Belinda, Your computer/edi



Your computer/editing software will likely determine the camera you want to get, as much as its low-light sensitivity, etc., so with that in mind:

If you are using a PC (of which I am NOT very knowledgeable) a lot of people I know in the industry use and appreciate Sony’s Vegas editing software.

If you are using a relatively recent model of Mac you likely have the editing software you will need as iMovie and iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes, iWeb and Garage Band usually come with it – more than enough stuff to develop some decent-to-serious web content.

Basically, you will want or need a camera with firewire input/output, a solid and sturdy tripod, possibly some additional off-camera auxiliary lighting, a shotgun mic of some kind, and if you purchase a camera for less than $1K, you will also likely want to acquire a BeachTek audio adapter of some kind that will allow some degree of audio control. Some of this stuff isn’t necessarily “mission critical” but over time you will either find that you SHOULD have it and get it, or will be glad you went ahead and got it.

Regarding the camera: likely you will want to purchase a Canon HV30 or equivalent in the $600 price range. There are a LOT of alternative camera model enthusiasts here, ranging from the handycam JVC, SONY, and even Fuji, along with a variety of other type/models in the Canon line. All have strengths and weaknesses. The HV30 shoots to tape and in HDV format and is editable on Mac with the i-series software packages; some of the other models are also, others are not.

Same with the input/output, etc. on the PC software options. Some of those are cheap and affordable while others are expensive or ultra-expensive. Some are simple to install and learn, others have an extensive learning curve.

Probably the easiest route for virtually instant useability, while not necessarily the most affordable, is the Mac computers with their accompanying software options, using a firewire in/out equipped camera of some kind, preferably using SD (standard definition), HD (high definition); or two other HD derivatives with somewhat to a lot more compression such as HDV (Canon HV30 – $600, give or take) and/or AVCCAM models that range from just under to a LOT over the $1K marker (for example, Panasonic AG-HMC150 that uses SD or SDHC solid state memory cards instead of videotape, priced at $4K).

Simple? Can be with a current or recent Mac computer, its freely available software and any of several MiniDV, MiniDVD, hard drive or memory card camcorder models, and available light or some kind of cheap soft light sources available at many hardware stores, or WalMart.

Complex? Some of the more sophisticated, complex and steep learning curve software out there, used on a variety of PC type computers, and/or higher priced, more versatile camcorder models.

Maybe some others will chime in here, I know they have their thoughts, hands-on experience, and/or preferences. My references to the Mac systems are based on personal use and direct experience. I use SD cameras by Canon at present but will purchase a pair of either, or both, models I mentioned above, based in user input, research and reviews I trust – Panasonic AG-HMC150 and Canon HV30.

Also, there’s a BROAD range of hosting providers at all cost and service quality levels, as you probably well know. I only know what I’m doing at present and that is using iWeb and my (formerly called dotMac) account to redirect from my web sites. My current web sites are built with the “point and click” style software offered by and are all in transition to cleanup, up dates, new clips, new looks, etc. None of them are 100 percent the way I want them, or totally functional the way I have them. You will find that to be an ongoing “in progress” element of your web site future as well. Perfection is a goal, not a destination, right? There are other, more or less expensive, alternatives out there and I hope others will pipe in regarding that as well.

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