Best studio camera for DIY home studio

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    • #82311

      Hello All:


      I have decided to produce my own lecture videos. I am a professor lecturing in all classes related to psychology. Although the institution I instruct at has a studio, the hassles are enough to prompt my spending resources on my own video series.


      I was in construction for many years so fabricating the surrounds will not be a problem. In addition I have much of the attendent software (e.g., CS 4 production).


      What I require is help buying a used studio video camera. For instance, sony's HVR-Z7U. Although the camera is within my budget I have failed to find specific information related to alternatives. I am not wedded to any specific camera and name the above due to remembering it. I believe it gives a range of the budget I have for my purchase used. This camera is less than 2500 USD, the upper budget limit. What used cameras for a quality production DIY studio would you fellows and gals recommend/consider?





    • #211105

      The 'best' camera you can get for in home studio is one that has a mic input…that's where to start.

      The rest of your budget is related to 'it depends on what your are doing.'

      The less expensive camcorders are optimized for daylight,  so if you have a lighting kit you can use a less expensive camera effectively.  However, if you are using a green screen (can't think why for psychology) a more expensive type of camera will give you a better 'key.'

      If you are doing close ups, low light, bright light, high contrast, fast action, anything other than standing there and talking, you'll need a more flexible (read that as more expensive) camera.


      Here is just a for instance of a great couple of features I like about my 2007 Canon XHA1. I can focus it on where I'm going to sit in front of my screens. I can hook up a TV monitor to it so I can see where I'm positioned in the frame. I can hook it to my computer and record to the hard drive. It has various mic inputs so I can use a wireless or wired (that I have suspended from the ceiling). When I'm ready, I point the remote control at the camera and start. 


      If I'm illustrating something technical I get close up video after, or add outdoor video because my camera is very flexible out door and in. If I am recording two people, as in host and guest, my camera will take two audio inputs…that's really nice when you have a quiet talker.


      If you can build making yourself a nice looking professional setting, you will be able to make some excellent quality videos with one or two inexpensive cameras, that have audio input, and a good 3 lamp lighting set.

    • #211109

      Hi Jon – and welcome to the world of DIY video production!  With a $2500 budget, you can get something that will give you better resolution (and is easier to use) than a 6 year old HVR-Z7U or 11 year old AH1.


      First, you want a camera that records to cards, not tape.  You can slip the SD card from a modern camera straight into your computer and import your files straight into CS4.  Clearly, this will make your life a lot easier.


      Second, you want a camera with higher resolution than a pre-2010 1080i or HDV camera can give you.  And it would certainly be nice to record to a 50mbps 10-bit 4:2:2 broadcast quality codec.


      For all of these reasons, the camera I recommend in your price range is the brand new Sony PXW-X70.  It records to full HD 1080p and is upgradeable to UHD (four times the resolution of HD).  It has professional XLR inputs, a professional SDI output and records to Sony's 10-bit 4:2:2 XAVC codec at 50mbps.


      Here is what this camera can do (please watch at 1080p):





      You can get one for $2299 at Adorama.


      Hope this is helpful!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution

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