What gear is needed to get started

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    • #39585

      Hi to all

      I guess I’m asking for your help learning what gear is absolutely needed to get me started …

      I’ve come across a great deal on a brand new cam. I was pretty decided on buying it but it’s not cheap. As I read treads and learn I am bocomeing aware of the fact that a cam is only part of needed gear.

      That said,,,,
      1 How does a miniDV deck or the lack of one play into the equation,, would I get away with just a straight connection to a PC ??
      2 Final Cut or Adobe ?? That’s an open ended question but am interested in your feedback,,,
      3 I’m probably gonna be OK at first butting shots together with some simple transitions but what’s my next skills goal gonna be and what works best to achieve it ???

      I’m sure I have more questions I should ask but too green to know it,,, Help me out please


    • #170919

      Wow!!! 😯 That’s quite a question!
      I’ll see what I can do to at least provide some initial answers…

      You mentioned minDV, so I’m assuming you’re thinking about a standard definition camcorder that records to miniDV tape. Sounds like a good choice to me. Your camcorder would almost certainly have a firewire port, so you could connect it to a computer with a firewire port, then upload the video you’ve shot to the computer. If you have Windows, the video should appear as a bunch of .AVI files on the computer. If you have a Mac, I think they would be Quicktilme files (any Mac users reading this, please help me here). So you wouldn’t need a miniDV deck unless there’s no firewire port on the camcorder (a few older camcorders didn’t have this port).

      Now that you’ve got the shots on your computer, you can start editing. The computers operating system probably came with a simple video editor that you can use for starters. But you’ll probably want to buy a video editor. There are several to choose from, but make sure the one you choose works with your computer. For instance, Final Cut is Mac only, Sony Vegas is Windows only, I think Adobe Premiere MIGHT work with both. After editing the video, you’ll be able to watch it on your computer.

      So now you’ll probably want to make a DVD, so you can mail it to grandma to watch on her TV. You’ll need a DVD burner drive and DVD authoring software to do that. Some editing software comes packaged with DVD authoring included, so read the product description.

      OK, that’s the basics. Other things you’ll be wanting eventually are:
      — A good sturdy tripod. (Highly recommended!!!)
      — A UV filter to attach to the lens. (Protects the lens from scratches, too.)
      — An external shotgun mic. (Make sure your camcorder has a mic input.)
      — A movie light or two.
      — Light stands for the lights.
      — A sturdy case for your camcorder.

      Whew! That’s enough for one post. As to what brands and models to get, I’ll leave that for other posters. πŸ˜€

      Hope this helped!
      Ken Hull

      P.S. — something to keep in mind: Try to stick to one brand of miniDV tape. Different brands use different methods of lubricating the tape. Sometimes the different lubricants don’t "get along" with each other, and gum up the works.

    • #170920

      thnx ken

    • #170922

      Trust me, my mention of transitions is no indicator of a man bent cheesy swirls and crappy barn doors or the like.
      I’m definitely taking notes from well created films and tv programming,
      I watch alot of Discovery for example, while the subject nature of the program has my interest I am constantly finding myself aware of how stuff is shot and the value it brings to a viewers experience… I don’t know how it’s all done, BUT I sure do want to learn about it.

      I can see how as a videographer / post editor / camaraman,,, and whatever other hats you guys wear,,, well thought out and subtle touches can really make most any film a pleasure to watch. That’s all I meant

    • #170923

      The type of shooting I want to do ???
      For now I’m a nubee who wants to shine,,, eventually.

      I like thought of trying my hand at Ducumentary type stuff to get started. Mind you I have no training on the subject and I have alot of work to do. From the outside looking in I’d say I’ll need to take care that information is verifiable and true, what ever the subject.
      But I’ll not guess at it ,,, I need to read up and learn what qualifies a good Documentary, then post smarter questions as they arise.

      I’m in the beggining stages. For now GL2 is going to be the Cam. Just the cam,,,
      I have questions as to how to make the best of the GL2 with NO lighting, no mic, no frills… That’s gonna have to come in time.

      I suspect that footage I can narrarate or set to apprpriate music will be a way to get around lack of mics,,, so working with the audio in post edit will be a skill I’ll need really soon.

    • #170924

      what does LAV stand for ???

    • #170925

      from "Media College":

      Lavalier Microphone
      Lavalier microphones are also known as lav, lapel or lap microphones. A lavalier mic is a very small condenser mic designed to pick up speech from a single person.

      Lavalier mics are usually attached to the subject’s clothing with a specialised clip. Obviously the preferred position is on the lapel or thereabouts. This provides consistent close-range sound pickup and is ideal for interview situations in which each participant has their own mic. It also means the subject doesn’t have to worry about mic technique.

      Try to discreetly hide the cable in the clothing (bearing in mind the notes below). If there is nowhere to place the mic on the subject’s chest, try the collar.

      Lavalier mics can be quite susceptible to noise caused by movement of the subject. Position the mic securely, making sure it won’t rub against the clothing. Ask the subject not to move around too much, and make sure the cable won’t be pulled if they do.

      A small wind filter can be used to reduce wind noise.

    • #170926

      For capturing audio in nature, use a parabolic reflector: http://www.soundshawaiian.com/listeninggear.html

    • #170927

      I agree. However, this site has lots of great info on some of it’s pages.

    • #170921

      LAv and Parabolic

      thnx ,, two terms I am now freindly with

      looking on web I see prices I’ll probably be OK with so audio should be my first add on

      thnx kids

    • #170928

      eofeapr Wrote:

      what does LAV stand for ???

      Lavalier mic, Its the small one that clips on to ties. Also called a Lapel Mic.

    • #170929

      Oh this thread is SO invaluble.. thank you guys so much.

      Good luck Joe!

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