Video Recording New Comer

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    • #79991

      Good morning everyone! I am somewhat of a new comer to the video recording. I started about 4-5 years ago recording weddings for friends and families, I have recorded 5 total before I took a break from it for a couple of years. I used 3 consumer camcorders, 2 stationary camcorders and 1 walking around camcorder. Two camcorders used MiniDV and the other had a built in hard drive. I have spent 20-30 hours editing these videos because of splicing the three videos together and also adding the audio. I always use condensor mics or lapel mics to record audio directly to my computer and then match up the audio with the video shots, also if a CD song was played I ALWAYS put a CD quality track over the video audio (since no one is talking anyways). So people have loved my videos and are flocking to me. I have a full time job and don't have time to do this for free so I want to charge $300 per wedding since I am still new to this and just need the money to justify my time. I want to get some better equipment to start this side hobby but it has been overwhelming so I wanted to explain my possition so some professionals could point me In the right direction:


      1) I want to spend $700-$1000 per camcorders and would like to get 2 (one camcorder will be stationed at the back of the church or event so good opticle zoom may be a factor)

      2) what camcorder would you suggest?

      3) do I need to get tape or tape less camcorder? I like the tape less idea because of record time but everyone says it's LOWER quality and it's compression requires special software and monster computers

      4) do I need at least a 1/4" chipset?

      5) CCD or CMOS?

      6) it seems that most consumer camcorders do not have good mic hook ups, I like my way of recording audio separate and matching it to the video, is this a problem?

      7) I edit with pinnacle studio 12 paid version. Is this wrong and what software should I use?

      8) What compression should I use going to DVD?

      9) my editing laptop is quite capable I think, it has an i5 processor and 6-8gig ram

      10) any information will be helpful, if you have any question please ask


      thanks everyone!

    • #210821

      Hi Randy,

      1)  You won't find any professional grade camcorders in that price range.  However, for as low as $1790, you can get a Sony HXR-NX30u.  It has lots of pro features, and would give you everything you need.  I have one of these in my arsenal, and it gets used often.  It's very compact, and will give you a superb image.  I shot this video entirely with the HXR-NX30u.  Keep in mind, that I did not use any extra lighting in the laundry room in this video.  All the light is what was already in the room.  This camera has very good low light performance, as well as exposure and ISO settings.

           If you would like to try something new, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera's price has been lowered to $495 for the next few weeks.  This is a professional grade cinema camera, and as such will take some getting used to.  For example, it shoots in RAW format, so you will have to do color grading in post.  But it comes with a copy of DaVinci Resolve Lite for that.  You would also need to get a lens, and a memory card (I would recommend a 256 GB SDXC card rated for 90 MB/s).  But you can get all of this for around $1000, camera and all, but only for the next few weeks.  This really will give you the best image at that price range, but again, it will take some getting used to.  But if you are willing to learn a new workflow, I would recommend giving this camera a try.  If you decide to give this a go, let me know and I can help you find the necessary lens and memory card to keep you below that $1000 price.

      2)  I gave you my recommendation on cameras in point 1.  However, if you're stuck in that $1000 price range, and don't want to learn a new workflow, there is the JVC GC-PX100.  It's not a professional camcorder, but when it was released, it was much talked about.  I personally have not used it.

      3)  Everything you see on the market right now records to flash memory.  If you are looking at something that still uses tape, it is likely a very old model.  There is nothing wrong with video stored on flash storage.

      4)  I assume that you are referring to the image sensor.  This is irrelevant, as long as it gives you the performance you need.

      5)  Once again, irrelevant.  Although CMOS is becoming the new standard, and CCD is kind of going by the way side, as long as what you get works well, you don't need to think about it.

      6)  Nothing is a "problem" if it fits your workflow.  All 3 cameras that I have mentioned above have inputs for mics.  In fact, the HXR-NX30u can take mics 2 different ways:  It has your standard 1/8" mini jack, but it also comes with an audio block with phantom power and includes an external shotgun microphone.  The shotgun mic can plug into one of the 2 XLR ports on the audio block, and the audio block has independant controls for each port.  But if you decide not to record directly to the camera, that's OK too.  However, I wouldn't recommend recording to your computer.  Purchase a stand-alone audio recorder if you're not going to record audio to the camera.  The Zoom H6 is highly acclaimed, and has gotten very good reviews from critics.  However, I use a Tascam DR-40 that costs much less, and get pretty decent results.

      7)  Again, nothing is "wrong" if it fits YOUR workflow.  I've never used Pinnacle Studio.  I use Sony Vegas, and sometimes Adobe Premier and After Effects.  Vegas is a very easy NLE to learn, because everything is drag-and-drop, and there are so many tutorials online on how to do so many things.  But whatever works for you…

      8)  Use whatever your DVD authoring software supports, as long as it looks good on the TV.

      9)  You also should consider your video card.  The specs you gave don't really give one a good picture of what you have.  Also, if you want to start getting into high-definition video, which is where the industry is now, you may need more power under your hood.  In fact, the industry is getting ready to leave HD video behind in favor of UHD (ultra high-definition) or 4K video.  None of the cameras that I mentioned shoot in 4K, but there are some cameras on the market now that do that are fairly affordable.


      I hope this information helps, Randy.  Let me know if you have any questions.


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