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Thread: DSLR or Video Camera

  1. #1

    Default DSLR or Video Camera

    Hi

    I have posted on 3 other DSLR camera forums asking for advice on producing video tutorials using a DSLR camera with a video function and the general consensus is that I need to buy a dedicated video camera and an external light source. Can anyone recommend the type of camera that would be good for this type of work.

    Kind regards
    Mindy1963

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    What sort of tutorials are we talking about
    - are you going to be narrating?
    - will you be onscreen?
    - will a computer display be part of the tutorial?

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    Plus one for Zam's request for mor information. All key.
    And by what sort of tutorials we need to include the environment (inside, outside) how easily repeatable each shot is (ie Origami is easy to repeat time and again, nuclear fission requires an awful lot of setup time and a new atom to be purchased). Similarly is this something you have control over (again Origami would be easy to do "on cue", a chicken laying an egg you'd have to wait for and make sure you get they shot).
    Tim

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    Why not just use your phone's camera to give us an idea of what you want to do - one take is fine - we can help you make it better

  5. #5

    Default More Information

    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    Why not just use your phone's camera to give us an idea of what you want to do - one take is fine - we can help you make it better

    Thanks for the feedback on the thread.

    We have recently be experimenting using a small Sony handycam camcorder, the filming is done in our showroom and we have recently purchased a monolight back lighting kit, the subject is a piece of machinery which is approximately a distance of 3 feet from the camera, the narrator stands to the right of the subject and points out different aspects of the machinery and we need to zoom in on smaller areas of the subject. We have found that the picture changes from light to dark in shade when we zoom in/out, the handycam we've tried clearly has limitations especially as its a mini dv tape system.

    Would an SD card format be a better way to go?

    Thanks
    Mindy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindy1963 View Post
    Thanks for the feedback on the thread.

    We have recently be experimenting using a small Sony handycam camcorder, the filming is done in our showroom and we have recently purchased a monolight back lighting kit, the subject is a piece of machinery which is approximately a distance of 3 feet from the camera, the narrator stands to the right of the subject and points out different aspects of the machinery and we need to zoom in on smaller areas of the subject. We have found that the picture changes from light to dark in shade when we zoom in/out, the handycam we've tried clearly has limitations especially as its a mini dv tape system.

    Would an SD card format be a better way to go?

    Thanks
    Mindy
    I have an old standard-definition mini DV Sony handycam and I think it has a manual setting for the exposure (so things don't constantly shift from light to dark) - witht that said, instead of panning and zooming around, you might want to cut between static shots (so that you can set up each shot exactly as you want it)

    As far as the camera itself goes, does it record the image quality you want? If so it might be ok. The tape noise on those camcorders is bad so you would want an external audio capture device if you plan to use it.

  7. #7

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    We want the video to flow so cutting and setting up each shot is unlikely to work. The camera image quality is okay but the tape noise is noticeably loud, the other problem with the mini dv tape format is downloading onto a computer in real time where as the SD card format would be quicker?
    Do you think a camcorder with the SD Card format and external microphone would give us a better image and sound quality?

    Thanks
    Mindy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mindy1963 View Post
    We want the video to flow so cutting and setting up each shot is unlikely to work.
    ...and yet that s exactly how you create the flow (and to a great extent how polished your final video looks). Everything you see on tv and film is "edited", even live action to a certain degree). Getting a fancy camera may make your images a bit cleaner, but that's about it. Spend time on the script and story before you film, film, and then edit to your story. It's a tried and tested method!

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    Just to reinforce Marc's comments - you shoot a wide shot and then your close-ups. You edit it to make it flow. Zooming in and out is a big sign of a novice produiction - as is waving the camera left and right.
    If you are demonstrating machinery, get your camera on a tripod. We don't want arty dynamic shots here, we want clarity, so the less distraction (eg wobbly camera) the better.
    Shoot wide, to establish where all the parts are.
    Repeat, but just the close ups. In teh case of demonstration these should be from the same angle - or use some sort of transitional wide shot to establish the new position. This is almost the precise opposite of filming a drama where you might want to use interesting angles which are not immediately obvious in how they relate to the wide "master" shot.

    Now, audio. Well spotted that you have bad audio. Audio is at least 50% of the final video - and even more important if you are commentating/narrating. If you are using the on-camera mic then I'm not surprised it's noisy. The main secret of good audio is getting your mic as close as possible to the sound source. Does your camera have an external mic input? If so, but a ATR3550 extremely cheap tie clip mic and place it on your presenter. This will be zillions of times better than the results from your on-camera mic. If you don't have a mic input, then consider digital recorder. Suitable to work with the cheapie mic I suggested is a cheapie Zoom H1. You'll need o sync the audio up in post, but that's quite easy using the visual "wave" images. One hint. At the begining of each take, after setting both camcorder and digital recorder to record, give a sharp clap - this will cerate a spike in the waveform and make it easier to sync.

    Finally the fact that tape transfers in real time and SD cards are quicker is neither here nor there. The amount of time you spend transferring to your computer is minimal compared to just about every other aspect of making your film.(It would be a bit like choosing your car based on how quickly you can shut the doors). You need to review your footage and make notes anyway, why not do that whilst transferring the footage from tape?
    Tim

  10. #10

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    Any particular brand/models you are happy or unhappy about?

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