Table Top Macro Video Suggestions

azel's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/16/2012 - 3:33am

In the past I have done some tabletop macro digital photography, but never any video. I am looking for a camcorder that will suit my needs for tabletop macro video. If camcorders are the same as digital cameras, I will need 5 things.

First, HD

Next, I will need Manual Focus. When doing digital tabletop macro, I usually mount the camera on a stand pointing down and focus on the table top area. Usually very little focusing is needed because I am shooting on the same plane most of the time. I dont want to use auto focus because I dont want the focus to change each time I move a small object. (flower, bug, etc.) It is distracting to have the focus changing all the time when recording video in macro. Also, it would be helpful if the manual focus was easy to reach and operate while sitting at the desk with the camcorder mounted on a stand.

I will need a Macro Focus lens function if the lens on the camcorder allows it. If not I will need to purchase a clip-on macro focus lens. (1.5x or 2.0x)

Next, I will need a Manual White Color Balance (or an Auto that Locks). Much of the time when shooting objects in macro the color balance will be incorrect because of too much of one color, such as when shooting flowers. The white color balance needs to be set manually or locked using asample white card, before shooting, so the color balance will not change when recording video.

Finally, I need to connect my camcorder to my PC so I can use my PC monitor to view and focus what the camcorder is recording in real-time. It is so much easier to take digital images while using a computer monitor rather than the digital cameras small screen. This requires a cable running from the camcorder to the PC. Since the camcorder is mounted on a desk-stand this is usually no problem with digital cameras.


Manual Focus

Macro Focus

Manual Color Balance

Connection cableto PC/Monitor

Ive been looking at Canon, Sony, Panasonic, camcorders, mostly the Prosumer models. Since I am not familiar with any of these cameras, I have no idea which one I might need. Perhaps I dont need a Prosumer model for my macro video work. I will not be using the camcorder for anything else, just tabletop macro video.

Some of you out there probably own these camcorders and are familiar with their functions and how they work. Your suggestions will be more useful to methan reviews or specs on these camcorders.

What are yoursuggestions concerning camcorders for tabletop video?

As for price, less is better. I plan to buy two or three camcorders of the same modeland have them all setup on the same desktop filming one objectso I will not have to change the camcorders position as often. In this way I can record from several angles at the same time and postedit into one video.

azel's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/16/2012 - 3:33am


I forgot to add that I decided to purchase camcorder rather than DSLR because of greater deep-of-field.


azel's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/16/2012 - 3:33am

I watched your macro video. Very nice work.

I agree that a DSLR has all the features I require, but I really need more depth-of-field. Or at least, I need as much as I can get. Macro footage never has much depth-of-field anyway. It would be interesting to see the difference using a DSLR vs camcorder, using a ruler as the test subject. If the point-of-view were at the end of the ruler, one could see how far the ruler was in focus with inches or centimeters.

Ive seen some still photos using macro lenses with both film camera and a small lens digital camera and the digital had much more depth-of-field. The rule seems to be that the smaller the sensor and the smaller the diameter of the lens the more depth-of-field.

But . . . thanks for the informationand forletting me view your macro footage.

BruceMol's picture
Last seen: 4 months 1 day ago
Joined: 03/11/2008 - 10:35pm

When I had to do some macro work with my Canon XHA1 I bought a Raynox screw on macro

The red wigglers (worms) in this video were shot using the macro.

azel's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 03/16/2012 - 3:33am

Thank you Dave for the lesson about aperture settings. And thank you BruceMol for the tip on Raynox attachment.

Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

Bruce, nice video but it makes me want to go fishing. Red wigglers are great bait and I learned something today about composting and the amount of waste one of these babies can produce. Perfect timing as I am about to start composting