Camera for my own business presentations

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    • #70104

      I have a green-screen studio at the office to shoot talking-head business presentations in a very small room (12×16). I currently use a Canon VIXIA HF M31 on a tripod in that location. It does pretty good but seems it could be a bit better in terms of light (I'm using adjustable daylight-temperature fluorescents from – when I have enough brightness from the lights I’m getting a little shine, but I plan to try new makeup to fix that. I don't use that camera for other locations because it's fixed in place on the tripod, set just how I want it. Upgrading that camera is on the to-do list, but not the immediate priority.

      The immediate priority is buying a new camera for “portable” use. My purpose is strictly producing my own business presentations, primarily just consisting of me talking at a given location indoors or out or me talking with someone else (I’ll edit graphics into a presentation). So, this new camera will be for going anywhere I want.

      I own two pair of good Sennheiser transmitter-receiver mics ($500/pair) and a Beach unit to combine them.

      I don't expect to be using portable lighting any time soon. I don't intend to move the lights or camera that are currently in the studio since, again, it's all set right where I want it.

      So, the question is what to get for a new "portable" video camera.

      I'm shooting HD, 24p (unless it's strongly recommended that I change from that plan).

      I got the HF M31 from Canon's site as a refurb, for almost half the cost of new. It had issues with the sensor out of the box and I had to send it in for warranty repair, which cost me enough time that maybe I should not go that route again. (Budget is an issue but not if it means crap product or time lost for repair.)

      It's safe to say essentially all of my shoots will be done with a tripod (I welcome suggestions for which).

      I figure I may as well stay with Canon now that I've learned the menus and it seems to be a highly recommended brand at this level. I see the HF G20 was recommended recently here for a newbie in the video field, but it seems too new to find a refurb and it's definitely at the high end of my budget — unless it's really highly advisable to stretch for it even for just doing my business presentations.

      As soon as I can afford it I'll want to get a second portable camera that's identical to the one I'm looking for now, so I can do two-camera shots (even just one talking head is obviously more pleasant to watch with two different zooms that alternate, and at times I may want to have two people talking).

      I don't know that I need 32GB of onboard memory since I prefer the convenience of using an SD card. (I currently have a 32GB Extreme 30MB/sec Class 10 card that I use with the HF M31. My understanding is that faster cards are compatible with the newer cameras, so I guess I'll be buying a new 32GB card. For now I’m still using USB 2 for transfer though, and I don’t know what my need is for faster than 30MB/sec.)

      Thanks very much!

    • #208554

      Hi PantherMan – If you want to stay with Canon, and a new $1075 Canon HF G20 from via eBay is too expensive, you may want to look at a factory refurbished HF G10 with warranty from Amazon between $815 and $940.  


      Even though it is a few years old, the HF G10 is still a great camera, both outdoors and in low light.


      That said, if you are willing to look at Panasonic, you can get a brand new, top of the line X920 for $898.  IIt is arguably a better camcorder than the Canons, for a lot less money. I have a 900 series Panasonic camcorder, and if I can learn the menus, anyone can πŸ˜‰


      Here is a side-by-side of 2013's top camcorders from Canon, Panasonic and Sony (please watch at 1080p):





      At a little more than half the cost of the $1700 Canon HF G30 or $1600 Sony PJ790V, the XA920 seems to me to be a pretty good value.


      With regard to camera support – I recommend the $140 Ravelli AVTP Professional fluid head tripod.  It has a very smooth fluid head, a standard professional 75mm bowl and crutch style metal legs.  This is the tripod I use, and in my view, it is the best you can get for the money.


      The same tripod is available without the Ravelli brand for $125 from Fancier.


      Hope this is helpful and good luck with your decision!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution


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