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Hardware Thread, Camcorders again.. in Technical; I keep coming back to this issue, getting stumped, getting distracted and doing nothing about it. Only now the funds ...
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    Camcorders again..

    I keep coming back to this issue, getting stumped, getting distracted and doing nothing about it. Only now the funds we have to buy a camcorder will be whisked away on Friday, so its use it or loose it time.

    I'm looking for a reasonable good quality and simple camcorder to pupils to use (secondary school). The idea is that they can then edit the footage in Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premiere depending on ability.

    A lot of the camcorders about seem to record to H.264/Mpeg4, which doesn't seem to be very helpful as i'm told Movie Maker wont touch it. I'm also aware that i'm almost certainly going to need to install a codec or two whatever happens.

    So - any tips from people who have camcorders in school and use them in the way i mentioned? I'm also pretty much limited to what i can order today or tomorrow from Dabs.com and Aria.co.uk..

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    Mandy's Avatar
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    We can supply the Sony DCR-SR77E 80GB HDD Digital Camcorder for delivery tomorrow - £295.36 Free Delivery




    * Records up to 61 hours of high quality Standard Definition video on 80GB hard drive plus HYBRID recording on optional Memory Stick
    * High quality 1 megapixel CCD sensor
    * Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with 25x optical zoom / 2000x digital zoom.
    * SteadyShot image stabilization for clearer video and stills when shooting handheld
    * 1 megapixel still photo recording onto internal HDD or removable Memory Stick
    * Face Index and Film Roll Index for quick, easy searches
    * 2.7" Wide LCD with easy to use touchscreen
    * Power on by LCD: quick start-up from standby with ultra-low power consumption in sleep mode
    * 5.1 surround sound recording with zoom mic for clearer dialogue and sound of foreground subjects
    * Up to 10 hours STAMINA continuous shooting time (with optional battery)
    * One Touch Disc Burn and Easy PC back up via USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connection (Output only)
    * DVDirect Express compatible: allows high-speed burning to disc with VRD-P1 DVD writer
    * Fun, easy to use Picture Motion Browser PC software for managing and uploading video and photos in calendar view


    Product type Digital Camcorder
    Media Type 80GB Hard Disk Drive, Memory Stick
    Movie Format Standard Definition, MPEG2
    Optical Zoom 25 x
    Digital Zoom 2000 x
    Sensor Resolution 1070 Kpix
    Audio System Dolby Digital 5.1ch
    Display Type 2.7" Hybrid LCD Screen
    Movie Quality HQ (9Mbps) / SP (6Mbps) / LP (3Mbps)
    Lens Aperture F/1.8-3.2
    f (35mm conversion): Camera mode (mm) 16:9 Mode . 41-1189 / 4:3 Mode . 43-1075
    Image Size (Max) 1152 x 864 (1M)
    Connectivity Audio Output, Video Output, USB Output
    Supported Battery 1 x NP-FH50 Rechargable Battery Pack
    Weight without Tape/Battery 300 g
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 60 x 105 x 68 mm

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    I've found this to be a nightmare. We have Canon MD160s which are brilliant but are now discontinued.

    We also use Canon FS100s, they have two annoying habits. One you can't download video via USB unless they're connected to the mains. So we have to issue card reader. They also name their files with the .MOD extension which needs to be changed to .AVI or .MPG to work with Movie Maker.

    We've got Serif MoviePlus X2 to deploy, hopefully this'll smooth things over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheredenine View Post
    I'm looking for a reasonable good quality and simple camcorder to pupils to use (secondary school). The idea is that they can then edit the footage in Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premiere depending on ability.
    We use Canon A470s - "stills" cameras but take perfectly respectable video footage at 640X480, which is more than enough for most things children will be doing in lessons (the next model up might be better, takes better video, seemingly). Comes complete with a 4X optical zoom. More robust than your average camcorder, too, and cheaper. You will need to buy rechargable AA batteries, a good charger, and a 4GB SD card, which I guess will put the price up to around £100 per camera, but for that price you should still be able to buy two or three for the cost of a "proper" camcorder. Footage can be edited straight in Windows Movie Maker.

    I've been wanting to get on of the Sanyo Xacti range, too - they do a waterproof-to-10-metres version, which sounds like fun. I've tried editing some footage from one and it's easy enough to convert with MP4CAM2AVI and load in to Movie Maker. We have a Sony HDD Camcroder but that's proven fiddly to work with - even after conversion, the video footage we get from it makes Movie Maker crash (just too large, I guess). Premier Elements has no trouble editing it right away, though.

    --
    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 19th March 2009 at 11:01 AM.

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    One of our PE Teachers was given a small flip camera for recording PE activities. It uses an SD card and records an AVI format. I tried it with WMM and it worked ok. I think the resolution is only 640x480 and it has fixed focus but it was fine for what we would want the kids to do. Costs around £80.

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    Mandy's Avatar
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    Canon HFS100 HD Memory Card Camcorder - £930.74 - Free Delivery



    * 8.0MP Canon HD Camera System
    * SDHC Memory card recording
    * Instant AF and Super Range OIS
    * Manual control options
    * Video Snapshot, Face Detection, Pre REC
    * x.v.Colour and 25p
    * 8MP photos
    * Superior audio
    * Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe
    * Editing software


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    Kodak zi6 - Shoots in HD (720p .mov format) onto SD Cards, uses AA Batteries, Fits in your pocket, has built in USB jack.

    I have one for filming my son. cost me around £100

  8. Thanks to jamin100 from:

    tech_guy (20th March 2009)

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    We have some Sony Hard disk cameras- but watch out, they record in mpg2 dvd format, which movie maker doesn't like.

    I've yet to find one that movie maker will like (except for avi files, which take up loads of space).

    Hopefully I can be proved wrong!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandy View Post
    Two Nice camcorders
    Bit over our budget, unfortunatley.

    Thanks to everyone for their opinions. I quite likeed DHicks' idea of using Canon A470 cameras (or their replacement, the A480), but our Head of ICT wasn't keen.

    Consequently we'll give a couple of Canon FS100s a try - if staff have to fiddle with file names a little to get them working in Movie Maker, they'll just have to make do until i come up with a way to automate the process!

    Thanks again.

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    Hiyah ... just a few thoughts on converting .mod to avi .... and steps to be taken to make it all work in Movie Maker

    Convert your .mod files to avi using Super c ... its a free converter (it looks more complicated than it actually is .... )
    Install the k-lite codec pack on your movie maker pc
    Start movie maker and tick ffdshow video converter under tools/options/compatablility

    It should all work OK now .... Ive done this on a number of pc's now and it works every time ...

    Good luck ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheredenine View Post
    Consequently we'll give a couple of Canon FS100s a try - if staff have to fiddle with file names a little to get them working in Movie Maker, they'll just have to make do until i come up with a way to automate the process!

    Thanks again.
    Here's the widget I've knocked up, makes it a bit easier to do the renaming. It's done in AutoIT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brpilot99 View Post
    Start movie maker and tick ffdshow video converter under tools/options/compatablility
    I'll look into that.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. Thanks to K.C.Leblanc from:

    tech_guy (20th March 2009)

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    The toshiba camileo camera is cheap and useful, records on to SD card and is dead easy to use. Just point and click for video and picture. Even recomened one to my mom lol
    link to play.com

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    I don't see the point in mucking about with formats that WMM doesn't accept and then having to use some freebie convertor on them. There are plenty of budget cameras that will do the job in one go. I agree it's useful to have a good convertor for when someone hands you a strange format but to have to do it every time doesn't make a lot of sense to me?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    If the camera has firewire either on itself or as part of a dock that comes with it movie maker and a suitably equiped laptop/pc can control it and record the footage from it.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    Here's the widget I've knocked up, makes it a bit easier to do the renaming. It's done in AutoIT.
    Cheers for that.

    To subsequent replies... This is a situation where the requirements of all involved and the kit we've already got here make it difficult to make a decision; i.e. we're on a budget where we need to buy maximum equipment within a given amount, but have committed to buy a camcorder or two with the money, not just something with video capability. Also we don't have firewire capability, nor the inclination to spend any money on getting it.. Plus I'm limited to where i can get stuff from quickly - a couple of online e-tailers that have had governer approval or the county service which might take into next week to reply or another supplier i might need to get approved prior to ordering.

    To sum it up: fun! So the canon in question is a good compromise, especially when having a widget to conver the files for us...

    Edit: Just got to find the Head of ICT to agree it - she keeps vanishing off somewhere...
    Last edited by cheredenine; 19th March 2009 at 03:12 PM. Reason: More details...

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