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July 18, 2016 at 2:44 PM #90824AnonymousInactive
I think I posted this originally in the wrong area, and for that I apologize.
Hello Everyone !
As I said in the subject heading, I am new here(and in the field) and need some help for my son(single dad, he is 24), who has Autism. My reason for seeking help here is that given the relative lack of opportunities for a person with Autism to have a fulfilling life and employment career, I have thought about starting him in his own video production business, ultimately with the goal of selling his finished work. Another goal is to provide a beacon of hope, perhaps be an inspiration for other families who have a special needs person in their lives, as we are going to catalog every step in our journey. I will not go into details here, but I do believe there is a niche in which he is highly interested, which has some possibilities.
I am a complete novice, and as with most things in his life, I will be there to teach him and help him along the way. As a newbie, I have many questions, which I am sure to most if not all of you will be elementary in nature, and I ask your forgiveness in advance, but his challenges are my challenges, and I learned a long time ago that breaking things down into small steps, is for him, the most productive way to learn a new skill. A quick word about my son, he takes to technology VERY well. I am not saying he is a savant, but sometimes he does make me wonder. Sorry for the rather long introduction.
The first question I have, is what camera has the most shallow learning curve ? Ideally, it would be as close to point and shoot as possible and still fill our needs. I know that it is the photographer or in this case the videographer, not the camera that makes the video, but we need all the help we can get. At this point, I would have to say nearly 100% of the shooting will be with the use of a tripod. Please keep in mind that the goal is to ultimately sell his production(s), so it would be easier to get a camera to use for that purpose rather than buying something less involved to learn on. As challenging as it is to sometimes teach him something, it is harder by far to unteach something,and then try to teach a similar skill using a different methodology. In this case it would be “easier” to teach him on the camera he is going to use for production. That brings me to another question. He definitely will be shooting in HD, though I wonder about getting ahead of the curve and shooting in 4K ? Is it worth the investment now to get and begin shooting in 4K ? Initial plans are to sell DVD’s of his production(s) in HD and in Ultra HD, which I believe is Blu Ray. Would it be “easier” tojust shoot and produce everything in 4K right from the start ? I guess I need to say that for the initial camera purchase(s) ( I intend to buy two to begin with as we will be traveling for our shoots, and I thought it would be wise to have a back up camera), I would like to keep it $3000 or under for each camera if possible, as I will also be purchasing a new computer and software to do video editing as well.
I have looked at many cameras, but my fundamental lack of knowledge in this arena has led me here to seek guidance to try and shorten the learning curve for me and for my son. Another question I have for now is should I get “shotgun boom” for sound ? I understand that this directional mic reduces any noise heard in the recording that the camera may make, and in this case the operator as well.
As we go along, I will have many questions, some will be about computers for editing and the software, types of lens or lenses (if needed), batteries, storage mediums, DVD production etc. With him and his needs, included, I have a full day now,but I am willing to put in the work to learn the things I need in order to make things understandable for him.
I will have lots of questions, and I thank all of you in advance for any help you are willing to give me/us.
Michael and Mackenzie
July 25, 2016 at 12:20 PM #214283Dave514Member
The first thing I’d do to help your son is to put him through the Brain Optimization program offered by Brain State Technologies (brainstatetech.com). They have had fantastic results with all sorts of mental problems including but not restricted to, Autism,ADD/HD, Stuttering and PTSD. Though their HQ is in Scottsdale AZ they have franchises all over the US. and some overseas. I have used it multiple times with great success.
All the best,
July 25, 2016 at 1:12 PM #214284jsachandaMember
Mackenzie, you may want to touch base with the folks at Einstein Productions. They work on exactly the need you have. I am not familiar with them personally, but it may be a good start.
Here is a link to their site:
Beyond that, choosing a camera is really personal preference. It can be influenced by the type of video production you plan on doing.
Here is a good recap of the different type of cameras and their pros and cons:
Choosing 4K is probably a good choice as we will all be moving in that direction, however, there is still limited distribution available in that format. Most people don’t have Blueray players and/or 4K TV’s. Content still leads demand for commercial projects. Look at the camera function first and worry about the 4K second.
A boom microphone requires someone to hold during video capture. It certainly can improve sound and reduce ambient noise with the right equipment. It depends on the type of production and how many crew members you have. Just make sure the camera has options for using an external microphone. You can always decide on a wired or wireless microphone to suit the need.
I suggest you find a good local camera store where they can offer lots of advice and present them with your situation. That would probably offer you the best route. You can certainly get lots of good advice from the forum members here at Videomaker as well, but its hard to beat one on one live discussion. Also, check to see if there is a video club in your area. That might be a good resource as well.
Keep us posted on your progress.
July 26, 2016 at 4:04 AM #214289AnonymousInactive
Sorry for this, and I do not know if it will make a difference on anyone’s evaluations on the cameras on my list, but 99.9% of the shoots will be outdoors.
July 26, 2016 at 5:51 AM #214291jsachandaMember
Mackenzie, I am sorry, but I am not up to speed on the list of cameras you provided. I am not sure about HDMI2 input for sound. The better cameras usually include XLR connections or at least a 1/8th inch input. I am not aware of sound recording limitations with media. There is certainly less control on the sound in camera, but as long as the input signal is good it should capture the sound produced by the microphone. That is my experience. I suggest you search the Videomaker archive as they review cameras regularly and probably have reviewed some of the cameras you mentioned. You can also get other reviews online and on YouTube. As always, take the reviews with a grain of salt.
Camera mounted microphones will always pick up close by sound. I have not worked with more expensive shotgun microphones so I don’t know if the pattern eliminates close sound. You may want to try an equipment rental service to test microphones before you invest in an expensive one and to just get a better handle on sound recording with different equipment. I have used ATS Rentals successfully. There are probably others out there as well.
Outdoor shooting considerations are similar to indoor shooting include lighting, weather and sound. Again look to Videomaker for help understanding this subject. They have some good videos showing technique. By the way, if you have not subscribed to Videomaker you should consider it. They offer more content for members and depending on the level you subscribe to there are additional training access and webinars.
If you will be shooting sports and/or longer events, you may want to consider a videocamera vs a DSLR. There are recording time limits on some cameras.
July 25, 2016 at 3:18 PM #214285AnonymousInactive
John, Thank you very much for the information.
I have pretty well decided on a 4K “capable” camera. Here are the ones I am considering, and to be fair, some of them exceed my initial $3000 soft budget.
AG DVX 200
AG UX 180
AG UX 90
GY HM 200
GY LS 300
PXW X 70
PXW Z 150
PXW Z 100
FDR A, wiX 1
PXW FS 5
The JVC LS 300 and the Sony FS 5 can use different lenses, and may be a little too complicated, but, who knows. Any thoughts/insights that you, or anyone else has will be greatly appreciated. I am determined to try and make this work, and I realize that I will have to first teach myself, and then my son a new skill set. Once I decide on a camera, I will then try to fill in the missing pieces as far as other equipment, computer and software for editing, and equipment/service for making DVD’s. I welcome and appreciate your support, insight, and advice. as well as the other members as my son and I take the first tentative steps on this latest journey.
July 25, 2016 at 3:40 PM #214286AnonymousInactive
There will at most be 3 people on shoots. Are the shotgun microphones that are camera mounted in the holders on the cameras adequate, or do I need to consider something else ? I do not know for certain, but I would be willing to bet that at least some of the time I will be giving verbal directions to my son, and obviously those directions and any other outside noise not pertaining to the subject need to be minimized if possible. In my research, I have discovered, if I am correct, that storage medium on the cameras I am considering, do not record to the camera(s) capability, that an outside recorder via an HDMI 2 cable is the way to get the “best” recording that the camera is capable.. I know that right now, not many people have 4K capable devices, but I have read that as soon as 2025 50% of people will have such devices.
Also, thanks for the idea of looking for a local video club. I had not considered that. We live in CT, and I’m sure though I do not know about them that there are good retail shops around, however, the only one I currently have knowledge of is B and H in NYC.
Again, thanks for your advice, incite, and knowledge
July 29, 2016 at 2:53 PM #214316AnonymousInactive
John, thanks for your reply ! I’m hoping that other members who do have experience with the cameras I listed (or similar ones) will chime in with their thoughts. John, I want to thank you personally for your attention. I have set myself upon a challenging task and any feedback is appreciated and welcomed.
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