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Recommendations for a Video Camera for a Beginner

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Andrea Woogerd
Recommendations for a Video Camera for a Beginner
on Jul 11, 2011 at 8:22:10 pm

I am looking to purchase my first video camera. It will be used to market high-end engineering tools. I need something that is preferably on the cheaper side and that can be easily operated by a beginning student.


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Gib whitney
Re: Recommendations for a Video Camera for a Beginner
on Jul 14, 2011 at 11:37:11 pm

You might consider getting a Canon DSLR that could both capture still images and video like a T2i. In many cases it will be a comparable price to other video-only choices and offer you some flexibility.


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Peter Burger
Re: Recommendations for a Video Camera for a Beginner
on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:30:18 pm

[Andrea Woogerd] " I need something that is preferably on the cheaper side and that can be easily operated by a beginning student."

DSLR cameras with video-mode only seem to be more inexpensive than "normal" camcorders, but that's not true. To "really" work with a 550D oder 600D (or any other DSLR) you'd have to invest quite big time in stabilizing equipment, audio and lenses.

And those cameras are very tricky to work with. I got a 550D (T2i) myself and I love the look of the footage but it's definitly no point-and-shoot camera. You'll have to get quite deep into DSLR-shooting to avoid all of the traps and achieve great looking (and great sounding!) video. If you're interested in DSLR-Video you may want to take a look at the COW's DSLR-Forum.

I can't recommend any camcorders others than the one's I worked with (and they all are either "old" SD-Cameras or not "on the cheaper side", like the semi-pro and pro Sony HD camcorders).

But the Canon Vixia or Panasonic HDC series seems to be worth a look. Haven't worked with them but from what I read they seem to be solid, easy to use cameras.

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Craig Alan
Re: Recommendations for a Video Camera for a Beginner
on Aug 6, 2011 at 2:47:33 am

Be more specific about this marketing. Getting a decent image and producing a successful video are too different things. How will you light? How will you capture sound? How will you stabilize the camera. I'd hire a pro. Let the student intern with the pro. There is a lot more to it than just the camera. For the most part, more expensive cameras are easier to use not harder. A consumer camera does fine on a tripod, outdoors on an overcast day or just before dusk or dawn with auto everything. With a steady hand you can can get nice moving travel shots.

But adjusting the exposure, clean sharp images, control of what part of the image is in focus and in frame, white balancing, etc. is far easier on a more expensive camera.

All that said, the Canon vixia mini-cams take a nice image for the price. Be prepared to read the manual. And like all cameras, you need good lighting and the camera needs to be mounted on a tripod at the very least. You'll need mikes and a way to mount them.

How can you market high-end engineering tools if your video looks and sounds like you have no idea what you are doing? I assume anyone who buys this type of equipment has really nice HD TVs and computers to play these videos.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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