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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » Recommended Camcorder for creating DVD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Matt Adams
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I want to make my own DVD. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good camcorder in the 500 dollar range (used) that I could use? I would like something like the Sony FX1 (recommended to me by Wayne Houchin) but that is around 1200 bucks used. I want something cheaper that still does the trick.

(PS, only real requirement is that it's HD)

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ClintonMagus
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While searching for a replacement camcorder, I happened upon the Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera. The price from Amazon was "right", and it promised "true HD" so I ordered one. I have been extremely pleased with my purchase! I have used it for everything from family gatherings to track meets, and the picture quality and ease of use are second to none. There are some issues indoors with low light, but I seldom/never use it for that.

There are several manufacturers of similar equipment, but the Zi8 was getting the best reviews at the time.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Bill Hegbli
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I had a friend purchase a consumer video camera with the same idea in mind. I can only say, it did not work that well. The video is good, but the lens was all wrong for shooting magic presentations. That is if you are speaking of shooting your own show material.
Matt Adams
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Yeah, I'm trying to read up as much as I can...but I'm a noobie in this field. Smile

I know I need good sound quality and I'd LIKE to be able to shoot indoors in low light. I especially want to be able to shoot at dusk and maybe even night. Lots of good magic happenin in the evenings...heh.
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videokideo
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First of all...take the advertisement of HD very lightly. Yes they film in HD resolution, but they are not true HD quality as you see on tv due to the compression used when filming.

Secondly, Hd is never true hd on standard dvd. Standard dvd requires a standard definition resolution of 720x480. You can letterbox, and it will fill a plasma screen if done right, but the quality is not hd.

To get true hd, you have to bump up to blueray disks so the compression is limited and the resolution is allowed in hd. But not everyone has blue ray yet. Im not even sure 50% of people do.

If it were me, and I was just making a promotional dvd, id buy a good mini dv camera. You will get nice quality picture in standard definition, and you need a lot less light than you need for HD. You can also get a nicer standard def camera for 500 than you'll get a hd for 500. Of course standard def is getting hard to find these days.

My company just moved over fully to HD at the beginning of this year. We purchased 4 high quality hd cams. But I will tell you it has been a huge pain in the butt to work with. If we knew everyone had a blue ray player, it would be fine. Shooting in hd and knocking it down to standard definition so people with all players can view is pointless. Unfortunately we had to make the move to compete.

I buy all our gear at bhphoto.com

Hope some of that helps.
godot
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Hi, are you looking at doing a performance video? I can't give any advice as I assume you're in the states and models differ.

If so you want to look for a camera with 3ccd for picture quality and as previousy stated keep to mini dv for cost. Try and get a camera with firewire and dv in and dv out funtion so that you can edit easily on a pc/mac/laptop.

As a further requirement make sure your camera has a slot to accept external audio as you wont want to use the onboard microphone as these are netoriously bad and can create a lot of fuzz. Ideally you'll want to record audio seperate and feed it into the camera.

If its a one off you could hire one or visit a local camcorder/av club where you'll probably get someone to help.

Any questions give me a shout
Matt Adams
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Quote:
If its a one off you could hire one or visit a local camcorder/av club where you'll probably get someone to help.


Now there's a neat idea!
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Cyberqat
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If this isn't a location shoot you might also see if your community has a public access TV station.
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M.Frymus
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Get a used DSLR!

Who cares about those big cameras, a DSLR is the future! It has all the stuff you need in a camcorder, but better quality and better DOF, making it more film like than any of those cameras.
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Powermagic
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What would by your recommendation in brand and model MFrymus?
Bill Palmer
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If you want to use a DSLR, get a Canon 7D or a Canon T2i. Both of these have true HD recording capability. They also have the advantage of interchangeable lenses, which NO flip camera or pocket camera has.

You can record up to 12 minutes on the 7D in a single take. Twelve minutes is a fairly long time. There are pro studios that are using these right now.
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M.Frymus
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Quote:
On 2010-10-06 00:01, Powermagic wrote:
What would by your recommendation in brand and model MFrymus?

Sorry, I don't go on these forums often.

Canon DSLR's are the best.
I have the Canon T2i as you can see in my signature. I quit magic to become a cinematographer/photographer. I use it all the time. But, I am more advanced, and would like something a bit better. 7D & the T2i would be way too expensive if he wants something for $500 used.

If you are looking for something for $500 used, get the Canon T1i with a kit lens. Its 720p/30 I believe. Its not bad actually. - That's the only camera I can think of off the top of my head that would be at that price range.

12 minutes of video is plenty! I have never shot for that long. If you need longer then 12minutes continuous, press record when it stops. As simple as that.

**There is something you should know about DSLR's if you don't know. When using a camcorder, its usually on auto mode. You can set video for auto, but you will not be able to do auto focusing. Everything will have to be manually done. This will take a lot of practice if you have not done this before. The other thing is, the depth of field is a lot more shallow = Less will be in focus then camcorders. So, focusing will be even harder, especially in low light or indoors.
**I am not 100% sure, but I think that the GH1 may be an auto focus camera. Its also good, and recommended, but not my taste. Its pretty small.

DSLR's for video are also tricky because you have to know how to edit properly. It depends which program you are using. You need to convert the videos properly so the editing software will handle the video and not crash on you.

But, in the end, its definitively worth it!

If anything PM me, and I should reply faster.

Quote:
On 2010-10-19 22:43, Bill Palmer wrote:
If you want to use a DSLR, get a Canon 7D or a Canon T2i. ...There are pro studios that are using these right now.
Like me? Smile
MICHAEL FRYMUS
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videokideo
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Cant believe DSLR is being recommended to someone wanting to shoot good video. Theres a reason why they are sold as PHOTO cameras and not VIDEO. The video is just a perk..just like on your phone.

The only way id go that direction is if I shot a lot more photos than video,,,and my video didn't matter much.

This does not sound like your case.
M.Frymus
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Quote:
On 2010-10-26 21:29, videokideo wrote:
Cant believe DSLR is being recommended to someone wanting to shoot good video. Theres a reason why they are sold as PHOTO cameras and not VIDEO. The video is just a perk..just like on your phone.


You obviously don't know anything about DSLR's and new technology do you?
Do you know how many PROFESSIONAL films are being shot with DSLRs? This is NOT your average video quality you would get from a phone.

People in the film industry (such as I) prefer to use DSLR's for their films because they are MUCH better then the cameras that cost $3-5,000. These cameras have better dynamic range, nicer colours, better video quality, depth of field is a BIG thing, awesome in low light, way cheaper, lighter, etc.

Do some research before you say anything about them!! Gezz.
MICHAEL FRYMUS
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-10-26 21:29, videokideo wrote:
Cant believe DSLR is being recommended to someone wanting to shoot good video. Theres a reason why they are sold as PHOTO cameras and not VIDEO. The video is just a perk..just like on your phone.

The only way id go that direction is if I shot a lot more photos than video,,,and my video didn't matter much.

This does not sound like your case.


BULLPUCKEY!!!!

There are studios that normally would rent "pro-sumer" video units that have switched over to the DSLR's. The videos from these cameras are really clean and sharp. They don't look like the cr@p I see from high end consumer video cameras.

Last month, when I was in Nashville, I filmed a two-hour session in an all-digital studio. They used a Canon 7D and a Canon 5D Mark II. The only downside to using these cameras is that they will only shoot 12 minutes at a time. However, most video uses scenes that are far shorter than that, anyway.
"The Swatter"

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Powermagic
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DSLR are not video cameras and many lower cost ones only do 720p

And if your DSLR is thousands of $$ will get higher record times, higher resolutions, and more features customized for video by buying a higher quality video camera for the same price
M.Frymus
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720p is still such a high quality, you wont even need that much.
There is not a single TV in the world that can produce TRUE 720p or 1080p. Its all a trick. They are working on making them, but none exist as of yet.

720p resolution is such high quality, you don't understand. Even cameras that say they are 720p or 1080p are not TRUE. There are a very few cameras that have TRUE 720/1080p signals, but they are lost anyways because no TV has the capabilities to handle it.


A DSLR will cost you less or as much as a semi-pro camcorder. The thin is, you will get a ton of a lot more features and much better quality with a DSLR. You will NOT be able to achieve the look of film as easily and cheaply as a DSLR - They have larger sensors. With larger sensors they get shallower depth-of-field & large sensors collect more information making the images much nicer then camcorders with their small chip sensors.

Go to Zacuto.com & watch the DSLR shootout with the different DSLR's on the market and comparing them to each other and to a 35mm film camera.

Plus, for a DSLR you don't need much if your just starting out compared to camcorders. The camcorder itself will cost you a fortune. The DSLR wont and with the difference, you can buy a whole bunch of accessories like lenses, audio(recording devices), tripod, etc. - Or you can choose to get a camcorder that is less quality, larger, more expensive, but allows you to shoot for more than 12min continuously. ...Should be an easy pick.
MICHAEL FRYMUS
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Powermagic
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Allot of DSLR do not come with the lens and if they do they are thousands of dollars and NOT designed to function as video cameras. That is an added feature rather than what they are designed for.
You can get prosumer Canon video cameras for the same price and are specialized for video.
Again DSLR are NOT made to record long video sessions.
Powermagic
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DSLR may have a narrow depth of feild but have smaller screens, poor built in audio, and bad or no power zoom. Only a few have contrast detection auto focus
jazzy snazzy
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DSLR has BY FAR the best picture to cost ratio.
Audio adaptors allow for the connection of mics. that are good enough for voice recording.

DSLR lenses will tend to have a narrower depth of focus, which film makers find desirable. The kids call it "good bokah". Canon will accept a wide variety of lenses.

A good rule is not to record for more than 15 minutes at a time. The chip will generate heat.

The bad news is that a DSLR will put you well over $500.
You can see what the Canon will do on Bill and Lee's clip.

Get something that records to a high capacity SD card. Tape is obsolete, as are DVDs and Bluray. Filp and Z cameras are fun but won't have the features you need.
Sony has some products in your range.

Capture, editing and output also need to be considered.
Pinnacle has the best for the cheapest.
Windows Movie Maker doesn't cut it.
iMovie is not too bad if you have a Mac.

Perhaps you can get access to cheap editing time at video clubs or schools.
Output to FLASH or H264 is essential,
We get good results configuring for the iPad (that connects to a projector).
Downloads are the future.

Right now, I have the latest version of Final Cut HD Studio on iMac (intel), the older (non-intel) version on a Mac G-4, Pinnacle 9 on a Dell, The latest Adobe Premiere on another Mac, and Premiere 6/Canopus (9 years old) on a custom PC.
The effects plug-ins and final output determine which one to use.

I despise them all equally.

More later, I have to go buy another *#$!!&# plug-in.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
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