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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Video Camera in Technical; Hello! I've been tasked with looking around for a video camera for the drama department ; I was wondering if ...
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    Brodieeee's Avatar
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    Video Camera

    Hello!

    I've been tasked with looking around for a video camera for the drama department ; I was wondering if anyone has any idea as to what is good and what to stay away from!

    I literally have no idea where to start; any help or guidance would be most appreciated

    Price range, probably looking at around 600

    Cheers

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brodieeee View Post
    I've been tasked with looking around for a video camera for the drama department
    I recently bought a Panasonic Lumix FZ150 - a "bridge" camera that acts as a camcorder, so you can use it for both stills and video. It's excellent at both, although make sure you get the US version otherwise you will be limited to videos of half an hour at a time. At 400 you'll have enough money left over for a tripod, case, spare batteries and a zoom mic.

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    Brodieeee (23rd February 2012)

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Just got some Canon Legria HFM46s at a shade over 400. HDD recording, HD, and the staff here like them.

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    Brodieeee (23rd February 2012)

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    Brodieeee's Avatar
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    Thanks guys I will pass these on!

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    Brodieeee's Avatar
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    For future preference, I found this handy to break down all the technical side of things.

    Buying Guide

    Hope this helps others

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    Bumping this thread because i've been tasked with exactly the same job. Drama Dept. requires a camcorder, one that benefits from wide-angle lens (to capture the whole room) AND that includes a decent quality mic so the pupils' voices can be heard.

    We've trialed a Toshiba Camileo Pro S30, but was deemed to be insufficient.

    I think i'm attempting the impossible here, as to meet the requirements I think we need more of a pro camera, but the budget is tight...

    Any thoughts/recommendations appreciated!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_506 View Post
    Drama Dept. requires a camcorder, one that benefits from wide-angle lens (to capture the whole room) AND that includes a decent quality mic so the pupils' voices can be heard.
    In practice, my Panasonic Lumix FZ150 is working well - I've used it to record assorted stuff in various venues and it works well. The internal mic is good, but an external mic might better suite what you're doing - making sure "the pupils' voices can be heard" might require a zoom (shotgun) mic to avoid noise and chatter in a crowded room or you might need a boundry mic to pick up the sound from a group of children on a stage. I have a cheap shotgun mic that fits in the hotshoe of the camera (around 20 off eBay), and it works very well, but you do have to remember to turn it on before use.

    I see the FZ200 is out now, and the Lumix LZ20 is worth a look - similar device, but cheaper (140). Check the recording time before you buy - my FZ150 is limited to half an hour at a time, you might want to get the US import version instead.

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    Thanks very much for your feedback. I think we're going to have to spend a little more than we'd like for all this equipment. The cheaper Lumix you mentioned is well regarded but has no external mic input. And we'd definitely have to go for the imported version of the more expensive camera because the staff member will not be able to cope with recording 30 minutes at a time.

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    AV_IT_'s Avatar
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    Canon 550d with Rode Videomic pro and magic lantern installed. You may then use interchangeable lenses including ultra wide and portrait lenses..
    When used properly this will create cinematic footage!

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    Not bad, but once you've got the right lens and the mic too, cost is a little high for us. As always, the finance manager wants it all to be on the cheap(!).

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    I've got a Sony NEX camera. The video is good and its low-light capability is very good.

    Here's a curveball for you... for audio, you could consider a separate field recorder, something like a Zoom H1. Place the field recorder exactly where you want the sound to be picked up, and you'll eliminate the crowd/external noise. Of course, you'll need to sync the audio to the video, but this is what clapperboards are for. If you choose to use more than one video camera, using a field recorder for your audio will ensure consistent sound quality as you cut between cameras during editing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    I've got a Sony NEX camera. The video is good and its low-light capability is very good.

    Here's a curveball for you... for audio, you could consider a separate field recorder, something like a Zoom H1. Place the field recorder exactly where you want the sound to be picked up, and you'll eliminate the crowd/external noise. Of course, you'll need to sync the audio to the video, but this is what clapperboards are for. If you choose to use more than one video camera, using a field recorder for your audio will ensure consistent sound quality as you cut between cameras during editing.
    Or use PluralEyes to sync.

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    GoPro 2 or 3 - GoPro Official Website: The World's Most Versatile Camera

    They can take a lot of knocks and produce some amazing videos and pictures! Check out the video on GoPro Official Website: The World's Most Versatile Camera

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    You can go the whole hog, or at least a partial hog with a home-made steadycam...

    For all you amateur video makers - cheap steadicam

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    Thanks for the further input. The problem is that the requirements are quite specific. HD video is merely a bonus, the focus is on being able to record sound in a fairly large echo-ey drama studio, plus being able to capture a wide enough image. And onwards from that the camera needs to be extremely user-friendly so that 'technologically-challenged' staff can operate the camera and retrieve footage (preferably from an SD card) without having to call upon IT support each time the camera is used.

    Then the final nail in the coffin is that the school would like all this, for around 200. Which is a tall order in my opinion.

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