Low-budget camera for web videos?

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    • #82111

      Hey guys, I kinda need advice on what camera should I get. My budget is only around 100$-150$. We're just students with part-time jobs/school assistants.

      My friend and I really want to make some skits, parodies, or just some random funny video blogs around 3-8 minutes long that we could post on the web. I mostly see point-and-shoot cameras w/720p 30fps video recording, in our area.

      The only dedicated mini camcorder that seems to fit our budget is a Samsung HMX-W300. We're also wondering if a Samsung DV150f could do a job, and the front screen could really help us. I also saw some Sony Cybershots that were in our price range.

    • #211093

      This may sound strange but if I were limited to a $150.00 budget, I'd consider this kind of package.


      There some manual aspects to it; especially with focus and exposure, but you might be ahead of the game.


      First, I'd find someone with an old 35mm camera setup. You know wide angle lens, 2x extender, 28-80 zoom, … 50mm f1.4 lens, 135mm f2.8 lens . I found just one setup for $40.00 based on the classic Canon AE-1 complete with motor drive plus 80-200 lens, a second 28mm, and even another 28-80 zoom.


      Adapters for micro 4/3rds for those lenses run about $12 on ebay, maybe a little less.  So now I'm at $80.00 with some nice FAST glass. 


      Now you can pickup a Panasonic GF3 … for anywhere from $50-90 on ebay.  I even saw one that included the 14/42mm kit lens that sold for $79 plus about $13 for shipping … that went that low because the seller didn't include a 2 gb SD card (it did include battery, etc.) 


      Now such a set up will require you learn about exposures (including ISO as well as having to manually adjust fstops) and that kind of experiece will increase your knowledge and abilities. 

      you'll also be shooting at 1080 and using a much larger sensor than you'd normally have with any consumer camcorder. 


      The shortcoming in audio, though, is actually an advantage.  Why advantage?  You'll need to use a digital recorder (probably your smart phone) for recording dialog/speaking and use a basic editor to sync and output your video.


      the shortcoming in video is that with the longer, heavier lenses from a legacy 35mm, you're going to have to use a tripod or construct a body-pod or shoulder rig of some sort to gain the steadiness (even if you get the kit lens with image stabilization)  But with the legacy lenses, there is no stabilization.


      The other shortcoming is that if you're not interested in the imagining aspects, learning the technical aspects  … you just want to caputure stuff on a camcorder and you're after the ego trip of being on camera to exclusion of trying to learn the craft … well, choose another route 🙂


      I just went to look at the pricing of these on ebay and I didn't see any good deals 'today' … actually I some some allegedly new bodies selling for over $300.00 … but know that I've bought three of these myself ranging from $65 each (two at once) to $85 (about a year ago).  All came with batteries and chargers and I suspect it more about waiting for a good deal to appear.  (there was one with a dent with an opening bid of $50 but most bodies were opening a bit higher, which temps me to to list mine now for some short term profit.   (Heck, I just spied a Lumix G3 which while not a GH3, is a actually a better camera than the gf3 for an $80 opening bid.)


      The point I'm making is that you can probably get to building a system that can grow with you (read some reviews on here about the Lumix GH 4)






    • #211097

      Ok, this might sound like I'm making a joke of this, but I'm dead serious. If you and your buddy can go down to your local plasma center and donate plasma for a month or so, you could take the money and put it into a better camera. You could even use the experience as a topic of one of your skits.


      Granted, you can shoot anything you like on anything you like. Smart phone? Sure! MiniDV off of craigslist? Sure! Maybe you can even find some other third friend who comes with a camera.


      The most important thing is the story you're telling. If you guys are entertaining enough, no one will care what you shot it on. One of the funniest videos I've ever seen was shot two years ago on a 1980's VHS camcorder. Just do a really good job with whatever it is you have.


      Good luck and have fun with it!

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