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November 27, 2008 at 6:18 AM #42951PerCapitaSmileParticipant
Video camera guru’s please help!
My wife is a stand-up comedian just starting out. We want to buy a camcorder to record her gigs (in fairly low-lit club and bar environments) and then edit some of the footage together to form a press-pack DVD for her.
The stages in these clubs are usually lit warmly but the camcorder itself would sit on a table or tripod about 15-20 feet away in the darkness of the audience.
We don’t need any bells, whistles or fancy modes. We’re looking for a model that’s simple and inexpensive but isn’t *too* grainy in low light, has a reasonable zoom, a reasonable uni-directional mic, and records to a format that’s straightforward to get into an editing software like Adobe Premiere or Ulead Videostudio.
Thanks for your help!
(P.s. ideally our budget is on the low end $300-$350.)
November 30, 2008 at 1:59 AM #179922AnonymousInactive
In your price range, you need to be most concerned about getting a camcorder this a mic input. Then forget about trying to use some unidirectional mi, which is what cheap camcorders come equipted with. On the budget you’re talking about, your only real option is to purchase a Radio Shack wireless lav. Using anything less than a mic on your wife will result in extremely pooor sound and will be a big red flag for booking agents that you are not serious professionals. Put the mic on your wife & plug it into the camcorder, or you might be able to put a digital recorder in her pocket that you’ve plugged a wired lav into. You might get decent sound using a shotgun, but one adequate to the task will cost more than your camcorder budget. Secondly, you want to select a camcorder where you can override the automatic exposure so if you zoom out, the stage isn’t instantly overexposed. Lacking that, don’t zoom out of the well lit stage area. Generally, the lit area of a stage doesn’t require low light settings. If you want to see the audience laughing, shoot it separately as a reaction shot. Besides, you don’t want to be zooming in and out during her set. Once again, that is a big red flag to bookers that this is not a professional act. Your demo reel should be very simple, using just medium shots or whatever it takes to cover your wife’s act inter-cut with audience shots is all you really need. Keep the focus on your wife, that is how they will judge the act, if they think she is funny you won’t need anything else. And if they don’t think she is funny, the best production in the world won’t help.
Good luck and I hope to see your wife on HBO sometime.
November 30, 2008 at 3:42 PM #179923jimfunParticipant
I would like to say I have almost the same question as PerCapitaSmile and thanks to BarefootMedia for the advice on shooting stages and preformances. I will be shooting live preformance musical acts so I dont have any worries about the sound as I will be getting digital sound direct from the line out of the mixing board.
I have done some preliminary test vids on my Panasonic GV 3 ccd camera and can not get any kind of acceptable results. The 3 ccd modles are the best natural light cameras I have ever seen but they seem to need too much light for any kind of indoor shooting. I have a JVC but it also dosn’t do that good of a job either.
So I guess what I’m asking for is there anybody who has shot stage preformances and has gotten really good results and if so what modle camera were you using?
Thanks for any help,
December 3, 2008 at 9:21 PM #179924
for the audio ask the club if they will allow you to plug a transmitter into thier board, if they will then buy this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/P2TRE2-H2/then plug the reciver into the mic in on your cam. this will give you the best possible sound in a noisy club.
Make sure the cam you buy has a mic in not all do.
December 3, 2008 at 9:25 PM #179925
oh yea, if they won’t then you can always buy this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SW77SLM5-U5/have her wear the lapel then plug the reciver in to your cam.
there are better ways but not under 1K
December 3, 2008 at 9:28 PM #179926
<<<—- is emberrsed I need to start reading all of peoples post before replying sorry.
didn’t know your budget was so low. I’m afraid your not going to be able to get the results you’ll be happy with with the budget you have sorry.
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