. It's here:

    Amazon.co.uk: Used and New: Sony NEXVG10EBDI Handycam Camcorder with Interchangeable Lenses and Digital HD Video Quality

    The sound will all be recorded separately to the mac via an interface though the inbuilt mic might be handy if we decide to put outtakes on there as bonus footage.

    The shoots will be very much to a formula (half a dozen takes of the group as a whole then one close-up run through of each child to give me enough to edit into on 3-minute song) so not huge amounts of refocusing.

    We've been out today trying to get a good look at one but the people in the shop knew less about it than I did so your input is very much appreciated, thank you!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BritishEye View Post
    It's worth looking at Digital SLR cameras / DSLRs.

    I own a Canon 550D / Rebel T2i that shoots 1080p 25fps and 24fps. Fully adjustable focus ring, and other settings. It's great quality with amazing shallow depth of field that puts the quality up with much more expensive cameras. It also doubles as a stills camera so you can tap into your history for stills photography too.

    It's definitely worth considering. It's not the conventional camera, but I bought it for just over 600.
    Thanks, BritishEye, I've just looked up that model and will look into it more later tonight. Funnily enough the cameraman friend also suggested using a stills camera with capacity to shoot HDV if we wanted to keep costs down (with the Sony PD150 being his recommendation for the top end of our price range.)

    What sort of duration of shoot are you able to get onto the memory card with the Canon 550D/ Rebel T2i? We'd like to be able to get around 12 clips of 3 to 4 minutes in length without changing.

    Thanks again for your input.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Posts
    335

    Default

    I've got a 16GB SD (class 10) card for it, and I reckon I can record just under 60mins of 1080p 24fps video with it. The battery will hold up for around an hour also, so I'd recommend buying a second if you wanted to go for a little longer, or just to be safe.

Similar Threads

  1. Entry level camcorder recommendation
    By Kila in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-15-2011, 08:28 PM
  2. recommendation for used minidv camcorder
    By water in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-19-2009, 08:53 PM
  3. New HD Camcorder Advice Needed
    By DazzaJersey in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-30-2008, 01:41 PM
  4. Camcorder recommendation
    By dal738b in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-06-2008, 09:41 PM
  5. help needed for a camcorder newbie
    By mazroy in forum General video editing software help and advice
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-09-2007, 02:02 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •