Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: The Right Old New Camcorder

  1. #1

    Default The Right Old New Camcorder

    Hi All

    I've just wrapped up my first feature (and off it goes on a new journey....) when a new project pops up out of nowhere.

    A creative documentary on artists without a budget!

    So I'm looking for a camcorder for under 300 which is portable, has a wide angle lens or atleast relatively wide, great sound quality, isn't to large and would be great for shooting on the fly. At the moment i'd prefer to shoot in MiniDV and at that I don't mind if im shooting in 4:3 or widescreen. i just want to be able to do everything myself, easily and simply.

    I was looking at some cameras such as the XL1 (I owned one years ago but don't like the lack of LCD screen) and also the XM2 which seems more suitable (as it comes with the LCD screen) but i'm told the audio is not great. I'm really looking for a solid all in one video camera (that isn't a DSLR) which will really give us quite an aged look. I want the film to look "beat", so of most importance is the audio.

    24p would be great. But i'm not sure if there would be issues adding a frame to reach 25fps for PAL over here.
    Progressive seems to be preferred over interlaced these days, but i'm not sure if there really matter.

    Please advise.
    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by jolesch; 08-04-2016 at 11:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    10,847
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    The Canon XL2 would be great but rather above your budget.
    The XM2 is a great camera. Panasonic NV-GS400 is worth a look as well.
    Is your concern about the audio to do with the built in mic or noise from the pre-amp. If the former, don't sweat it, audio from built-in mics is only good for syncing with other sources and maybe a bit of ambient sound.
    You will want to use an external microphone and get it as close to the source as possible.
    You could plug this into the camera (check you have a mic in and equally important headphones out (those listed above do, but most consumer cams lack the headphone out - it's stupid, I know)
    Alternatively, get hold of a digital recorder - anything from a Zoom H1 upwards and you can use the built in mic or connect an external one.

    You've said you want good audio. This means you recognise the importance of sound (it is at least as important as visuals - some say 70% vs 30% of the experience of "watching") so don't hold back on it.

    (BTW even a very cheap - eg AudioTechnica ATR 3550 lapel mic close to the source can give good results for interviews. This is much better than a camera mic a few feet away.

    If you're going for DVD then you need to worry about PAL and therefore stick with 25fps. If you're going for Internet or other digital distribution, this doesn't matter, so much but you will always have better results (and editing/rendering will be quicker) if you have the same frame rate all the way from capture to delivery.

    Hope that helps.
    Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    Since it is a documentary, don't worry about microphones and cables getting into the frame - put the microphones where you get the best sound and move on - everybody is wearing technology in 2016 so unless you are doing a recreation of something historical, you can even stick headsets on those creative artists of yours

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    10,847
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Good point by Zam
    Tim

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    The Canon XL2 would be great but rather above your budget.
    The XM2 is a great camera. Panasonic NV-GS400 is worth a look as well.
    Is your concern about the audio to do with the built in mic or noise from the pre-amp. If the former, don't sweat it, audio from built-in mics is only good for syncing with other sources and maybe a bit of ambient sound.
    You will want to use an external microphone and get it as close to the source as possible.
    You could plug this into the camera (check you have a mic in and equally important headphones out (those listed above do, but most consumer cams lack the headphone out - it's stupid, I know)
    Alternatively, get hold of a digital recorder - anything from a Zoom H1 upwards and you can use the built in mic or connect an external one.

    You've said you want good audio. This means you recognise the importance of sound (it is at least as important as visuals - some say 70% vs 30% of the experience of "watching") so don't hold back on it.

    (BTW even a very cheap - eg AudioTechnica ATR 3550 lapel mic close to the source can give good results for interviews. This is much better than a camera mic a few feet away.

    If you're going for DVD then you need to worry about PAL and therefore stick with 25fps. If you're going for Internet or other digital distribution, this doesn't matter, so much but you will always have better results (and editing/rendering will be quicker) if you have the same frame rate all the way from capture to delivery.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for the response.

    So you'd say there are no readily made video cameras available with audio that i can use throughout a feature (with a few adjustments of course) under 300?

    I shot my last feature using seperate mics and a 7D, but also ended up using camera sound which wasn't so bad after-all. I'd preferably like to keep the work-load light on the back end so i can chop it together at relative speed without syncing ect.

    My main function for this documentary will be shooting some social situations, an artist making alot of work, and an interview in a controlled environment.

    The XM2 fits those functions perfectly for me and adheres to the aged look. (And i really like the build and flip out camera)

    But i just want good sound.. Thats the most important thing.
    Last edited by jolesch; 08-06-2016 at 07:50 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Which camcorder to buy?
    By 5mudg3 in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-15-2009, 12:20 AM
  2. Camcorder Sony CCD-TRV15E to camcorder Sony DCR-HC40E
    By keithathome in forum Hardware Problems
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-12-2009, 09:57 PM
  3. looking to buy a camcorder for around 500 max
    By scottscotland in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-10-2007, 07:15 PM
  4. Simple question - DVD camcorder or DV tape camcorder ?
    By Jim276825 in forum Forum Announcements and News
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-30-2006, 03:48 PM
  5. DVD camcorder v Dv Tape camcorder
    By regg0 in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-16-2005, 08:17 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •