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Advice sought about buying a video camera

Discussion in 'Personal' started by shalteir, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Does anyone have any recommendations about purchasing a good quality video camera, for myself, not school? Will most likely be using a macbook if that makes a difference, but have pc also. Years ago I was informed minidisc was better for editing, hard drive more risky for breaking if camera dropped, not sure of current state of play.

    Any recommendations much appreciated
  2. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    O/H got a good deal in buying a reconditioned one from Maplins.
    You do need one which is able to stand on a tripod, camera shake is not easy to watch!

  3. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Lead commenter

    We got a hard drive one and it's great, but if we'd been able to afford it we'd have got solid state, which was still expensive at the time. Having said that, I'm pretty clumsy and we've had no problems at all with ours and the memory is huge. It also has back up emory card which is in itself quite large.
    However, I find I don't use it at all now as my ordinary still camera takes excellent video and the files it makes (AVI - can't remember what the video camera does but it's something else) are much, much easier to manage. The sound isn't very good though.
    So if I were buying a video camera now I'd look for one that could produce AVIs but had decent sound. Camera shake really isn't a problem these days as the image stabilisers are so good.
  4. hat do you need it for? Flip cameras are great but have limited memory capacity but you can plug them straight into a laptop or computer for editing, plus they're small and cheap!
  5. Oops, you said good quality so probably not a Flip.
  6. My principle use is to video puppetry work, eg puppets performing to songs with a puppet stage. I want to record a good audio track, with direct line either into the camera or laptop, through camera microphone isn't terribly good. . Picture a muppet-like performance-I would like to create good enough videos for YouTube etc.. Performances song length. EG 2-3 minutes approximately.
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    The two extras I would consider buying for any video camera would be a wide angle lens adapter and a high capacity battery, but it sounds like you're going to be using it near to a mains supply so maybe the latter isn't essential. If you're not recording a live soundtrack you might as well just dub it in later direct from your computer. If you are keen on recording decent live sound with an external mike make sure the camera has a standard audio in jack plug socket. (I once bought a set of Sony video cameras and external mikes for school only to find there was no such socket. Much gnashing of teeth).
  8. Thanks. Points noted.. It is good to learn from the experiences of others. Dubbing the sound in, is it easy to synchronise it? (Puppets, hopefully will be lip synchronised with songs). I think my preference is to get the sound and visual track together, not using camera microphone which won't be strong enough.
  9. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If the puppets lip synch to a given track then all you have to do to ensure sound quality is import the same track into the video editor and synchronise it with the video. It's not a complex process, but It might be worth checking that your editing software is precise enough to do this. I wouldn't trust MS Movie Maker to give that level of precision but iMovie (or whatever you're using on the Macbook) might be better.
  10. thanks. Will have to buy and try. It's just "and synchronise it" bit that is the learning curve.
  11. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    iMovie should be built in to the Macbook - no purchase necessary.

    '..And synchronise it' is just techspeak for lining up one track with another in a timeline - not complicated.
  12. The buy was the camera! Not much comment on that, which type, good models
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Ah I see, sorry. There's so many to choose from. Two bits of advice I'd offer are watch out for Sony's use of non standard input sockets so you end up being tied to buying their accessories, and don't get taken in by anyone's massive optical zoom magnification figures. 10 - 12x magnification is more than enough for most uses.

    Also, posting this request in the Media Studies forum might be handy.
  14. Thanks again.

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