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TB Videographers: Please Recommend a Pro/SemiPro Camcorder

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jive1, Mar 22, 2014.


  1. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Supporting Member

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    I've been doing some video shooting for the band, and I'd like to step it up a notch from the little HD camcorder that I'm using. I'd like something with a better sensor and lens, some manual capability and keep it under $1000. I don't need to have the latest and greatest, and last year's technology is just fine for me. Used is fine too.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an easy to use camcorder with manual features that won't break the bank?
     
  2. matante

    matante

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    Panasonic DVX 100. I shot a short film with one and it's excellent. I also saw a feature film directed by Wim Wenders which was made with one of these.

    There's a DVX 100A which offers autofocus and a 100B which is essentially the same but has slightly better low light image quality. (Not really enough to notice.)

    It's not last year's technology, it's last decade's technology but it will give you what you need and more.
     
  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister Supporting Member

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    No recommendations, just popping in to say howdy. Good to see ya buddy.

    -Mike
     
  4. Ironbar

    Ironbar

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    Why? Anyone can clearly see from youtube that there's not a single amateur videographer among Earth's seven billion humanoids that can hold a video camera steady.
     
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  6. iamlowsound

    iamlowsound

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    I see a lot of music videos being shot with DSLRs now. Lots of them shoot 1080.

    lowsound
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I've been shooting my little video series with a camcorder and am in the same boat as you, looking to step up to the next level. I shot the last one on an iPad air and it looks good enough, but it's awkward and lacks several features that I want to have.

    About a month ago I was part of a quartet/quintet studio recording that was being documented to be turned into a DVD, and spent some time with the videographer at my house. After looking at what I have and what I do, he recommended that I go with a Canon T3i and also invest in a 50mm lens for depth of field. Total for all of that, before tax, would be about $750. That's probably the way I'll go.
     
  8. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

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    send a message to mellowinman - IIRC he's a viedographer when he's not playing FreeBird...
     
  9. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

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    +1 to the DSLR route...The most important part of any of any photographic piece of kit, be it still or video, is the lens. With a fixed lens camcorder you're stuck with whatever lens comes attached.

    With a DSLR you have a relatively infinite choice of lenses. In music videos, it's especially important to be able to isolate your subject from the backround. Fixed lens camcorders have a hard time doing this. Fast, prime dslr lenses are designed for it.

    Here's a little vid I put together for my friends band using 2 t3i's and a t4i and various fast primes and zooms.
    http://youtu.be/sCDX7fI-urc
     
  10. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

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    How do you sync the sound ?
     
  11. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Supporting Member

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    Never thought of the DSLR route. I have Canon EF lenses, and if they fit the T3 that may be the route. I may still get a 2nd video camera if it can fit the budget. A jack for an external mic would be nice.
     
  12. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

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    t3i not t3..huge difference for video. Your ef lenses will work..you dont have to worry about on board audio on the camera anyway. you want to record board feed audio with a separate recorder like a Zoom or Tascam DR40 or such. Best is to run a multitrack digital mixer/DAW into a separate mix Video likes a different mix than the mains or monitors get. You can use the the camera audio track to mix in some ambience, crowd noise etc.

    @ArtechnikA
    Synching sound is easy when everything is digital. You just drop the camera footage with its own soundtrack on the editors timeline. Put the offboard audio track underneath it, zoom in and match the peaks and valleys then delete or mute the camera audio, which is crappy anyway.

    Just a word of caution, this stuff gets very addicting and opens up a whole new avenue for creating GAS!!:hyper:
     
  13. matante

    matante

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    What you mean is shallow depth of field.

    Be careful with that line of thinking.

    Everyone on the internet thinks you need a shallow depth of field or that it automatically gives you a professional 'Hollywood look' but it's not true. Depth of field is a creative decision to be made for every shot and every shot is different and has its own requirement. If you use a shallow depth of field for everything, that's one more amateur mistake you're making.

    In fact, it's a giveaway that the footage was produced in by someone trying to look professional, rather than by someone using his creative eye. (I can go on and on about this but I won't...)
     
  14. matante

    matante

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    Me too. I've been out of the game too long. All you need is manual focus and manual exposure capability to take your work to that next level. A good DSLR should do that and if you already have some lenses it's a no-brainer.
     
  15. geeza

    geeza

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    Huh?
    What do you edit with?
     
  16. Jim Ingraham

    Jim Ingraham Supporting Member

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    Vegas Pro....I'm sure there's better ways to synch up but this works for me.
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    Well to be fair, I *am* most definitely an amateur videographer. Just passing along the advice from a professional who was generous enough to look at what I'm doing and make a couple of suggestions about how to improve it. He is also Brazilian and I'm sure we lost a few things in translation.
     
  18. mellowinman

    mellowinman Guaranteed to break the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

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    I talked to quite a few professionals myself. Maybe not quite a Brazillian, but quite a few, anyway.
     
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

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    i had a canon g20 that i liked a lot, that should be around a grand now
     
  20. geeza

    geeza

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    Huh?
    Thanks for the info!
     
  21. DwaynieAD

    DwaynieAD Supporting Member

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    let me get my drummer in this thread.
     

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