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Brittany Rae
New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:38:38 pm

I am currently working at a hospital doing corporate video, we use 4 Canon HF R21 camcorders, and are looking to improve our quality. We do a lot of on location shoots and I am editing in FCPX. For sound we have a shotgun, a zoom mic, and several lavalieres. We have been alright with sounds so far, but our quality, no matter how much it is edited is still not great. Most of our videos are online, and we do no broadcasting at all. We are looking to buy 3 cameras, at around $1,000 each.

Your help in this would be appreciated!

Brittany


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Mark Suszko
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 21, 2013 at 5:06:25 pm

Well, to get to an "appropriate" camera, you may need to move your decimal point a bit.

Cameras like the Canon 32GB VIXIA HF G20 Full HD Camcorder or Cannon XA10HD might be more suited.

But you don't say anything about the lighting you use. If you're shooting in just available light, that's one big problem right there. Your existing cams are not that great in low light, and lighting isn't just about making things bright enough to *see*, but to make them look as good as they can. If you can elaborate on how you shoot with these (Do you use tripods, for example, ) and how you edit (what editing system, what shooting formats, codecs, things like that), and how you output your finished product, we could better advise.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 22, 2013 at 1:42:58 pm

As far as your audio quality goes, you should invest in good equipment - and bear in mind that the hospital is one of the absolute worst places to get quality audio due to all of the machine noise, air conditioners, equipment, background noise...if you have the time, you should learn (if you don't know it already) how to sample the noise floor in your audio, then remove the noise in Audition. It will greatly up the quality of your final product.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:55:22 pm

I agree! We have the worst problems with sound. Before here, I had no formal training in sound, mostly only studio with lavalieres. Do you know if there is a good site where I can learn to remove audio channels in audition? I have the program already, I just haven't had the time to mess around with it and like you said, it would definitely make a difference.

Thanks!


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 23, 2013 at 4:18:21 am

Here's a good place to start, Brittany:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/audition/cs/using/WS58a04a822e3e501054824103898...

And a good place to continue:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/572518

Go over these, and you shouldn't need to know much more about noise removal. But if you want to dig a bit deeper, Focal Press books are just about the best technical books you could want in your library:

http://www.focalpress.com/books/details/9780240807201/

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 1, 2013 at 4:08:46 pm

This is great! Thanks Joe!


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 22, 2013 at 3:49:58 pm

Hi Mark,

We use 3 soft boxes (a savage quartz light kit) for indoor lighting, and we use standard tripods for all of our cameras. I import from the camera hard drive to FCPX and export as QuickTime h.264 and then upload it to either Wistia or Youtube for embedding. I do all of this on an iMac.

I looked at the cameras you sent, they look great! Do you think that they would work well with all of our equipment?


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Mark Suszko
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Feb 23, 2013 at 2:10:28 am

WhatI don't undersand is what you mean when you say your quality is not great now. What exactly is it that you don't like and want to improve?


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 1, 2013 at 4:19:29 pm

Mark,

The actual video quality doesn't seem as good as it could be - it's very grainy, especially when I add in stock footage as b-roll. The sound quality can be improved, but Joe from this post gave me a few places to start on that so now it is mostly the grainy picture I am worried about, which I am assuming is our cameras. The cameras that you mentioned earlier have much better specs than our current cameras and so I definitely think that will help!

Brittany


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 3, 2013 at 5:17:22 pm

It may be the light sensitivity (or lack thereof) of your camera's sensors that's causing the noise in your imagery. Try shooting some footage outside, and compare it side by side with your studio footage. If the outside stuff looks squeeky clean, you may find that you just need to throw more light on your set shots, to enable you to lower your ISO settings. Do you shoot with all of your camera settings on Auto? That may well be your problem.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 4, 2013 at 3:56:52 pm

If possible, please put up a few seconds of sample footage so we know what we're talking about. use everything the way you have been using it, the same lighting, sound, etc. don't make any changes yet, so we have a baseline for comparisons. ( A "differential diagnosis" so to speak)


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 6, 2013 at 9:10:44 pm

I would love to, but unfortunately the company I work for has crawlers that pick up anything having to do with the organization... I can't find anything except a short screenshot before we started filming. This is someone standing in while we were getting set up.


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Mark Suszko
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:17:16 am

I have to say, that doesn't look as bad as you made it sound earlier. I thought by the description that this was going to be really horrid and thus a slam-dunk to fix. This is not the worst I've ever seen; and that makes constructive criticism much harder because there's not that much to criticize.

The lighting is a bit flat, and the focus is a little bit soft, but there could be various reasons for the softness. The key-to-fill ratio on the face could stand a tweaking, but the next thing I would look at would be the lens settings and other camera settings in terms of getting it sharper and more vibrant. Every camera has a "sweet spot" in terms of lens opening, and to make the most of it, you lock that manually and then light to meet the needs of that lens opening. If you have a knee adjustment on the camera, it might be useful to bump it up and down a bit to compare the effects.

The stock footage you use is probably lit in a more dynamic manner, with a higher contrast ratio, and the chroma and brightness levels maximized. Getting that to match your own footage will take some work with color-correction in post to get both images closer to each other in appearance, and if the stock footage is high-contrast, then maybe your footage needs a different lighting scheme to help it match, using more hard light, and perhaps some gobo patterns to add variation to the walls.


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 19, 2013 at 2:36:38 pm

This is great Mark, all of this will definitely come in handy! Thanks so much for your help!


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Brittany Rae
Re: New Corporate Video Equipment
on Mar 6, 2013 at 8:59:16 pm

This is all great, thanks so much Joe!


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