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Producing training videos

angelt's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/15/2010 - 3:15pm

I am an instructional designer, and will be producing instructional videos for online posting. I am shopping for a video camera to use for this purpose. My company is a non-profit hospice, so funds are very limited. Can anyone recommend a video camera that will provide quality, editable video footage that will meet our needs?

Thanks for your help!


hmueller's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2009 - 6:12pm

It depends on the kind of video that you are going to shoot. I would suggest that you use a camera with a microphone, especially if you are going to do interviews as part of the training.

However, you need to give us some idea of your budget. For example a <span id="btAsinTitle">Canon VIXIA HF S21 will cost $1300 whereas the Kodak Zi8 will cost $300 - both have microphone inputs and can shoot in HD.</span>


hmueller's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2009 - 6:12pm

Sorry, I meant to say "a camera with a microphone input" in my previous post


angelt's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/15/2010 - 3:15pm

Thanks for the post hmueller! My budget is definitely closer to the $300 range than the $1,000+ range.

I know I will be doing audio, and I'm thinking that using a wireless mic would be helpful, but not sure if that is a feasible idea. There will be times that I will want to overlay audio done at one point in time, over a video or animation done at another time.


hmueller's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2009 - 6:12pm

The kodak is about $130 from AmazonYou will need a tripod for sure. You can buy a wireless mic from Azden for about $100, otherwise the more professional units are $400 and up. A wired lavalier mic from Radio Shack costs about $30! To record sound to overlay you could of course use the same lav mic, but you might find a USB headset& mic easier to use such as the Plantronics.

Also you will need editing software. If you do not have this already, I would suggest either Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Elements.

Heidi


J.E.Caudle's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 day ago
Joined: 04/17/2010 - 4:54pm

Hi Angelt, Equipment cost can add up very quickly. If you lay out your plan our answers will be closer to the target. What are you shooting and where will it be shot? Do you require HD? What level of quality do you require from your audio. Do you require motion graphics. How much time are you willing to devote to editing. The questions can go on and on.

Gods Speed,

J.E. Caudle


angelt's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/15/2010 - 3:15pm

Thanks all for the replies. Here are my plans (in general).

I work in a hospice. I am building training videos of medical personnel demonstrating procedures, for example how to use a mechanical lift to move a patient from the bed to a chair. My vision is to shoot a close up of the instructor detailing the objectives of the course. So voice accompanying the video intro is important. I'd rather not have the MIC in the scene if possible, but if needed, I'd prefer wireless.

In the same video, there may be still shots of the lift, the sling and other equipment. There will also be moving clips of the actual process of moving the patient. Again a wireless MIC, or a MIC attached to the camera is needed OR adding a voice over that gives the steps of the process as it is being demonstrated. That voice over could be recorded separately.

I use Adobe's Presenter and Captivate 5 for training course builds. The completed course will be uploaded for student access into Adobe Connect Pro. As these courses are for professional training programs, the highest quality video is desired, but the courses will be viewed over the internet. (I know with photos the highest quality needed is only as great as the highest quality displayable on the internet. Is that true also with video?) I do not see an immediate need for students to view these training sessions in a classroom via a projector onto a screen.

As for budget, my director can approve expenditures of up to $500. So we want to keep each purchased item under that range. So I could buy a camera for $300, for example, on one purchase. Then other equipment, with totals under $500 on another purchase.

Hopefully this helps describe how I will be using the equipment.

Cheers,
Angel T


hmueller's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2009 - 6:12pm

Thankyoufor clarifying your requirements.For your budget you might consider the Canon ZR960.It has an excellent lens, has an external mic input, and an optical zoom of 20x - all features designed specifically for creating instructional videos. The downside is that it shoots standard definition and used miniDV tapes. For the price it is hard to beat, and the downsides easy to live with.


J.E.Caudle's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 day ago
Joined: 04/17/2010 - 4:54pm

Hi Angel, I have little experience with camcorders in your price range. Although you may want to take a look at this one. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/671652-REG/Canon_4388B001_VIXIA_HF_R10_Dual.html#features The lower the price, the greater the amount of light required.

As far as 'Voice overs' are concerned you can get away very cheaply and still have great results. I'm using a M-Audio Delta 44 audio interface (sound card) $149.00. I choose this card because it plays well with windows 7 and my on board sound card did not. I think I ordered it from http://www.bhphotovideo.com You could use the sound card that came in your computer. For a Mic I'm using a MXL 990. $49.00 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=mxl+990 You will need a preamp with 48 volts phantom power. For that I used an M-Audio Audio Buddy $49.00 http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation?q=audio+buddy You'll need a mike stand and wind screen/Pop filter and don't forget cables (Like I did). The Delta 44 comes with mixing software so that takes care of your software needs too.

Or... You could pick up a USB MXL 990 (About $100.00) from http://www.musiciansfriend.com (Don't forget the stand and pop filter) and some free recording software from the net.

I hope you found this useful.

Gods Speed,

J.E. Caudle


angelt's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/15/2010 - 3:15pm

Thanks everyone for your insights. One other question...would the video quality fromone of the new"FLIP" type phones make considering them worth my while?

Angel T


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
Plus Member Moderator

The "video quality" might not be an issue, and would likely be very acceptable. What I'd be concerned about would be the audio quality.


angelt's picture
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/15/2010 - 3:15pm

Thanks Earl. And FYIW...I meant FLIP Cameras...not phones. LOL bad fingers!


hmueller's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2009 - 6:12pm

Hi again

As I mentioned in a previous email, the Flip does not have an external microphone input so you would have to use a separate digital recorder and then mixand sync the sound with the video during editing.

The KodakZi8 also shootsHD video but does have an external microphone input and is a better buy.

Both the Flip and the Kodak is point and shoot, ie no zoom, and their performance in low light conditions is only soso.