What camera to use?

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    • #49115

      I will filming a dancing show next week at short notice and I have a HD Sony handicam – will this be good enough to use or will I need to hire something more profesionnal? I have been told that the lights may affect the focus and also there will be a problem with buffering? Can anyone give me more of an idea of what should be used please?

      Many thanks

    • #201235

      Brings up many questions before anyone can answer:

      1) What is your budget?

      2) Do you need HD or is SD ok?

      3) Is it low light conditions or just “odd” lighting?

      4) Is it fast dance or slow dance (60 vs 30 vs 24 fps)

      5) What is your target media? DVD, BD, Web, etc….

      Lots of other questions but these are a good start.

    • #201236

      thanks for your reply,

      I’d like it to be HD

      Budget – I’m desperate at this point so any suggestions are welcome!

      It will be stage lighting, and blackouts in between dances, there’s a variety of dances from ballet to tap and the film will be produced on DVD

    • #201237

      You still haven’t given a number but I figure a Red Epic is out of the question. I will assume high end consumer or prosumer will be sufficient.

      A good place for you to start is the VideoMaker camcorder guide: http://www.videomaker.com/grid/camcorders/

      What I have told folks in the past is:

      1) Identify your absolute maximum budget
      2) Make lists of your “gotta have” features, “like to have” features and “don’t care” features
      3) Based on 1 & 2, identify five cameras in your price range that have the most “gotta have” features – “like to have” features should be used for tie breakers
      4) With your list of possible cameras, go to a camera store where you can actually handle the choices and get an idea for how they feel in your hands.
      5) Pick two of those based on #4 and do extensive research on them.

      This isn’t perfect but will probably give you a good choice for you.

      Features I would consider gotta haves are:

      Optical Image Stabilization
      Mic Jack
      Headphone Jack
      Manual Focus Capability
      Manual Exposure Capability
      Some type of HD (1080i, 1080p, 720p)
      Larger (1/3″ or better) Imagers
      Remote Control Capable (Lanc or other)
      Decent Optical Zoom (10x or better)

      Like to haves:

      Hard Drive or Flash Memory Based
      External Inputs for Audio/Video
      XLR Mic Input(s)
      Multiple Imagers

      Pipe Dreams:

      Interchangeable lenses

    • #201238

      If your current camcorder has some manual settings then you can probably make that work. The trick with stage lighting is that you need to manually control the iris and video gain. If these are left in automatic then when the stage lights dim or blackout the camera will try to adjust for the lower amount of light, automatically bumping the video gain and opening the iris wider. You don’t want that, you want the video to look much as the audience sees it.

      The other concern of course is getting the white balance set with the lighting that will be used. So if your camera has the ability to adjust the white balance (and many do) then get there early enough to be able to have the stage lighting turned on and set your white balance.

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