Video Camera's

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minkster
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Video Camera's

Post by minkster » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:43 pm

I've been getting into filming a lot, and I've come to the conclusion that I want to minor in it once I go to college. For now, I've been borrowing my friends camera and I'm looking into buying one for myself. Anyone know of any really good camera for filming movies, documentaries,etc.?
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NES_fanatic
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Post by NES_fanatic » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:46 pm

I have one, but you have to be the incredible hulk to use it. It's 20+ yr's old.

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Post by bicostp » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:06 pm

Get a camera that burns right to mini DVD-Rs. You can then use programs like VLC Media Player or Nero to rip the video to the hard drive for editing. (My neighbors have one like that, but their computer is butt slow so at best they can get real-time speeds. On better machines you can rip faster.)

My camcorder is a lot like NES_fanatic's. It's an RCA from 1988. Takes full size VHS tapes and runs off a lead-acid battery. It may be bulky but it's fun to whip out during power failures! (Watching movies.)

The first thing you should buy for the camera (after extra DVD-RW discs) is a tripod. Tripods are awesome. You can make caster wheel feet for it to stand on, creating a camera dolly. Or you could build a camera boom out of wood. (There's instructions out there. Maybe on Instructables.com...)

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Post by *o* » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:46 pm

Things to look for in a good camera-

GOOD QUALITY OPTICS- I cannot stress this enough it makes all the difference
HD RECORDING- If you can afford this go for it, it will make it more "future-proof"
RECORDS ON TAPES- This is sooo important, do not get one that records to DVD's it makes everything more complicated. (and definitely not HDD if you are serious about this)
BUY A GOOD BRAND- Extremely important! Buy a brand such as sony, sony make great cameras (although not the cheapest)
GOOD BATTERY LIFE ROCKS- Look for a camera with good battery life, you won't regret it
DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS- If you find a camera that looks OK don't buy it you want a camera that its GREAT!
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Post by Super Cameraman » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:54 pm

Oh, I no NOTHING about cameras!


Go with MiniDV, don't listen to anyone say DVD is good. It's not. MiniDV is much better quality. I have a Sony Handycam, but I'm thinking about getting a Panasonic PV-GS500. It's a 3 CDD (Better colors. One CCD for each color) and has a widescreen lcd screen. If you can, though, get the GS400. It may be older and discontinued, but it has much more manual control, and it has a microphone port.

If you want to spend a lot of money, get a Canon GL2. Anyone I've asked says it's awesome.

If you want to spend A LOT of money and want a REALLY good camera, get a Canon XL2.

If you want something simple, I have a Sony DCR-TRV19. It can shoot in widescreen, and has a touchscreen. I know the touchscreen sounds a little stupid, but it makes life so much easier. It will focus wherever you press!

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usbcd36
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Post by usbcd36 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:27 pm

As Super Cameraman said, get a 3 CCD model. Beyond that, I don't have any immediate recommendations.

…ok, that was a lie. If you ever make the money to get one, get a RED ONE. It's definitely out of your budget, and a bit outrageous, but if they ever make it work the way they say, it'll be amazing.

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Post by Sparkfist » Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:12 pm

I too have to suggest again mini-DVD camcorder. Reason being that I have yet to find a store that sells them for less then $1 a disc, so if you did use that you'd either have to dump the money into a few mini-DVD-RW discs or you'll go spending a lot of money on just single burn mini-DVDs.

When you look at a comcorder, if you're after a professional look avoid camcorderst that have digital image stablizer. That kind of stablizer lowers the quality of the picture. Look for optical, they physically adjust the CCD sensor(s) to compansate for wabbly handling. Believe me it's worth looking and paying for.
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Post by NES_fanatic » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:50 pm

bicostp wrote:My camcorder is a lot like NES_fanatic's. It's an RCA from 1988. Takes full size VHS tapes and runs off a lead-acid battery. It may be bulky but it's fun to whip out during power failures! (Watching movies.)
That's pretty much mine alright, but mine is bigger than most other cameras claiming to be "old". Oh well. Mine also uses a lead-acid battery, but with age it doesn't hold a very good charge. Also since LCD didn't really exist when this was built, the viewfinder is actually a teeny-tiny CRT with an array of mirrors. Because of this you can point the viewfinder at a wall and you have a makeshift B&W projector for VHS tapes (although the image will be horizontally flipped, but that doesn't matter unless there's lots of text). The thing also offers AV out, but it's so old it has some totally crazy connector on it; it looks like an s-video port on steroids.

As for camcorders you should get, stay away from the ones that burn onto DVD-R's. Mini DV tape is the way to go, believe me. I'm afraid I can't back up my claim at the moment because I can't remember what makes the DVD-R camcorders so bad. My cousin got one and said it was terrible. I'll ask her why and then I can explain. All I can remember is that she hated it and got rid of it for a DV tape one and loves that one.

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Post by Super Cameraman » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:44 pm

Does turning the stablizer off really make the quality better? I should try that... I'm on a tripod most of the time anyway...

-Super
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Post by Sparkfist » Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:30 pm

Super Cameraman wrote:Does turning the stablizer off really make the quality better? I should try that... I'm on a tripod most of the time anyway...

-Super
Yes it likely will. If you have a tripod that should be perfect. Only thing better would be to tape it down. I know that sounds odd, but when I worked for the local cable station we were doing an outdoor shot and all the cameras had the tripods taped down to keep them from being shifted or knocked over.

One thing that I had to learn was even if you're doing something simple like taping drag races (I was taping soupbox), and you're following the cars, pan back to your original possition slowly, don't go so fast that the image blurs.
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