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Thread: Help for newbie to corporate work

  1. #1

    Default Help for newbie to corporate work

    Hi guys, i am beginning a career in the low-budget, interview-based corporate sector; people sitting down talking about the product. Can i get some advise on what equipment i should get.

    1) I am currently thinking of getting the Panasonic HS20 camera; what do people think of it?

    2) What i would like to know is what to do with lighting. Would the camera suffice or should i get some extra lights; i don't really have the budget for a "full" lighting kit;

    3) Would the built in mic be adequate for newer cameras like the HS20?

    4) Would people recommend any other equipment?

    5) Finally i have heard that some use SLR picture cameras to make short films etc with is that a viable option?

    Thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Film2K View Post
    I am currently thinking of getting the Panasonic HS20 camera; what do people think of it?
    It is missing a few key features - No accessory shoe is integrated, and neither are minijacks for headphones or microphone, indicating this camcorder's lower-end orientation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Film2K View Post
    What i would like to know is what to do with lighting. Would the camera suffice or should i get some extra lights; i don't really have the budget for a "full" lighting kit;
    You ideally need decent lighting. If you want your videos to look prefessional that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Film2K View Post
    Would the built in mic be adequate for newer cameras like the HS20?
    Probably not. the audio will be tinny and thin. You ideally need a quality lavalier mic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Film2K View Post
    Would people recommend any other equipment?
    A decent camera, A decent set of lights, A quality microphone, A quality tripod for the camera.
    Quote Originally Posted by Film2K View Post
    Finally i have heard that some use SLR picture cameras to make short films etc with is that a viable option?
    You'd be better off spending your money on the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Film2K View Post
    Thanks for the help
    You're welcome!

  3. #3

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    Andy is pretty much spot on, although I would put a tripod (a decent one) above lights!
    You are not going to be able to achieve any sort of 'corporate' quality with low end consumer gear and unfortunately there is absolutely no way around this!
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)
    http://www.sharpmedia.org.uk

  4. #4

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    I didn't even know there was such a market for "low end" corporate. I would agree with Andy. If you think of it as a 50-50 sound and vision. An interview is all about people taking, so the sound is very important. I wouldn't think anything short of a xlr level mic would be good enough. If you don't have the budget to get a camera with an xlr input, you could get something like a Zoom H4n and record the sound separate to the visuals. Some offices are sometimes lit well and have big windows but what if you have to film in a dark place where the lighting is very bad.

    It's not easy if you have little start up money I hope you can get what you need.

  5. #5

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    Yep, good cam and XLR mic, either boundary or wireless will produce acceptable results.
    You can bodge a while on lighting by using cheap continous lights, but make sure your cam is colour balance locked before filming.
    No lights means if you overun from day to dusk, or the sun goes behind a cloud, you run the risk of dull, grainy shots or altering the colour balance. Better to be safe and take your own lighting. It will remain consistent and by experimenting with a couple you can produce tasty shots without unflattering shadows.
    If the these are mainly 'people sitting down talking about the product' shots, a good tripod head wouldn't be top of my list. You could sit the cam on a biscuit tin as long as it's rock solid steady. Use product/hand gesture cutaways to emphasise relevant points. Vary your shots to make it 'seem' interesting by filming an OOF/sideview, pick your angle to exclude the moving lips which will show out of synch. (surprising how many TV shows use this angle, but still show out of synch lips).
    Hope this helps!
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  6. #6

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    As others have said, lighting and sound is not an option for good quality corporate stuff. You need both. It 'can' be done on a budget, but not a 'tiny' budget.

    In terms of cameras, you need to pick one that allows full manual control. That is : Manual Focus, Manual IRIS (aperture), Manual Shutter Speed, Manual White Balance and Manual Gain. I'm not familiar with the model you asked about so I really can't comment, but be aware that while some of the consumer cameras appear to offer all these things at first, some of them limit how they are used, for instance you can't increase the gain without already being at a wide open IRIS etc. Professional cameras don't have these kind of limitations.

    You probably need a tripod (if you don't have a biscuit tin as Zero suggested!), but you don't have to spend a fortune to get good results. We have several < 100 tripods that work very well for most things. We only get the expensive stuff out when we really need it!

    In terms of video camera vs DSLR, well, we shoot with both. Honestly, the DSLR route will cost you a LOT more money. It may not look like it to start with, but I promise you, it will.

    Don't discount buying used Pro / Semi-Pro equipment. There's a lot out there and it's plenty good enough for almost all corporate jobs that you are likely to get in the near term. You don't need the best gear for the low paid jobs. When you are in a position to quote for the higher paid jobs then you can rent what you need if you can't afford to buy it.

    Don't waste money buying 'cheap' now because you'll only need to spend that money all over again when you realise how big a mistake you made and now need to buy something better.
    Last edited by David Partington; 02-19-2011 at 09:34 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks guys for all the comments.

    Maybe i should not even use the word "corporate"; it is for a business but my client showed me some footage from an iphone and he would like it as good / a bit better than that. Though it was shot in a event hall / expose-type thing, with lots of lighting. And the budget is slim, i would probably be working on my own. I would be looking to buy on of the following cameras since i can return/upgrade them from a local shop; as David said i don't want to waste money on cheap stuff now only to have to buy better stuff later; which is why i am kind of limited to these cameras

    JVC HM445 - 220
    JVC HD500 - 300
    PANASONIC HS20 - 360
    PANASONIC TM55 - 300
    PANASONIC H85 - 215


    In terms of lighting would i have to buy filming-lights; or could i use a few small lamps; again i know this is not ideal but i am not looking to create "proper" corporate-grade work.

    With regards to sound Andy advised me that the Panasonic HS20 does not have a mic-jack; either do any of these cameras have them or would the HS20 be fine since i would be working in close proximity; i.e them sitting on their sofa and me/camera like 1metre away?

    Thanks again for all your help

  8. #8

    Default

    A shame film2k hasn't yet returned to air his responses to the suggestions. If he's planning on making a career out of 'low-budget, interview-based corporate sector videos' he will find he'll need much more equipment as and when he branches out - 2cams/tripods/radio mics etc in order to make a living out of it.
    I, like many before and since, have fallen for buying mediocre brands of all types of equipment, especially tripods, and would be advised to save his money and rent until he's satisfied that he's found his ultimate weapons for the the job.
    As far as cheap tripods go, a biscuit tin is a far superior stable platform (and better looking )than most of them.
    We look forward to seeing your progress film2k.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

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