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camcorder suggestion

COW Forums : Canon Cameras

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Jon Moorecamcorder suggestion
by on Apr 29, 2010 at 1:04:01 am

I am in the market for a new consumer camcorder. My Canon Optura 300 has died and I am confused about what I should buy. The camcorder will be used to record my daughter's dance recitals, cheerleading, as well as recording videos for my business website. I need something that will record well inside auditoriums and gyms. Don't think I need HD but do want 16:9 for HD TV. I'm leaning toward a SDHC or SD format. I want something that will not be obsolete in 3-4 years. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Norman WillisRe: camcorder suggestion
by on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:10:01 am

I hope this will help. Speaking honestly, I don't know about non-HD cameras; but if you are looking for something that won't be obsolete in 3-4 years, you might consider HD.

I have two Canon HF S10's in AVCHD, and love them. I cannot believe how much quality I get at that price. I understand the new HF S11's have two SDHC card slots, which would be a welcome improvement.

You might also consider springing for a B+W filter (and not a cheap one), so as not to ruin the fine optics of the Canon glass with a cheap contact lens.

It's just my two cents. I hope it helps, or at least gives you something to think about.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Jon MooreRe: camcorder suggestion
by on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:50:48 pm

Thank you for the response Norman. I do like the suggestion but I have a concern about the format. I don't have sophisticated editing software and I have read that there are some issues regarding the AVCHD format. Is this only an issue if I record in HD format or in all formats?


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Norman WillisRe: camcorder suggestion
by on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:55:46 pm

Hey Jon.

That's a good question. AVCHD is a very tightly compacted codec. It records about five times as much information as SD/DV, which is why the resultant quality is so nice. However, yes, it does take a strong machine to edit it. However, it is not really the software, but the computer. You need a really strong processor (minimum CoreDuo Quad) and two hard drives to edit AVCHD natively. Core i7 is much better. However, a company called Cineform makes a product called NeoScene, which converts AVCHD to standard .avi files, which then can be edited with any decent editing software (Vegas Movie Studio HD, Premiere Elements, even Windows Movie Maker in Vista and Windows 7). It is $99.00 at http://www.videoguys.com.

I hope that helps.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Norman WillisRe: camcorder suggestion
by on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:59:41 pm

Hey Jon.

I should clarify. By using Cineform NeoScene to convert from AVCHD to .avi, one can then edit with any standard processor (although a dual core will obviously work better). However, a second hard drive (to handle the data) is really a good idea.

When a processor edits AVCHD, it has to uncompress it, edit it, and then recompress it, all on the fly. What NeoScene does is to uncompress it, and leave it uncompressed as .avi or .mov (depending on your machine). Then you can just edit it natively in .avi or .mov, depending on whether you have PC or Mac.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Jon MooreRe: camcorder suggestion
by on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:38:16 pm

New HF S10 on the way. As for software, the only editing software I have is Pinnacle Studio 8. Is there an editing software package that includes the AVCHD compatability of NeoScene at a reasonable price or do I need to buy 2 stand alone products?


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Norman WillisRe: camcorder suggestion
by on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:54:52 pm

Hey Jon.

Good call on the HF S10. I love mine.

Pinnacle Studio 8 should work fine. I'm not a rep, but I think all you need now is Cineform NeoScene, $99.00 at http://www.videoguys.com.

The reason Studio 8 should handle AVCHD is after NeoScene gets done converting it, it won't be AVCHD (.mts) anymore. It will be (Cineform) .avi, just like regular SD/DV files.

To be sure, you could write the Cineform rep, Jake Segraves, jake.segraves@gmail.com. He's a really nice guy, and he tries to get back to people fast. Please let me know how it goes.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Brent DunnRe: camcorder suggestion
by on May 1, 2010 at 4:43:51 am

Do you have a budget in mind?

For $200, the Flipcam HD does an amazing job as a consumer cam. Recordeds onto SD cards. Kodak also has an HD cam. I don't know how well they handle lowlight in recitals. Most stores will take returns in 7 days.

Premier Elements for under $100 will handle AVHCD formats.

Canon also have some great cameras in the $700 - $1200 range.

Again, this is for consumer. Staying with media cards should help your camera to last longer than tape based consumer cams.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Video.com

Sony EX-1, V1U
Cannon 5D Mark II
Cannon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
w/ Adobe CS-4 Production Suite, After Effects
& CS-5 Production Suite. Window's 7

Manfrotto Tripod's & Heads



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Norman WillisRe: camcorder suggestion
by on May 2, 2010 at 6:12:43 am

Hi Brent.

>>For $200, the Flipcam HD does an amazing job as a consumer cam. Recordeds onto SD cards. Kodak also has an HD cam. I don't know how well they handle lowlight in recitals. Most stores will take returns in 7 days.

How is the Flip HD footage to edit? Have you edited it? I have heard that there are some problems with it, but I have not used that format.

I agree that he should think about his budget.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Jon MooreRe: camcorder suggestion
by on May 3, 2010 at 1:42:40 am

Norman,
I got email from Jake @ Cineform and downloaded a trial version of Neoscene. It worked like a champ in converting to avi format and worked fine with Studio 8. Getting ready for next week's recital. What camera settings would you recommend for a dark auditorium with a very well-lighted stage. In the past, I have had trouble getting clear video in this setting. I'm hoping that the more advanced HF S10 will do better.


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Norman WillisRe: camcorder suggestion
by on May 3, 2010 at 3:13:30 am

Jon,

I'm glad to hear everything is working out for you. The NeoScene trial was an excellent idea :)

Without seeing the stage I can't really tell you what settings you need. However, if it was me, and the stage was well lit, I would probably just go with the normal settings. The display is fairly true to the picture it takes, so if you like what you see, then you will probably like what you get. If it is really dark on screen you can use one of the other settings (like night); but I would try standard first. If it is only a little dark you can easily brighten it up in post. It is when it is overexposed (i.e., the colors are all bleached out) that you cannot recover the information later.

What kind of lighting are they using? Tungsten? Fluorescent? Halogen? The color temperature will change, depending on which kind of lighting they are using, so I would think the most important thing would be just to manually set your white balance. It is easy. Just fill your screen with something that is pure white (or that you want to define as being white :) and press your white balance. The manual shows how to set manual white balance. Then the rest of the colors should turn out nicely. If you don't like what you see on the screen, try something else.

Please let me know how it goes.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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