Good camera/camcorder recommendation with decent audio?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by LowStringNinja, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Anyone have a good recommendation for something i could stick up high on a pole or tripod for a reasonable cost?
    I have a couple older camcorders that have terrible audio (like, completely unusable), and this business of setting up an audio recording device with a mic and/or patching from the soundboard to sync later with video editing just hasn't been working out for me.
    Last night I had a stage issue with my rig, forgot to push record on the device in the soundbooth, and had a guy video the whole thing with my crappy little camcorders for nothing because I have no audio to sync....and when I went back to the soundboard to get my stuff, the soundman was overdriving my input on the recorder anyway so it wouldn't have mattered...which is what happened the last time I tried to do it (soundman overdrove my input after we'd set it up, so it was all compressed and distorted)
    I can edit a good, wide angle with cropping and motion...i just need one good camera that can handle loud, live sound well that I can stick up on a pole and forget about.
    Something fairly compact that won't break the bank
  2. Cazman

    Cazman Motorboatin' Supporting Member

    May 9, 2003
    We use a Zoom Q4. Small, inexpensive, user friendly.
    Has excellent sound and video is solid On well lit stage. Caveat is that video degrades in low light situations.
    Good luck.
    LowStringNinja likes this.
  3. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I have a couple Canon camcorders - both have great low light performance and audio. I usually set the audio level on "manual" and set it low enough so it will never clip - then normalize the audio when I'm editing it.
    Canon VIXIA HF R700 Black Camcorder | Canon Online Store
    My older model can also accept line level stereo audio input - I suspect the newer ones can too :) . Most consumer camcorders can't - and don't support manual level setting.
    vishalicious and LowStringNinja like this.
  4. I see the Zoom Q4n on Amazon, it's getting great reviews. Do you have trouble keeping it charged while you're recording?
  5. Cazman

    Cazman Motorboatin' Supporting Member

    May 9, 2003
    A full charge on the battery gives me 1:45 to 1:50 with the screen turned off. With screen on, only about an hour.
    I purchased a couple extra batteries that I keep charged and switch them out between sets. Covers a 4 hour show easily.
    LowStringNinja likes this.
  6. I'd recommend a GoPro. They have good compressors, so your audio will come in clean even when it's blaringly loud. I've had it set right in front of my monitors and even that won't turn it into a distorted mess.
    LowStringNinja and s0c9 like this.
  7. I have the Q4 and the batteries last very long (at least more than 2 hours, haven'T tried more) and you can power it while it runs if you want to.
    The audio quality is very good for the price, the camera is significantly worse than your average smartphone cam. But it is very easy to set up. But forget it in low light situations.

    Another alternative if you own an iPhone or iPad (don't know the Android world): Buy a gorilla pod or something similar and a digital connected mic like the Shure MV88. The new camera connection kit allows charging while the mic is connected. That is cheaper and you get much better video quality and slightly better audio quality than the Q4 or Q4n.
    LowStringNinja and Chili_Time like this.
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