You’ve picked a remarkably


You’ve picked a remarkably complex project to attempt if you have no existing skills – the learning curve and ratio of cock-ups is going to be huge.

Very little of what you shoot will be usable, so the task will be to shoot as much as possible.
You can shoot HD video direct to tape, cards or drives, but USB isn’t a common part of the system, and the size of the components is a problem.

To be honest, this is an ideal GoPro job (or if budget is really tight, the Chinese cheap versions that are surprisingly good)

Shoot to cards – your editor doesn;t really care where the files come from, but with so much footage, your main time wasting task will be logging. Everything needs to be logged, tagged and named or you will get in a real mess.

Recording to a computer drive is ok – but means the computer needs to be close to the cameras if you want to use better cameras. I occasionally record direct to my macbook from a camera via firewire – saves transferring a card, but then you need to backup the computer drive data to something else for storage – because with a project like this, you will be using HUGE amounts of storage. 32Gb cards are my usual storage solution, and you will eat them up! 2 hours, depending on data rate will fill a 16Gb card.

Sound – all the cameras have a mic, and embed the audio in the file – but the quality varies – not really the camera quality, just where the camera is may not be the best place for audio, so a separate recorder could be good – Google Zoom recorders.

Cheap/free editing software is fine for topping and tailing your holiday images or kids christmas show, but syncing up multiple video tracks and sound tracks means you need something better. There are cut down versions of most of the market leaders. Final Cut, Premiere, Avid and Vegas – the full versions will cost plenty! I can’t advise on free software because from what you say, it’s not an easy edit, and I doubt the cheap end will do it properly.

I use Premiere, always have done. You now cannot buy it, you pay via subscription.

HD video means you want the fastest processor you can afford and plenty of RAM – 16Gb seems to do me ok.You will need a fast internal drive, and external storage too. I’ve currently got a 3Tb drive for my video files, and it fills up quickly. Two monitors helps no end, because in your project you will have loads of files, so being able to see them is important. You also need a fast video card with onboard processor to take the load of the computer CPU. Adobe, for example, have a list of compatible drives on their site, as do the others. Preferably an external audio interface with decent monitors.

The GoPro type cameras have loads of accessories, including dog mounts. I have one. The footage they produce is horrible, or at least it is on the dogs I tried it on. They all seems to roll as they walk making viewing uncomfortable.

If you want to move to joystick controllable cameras, your budget will be going up and up. You can hire this kit, but if you are green, that could be a waste of time.

You could buy a few Chinese cameras for £50 each, use windows Movie Maker, or the Apple equivalent, use Audacity as an audio editor and edit on a cheap domestic computer, but I’d not want to waste my money doing that because the project may well drive you mad and never be completed.

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