I'm looking for some help determining the best equipment for my lab to make digital videos. I'm specifically looking for a way to make high definition videos under macro conditions. If possible, it would be best to be able to run these videos for days at a time, though samples from within that time might be adequate.
The biggest problem is, of course, budget. I am looking for something around 500e, though if I am persuasive that could go up somewhat.
I was thinking an entry level DSLR with a macro lens attached to an external hard drive would be perfect but now I am reading that there are problems of video length and problems with HDMI with the cheaper cameras.
Mobility is not an issue as any setup would be fixed with a power supply.
I think the question you will have to answer is whether time lapse will work for you as well as running a video for multiple hours/days, and then speeding up the footage. Unless there is some visible change happening over a short period of frames, then I would think that time lapse is the way to go. You won't run into the problem of limited runtime with time lapse. You just need either an external intervalometer, or you could load Magic Lantern software onto your camera's memory card, and have one built in. I have a pretty inexpensive Aputure intervalometer for my T2i, and it works just fine.
We do use time lapse and it works quite well for most things. How ever there are some experimental designs that require continuous video. Either because it is going to be entered into a digital analysis program or to allow detailed examination of certain parts.
I just want the system to be as flexible as possible and the ability to sometimes take very long videos might be important.