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Thread: Looking to buy a digital camcorder. Willing to spend.

  1. #1

    Default Looking to buy a digital camcorder. Willing to spend.

    Ok, I'm willing to spend up to around $2,000, and I'm wondering what exactly I should be looking for.

    Do HD cameras produce better quality films? or is it so slight that you don't even notice it?

    Should I get a microphone that's seperate from the one on the camera? If so, how do I link them up? Is there a port on the camera that will take input from a mic and synch it up with the video? How many of these ports are there? For example, can I hook up two small microphones that can be pinned to shirts as well as having an "area mic" (no clue what those are actually called)... or do I have to plug those into some sort of hub that joins all of the signals prior to using them as input into the camera?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Looking to buy a digital camcorder. Willing to spend.

    Quote Originally Posted by knowyouremeny
    Ok, I'm willing to spend up to around $2,000, and I'm wondering what exactly I should be looking for.

    Do HD cameras produce better quality films? or is it so slight that you don't even notice it?
    Not sure you'll get an HD camera for that sort of money. The term you're probably most likely looking for is HDV. I beleive it is beter, yes. As for quality od delivered article. Difficult to say because in order to (at the moment) put it onto a DVD for viewing, your footage needs to be converted back to standard defintion, losing quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by knowyouremeny
    Should I get a microphone that's seperate from the one on the camera? If so, how do I link them up? Is there a port on the camera that will take input from a mic and synch it up with the video? How many of these ports are there? For example, can I hook up two small microphones that can be pinned to shirts as well as having an "area mic" (no clue what those are actually called)... or do I have to plug those into some sort of hub that joins all of the signals prior to using them as input into the camera?
    If you're serious then I would suggest getting an external mic or two, yes. the trick here though is that decent external mic (and I don't mean to slag off any that don't fit this description) tend to connect using an XLR lead rather than a jack plug. You will need tohunt carefully for a camera in your price range that will accept balanced XLR inputs though. You can get converters to convert XLR to jack plug but this is more expence.

    Is your $2000 budget for everything or just for camera? Clip on lavelier mics which tend to be radio are not cheap.

    Consumer camcorders will tend to have a single jack socket for audi-in purposes so mixing channels would need an external piece of kit. Not my area of expertise but these are available. I have a Sony HDR-FX1E, very much up into the Pro-sumer level of camcorder and that only has a single jack socket for audio in.

    I think what I'm getting at is that you will do very well to get everything you have described for the money you quoted.

    One thing to think about though is to not record the audio to your camera at all. but tobuy a seperate multi channel audio recorder. Again this tend to be 'pro' kit though and does not come in cheap. I'm thinking of something like http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/s...roduct_id/4632 or http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/page/s...roduct_id/5836 for audio capture. These two examples are very much at the bottom end of the scale, and both will accept two channel input. They record to memory card so transfer to PC is easy and copying files. and you just need to sync up the audio in your editing application. This is easy to do.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking to buy a digital camcorder. Willing to spend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Mills
    Not sure you'll get an HD camera for that sort of money. The term you're probably most likely looking for is HDV. I beleive it is beter, yes. As for quality od delivered article. Difficult to say because in order to (at the moment) put it onto a DVD for viewing, your footage needs to be converted back to standard defintion, losing quality.
    I know you can get HD (... or so the advertisement says so )for under $2k, but I don't think you can get shoulder-mounted HD for under $3k... at any rate, none of that matters because I want a shoulder-mounted cam... so if I'm going to consider HD, it's gunna cost me.

    I was going to look at this list of cams (cause i trust newegg): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...1000&maxPrice=

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Mills
    micrphone stuff snipped
    Those things are much too expensive for me. I can't go and spend $1k+ on audio alone... esp when I think joining the signal and inputting it into the camera should do an "ok" job at it. :(

    How do you like your FX1? Is there any audio noise from the camera itslf or handling the body of the camera (or only if you touch near the mic)?

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a digital camcorder. Willing to spend.

    Quote Originally Posted by knowyouremeny
    How do you like your FX1? Is there any audio noise from the camera itslf or handling the body of the camera (or only if you touch near the mic)?
    It's great for the money. As for handling noise, you can get some using the built in mic. I don't because I use an external directional mic and mount it in a proper support so I've never noticed any noise coming fromt he camera at all.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking to buy a digital camcorder. Willing to spend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Mills
    I don't because I use an external directional mic and mount it in a proper support so I've never noticed any noise coming fromt he camera at all.
    You wouldn't happen to have a picture of this, would you?

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    The Multi mount I use for putting my mic on the camera is at the bottom of the page.

    http://www.rycote.com/products/softie/softie2.asp

    When I bought mine though, it did come with the pistol grip as well.

  7. #7

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    Do you think the FX1 is good enough to come across as being professional? Have you posted any videos you took with it on the net?

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    Quote Originally Posted by knowyouremeny
    Do you think the FX1 is good enough to come across as being professional? Have you posted any videos you took with it on the net?
    The FX1E is certainly good enough for your average 'event videographer' i.e. weddings and the like. But only as long as you get yourself a decent (set of?) external microphones and something like Beachtek DXA-4 to connect them to the camera.

    The real proffessionals of the world treat HDV with some distain and so would not even look at one.

    As for publishing my stuff on the web. Little movies I've made with it are available (typically though these user forums) however, to make them available for download they've been typically exported as fairly low res WMV9 files so the quality you're after judging has already been removed I'm afraid.

    So, to answer your question, it really all depend on what type of proffessional you are referring to. If you're working on the next Steven Spielberg project then the FX1 is, quite simply, a load of old rubbish, but if you're filming weddings then it is more than perfect.

    The quality you get out of an image is that you can print a 6x4 in photo at 300 dpi from a single frame, after deinterlacing of course), which is really handy for making DVD covers

    You should google for some raw FX1 footage. I'm sure there's plenty about. The files will not be small though.

    I'll export a few frames as still to show you what you get. I'll post alink when I've done it.

  9. #9

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    ok great... and can you disable the onboard mic if you get externals?

    Thanks, man. You've been a big help. I've got a lot to learn if I'm going to do all of this myself (already learned photoshop... now I just need to learn film ), so I appreciate any help I can get.

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    A few images at http://www.alandmills.co.uk/HDRFX1Images.htm

    Remember though that these will be viewed as square pixels and were shot in fully automatic mode so they can be improved.

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