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Thread: Affordable sturdy Video Camera suggestion please

  1. #1

    Default Affordable sturdy Video Camera suggestion please

    Hello everyone!
    Im new to the forum, but have had some (limited) experience in both photo&videography.
    Im looking to buy a hand held camera to shoot purely video.
    My requirements are
    1.Priced under 400
    2.HD with a sufficient frame rate to allow some type of slow motion

    I understand a separate audio recorder is preferable & will be ordering one; so external jacks, while great..are not essential

    I am intending to complete a motorcycle trip & video it- carrying the kit myself it needs to be (3) & if possible come with a separate charger- that can be charged from a 12volt cigarette charger(located on the motorbike).

    In the past I have used Sony & am comfortable with this brand.
    I have also used Contour.

    I would really welcome any advice/pointers!


  2. #2


    GoPro or a Nikon AW1 are no options?

  3. #3


    The Nikon looks great- especially with the alternative lenses(I use Nikon)- but its coming in too expensive for me...are there any camcorders you would recommend- for use when im off the bike.
    The GoPro- I feel im heading down that route for bike shots- my only concern with gopro is the fish eye look...has the latest version got a work around or is this to be carried out post?

    Thank you for the suggestions

  4. #4


    Those are the only two sturdy ones I know of (besides the contour or drift innovation). I don't have a GoPro myself but as far as I remember the latest models can be set to have a less fishy recording. I don't know how good the quality of this setting is though.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by XXLRay View Post
    Those are the only two sturdy ones I know of (besides the contour or drift innovation). I don't have a GoPro myself but as far as I remember the latest models can be set to have a less fishy recording. I don't know how good the quality of this setting is though.
    You can also de-fish the recordings in FCPX, Premiere Pro, After Effects Etc, and I'm assuming this can be done in other apps too. I'm often recording in 2.7K on the GoPro 3+ Black knowing that after de-fishing I'll be using it on an HD timeline. However, when recording at 2.7K you lose the ability to have higher frame rates (e.g. 50p).

  6. #6


    OK thanks...putting the gopro to the side (assuming I get done etc)
    Can anyone please recommend a Camcorder ie Sony that would do the HD- possibly a manual focus...but not so important.
    I do like the Nikon AW1 is sexy..real sexy!- especially with interchangeable lenses...but I must try to stick to budget (around 400)
    Any pointers...the family type camcorder type is what Im thinking.


  7. #7


    Cheap consumer cameras have come a long way in the last few years, but there is a reason pros still have to spend a lot more money for good video camera, and that is the flexibility for interchangeable lens, better codecs, better live streaming and audio capabilities.

    If you're looking at Sony then the DSC-RX100 gets some pretty good reviews and is within your price range. It's not a go pro style camera, it's not a DSLR and it's not even a standard video camera. I have however seen some pretty awesome videos shot on this by people who have read the manual and know what they are doing. Check out the reviews on YouTube also.

  8. #8


    David- again excellent suggestion with the Sony DSC-RX100...and it can be charged from a motorbike(12v socket!).
    The contours & intended future GOPro don't offer a zoom option & it appears the Sony doesn't either ( I should have stipulated this!...sorry)
    Im after, if its possible...
    zoom...or would you suggest I do not include this feature & put it in post?
    manual focus(wish list)....or again would you suggest I do not include this & put it in post?
    HD 50fps (wish)-or a decent 30+
    Can be charged on a 12v cigarette lighter type socket or by USB to the same
    Standard screw mount for tripod etc
    Record to card(not bothered which)- but micro would be good (compatible with Contour/Gopro)
    Weather proof(wish) & relatively vibration proof
    Not too bothered about lens change- but again..would be nice
    Sony brand or other

    Am I being unreasonable in my target price of 400 or should I be prepared to raise
    Live streaming & audio are not great concerns for me- I will have a separate audio - unless I can add an input/output jack into the above

    Thank you again
    Last edited by Rod York; 08-24-2014 at 06:48 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Not sure where you're getting your info from, Rod, but the RX100 has:
    3.6x Zoom (and 7.2x "Clear image Zoom" - which is, by all accounts, pretty good)
    Manual focus
    and can shoot 50fps!

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Rod York View Post
    zoom...or would you suggest I do not include this feature & put it in post?
    Not sure if you mean you want to zoom in and out while filming or just to be able to zoom in to something tighter 'before' filming?

    While there is reason to use carefully considered zoom during filming, as may be the case if you're following a motorbike that's getting close you may want to zoom to keep the bike the same size in the frame, that's going to take a lot of practice. One of the first signs of poor amateur footage is the random use of zoom in/out. Another is the firehose panning around and then there's the shaky bits with poor audio and bad colour correction.

    So, first, decide exactly what it is you want to film (it sounds like you have a good idea), figure out what compromises you are willing to make, (camera capabilities vs size / cost) and then pick the least bad option, because there will never be a perfect camera.

    The DSC-RX100 definitely has a zoom function and I've seen them on the shop floor of places like Currys/PC World, John Lewis etc so you may want to pop down to a store and see if you can find one to play with.

    If you're planning on shooting from a moving bike then there are two main things I would be looking for:

    In camera stabilisation - unless you are going to tightly secure it to the bike AND have an element of the bike in the shot to give the viewer a sense of stability (otherwise the entire picture just moves and looks nasty)

    Low rolling shutter artefacts, otherwise known as jello effect (which comes from CMOS sensors but not CCD).

    Typically the bigger the sensor, the better it is in low light, but the worse the rolling shutter will be. That's not an absolute rule, but a good guide to consider.

    I note you like the idea of micro SD cards. Maybe you're used to them. I find them way to fiddly and fragile and hate them with a passion!

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