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Thread: What HD Video Camera for filming in rural Africa?

  1. #1

    Default What HD Video Camera for filming in rural Africa?

    Can someone advise me on what HD video camera to buy for working on a long term filming project in rural Africa please?

    Camera requirements,

    1, HD quality
    2, be lightweight and robust
    3, have inexpensive spare batteries and an extra charger
    4, good quality sound from built in microphone and able to handle wind noise (for exterior filiming)
    5, swapable media storage
    6, very easy to use (ie point and shoot)
    7, have a robust hard case for carrying the camera and ALL accessories.
    8, solar battery charger

    The equipment has to be robust and lightweight for transportation by air, vehicle and on foot from the UK to rural areas in Africa. The locations in Africa are 'off grid' but we will be able to charge batteries every couple of weeks, having some way to charge the batteries with a solar panel would be useful. Over the 2 week filming period many hours of footage needs to be recorded, so a way to swap the media storage is a vital requirement. The camera needs to be easy to use but give exellent picture and sound quality for public screenings.

    Many thanks, Tony

  2. #2

  3. #3


    Thank you David. That looks ideal

    Best regards, Tony

  4. #4


    No problem, I forgot to add. You'll want an outdoor windshield for the mic. If you contact Rode or Rycote witht he camera model number I'm sure thy'll be able to help.

    Microphone windshields, windscreens and studio sound shockmounts » Rycote

    RØDE Microphones


  5. #5


    thanks again

    Also, I have a quick question. The camera records in the following format:-

    Video format: HD: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 (AVCHD), SD: MPEG-2 PS
    Audio format: HD: Dolby Digital 2ch / 5.1ch, 16 bit, 48 kHz, SD: Dolby Digital 2ch / 5.1ch, 16 bit, 48 kHz

    Is this a 'good' format for editing with Final Cut Pro? Or will the footage have to be converted for editing with FCP?

    Thanks, Tony
    Last edited by techitone; 07-07-2011 at 12:11 PM.

  6. #6


    Don't worry, I found the info here.

  7. #7


    You can edit a certain amount of this, with a limited amount of adjustment to it, on any professional NLE (and many non-professional), but for smooth playback you need to lower the preview resolution (it's normally an automatic option) But you'll be best to convert it to ProRes for editing, especially if your working with so much footage.

    Avid has always been the most stable NLE by adopting a re-transcode on import approach.

    FCPX now claims to edit .H264 natively, which isn't really true. They've adopted the Avid approach and it gets re-transcoded to ProRes on import. For the amount of footage your working with your either going to have to look into large storage or spend a lot, a lot, of money on a camera with a low compression codec, and you wont find a small or easy to use one.


  8. #8


    Sorry I'm a bit confused. Will the footage from the Sony camera edit OK if I use ProRes with FCPX? I can buy external HD's for storage etc. Thanks

  9. #9


    It will be fine, you just import the footage and it will convert it to ProRes for you.


  10. #10


    Brilliant, thanks

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