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Suggestion For Camcorder!

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Varun Chandramohan
Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 19, 2010 at 6:00:32 am

Hi Folks,

I have earlier asked for suggestions for Camcorder for very specific purpose. This time i want a suggestion on generic outdoor purpose shoot! I mean like shooting wildlife etc.. Iam dont want an HD camcorder as i found them to have max of 20x zoom. Iam looking for something in terms of 60X and above optical zoom. Zoom is very important for me. I would like to have Optical Image Stabilization aswell. Iam not particular about a particular company, so any suggestions would do. Thanks in advance. No MiniDvs please :-)

Another question i had was, how do people go about recording interviews in the open? I mean, the last time i tried that i ended up recording wind noise and the person was hardly audible. I recored using the in-built mic in the cam. Is there a way to attach wireless(buletooth) mic or something that can give me better audio quality? Some suggests recording the audio separately and joining them together later. Is that the best way?


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Ryan Mast
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 19, 2010 at 1:38:00 pm

Try looking at some of the Fujinon or Angenieux lenses for 2/3" cameras designed for covering sporting events, like this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/462711-REG/Fujinon_A42X13_5BERD_F48_A...

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Micah McDowell
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 19, 2010 at 7:36:13 pm

What's your budget?

Are you thinking $75,000 for a good HD 2/3" ENG cam with a long lens like what Ryan suggested, or more like $500 for a Sony Handycam with a 60x optical zoom? That's a wide price range to say the least, and they both fit your description.

To answer your second question, you will ALWAYS get poor audio using the built-in mic on any camera for interviews, especially outdoors.

You should get a good wireless lavalier mic that you can plug to your camera. These range in price from $150 (Audio-Technica Pro 88W is a decent low-budget choice) to many thousands for high end mics.

Most modern professional cameras have excellent audio quality when connected to good microphones. Recording separately ("dual system") and syncing together in post is usually used in film production or with many of the new DSLR cameras that don't have good manual control of audio levels. If the camera has XLR mic inputs and allows you to set your own levels, you're probably good to go.


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Varun Chandramohan
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 20, 2010 at 12:35:46 pm

Thanks for the reply guys! Iam looking at something like 500 to 600$ cams...nothing fancy. So this "good wireless lavalier mic" support will be available in the cams your suggesting?


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Micah McDowell
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 20, 2010 at 2:52:46 pm

Looks like the ONLY cameras with 60x zoom under $500 are a few models of Sony Handycam, available at your local Wal-Mart or other electronics retailer. Are you sure you need all that zoom?


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Varun Chandramohan
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 20, 2010 at 3:39:47 pm

Micah, the higher the zoom it is better in wild life videography (thats my perception ) iam completely new to this, if you think otherwise please explain.


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Varun Chandramohan
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 20, 2010 at 12:43:16 pm

And sorry one more thing, what about the Optical Image Stabilization? Thats a very important feature iam looking for


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Jake Williams
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 21, 2010 at 12:58:06 pm

What kind of a project are you planning? Is a digital SLR a possibility? For sound capture you still need the external mic and then you can recorders with xlr inputs that interface with your ipod for around $100 (or standalone)

A used XL1 or XL2 might be the way to go (both have 20x zoom but the can be upgraded later). I shot a wildlife documentary with an XL2 and was very happy with the zoom capabilities of the stock lens. For close-up of insects I used a DVX 100. They are mini-dv cameras though (should be okay unless in the desert or the arctic). That being said, patience and a soft foot fall as well as staying downwind can allow you to get a lot closer and will make for better shots. (if you are running and gunning out in the woods without a tripod then being at full zoom is going to give you a lot of shaky shots).

Good Luck.

Jake Williams


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Varun Chandramohan
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 21, 2010 at 1:03:49 pm

Iam trying to use it for basic videography (some documentaries and some outdoor activities) like shoot wild animals in jungle. In my recent outing, i had to shoot elephants from 300m distance and i struggled with bad zooming of my camera. Thats why iam looking for better zoom. I know tripod is a must, but on occasion iam of the opinion that Optical Image Stablilizer would help a bit? right? DSLR with video i thought was not a good bet! I was told to avoid hybrid cameras.....


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Jake Williams
Re: Suggestion For Camcorder!
on May 21, 2010 at 1:50:38 pm

It is generally a good idea to avoid the hybrids but the digital SLRs have advantages too. The large sensors will give you better quality than a smaller/cheaper handheld camcorder. The disadvantage is the ease of focus when shooting video.

Since you have the ability to add a telephoto lens to your kit when you have the money a DSLR kit may be a good solution for you. Just make sure you find a camera with the an appropriate frame rate and size:

For example:(a little higher $ than you specified but ebay might help with that)
720p @ 24fps and compatible with older manual lenses if you have an old nikon 35mm still camera lying around.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond90/page2.asp

Jake Williams


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