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Thread: Which Video Camera to Start With?

  1. #1
    Oxide Blu
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    Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I know nothing about video, but would like to play with a video camera. The one hurdle I could never get over is which media storage type to go with ... DVD, mini DVD, tape, CF ... ? What are the advantages/disadvantages of the various digital video media storage systems?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    OK

    My experience is limited to tape based DV/HDV cameras and to digital still cameras with video... but here are some of my thoughts

    Tape based

    Pros
    Cheap media which can become your archive - use a tape only once
    Almost unlimited shooting time

    Cons
    Real time capture to computer - 1 hour of video will take 1 hour to capture
    You have to use the camera or a separate deck to capture
    Complex mechanical device that may break/wear out

    CF/SD based

    Pros
    Faster than real time capture - you are simply copying files

    Cons
    Your archive is on a hard disk - video files can get really big
    Limited shooting time before you have to transfer to computer.

    I am sure others will chip in with other points

    cheers

    K

  3. #3
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    My suggestion on which camera to start with would be... a cheap one.

    A few years ago I had a dream. It was a simple dream. Make a little DVD that combined stills and video and music. So I bought a "prosumer" Sony digital cam and started shooting. Then started the process of editing. Even with some wonderful software that I happened to have, I found the learning curve too much. Like everyone I guess, I have become used to seeing sophisticated video on television. It became frustrating when I realized it was hard work to get even close.

    It was a little fun but now, my then-expensive video cam just sits on the shelf. The market for which is dismal. I could probably sell it and treat myself to a hot dog with the money.

    Hence, I say try a cheap one and go through the motions to see if you like it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Agreed... making a video is a very different process from taking a photo. There is a lot more to be thinking about at the shooting stage such as making sure you have shots that will edit together to tell a story, that you have good audio etc. And then you get into the editing which is another story altogether.

    I would suggest maybe looking around for some books/web sites to get a feel for what is involved. I have this one which is pretty good

    http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Digi...4594280&sr=8-1

    Then I would take whatever camera you have that does video.... it may even be your phone :-) and set you self little tasks and practise putting together the shots that tell some simple action

    This one of mine was just a wee test using the E-P1 and one lens and no additional crew or actors. It was edited in imovie.... whole exercise took an hour. Its not art by any means, but it incorporates quite a few things you have to think about like movement, not crossing the line, shot length etc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldbydYA5BM4

    cheers

    K

  5. #5
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    >My suggestion on which camera to start with would be..

    Because these are photo forums start with your next camera that can do video.

    P&S cameras like the Panasonic TZ5 or ZS3 can do nice videos. As mentioned befor the Olypus E-P1 is a nice camera to start with (including sound). The E-P1 is then also a great photo camera at the same time.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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  6. #6
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    . DVD, mini DVD, tape, CF ... ? What are the advantages/disadvantages of the various digital video media storage systems?
    OverallI think tape is a dead end for the future and DVD too. THe future will be SD cards. They are right now a bit limited in speed.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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  7. #7
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    When going into video you should be aware that you need a good tripod and fluid head for good results. Shaky clips are the enemy of video.

    Also the question for your video camera has to be seen in the context of your expectations. What kind of videos would you like to create.

    - Family
    - Documentary
    - ....

    As mentioned before video is about story telling. What stories are you thinking about.

    Here is the $100K winner of the Nikon Festival:

    http://www.nikonfestival.com/blog/20...en-vs-penguin/

    This is not about the camera, it is all about a nice short story.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
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  8. #8
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I was thinking of getting a compact video camera that I can toss into a bag and take with me. Had not considered doing "movie" production with the video. (Kevin - I saw both of your Oly Pen videos, you linked to them in another thread. )

    I have played with the video from my Ricoh cameras, edited using the cheesy Irodio sw that comes with the camera(s). Simple, low res stuff, but I enjoy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    OverallI think tape is a dead end for the future and DVD too. THe future will be SD cards. They are right now a bit limited in speed.
    Panasonic, a major player in consumer video, is pushing ahead with tape based media storage. That said, I agree with you ... semiconductor storage is the future. CF cards are starting to fade away. I think Costco has dropped them altogether, no longer sells them, or will will discontinue CF cards in the near future.

  9. #9
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I got some months ago a TZ5 (second hand) for under $200.

    Here is a short test video:

    http://vimeo.com/5920960

    Download the video (just be come a Vimeo member, basic membership is free).
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I was thinking of getting a compact video camera that I can toss into a bag and take with me. Had not considered doing "movie" production with the video. (Kevin - I saw both of your Oly Pen videos, you linked to them in another thread. )

    Panasonic, a major player in consumer video, is pushing ahead with tape based media storage. That said, I agree with you ... semiconductor storage is the future. CF cards are starting to fade away. I think Costco has dropped them altogether, no longer sells them, or will will discontinue CF cards in the near future.
    two things...

    1) separate my stop motion videos of my PEN which were shot frame by frame on a Oly 510 from the video i linked to which was shot "with" the PEN :-)

    2) CF or Compact Flash may be disappearing from Costco.... but they are still semiconductor storage... they are just being replaced with SD which most cameras now use. Panansonic may still make tape based video cameras... but they are at the bottom of their range


    K

  11. #11
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Had not considered doing "movie" production with the video.
    If you are ever going to share your movies with anyone then i suggest you do try and think in movie/tv/documentary terms.... it has to be more than a slideshow and less than realtime capture of whatever it was you filmed... you have to engage your audience, you have to tell a story in a language they understand/feel comfortable with

    K

  12. #12
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    the nikon film competition is great... simple story told with simple shots... just the right length. But you bet a whole lot of thinking went into it before shooting, and the editing made it all work... the shot of the old lady in the car was perfect to break the rythm

    K

  13. #13
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    But you bet a whole lot of thinking went into it before shooting, and the editing made it all work... the shot of the old lady in the car was perfect to break the rythm

    K
    Sure. Nice story told well.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  14. #14
    Super Duper
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    That Nikon video is so cute!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

  15. #15
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    If you are ever going to share your movies with anyone then i suggest you do try and think in movie/tv/documentary terms.... it has to be more than a slideshow and less than realtime capture of whatever it was you filmed... you have to engage your audience, you have to tell a story in a language they understand/feel comfortable with

    K

    Thanks, Kevin. You are doing a great job of talking me out of video.

    I think I'll look for a camera that uses SD cards.

    What about resolution -- HD or std def -- does it matter as far as editing? I'm wondering if HD takes significantly more resources and time to edit.

  16. #16
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post

    What about resolution -- HD or std def -- does it matter as far as editing? I'm wondering if HD takes significantly more resources and time to edit.
    I would start with HD. Why? If you come from photography your appreciate the better resolution. HD is no real issue with modern computers. Yes, it eats up disk space and memory.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Thanks, Kevin. You are doing a great job of talking me out of video.

    I think I'll look for a camera that uses SD cards.

    What about resolution -- HD or std def -- does it matter as far as editing? I'm wondering if HD takes significantly more resources and time to edit.
    Just telling it as I see it from own bitter experience :-)...

    K

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    If you want a dedicated budget video camera I can vouch for Canon. I've work with video for 8 years and I've their material from little consumer cameras to large professional ones. If you want something cheap with great quality you can find an HV20 on ebay that will rock your world quality wise. This was the camera I would take to my trips and it's quality is suberb.
    Check this video from a trip to Rome I've done some years ago:
    http://www.vimeo.com/897230

  19. #19
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Rafa - is the color in the video out of the Canon camera that way -- or did you process the video to have that film quality look?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I did process it. But do some research on vimeo and you will find out more samples and how amazing they look.

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I have a Sony Camcorder which i about i think in 2001, using tapes, and one slot for a card [digital], but really the quality is nice but i didn't use it since 2004 and i don't know where it is now but i will try to find it, so i don't know if the quality now comparing to my old video camera is a big different, as i don't know if that HD technology is really amazing, so, i was also looking to buy a video camera, many times i was planning to buy Canon 5D markII or cheaper camera with video option just for video then i told myself, if i want a still camera for video why not going to a dedicated video camera?

    Now that i have one already, and i don't use it much, what will be another choice of new technology or if i want to be another one now? i don't know which brand to get, dunno which features i should look at, dunno what things i have to consider.

  22. #22
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    One of the reasons why so many video people are excited about the DSLRs with video is that the sensors in these cameras are much larger than you get in domestic and even some pro video cameras ( most semipro/pro cameras actually use 3 small sensors)

    Bigger sensor means better low light capabilities, more control of depth of field, better dynamic range

    DSLR s also give you access to lenses that are a big step up from the lens you get in a consumer camcorder.

    With a DSLR you can get quality that approaches 35mm movie making at a much much lower cost.

    K

  23. #23
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    One of the reasons why so many video people are excited about the DSLRs with video is that the sensors in these cameras are much larger than you get in domestic and even some pro video cameras ( most semipro/pro cameras actually use 3 small sensors)

    Bigger sensor means better low light capabilities, more control of depth of field, better dynamic range

    DSLR s also give you access to lenses that are a big step up from the lens you get in a consumer camcorder.

    With a DSLR you can get quality that approaches 35mm movie making at a much much lower cost.

    K
    Good summary. And these are also great still cameras .
    Uwe Steinmueller
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  24. #24
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Note on light video cameras:

    It is nice that the new HDSLRs are so light. But this means they need even more a tripod to avoid shake.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    One of the reasons why so many video people are excited about the DSLRs with video is that the sensors in these cameras are much larger than you get in domestic and even some pro video cameras ( most semipro/pro cameras actually use 3 small sensors)

    Bigger sensor means better low light capabilities, more control of depth of field, better dynamic range

    DSLR s also give you access to lenses that are a big step up from the lens you get in a consumer camcorder.

    With a DSLR you can get quality that approaches 35mm movie making at a much much lower cost.

    K
    I see, then you prefer to go with a DSLR which has a video feature?

    There are many P&S cameras that have video feature before it appears in DSLRs, what has changed then?

  26. #26
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I see, then you prefer to go with a DSLR which has a video feature?

    There are many P&S cameras that have video feature before it appears in DSLRs, what has changed then?
    The challenges for HDSLRs are the following:

    1. Sensor heat (the P&S sensors were not designed for ultimate image quality). This gets better every year.

    2. DSLRs (except the Micro Four Third cameras) have a mirror. This is the main obstacle with most HDSLRs. This also means these mirror cameras are noisy (if recording through the builtin mic) and AF through the viewfinder does not work for video.

    The best HDSLR video implementation right now is the the Panasonic GH1. I did not say it has the best image quality although it is nice. But even the Olympus E-P1/2 does a very nice jobs at 720p including stereo sound.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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  27. #27
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Professional

    I have access to both large semi pro (Sony Z1 - 3 ccd) and small consumer HDV (canon single CCD) cameras as well as a Canon 5d mk2 and an e-p1.

    all have their pros and cons - the z1 is better than the canon... more control, better quality... but it is big and not discreet.

    The canon has been used rarely - think i would only use it for b-roll or maybe location scouting

    Just got the 5d and am still learning it - has potential for best video quality, but not as versatile as the Z1 for audio in terms of connectivity.

    All video work benefits from a tripod...or insane amounts of betablocker :-) more so than still photography in my opinion.

    DSLRS are not noisy beacuse of the mirror.... its locked up...and they use liveview its just that the built in mics pic up on the autofocus or your handling of the camera. The GH1 gets good marks because its zoom lens was designed to be as quiet as possible.

    Microphones on video cameras are like flashguns/lighting on still cameras... they usually work better the further away from the camera you have them -

    cheers

    K

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    Professional

    I have access to both large semi pro (Sony Z1 - 3 ccd) and small consumer HDV (canon single CCD) cameras as well as a Canon 5d mk2 and an e-p1.

    all have their pros and cons - the z1 is better than the canon... more control, better quality... but it is big and not discreet.

    The canon has been used rarely - think i would only use it for b-roll or maybe location scouting

    Just got the 5d and am still learning it - has potential for best video quality, but not as versatile as the Z1 for audio in terms of connectivity.

    All video work benefits from a tripod...or insane amounts of betablocker :-) more so than still photography in my opinion.

    DSLRS are not noisy beacuse of the mirror.... its locked up...and they use liveview its just that the built in mics pic up on the autofocus or your handling of the camera. The GH1 gets good marks because its zoom lens was designed to be as quiet as possible.

    Microphones on video cameras are like flashguns/lighting on still cameras... they usually work better the further away from the camera you have them -

    cheers

    K
    Thanks for the info, so helpful and i appreciate it.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    One of the reasons why so many video people are excited about the DSLRs with video is that the sensors in these cameras are much larger than you get in domestic and even some pro video cameras ( most semipro/pro cameras actually use 3 small sensors)

    Bigger sensor means better low light capabilities, more control of depth of field, better dynamic range

    DSLR s also give you access to lenses that are a big step up from the lens you get in a consumer camcorder.

    With a DSLR you can get quality that approaches 35mm movie making at a much much lower cost.

    K
    Like I said I've worked professionally with video for a long time, and for a long time we used very bulky adapters that allowed us to use 35mm lenses on videocameras. When the D90 first hit the market the video community simply went crazy with all the possibilities, but this quickly faded away when all the deficiencies made them selves clear. Since then many more DSLR shoot video, but even with more dynamic range and DOF there are way too many compromises. The big problem here is rolling shutter (aka jello effect), compression (which is really bad on DSLRs when compared to video cameras) and the lack of manual control and many video inputs/outputs/parameters. Once they fix these things then dedicated camcorders might just become obsolete. That's not to say you cannot do very nice stuff with a VDSLR, but you have to learn to live with limitations that not even low end hd video cameras have.

  30. #30
    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    good points rafa

    some of the rigs I have seen built around a 5D are just insane. DSLRS make good image/video capture devices... but as video cameras they do have serious drawbacks.

    video at this moment reminds me of the early days of desktop publishing... in that access to the tools to produce results close or equal to what was only available at high cost from professional operators became available to everyone. The result was that everybody thought they could do it themselves...

    The problem is that access to the tools the 'professionals' use doesn't make the user a professional. Give me michaelangelos paint brush and a blank sistine chapel roof and i will make a mess.

    making good video requires a range of skills that dwarf those of still photography... but people do it. It is less of a solo activity than photography, but is enormously satisfying whn you get it right

    k

  31. #31
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    You guys have way more video experience than I do, but I'd just like to insert a flag about audio. After attempting some simple vids using on-camera audio, my appreciation for the sound guys on films went waaaay up. There's a reason that there are separate people managing the audio on professional shoots. I think it might involve magic, but I'm not sure.

  32. #32
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    >making good video requires a range of skills that dwarf those of still photography... but people do it. It is less of a solo activity than photography, but is enormously satisfying when you get it right

    I agree on that. Key is that these cameras in the right hands can produce excellent videos. The cost for video cameras is not limiting your creativity anymore.

    Blogs for your motivation:

    http://hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/
    http://philipbloom.co.uk/blog/

    Low light video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R46ca9zBP4A

    >It is less of a solo activity than photography

    That is really a problem. That is why I accept to limit myself. Also overblown Hollywood productions show that more money does not mean better movies. They are often perfectly polished but lacking any content.

    The Nikon Festival winner video made a great point that in the end good stories count.

    Best just get started. Learn the technique of editing. It can be fun but lots to learn. You don't need to please Hollywood. Start with your friends (show your work on Vimeo,YouTube,iPhone/iPod and soon iPad).

    If you need to earn your money with video this maybe very different.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  33. #33
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    from LL:

    Understanding Video - A Video Primer for Photographers
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...o-primer.shtml

    Especially read the "Movies move" paragraph, not far from the bottom of the article ...

  34. #34
    aprillove20
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Well, I agree that P&S cameras like the Panasonic TZ5 or ZS3 can do nice videos.

  35. #35
    nikjerry
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Well the only one thing that I want to say truly I was totally unknown from this video camera, but after reading your this all of the stuff I got some of the idea regarding to it. I really that much happy that this increase my knowledge.

  36. #36
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I'd definitely recommend an HD camcorder that uses SD cards. The Panasonic TM55 or SD60 would be my recommendation. Among the highest rated camcorders, and is a great value for the price (~$400). Main competitor is the Canon M300, but the Panasonic is more highly rated.

    Check out camcorderinfo.com for reviews and rankings of camcorders. It's a pretty comprehensive resource -- kind of like the dpreview of camcorders.
    4/3 and m4/3 systems | Nikon and Sony APS-C and FF gear

  37. #37
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    The Canon Rebel T2i makes wonderful HD video. Any on-camera audio sucks. You have to get the mic off the camera (that includes shotgun mics that sit on the hotshoe). Get a Zoom audio recorder, a decent mic and a boom if you're shooting people. Avoid wireless audio - lots of interference problems and dead batteries to worry about. Get a good tripod and fluid head - Miller makes some of the best at competitive prices.

    T2i - $800
    Lens(es) - your choice
    Audio - $1000
    Tripod/head - $2000

    This is a better setup than a $2500 prosumer video camera for most applications. You will need at least one other person to assist you. That's the big difference between stills and video. Video is a team effort most of the time.

    If you find you don't like making movies, you can still use the Canon for stills and the other equipment will have a good resale value on boards like dvxuser.com

  38. #38
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    The Canon Rebel T2i makes wonderful HD video. Any on-camera audio sucks. You have to get the mic off the camera (that includes shotgun mics that sit on the hotshoe). Get a Zoom audio recorder, a decent mic and a boom if you're shooting people. Avoid wireless audio - lots of interference problems and dead batteries to worry about. Get a good tripod and fluid head. Miller makes some of the best at competitive prices.

    T2i - $800
    Lens(es) - your choice
    Audio - $1000
    Tripod/head - $2000

    This is a better setup than a $2500 prosumer video camera for most applications.
    This is an option. In this case I would opt for the 60D because the swivel LCD makes a world of difference for video handling.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    The Canon Rebel T2i makes wonderful HD video. [...]

    This is a better setup than a $2500 prosumer video camera for most applications. You will need at least one other person to assist you. That's the big difference between stills and video. Video is a team effort most of the time.

    If you find you don't like making movies, you can still use the Canon for stills and the other equipment will have a good resale value on boards like dvxuser.com
    Bradhusick, this isn't direct at you specifically, so please don't get offended by it. Just a general observation is all.

    I don't doubt that the above post is good advice for a budding filmaker, but I wonder if this is the kind of advice the OP was asking for... The way I interpreted the question, and based on the OP's comments, it would appear that he is a beginner looking to try out video. While some of us may find the whole dSLR video phenomenon fascinating and rewarding for capturing raw cinematic and filmic looking footage ready for post production, it's not really sound advice in this case. dSLR video is not very accessible or usable for the uninitiated, and a camcorder would be more useful and usually delivers better results for the target audience.

    I notice this a lot on web forums... The OP asks for basic advice for a basic consumer level application but gets advice geared towards professional / advanced applications that requires a level of training, resources, and post-production effort that is so far beyond what the OP was looking for that i wonder who the advice was written for in the first place...
    4/3 and m4/3 systems | Nikon and Sony APS-C and FF gear

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    No offense taken. I realize that I was suggesting something of a higher level, but it's good to know the range of options out there and I thought the lower end was covered well in the thread.

    OP - e_dawg is right - my advice is not suggested for just getting started.

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    By the way, the Panasonic FZ100 also makes wonderful HD video and sells for $409 on Amazon.

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    By the way, the Panasonic FZ100 also makes wonderful HD video and sells for $409 on Amazon.
    Yes these small cams from Panasonic are amazing at good light.

    Here is a sample with TZ5:
    http://vimeo.com/5920960
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I just recently received a video camera as a gift from my mom last christmas, it's a Samsung video cam and I have not tried using other effects or editing features of the camera yet. I recorded some videos and hopefully I can find a useful thread in this forum on how to edit or add effects on videos.

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I use SD and CD can be a good back up. You'll never know when an SD card can get virus... Better have an alternative storage.
    "Courage is knowing what not to fear." steve barbarich

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I have been shooting video for a living ... for a very long time, and have shot film even longer. I once made a film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (see the CV on the website).

    The best video camera presently (up to 1080p/60, anyway) is the Panasonic G6. I have a bunch of the other Pannys, too.

    Actually, the best advice anyone can give a newcomer is learn how to record the best possible sound for whatever program/project you are thinking of. Audiences tolerate a great deal of problematic video (blame MTV and YT) but they will not tolerate poor sound. Sound alone can tell a great story.

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    +1 to the G6. It offers tremendous value for money, great video quality and first rate ergonomics. I use a GH3, but it's bigger, heavier and much more expensive. The main advantages is longer battery life and better build quality. Better video quality too, but not something many will notice as long as we don't talk about heavy professional use. For best possible sound quality, a separate digital recorder is easiest to work with, and they are not expensive, but it requires more advanced post processing option, like Adobe Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro. Final Cut Pro X isn't very expensive, but the learning curve is dramatic and rather intimidating.

    Dedicated video cameras? They have their advantages, but to me, it's a dead end. Too limited when it comes to options, and they can't make useable stills.

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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    I use FCPX now (having been with FCP since v.2). FCPX is a big learning curve, but now (some few months later) I can cut a program in roughly half the time it used to take me and FCPX;s multicam capacity is brilliant.

    Re. sound: I use a Sony PCM-10, Roland R-05, and a Zoom H2n, depending on the circumstances.

    Jörgen wrote :
    to me, it's a dead end. Too limited when it comes to options, and they can't make useable stills
    Exactly, not to mention size and weight of dedicated video cameras. I carry a G6, GX-7, GX1 and a recorder in carry on now, wherever I go.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Which Video Camera to Start With?

    Actually, G6, GX-7, EM-5 (for the inbuilt 5-axis stabilisation), and GX-1... The EM-5 is a mini-steadycam (just put monopod on and hold lightly). Pannys make brilliant video.

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