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Thread: Cam + Mic for outdoor footage

  1. #1

    Default Cam + Mic for outdoor footage

    Hi there!
    Sorry if this is not the right section!
    Anyways, I was thinking of making some prank videos in the streets but I'm not sure about the equipment and this is why I'm asking you for help!
    Does anyone know what kind of camera would be good (and relatively cheap, ~<500$) for filming HD videos in outdoor environments that can easily be edited with e.g. Sony Vegas or After Effects?
    And it would also be great if someone could also recommend a camera that is capable of working with external microphones as the camera will only make make the footage and the sound will be recorded separately. Speaking of which, what kind of microphones are good for that use?
    Summing up, I am looking for a cam and microphone that suit my filming plan and that do not pick apart my wallet
    Thanks for any helpful information!

  2. #2
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    Hi Baemzs,

    a bit over the price range, but I recomend the one Im using: Sony NX70. I guess its a step ahead of prosumer with a very important (to me!) feature: water & dust proof. The price is going down, as Sony released a lot of cameras that dispute the same niche, except the water proofness.... Too many options for sure. And, if you follow the trend of DSLRs......

  3. #3
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    If you are making prank videos then my guess is that you DON'T want to alarm the person you are pranking so you will need a camera with a good zoom and good low light performance as well as a decent shotgun mic.

    I would get the RODE videomic pro as it is probably the best microphone in your price range.

    I like the Canon Vixia camcorders -- just buy one with the money you have left over after you pick up the RODE.

    Zam

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your quick replies!!
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBR View Post
    a bit over the price range, but I recomend the one Im using: Sony NX70. Too many options for sure. And, if you follow the trend of DSLRs......
    That's definitely a great cam but really way too much for my budget.. I'd care more about the price-perfomance ratio than the actual quality, if you know what I mean. So 500$ just for the cam should really be the upper limit.
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBR View Post
    Too many options for sure.
    Yeah I see.. My problem is that unfortunately I don't know much about the camera facts and all the numbers and data and therefore I don't know what I should be looking for..
    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    [...] so you will need a camera with a good zoom and good low light performance as well as a decent shotgun mic.
    Exactly! But what camcorders conform well with this?
    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    I would get the RODE videomic pro as it is probably the best microphone in your price range.
    Zam
    Regarding the microphone I am rather looking for a small and tiny one that I can keep in my pocket or under my shirt so that it stays as unnoticed as possible. Therefore the Rode wouldn't really be that suitable..

    Thanks again for your answers and it would be awesome if you would continue helping me find the right cam and mic!

  5. #5
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    Some of our regulars have had bad experiences with the Rode Videomic and I personally found the quality quite poor.

    I would suggest something like a Zoom H2 recorder which you can hide in your pocket and a lapel mic, something like an Audio Technica ATR-3350 which is small enough to conceal under your collar or shirt.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rembrandt Rob View Post
    I would suggest something like a Zoom H2 recorder which you can hide in your pocket and a lapel mic, something like an Audio Technica ATR-3350 which is small enough to conceal under your collar or shirt.
    concur. I have the ATR-35 (forerunner) which I picked up new for about 17UKP and it's fine for speech. Hardly studio quality, but will be far better than a mic on teh camera simplybecause you'll get it much closer to your subject. If you are careful with it, the Zoom H1 will do just as good a job (it's not quite as solid, but it'll record your external mic just as well as the H2) and it'll save you quite a bit over the H2.

    As far as the camera is concerned, look for a high optical zoom and never use the digital zoom. (All digital zoom does is zoom in making the pixels bigger and if you need to do that you will get better results doing it on your computer in post) Assuming you (or a friend) are going to be filming form a distance so as not be be seen, spend some of your money of things to stabilize the camera (zoom's really accentaute camera shake). A bean bag and a table top tripod or a "gorrila" pod (with legs you bend around things) are all useful, A "proper" tripod is ideal, if you think you'll be able to set one up wher the target can't see it.

    The camera itself is almost the least important piece of equipment in the equation. It's a competitive market at the sub $300 price point (you've spent the rest of your budget on a Zoom, a mic and stabilization) and the results are staggeringly good from nearly all cameras. They will not produce art, but they will be able to capture the moment cleanly, assuming lighting conditions are reasonable, which is what you need for this sort of exercise. If you want to be less obtrusive, you might consider a stills camera with video capabilities (like the Panasonic Lumix TZ series) then you've got a great compact stills camera as well.
    Tim

  7. #7
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    My underlying assumption in proposing the shotgun was that you wouldn't be in the scene, but rather the person would be getting pranked at a distance (piano falls on them, manhole cover disappears out from under them, a bee hive is thrown at them etc.). If you are actually next to the person being pranked, then an Olympus voice recorder would do the trick.

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