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Patrick Differ
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Inner circle
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Profile of Patrick Differ
To All That Do...
Which make and model of video camera are you using these days when practicing or recording? I'm curious to know why you use this particular camera as well...i.e. price, speed, ease of use, light requirements...etc.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
The Cardfather
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Long Beach, CA
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I just went to a thrift store and bought an old, full size VHS camera. It was only $50, the battery was dead but went to Radio Shack and got the plug in adapter for few bucks. The full size tape is convenient for taking out and popping into the VCR every so often to see how you look.
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Profile of dlcmagic
I use a Panasonic VHSC camera I purchased on sale a few years ago.
It's not digital but it doesn't have to be. We use it for rehearsals
and to tape shows to view afterwards to better ourselves.
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Profile of Mystician
If you decide on a web cam, don't skimp. The most common ones are not capable of very high frame rates (often only about 15fps), and this is just not going to give you a very good representation of your performance, including dropped frames at the moment you execute a sleight. The video may not pickup the moment you flashed the palmed coin, or just how sloppily you performed the pass, leading you to believe you are more polished than you really are.
Another thing to look for is the camera sensor type.
    Web cams come in two varieties:
  • CMOS Complimentary MetalOxide Semiconductor
  • CCD Charge Coupled Device

Now, your typcial camcorder uses a CCD, which offers much higher video quality than CMOS. Web cams of this variety are likely to run you about $90 or so, but that's still much less than a camcorder. Spending $40 on common garden variety CMOS webcam to capture your performance is probably just a waste of $40.
You can no longer judge by resolution alone. It used to be that only CCD cams could do 640x480 (pixels), but lately I've seen CMOS cameras capable of this. There is still a fair discrepancy in overall video quality though.

If you're interested and want to go deeper, I found a good site explaining it all here:

Oh, and has anyone ever tried using mirrors in conjunction with a camera?
Just to get an add'l angle, you could watch the image in the mirror on the tape, it's cheaper than using two cameras.
Just hanging out with the rest of my fellow dregs.
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Profile of Fredrick
On 2004-11-28 19:40, Patrick Differ wrote:
price, speed, ease of use, light requirements...etc.?

The recommendation of a VHS camcorder is the easiest when rehearsing. Shoot the video, pop it out of the camera, and pop it into the VCR. No messing with cables and adaptors. Now the problem is that they are difficult to find. As mentioned, by the Cardfather, you may have to haunt thrift and second hand stores. Maybe pawn shops?

For lighting, clip on spot lights found in hardware stores will give you plenty to light.

~ fredrick
"Try to find the humanity in the magic and maybe you'll come up with something of your own. It's the humanity that gets you there, not techniques." Michael Moschen on Creativity
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