Camera recommendation for non profit video program

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    • #72006621
      Avatarwealthbeforeriches
      Participant

      I have been asked to design a video making class for underprivileged kids through a non profit organization.I have a degree in television broadcasting and close to six years of field experience doing weddings. The idea for the class is to teach the kids the fundamentals of video making on a minimal budget. I plan on demonstrating a lot of DIY techniques for gear but I want them to understand the detail of aperture and shutter speed. I’m looking for a recommendation for camera that have mechanical aperture and shutter speed manipulation but this will be funded by a school district that is supporting the program. I’d like to find a way to get two cameras with pro controls for under $500.

      I was thinking of using the ipod touch but the only manipulation of the aperture and shutter speed would be software based and not mechanical so I am looking for a different option. What would you use?

      Thank you in advance.

    • #72006675
      Avatarbobspez
      Participant

      I would go on ebay to a top rated seller and buy a couple of used NIKON N1 J1 DSLRs with the 10mm-30mm kit lens. Equivalent focal lenght is 27mm to 81mm, for about
      $125 each including the lens (or separately the lens is about $40 and the camera body only is about $80. You could probably add a couple of 30mm to 110mm kit lenses (equivalent focal length 81mm to 297mm) for telephoto work and still be around your $500 budget.
      This is a great video and still camera with a 1″ sensor, fast autofocus, and will allow you to set iso, aperture and shutter speed manually for stills and video if you wish. Also will give you a choice of fps like 30fps or 60i fps, etc. It’s a small very compact camera and I dont think you could do better for your purposes and budget. I’ve had one for several years and it’s great indoors and out.

    • #72006740
      Avatarwealthbeforeriches
      Participant

      Thank you. This is exactly the type of reply I needed. I would love to say just pick up 4 5dmkiii but being that this is all volunteer and funded by grants and donations I needed something cheap. That’s exactly what you suggested. Thank you for your help.

      • #72006741
        Avatarbobspez
        Participant

        You’re very wecome. Good luck with your project.

    • #72006747
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      I’m a qualified college lecturer and started teaching media studies in 1994. Your budget is totally insufficient for you to be able to demonstrate aperture/shutter speed and those kind of techniques. Personally the disadvantages of DSLRS to non-technical beginners is too much. You NEED a camera that can be connected to a big TV for group viewing. You NEED a zoom lens that stays in focus when you zoom. You NEED big knobs and switches, not nested menus. You NEED proper camera supports – so decent heads and legs. To demonstrate focus they need to be all able to see it work, not on a tiny camera display – but something where they can see sharp and soft. You can pick up SD real pro cameras of maybe 10 yr old vintage that do all this stuff, and for students, the one thing I do know is that quality is not important at all. SD IS FINE. It’s no good for them once they get good, but newcomers to video may not get past the wobblycam stage. They have trouble with narrative, telling a story, and technical stuff needs to have a context. We’d set challenges. Tell a story in one single shot that lasts no kore than two minutes. No zooming allowed. Wide angle means sharp pictures. Then you can concentrate on the story and the framing and the story telling. Trying to teach shutter speeds and technical stuff to newcomers usually fails, I’m sorry to say. Mainly because it is dull, boring and lacking context. You need to cover basics first. To be honest a few cheap Chinese GoPro cameras with a fixed lens can let more have a go – then maybe just one better camera for when they get better – which won’t be remotely all of them. It worked for me just once – with a group of engineering students who were all interested in the optics and electronics. The same session with no technical students fell flat in ten minutes. Just not interesting or stimulating enough. To be fair, it’s very common for advanced techniques to be tried too early. Audio recording students who jump in too quickly – trying to teach stereo recording with A/B, X/Y, M/S techniques when they can’t actually tune the guitar.

      • #72006749
        Avatarbobspez
        Participant

        Paulears, you make some good points but I think there are reasonable work arounds, like eliminating the 30-110mm telephoto lenses, which puts another $200 to $250 back in the budget. So I believe that with your suggestions the project can still be done for about $500.

        I agree video should have a decent tripod to eliminate hand shake. Here’s one I have used for 7 years now, new for $50.

        https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/328966-REG/Smith_Victor_700190_P920_Pinnacle_Tripod_with.html

        A pair of those would be a little over $100.

        I agree about viewing the results on a larger monitor or screen. The Nikon 1 J1 cameras have a mini hdmi port that will allow the video sequences to be viewed by the group in full HD, using a mini hdmi to standard hdmi cable connected to an inexpensive monitor or TV.

        Regarding menus and small buttons, I think you underestimate kids these days who are very conversant with learning and navigating gaming systems and smart phones.

        Yes, teaching theory can be very boring to any age class, but seeing yourself on video in front of a class can be very interesting. It’s up to the teacher to combine the two in a way that will keep the students interested. The students can do anything they like, sing, dance, rap, tell a joke, or just read to the camera, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are engaged.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Avatarbobspez.
        • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Avatarbobspez.
    • #72006769
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      I think video is probably the least stressful one. I suffered somebody else’s idea for a group like this who thought drums, ethnic percussion and electric guitars. 3 months of hell!

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