Beginners Video Camera

What you see is what you get, including photography, displays, and video equipment.

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Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:50 pm

Hey guys, been really interested in picking up a hobby, and something i've always been interested in is video/photography. Im a stickler on quality and none of the stores here I think will carry anything worth purchasing unless your goal is to shoot your kids running and screaming during their terrible 2's (good thing I don't have any kids yet :O!). For those of you who know me, you know that I live in Alaska. It seems a shame that I live in a place like this yet I don't own a Still or Video camera, unless you count a cell phone which is good for one thing and one thing only, drunken parties.... that of which I attend NONE.

So, are any of you guys either professional camera men or perhaps this is one of your hobbies. Any tips on which price conscious camera's to pick up on or resources that you consider a must if I want to get into it. I'd like to get to the point where i'm knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the specs of the cameras and what have you. Where did you start? Thanks!
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Welch
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:32 pm

What sort of stuff are you interested in shooting, and how seriously? You mention both video and stills, and some of the DSLRs that include video capability have some unique strengths (and weaknesses) in the video area relative to most traditional camcorders.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:44 pm

Yes, convergence is happening. The top consumer camcorders (e.g.: Panasonic HDC-TM300 or Canon VIXIA HF S11) have still camera features, and the mid-range DSLRs now have video.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:31 pm

DSLRs for video are cumbersome and do not (currently) offer continuous autofocus.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:51 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:DSLRs for video are cumbersome and do not (currently) offer continuous autofocus.

Yup, although some of the m4/3 cameras have continuous af I think.

It all depends on what you want to do. While they may be terrible general purpose camcorders, if you're looking to do stuff more in the "short film" spectrum then some of the benefits (bigger sensor, fast interchangable lenses, etc) might outweigh that.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:08 pm

Mostly Scenery shots at this point... Shooting the Aurora from my understanding takes some expensive video equipment and I understand the basics of taking it with a still camera. I've used a Nikon D70 and liked the quality of the photos, it was a roughly $1000.00 without the lens that my dad had purchased when he got it. Its my understanding that it was a great camera when he got it, but is easily overshadowed by much of the newer stuff, since digital was just making it really large then. I'd more than likely care for it to be primarily a video camera, which most of them can do half decent pictures for stills from what ive seen

Yes... short film quality is what im shooting for.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:14 pm

Some of this may be useful to you:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ratings.php
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:58 pm

MMMMM Thats an interesting list but it mostly just lets me shoot in the dark for the correct price range. For instance, is there anything particular that I should know about Sensor sizes... such as a larger one is better for certain uses? One thing im not entirely concerned about is size... if its a slightly larger camcorder I don't mind, not really looking for a pocket camcorder anyhow. Can't say for sure how much I'd be willing to spend but 600.00 seems like a fairly decent starting point.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:07 pm

Welch wrote:MMMMM Thats an interesting list but it mostly just lets me shoot in the dark for the correct price range. For instance, is there anything particular that I should know about Sensor sizes... such as a larger one is better for certain uses? One thing im not entirely concerned about is size... if its a slightly larger camcorder I don't mind, not really looking for a pocket camcorder anyhow. Can't say for sure how much I'd be willing to spend but 600.00 seems like a fairly decent starting point.

Bigger sensors can produce higher technical quality images than smaller ones.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:51 pm

Welch wrote: I'd more than likely care for it to be primarily a video camera, which most of them can do half decent pictures for stills from what ive seen
Well...not exactly. The mostyou can expect to get in terms of still image capability from any remotely affordable camcorder is going to be "like a good point and shoot". The physical constraints imposed by having a significantly smaller sensor than SLRs etc. do impose specific limitations on what you can do, (still or moving) image wise.
Welch wrote:Yes... short film quality is what im shooting for.
Depending on your specific needs, a camcorder or a video-capable slr or m4/3 camera might be the ticket. Certain aspects of "quality" are going to be better with the interchangable lens cameras with larger sensors. Other aspects are going to be better for the video-specific hardware. The camcorder will probably have noteworthy handling advantages for video. The cameras may or may not have specific handling advantages, and the nature of what you shoot may or may not make the advantages and disadvantages of each important.
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Re: Beginners Video Camera

Postposted on Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:51 pm

You're going to spend $850-900 for a highly-rated HD model like the Canon VIXIA HF S100. The aforementioned Panasonic HDC-TM300 is more like $1200.
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1708263
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