Need ground up help on camera and editing software

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    • #72181

      I'm a columnist for a small local paper. I sometimes post to our online site, and I'd like to begin incorporating some video, e.g. I'm doing a story on local coffeehops, and want to put together 3-5 minutes of quick interviews with customers, or visiting a local school, and including an interview video of cute soundbites from kids.


      Also, since I may be doing some recording in noisy places, any thoughts on additional mics would be helpful.


      I don't imagine I need anything too advanced to do this kind of thing–the videos don't have to look like the evening news–but I still want clear, good quality image and sound.

      Thanks for any advice on cameras and software!

    • #209656

      The most important thing to consider is whether your camera's native format can be edited in whatever software you choose for editing w/o having to convert it! Transcoding is an unecessary PITA. As for mics: My preference would be to use a short shotgun with a windscreen, hand-held or mounted on a stationary boom. Whether you want to be seen in the shot, or whether you will be shooting your subject close enough that the mic can be held just out of frame is a stylistic decision. Be vary aware of your lighting sources: Shooting outdoors you should have a decent reflector at hand, and shooting indoors you should probably have a smallish softlight handy. Experiment first to see what variations you can achieve stylisticly for lighting and framing and visual impact. Have fun!

    • #209657

      "The most important thing to consider is whether your camera's native format can be edited in whatever software you choose for editing w/o having to convert it! "

      Thank you for that reminder! I remember my daughter doing a video project for school, finishing all the recording, and then not being able to use what she shot on the simple video editing program we had. It was a nightmare.

      Is that a native format that is more widely used by the lower-cost software out there?

      Also, no, I don't anticipate being in the shots myself.

    • #209667
      AvatarAviv Vana

      What software will you be using? Once you know that, find out what formats it likes to work with and then you can make sure you camera matches. A good software can handle most anything. So if you go with Premiere (which may be too advanced for what you want to get into) for example. you shoule be good with pretty much any camera you use.

    • #209671

      When you shop for camcorders, pay attention to the audio inputs.  This will determine which microphone(s) you should purchase.  If you acquire a camera that doesn't have an XLR jack, an XLR mic won't do you any good…and you WILL need a microphone for a busy restaraunt environment.


      I have to second Aviv's statement about software and I'm not shy about touting Adobe Premiere Pro – especially CS5 or 6 (they don't have a monthly fee).  The versatility you'll have to adjust your video, within reason, is worth the price alone.  You should be able to export to almost any format you need. 


      I should mention – videography and editing can be quite addictive.  You have been warned πŸ˜‰


      Good luck!!

    • #209678

      Your budget for this might help because it makes all the difference in the world in determining what you can afford. With video price almost goes hand in hand with quality (not always and never 1/1 ratio) That said this is the basics that I would use or have used to get started:


      Lighting is important no matter what camera you buy so DON'T OVERLOOK LIGHTING! The best camera in the world still can't see well in the dark yet.



      Keep in mind these two are bare bones nothing fancy and you may find there are better things for more money to suit your needs.


      Tripod: Is vital and there are several factors to consider when choosing one, Price, size/weight, style. I would suggest some but the ones I use aren't that common so you're on your own just keep in mind your needs like portability, ease of use, stuff like that.


      Camcorder: Now unless you are spending 2k on your next camcorder like I plan to:


      You will probably be looking at things like the GoPro Hero 3 blk+, or a nice handycam, or you might consider a dslr. This all depends on your needs and budget.

      The hero 3 is nice for point shoot don't have any settings to play with anyways. That said you do not have a screen to look at to see how things are framed unless you use your smartphone. Also heard they are battery/memory hog's so be prepared to swap cards or batteries once in a while.


      A handycam will give you nice video and a small amount of controls over picture these usually have a manual or auto focus, white balance, and iris switch. They are usually equipped to handle okay ish pictures, and are usually fairly low priced. That said if you go this route look for: 1080p nothing less, preferably a 3ccd camera, good low light sensitivity, and I can't tell you how important the hdd on my camcorder is to me now that I have had one and not had to change media.


      Dslr I am not qualified to speak on this as I have no experience, but from what I know you must be careful with this option. This is mostly for those who like accessories and getting the most out of everything. That said these can produce some of the best picture(s) yes they are also great still cameras you will see, but they also have what is know as rolling shutter, most do not shoot over 1 half hour which is fine if you are not an event videographer, and like I mentioned these cameras take finesse meaning you will spend time setting up and playing with settings to achieve the greatest results.


      Now all of the options I have listed in video save the 2k camera do nothing for quality audio.

      I would recommend getting one of these:


      I personally use the h4n zoom makes quality products with that you will also want a mic I suggest using xlr inputs they are the best of the best for audio and if a mic requires "phantom power" you have it with the h4n. I don't have suggestions for you, but pick a good shotgun mic because you can just point it at what you want and get great audio.


      Lastly for editing there are a few options I know of unless you are using a mac in that case you're screwed =p I use:

      51 bucks gets you a pro editing suite it does just about anything you need including titles and graphics, transitions, easy trimming, and pretty much your standard feature set with an nle. It also comes with audio studio, and dvd architect.

      There are allot of other options out there the only other one I would suggest is adobe. If you want to use what most of the industry uses checkout the adobe suite, for about 50 per month you get access to all their programs.adobe comes with a steep learning curve for most people, but the proof is in the pudding adobe videos are by far the best out there.


      There are also other considerations for you to take into account when buying such as memory, batteries, cases to keep everything in, and stuff like that.


      I hope this post is helpful best of luck.



    • #209681

       As a journalist, you probably are already carrying a camera with you.  Many if not most of the DSLR cameras out there shoot video.  Let your still camera do double duty and don't get loaded down with technology that distracts you from your primary job of connecting with people and getting the story.  There are any number of small shotgun type mics that fit into the flash hotshoe on your camera.  Keep it simple.  If you want a wireless lav, you can even find receivers that will fit into your hotshoe.

      As for software, you can't beat iMovie for simplicity and cost.


    • #209695

      Hi columnist011

      In my opinion along with selecting camera with additional features you can also use external software to reduce noise. There is algorithm known enhancement algorithm. You can give your recorded file to algorithm as input and it will enhance it by minimizing interference in recording.

    • #209702

      Can any one give me some tips on how to shoot a scene with only one camera. My video's just doesn't flow right. please ceck out the link and gimme some feedback. 


    • #209760

      Here are 10 digital tools you can use to create a virtual video production workflow like Creative / Video Director Shawn Matthews

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