Recording Live Gigs

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    • #86641


      I’m a stand up comedian, and I’m looking to purchase something that I can use to record my gigs and put them online. Budget wise, I guess I could spend about £500+ if I needed to. Here’s my requirements.

      – Able to record high quality footage in a variety of challenging, low light conditions.
      – Be idiot-proof. I’m not the best technically, so I’d like something that’s fairly easy to use.
      – Compatible with MacBook. I’ll be editing in iMovie, so anything I get needs to work with that.
      – I already have a Zoom H4N to record the sound, so I’d need to be able to have my camcorder recording the visuals and the H4N recording the sound. So the camcorder would need to be compatible with the Zoom.
      – An accessory where I could stick the camera to a wall at the back of the room. I dunno if this even exists?

      Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated x

    • #213014
      Chelle elle

      Hi there 🙂 I have shot a few gigs of local bands so low light on a stage is something I am familiar with and I hope I can give you a few hints – at least until the pros here answer your question 🙂
      1. an adequate low-light sensitive camera is not cheap and neither are the fast lenses you will require unless you get them used
      2. Every camera requires you reading a manual but no tech knowledge, really, so you’ll understand it, no worries
      3. iMovie is great at its compatibility so just about any low to mid range camera will be fine with it
      4. if you have a compatible computer then using the H4N is simple as importing the audio into your timeline and synching it up. This is usually done with an audible marker at the start of recording such as a clap or a voice saying “starting” or some such. It is then easy to match up or synch.
      5. the only accessory matching that, ideally, is for the GoPro which isn’t the greatest at low light. Tripods are the way to go. Since it is to be used indoors and for static shooting, an inexpensive one is all that is needed.

      My recommendation is to look for a used 5D MK11 or 111 as they do well in the low light of a bar or club, is not difficult to run and you can add a fast lens cheaply – for example the nifty-fifty does a pretty good job (for amateur online videos). Mirrorless cameras are getting better and better but I don’t know the price points for that nor how they perform under these conditions. I think it would be worth your time to check them out as well.

      Hope that helps – if not, then hopefully the pros will answer you soon 🙂

    • #213035

      If you are on stage performing, the most important thing is NOT the camera, but somebody to work it! If you are intending putting them online, I would also suggest that a minimum of two cameras are required, because single camera videos are dull, and boring. The other can be a fixed angle – the operated camera doing closeups and variation. A comedian also needs very good audio. You can get all kinds of static camera mounts, but the results will be ultra dull. Watch out for running time limitations. Maybe a go pro on a mic stand, close in will give you closeups that are interesting. Low light is never the problem people say it is if you want a full head to feet shot. 95% of my work comes from theatre and fixed cameras can easily be focused on static shots. I’d also think about quality – do you really need 1080HD? some excellent 720 real cameras appear on ebay and they often go for very low prices, and can have proper mics connected. A simple camera that can have a flip out viewfinder rotated so you can see yourself is pretty handy. Lighting will either help or hinder, depending on your venues. I also play in a tribute band, and have tried on many occasions to do an unmanned recording of our set – with sometimes 4 or 5 static cameras, and they all look dull and boring! Just one real cameraman makes a hell of a difference to the feel.

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