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  1. #11
    HDD camcorders write to the drive in MPEG2 format and the frame information is only stored in every 5th frame. The format compresses 25mbs video into highly compressed 6mbs video for use on a DVD player or similar. Great if you want to shoot and watch but a disaster if you are going to try to edit and re-render an already highly compressed format!!

    If you want to shoot events then stay with a tape based camera so you can capture at full 25mbs bitrate and then use something inexpensive like Vegas Movie Studio to edit your footage. If you are supplying the final product on a DVD then you will also need a DVD Authoring package. Plenty are available but I use DVD Lab which does the job nicely.

    If you really want to do events without any editing then the most convenient camera would be a DVD camcorder where you can simply eject the disk and give it to the host at the end of the event.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    New York
    I would suggest a 3ccd miniDV camcorder. You don't have to get crazy to begin with but get something that in the future you can use as a second unit. If possible, get one with an XLR input for external sound.

    Speaking of external sound, it is really important. It's true when people say that clients can deal with some bad video, but bad audio will not be accepted. It makes a world of difference. Do not rely on the on-board mic. Azden makes great wireless transmitters.

    You can pick up a Canon GL1, a great camera for a beginner, for a decent price on Ebay. You will need an adapter such as a Beachtek DXA-4P for an XLR connection. The GL2 has XLR input already, but the price is significantly higher.

    Do you use Mac or PC? If your on Mac, Final Cut Pro is your solution. This is good for the beginner to Academy Award winning editor.

    PC, I suggest Adobe Premiere. If your out to save some money in the beginning, go with Premiere Elements instead of Pro.

    You will have to get a tripod. Here the choice is yours. You can go cheap or fairly expensive. I wouldn't skimp here. I did in the beginning and I regret it. Not because I looked amateurish, which I did struggling with a flimsy Jeva made more for a still camera than a video camera, but because the head didn't provide fluid movement at all and the video suffered. Does anyone else agree?

    If you get a decent 3ccd camcorder, external sound and a solid tripod, this will provide you with the tools necessary to give you the best chance at capturing good video. You will be able to use them as second units if you decide to stay with it in the future and it won't break the bank. This will give you the best chance to succeed.

    Once you start getting comfortable and bring in some money, you can upgrade one piece at a time. Maybe you get a Canon XL H1 for superior HD (interchangeable lenses too), then a Matrox RTX2 and PP CS4 for realtime editing on your current computer.. you get the idea. Make money first, then upgrade.

    This is an exciting time for you, above all else, enjoy it. Make your hobby lucrative. This is a great site with some very savvy videographers. Take advantage of all their experiences. Who knows, maybe you'll make it to the Discovery Channel or better...

  3. #13
    One of the only problems Ive had with my DCR-SR70, is that the filesystem is fat32, which limits the file-size, and as such the length of the clips.

    This means that there is a break lasting around 0.500 seconds in the sound, when it continiues writing the new file. This is however usually not a problem, since we use external sound, from H4 Zoom.

    You can get cheap tripods which have a fluid movement, but you should be careful and try-before you buy.

    I do not recognise any quality loss, atleast not anything noticable. And neither do i care that the video is compressed, because there is no noticeable differance on the recordings which i have edited.

    I suspect the only time you would notice a quality loss, is when using HD cameras. And even then i still find it unlikely to be anything noticeable.

    I would however recommend, that you have access to white balance and such from buttons on the camera, rather then from the inside of the LCD-Menu. Its quite annoying that you cant even control much more then wide-select and zoom, directly from buttons on cameras like DCR-SR70.

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