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Thread: Camcorder suggestions for filming school play - properly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Camcorder suggestions for filming school play - properly

    Dear All,

    The school where I work has, until now, been lucky enough to borrow professional equipment with which to film our two school plays a year. We now have to go it alone. we are looking to buy two good camcorders and two solid tripods. Editing will be done on a staff member's computer: nice and powerful; good software.

    The camcorders must be able to record up to two hours of performance (32 gig sd card?); be able to have sufficient HD quality filming from the back of the hall (25 - 30 meters) and with some dim scenes (lit with proper lights, but night time scenes etc). Our plan would be to insert to the audio plug a feed from our sound desk and not rely on the in-built microphone. Ideally they would be roughly 200ish each but could go to 300 each.

    The tripods should be heavy and solid to be operated by 13 year old children. sub 100.

    Any suggestions you have regarding this kit would be greatly appreciated. Simply surfing Amazon and Currys leaves me quite bewildered! Also, any advice as to the feasibility of an audio input such as this (a mix of many condensor and radio mics) would be useful.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Tripods: Velbon DV7000. Fairly heavy and I've used them with Year 8s.
    Don't get the DV6000 because the cheaper heads seize up over time (commonly reported)

    Camera - rather tricky. For that money (and indeed many time stat) you are not going to get something than performs well in low light. Getting an audio in is unlikely and headphone socket (you will need to check your audio feed) impossible. If you have access to a digital recorder this might be a better idea.
    You will need spare batteries as it is highly unlikely a 2-300 camcorder will have batteries that last > 1hour in record.

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