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Old 11-14-2009, 07:29 PM   #1
Nate the great
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I need advice on video cameras

I hope we have a camera geek here.

I'm going to CES in January, and I want to shoot some video of ebook readers. I don't own a video camera. The best camera I won is a consumer model with a resolution around 6MP. It can shoot 640x480 video. Is this good enough? If not, then can you recommend a good camera? What about a tripod?

Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:52 AM   #2
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I'm not a bigtime photographer, but my son is becoming one. he's taken pictures literally around the world and in combat (and he's not a combat journalist). anyway, he swears by these goofy looking gadgets for many tripod uses!

look for the SMX C10 if this link just goes to the main page. I saw them highlighted on a show the other day and they seemed pretty darned impressive!
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:33 AM   #3
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Depends on what you want to do with the videos.
640x480 on a good camera is good enough for youtube vids. It will look rather unimpressive in a project for TV (720x576)

The Gorillapod tripod is an awesome gadget I definately need to buy, but I'm not sure if it'll be useful for the CES - such a tiny tripod is not ideal for macro-shots. I think a regular, "big" tripod will allow you to firmly plant it on the ground and use the camera's optical zoom to get close to the action.

That said, I think there is a gorillapod with really long legs. That could allow you to place the camera right ABOVE the eReaders you're trying to film (maybe by doing some upside-down gymnastics with the bendable legs)
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:55 AM   #4
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Depends on what you want to do with the videos.
640x480 on a good camera is good enough for youtube vids. It will look rather unimpressive in a project for TV (720x576)
Actually in the US, and most other nations which use NTSC, the SD broadcast resolution is 640x480 (at roughly 30 interlaced FPS). OTOH in nations which use PAL or SECAM, the broadcast resolution is usually 720x576 ('25 interlaced).

Last edited by Dylrob; 11-15-2009 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I hope we have a camera geek here.

I'm going to CES in January, and I want to shoot some video of ebook readers. I don't own a video camera. The best camera I won is a consumer model with a resolution around 6MP. It can shoot 640x480 video. Is this good enough? If not, then can you recommend a good camera? What about a tripod?

Thanks.

What's the budget? What are you using to edit the footage? How powerful is your computer?

Dependent on all these, I'd go for a HD camcorder (solid state or memory card or both) that's capable of doing full Hi-Def (1920x1080px). Pair that with Sony Vegas editing software and you're golden (assuming you're on Windows. If you're on Apple then Final Cut Pro is a no-brainer).

At the low end you can go for the Sony TG3E which is available for around £400 and does full HD.

For a little more you can get the Canon HF200 (a friend of mine has this one). Lots more features and a very good camera for around £600.

All of these Hi-Def cameras need a pretty beefy PC for editing, nothing less than a core 2 Duo with plenty of RAM and fast Hard Drives (preferably one for scratch and one for source footage).

Last edited by Moejoe; 11-15-2009 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:54 AM   #6
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What's the budget? What are you using to edit the footage? How powerful is your computer?

Dependent on all these, I'd go for a HD camcorder (solid state or memory card or both) that's capable of doing full Hi-Def (1920x1080px). Pair that with Sony Vegas editing software and you're golden (assuming you're on Windows. If you're on Apple then Final Cut Pro is a no-brainer).

At the low end you can go for the Sony TG3E which is available for around £400 and does full HD.

For a little more you can get the Canon HF200 (a friend of mine has this one). Lots more features and a very good camera for around £600.

All of these Hi-Def cameras need a pretty beefy PC for editing, nothing less than a core 2 Duo with plenty of RAM and fast Hard Drives (preferably one for scratch and one for source footage).
My current laptop is a 1.8G Pentium-M. Yes, it's old, but it does what I need. Now might be a good time to replace it.

I was hoping to spend less than that Sony, but my budget should be able to stretch. Thanks.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #7
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I don't know if my PM got to you, but the Flip UltraHD is a very good alternative for video shooting on a budget. It does 720p (1280x720px) and records 120min on the internal storage. It also has built in software (windows only) that will allow you take that footage directly to online services such as Youtube. It's currently $159 USD at Amazon.com.



http://www.amazon.com/Flip-UltraHD-C.../ref=pd_cp_p_3
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:23 PM   #8
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Another model I like the looks of:

Sanyo VPC-CG10 (5 hours record time, 720p, 10MP still camera, SD/SDHC card slot) $169 USD http://www.amazon.com/Sanyo-VPC-CG10...8309132&sr=1-1



Here's some footage shot with the Sanyo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biHIxFwTqPA

And some footage shot with the FLIP ULTRAHD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsv06xKSWrc

I think I'd go with the Sanyo overall.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:04 PM   #9
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Thank you for the suggestions. I'm also rather tempted by the Kodak Zi8.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:09 PM   #10
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Thank you for the suggestions. I'm also rather tempted by the Kodak Zi8.
Looks good. I might even buy that myself Here's a review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2NV463deQ
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #11
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Looks good. I might even buy that myself Here's a review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2NV463deQ
One of its selling points for me (besides the higher resolution) is that I already have more than enough SD cards (I'm good at finding them on sale). The rechargeable battery that Amazon is throwing in free is also a plus.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #12
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Looks good. I might even buy that myself Here's a review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ2NV463deQ
Here is a comparison between the Flip UltraHD and the Kodak Zi8:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oar_2atL7lo&NR=1
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:06 PM   #13
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Thank you for the suggestions. I'm also rather tempted by the Kodak Zi8.
I went with the Kodak Zi8, and I'm waiting for a Gorilla Grip. I like that I can use it with one hand.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:48 PM   #14
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In case anyone is interested, I found a beginner's guides to shooting vdeo:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5015914_shoo...er-camera.html
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:55 PM   #15
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In case anyone is interested, I found a beginner's guides to shooting vdeo:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5015914_shoo...er-camera.html

I'm still looking for a new camera but I think I'm going to go with a digital SLR and take up photography full-time again, and I'm all right with the lessons (I'm a qualified editor - Always remember videographers, shoot-to-edit and cut-on-the-move and you'll never go wrong - and never, NEVER cross the line
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