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Camera suggestion for instructional videos

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Griff HamlinCamera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 7:19:26 pm

I apologize if I've misplaced my question, this seemed the closest fit.

I make DVD and online video for guitar lessons. I use 3 cameras, Sony CX110 cameras that are 2-3 years old now.

Generally, I shoot in SD because it's going to end up on DVD or on the web. I often record with a Roland VR-5, but sometimes I also just record the raw video to SD cards and edit in Sony Vegas Pro 10 (currently, might upgrade to 12 if I can see a reason.)

The quality that I have now is fine, it gets the job done and looks reasonably professional. But I guess my eye has learned to see some of the subtle variations that I believe a better camera would bring... in particular more detail and the colors just really seem to "pop" better.

My cameras always are stationary, and never more than about 8 feet away because of my studio size (a bedroom) and location (my house.)

So what I believe I would like is a camera with great optics and a great sensor, but not much else in terms of "bells and whistles."

I record audio separately as well so that's not a concern from the camera's perspective.

So for those of you who know more about this, do you have any recommendations for cameras around or under the $1K mark that you believe would give me a noticeably better result?

Or, if I'm barking up the wrong tree, I'd like to know that too. Thanks in advance for your help.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:47:38 pm

Before you buy new cameras, show us how you're lighting and color-grading what you already do now. It could be that those areas are what really make the difference.


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Griff HamlinRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:46:00 pm

I currently use 2 lights with flourescent "daylight" bulbs. I'm sorry I don't know what to call them. They each have 4 bulbs and I run them through a diffusing umbrella to spread them out around the room a bit. I usually don't have all 4 bulbs on as it makes the room really bright and I look washed out on camera.

Behind me is a simple black theater curtain and I have a small flourescent light over and behind my head to add a little depth. I sit about 6-8 feet from the camera and probably 6 feet from the curtain.

I don't know what color-grading is so that may be part of my problem. Can you elaborate?


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Sareesh SudhakaranRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:14:41 am

Both the Canon T4i or the Panasonic GH2 are excellent alternatives.

Based on your lighting requirements, I think the Canon would be slightly better in low light, however the GH2 has sharper images.

I would go with the GH2 and a good lens. If you can stretch your budget a bit further, the GH3 is an even better choice.

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:51:41 am

I don't think a new camera is going to solve this. Can you put up a still or short sample here of your work? Based on your replies, I think you're not making the most of what you're already using. It's telling that you say you're unaware of color-correction in post. A little research and practice in this area will give you faster results than buying a new camera. Cameras are not magic. That is, until you put them into expert hands. Become more expert at using what you have now, first, before you buy something more advanced.


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Griff HamlinRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:30:44 pm

That's excellent to hear. Of course, I would rather learn and get better than just buy new stuff.

Here is my latest video. I did actually do a little bit of color adjustment on this one... just contrast and brightness I believe. I don't have any rhyme or reason to it, though, I just guess and if it's better I keep it.







I realize youtube compresses the heck out of stuff, but I don't have anything easily accessible past that.

I'm definitely open to learning more about color adjustment and correction. If you can point me to any resources (paid or free) I would appreciate it.

Thanks


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Mark SuszkoRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:21:18 pm

That looks pretty good already. If you raise the lights just a teensy bit, you'll lose some of that excess reflection off the pick guard. Your closeup on the strumming hand in the box doesn't match the main camera so great in terms of color and brightness. Use the 3-way color corrector, use the eyedropper sampling tool on the left arm, apply it top the right.


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Noah KadnerRe: Camera suggestion for instructional videos
by on Oct 20, 2012 at 5:39:43 am

Yeah that looks pretty solid- a bit of backlight too would bump up the quality quite a bit. But yeah- camera wise the GH2/T4i mentioned above would be fine choices to get you into the world of HD for under $1K + glass of course.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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