high definition video camera for studio sessions

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ricercar.record
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high definition video camera for studio sessions

Post by ricercar.record » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:30 pm

First off let me say that I don't want to get too deep into the realm of video. But it would be cool to have a high-definition (720p or 1080p... i don't know you tell me) small video camera for the purpose of recording sessions, making studio updates/album teasers for bands, documentation of tech work/mods/repairs I do, etc. etc. The only ones I really have experienced were the Flipcam which a band brought in to make their own studio updates, and the Gopro that a friend had, i think it was the HD Hero which are kinda expensive. I'm sure some of you make videos of your sessions this way so what are you guys using?

paganski
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Post by paganski » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:11 pm

My band uses a Kodak Zi8.

It can shoot 720p at 60 frames per second, which is nice for capturing drummers without too much blur. This camera does not have the best lens or field of view. We had to add a lot of spot lights (work lights from Home Depot) in order to improve the image quality. Also, we purchased a wide-angle lens (~$20) to widen the field of view.

The reason that I bought this, rather than a used Flip, is because of the audio quality. This camera has an 1/8" stereo input, and has a level control that indicates clipping. With a small Sony stereo mic, my band is able to record audio quality sufficient enough for demos and live recordings, without having to resort to capturing video and audio using separate devices.

Some example footage from our practice space is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwFmU-9tiAI

You can see the little stereo mic in the foreground of the bottom of the screen. The camera is on a Gorillapod, sitting on top of an unused amplifier. The vibration in the image is coming from our bass player's amp. We are loud!

Hope that this helps...

KoffeeKommando
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Post by KoffeeKommando » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:23 am

The new GoPro Hero 2 has an audio in...and 3 selectable camera angles.
I'm going to get one myself.

$300
http://gopro.com/hd-hero2-cameras/

Paganski is right on.
Tons of cheap HD cameras don't do anything higher than 30fps.
I look for cameras that are able to do at least 60fps.
GoPro Hero 2 has a 120fps mode...for special stuff.

I like doing stuff in 720p too: 1280?720 @ 60fps. It gives a razor sharp look (not 24fps "cinematic" blurry).
File size is tolerable also. Quicker to upload to YT.
YT reduces to 30fps, but at least your originals are higher quality.
It's noticeable.

The look is like sharp Letterman/"late night TV" (not exact example):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTTM6Jtt ... re=related

Been using a cheap Sanyo VPC-CG20 Xacti that can do this ($130 no audio in). If you want sample links PM me.
It will do better than the Kodak Zi8 for sure, but no audio input.

The other camera I want (cheapest with audio in and full 60fps capability):
Sony HDR-CX160 - $450
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/7 ... emory.html

That Sony is highly regarded. It will do indoor shooting much better than the Kodak Zi8/Sanyos/Heros. Bigger lens and actual *critical* shutter speed settings.

Shutter speed settings get rid of motion blur with new HD video. Here is a tutorial video (best right to the point one I've seen on this topic):
http://vimeo.com/5125631

I hated all the new HD stuff till I saw his video explain it. 60fps and the right manual shutter speeds give you razor sharp image with no "jerkiness". 60fps alone with no super fast cam movement (use tripod) will get you close if you have a cheap cam without manual control.

ricercar.record
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Post by ricercar.record » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:35 pm

thanks so much for all the helpful info.

I am not so much concerned with audio quality of inputs on the camera (or even having any) as I will mostly just be syncing studio recordings to the video or capturing audio via my pro tools rig. I would also like to stay relatively cheap with this (spend just enough money to get the job done as far as video quality) so it seems like the Sanyo VPC-CG20 Xacti might be the right solution for me. KoffeeKomando... will pm you for those sample links, thanks. After looking up the Sanyo, it doesn't have audio line in but still has built in stereo microphones, which would be perfect for just talking/conversation things in the studio that audio quality isn't as crucial as long as its decent and intelligible. Thanks again, can always count on tapeop for some great recommendations.

KoffeeKommando
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Post by KoffeeKommando » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:32 am

PM sent.

And yes, the Sanyo has stereo mics. They sound fantastic actually.
Very loud and clear.

Oh and just so everybody knows...Sanyo sold the line to Panasonic:
http://bhpho.to/tPSFLH

You can still find the Sanyo version for cheap if you look.
These cams can also be hooked up via USB and used as a live webcam.

The HX-DC1 is same as the model I have. It's $170 now.

The HM-TA20 model is interesting. It's shock proof/waterproof for $180, but does not do 60fps:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/7 ... order.html

There is also the waterproof version of mine $300:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/7 ... _Dual.html

Though for $300 I'd go with the bombproof (?) Go Pro Hero 2...

Some people hate these in the reviews...but they hate the things we have mentioned. No wide angle/poor low light/no manual control/no good image stabilization.
It's a $130-170 camcorder. Of course you will have those problems. The Kodaks are exactly the same..

If you want "good", it costs $450 and it's called the Sony HDR-CX160.
What can ya do eh? There are always compromises when you go cheap.

cjogo
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Post by cjogo » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:04 pm

Need the extra wide-angle for most tight situations :: Panasonic_HDC_TM90 :: great in low light, too
whatever happened to ~ just push record......

KoffeeKommando
gettin' sounds
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Post by KoffeeKommando » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:38 am

Yes, that's another good one. $400 and comes with 16gb onboard right off the bat (don't have to buy a mem card right away):
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Pa ... arison.htm

Only problem I would see is that it only records in 1080? Large file sizes could be a problem for some.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/7 ... order.html

Note to anybody thinking of going HD. Make sure you have a 2008 or newer computer. Older ones (especially with Intel onboard video) will not be able to edit the MP4 files easily. They choke a computer real quick.

My 2006 Thinkpad X61 tablet with Intel video stutters heavily when playing back the raw video from my Sanyo. Cannot edit the video either.

My used Dell 2008 Core 2 Quad with cheapie Nvidia card can do it really well. Renders the video pretty fast too.

The 2011 Ideapad Z575 laptop with AMD quad core/Radeon (built in CPU) is cheap, yet can view and edit HD video very smoothly. Cannot final render the video as fast as the Core 2 quad (even clocked to max). Takes 15 minutes longer than the Dell on average size videos (10 min). But the laptop was only $520. You can get Toshibas with this cpu at Wal-Mart (AMD Vision A6 or A8 series).

Laptop is similar to this one. No firewire. They run at 1.4ghz-2.3ghz dynamically. Can be safely locked to full speed with K10 clock editor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834101252

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