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For those who do online videos: What's the best camcorder to use?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SP7988, May 20, 2014.

  1. SP7988

    SP7988 Member

    I recently began putting together online features for the paper I'm at.

    It's all pretty new to me. I currently am using a Sony Super SteadyShot HDR-SR11. I believe it's from 2007 or 2008? Kind of old.

    The quality I get isn't too bad (especially since it's only online). But I wanted to kind of upgrade the quality and have the video quality look a little bit more professional, if that makes any sense.

    Currently, I'm only using it for 2-minute long features. Basically contains just interviews, practice highlights and some b-roll shots. Possibly going to be able to start using it to put together game recap highlights.

    I can post video examples of what I've done so far if that would help.

    So for anyone with experience, what's a good camcorder to look into that won't cost me an arm and a leg (Preferably under the $1,000 range)?
  2. A tripod is a must.
  3. SP7988

    SP7988 Member

    Yup, that was one of my first purchases after I decided I would be taking on these projects. I also found out the hard way that without a mic or wind filter, a peaceful breeze during filming can translate into standing in the middle of a hurricane when playing the video back.

    Also, my battery only gives me 92 minutes of life. So it's tough when I want to try and shoot the entire practice just incase something special happens while also saving time to do interviews and shoot b-roll. So I'm thinking an extra battery or two is also necessary.
  4. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    I've found it hard shooting with "consumer" video cameras. But it's what I (and my paper) can afford. I've been shooting a 5-year-old Sony camera. It shoots in 720 HD and the quality is great for talking heads, slow movement, etc., but the focus is way too slow and inaccurate really for sports.

    Luckily, they are going to buy a new rig before next season. I've already picked it out: a Canon R500 with an Opteka grip and a shotgun mic. I've done a lot of research online this spring and the R500 is the winner (for the price range) for sports and action based on the sample videos I've seen.
  5. SP7988

    SP7988 Member

    ^Yeah, the focus is the biggest issue I have with my current camcorder as well. Heard lot of good things about Canon Camcorders too.
  6. Schottey

    Schottey Member

    Sony cameras are really good. I use a handycam and it works like a dream.

    Familiarize yourself with the settings and you can shoot in HD and more vibrant colors. It makes the file sizes shoot up to insane numbers, but it's worth it for a professional look. I agree with others that a tripod is a must, as is a lapel mic that you can plug into the camera for crystal-clear sound that's not muffled by background noise.

    Finally, if you're shooting indoors, I would find at least one direct light that you can place behind the camera to front-light your face. It probably seems like a silly thing, but it makes a big difference. For the OP who is only planning on some b-roll stuff and the occasional video here and there, it might be overboard, but for someone who is planning on doing video regularly, it's a huge improvement.
  7. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    It sucks that the company is out of business, but I highly recommend the Flip cameras. High quality (HD) video, with user-friendly software built in.

    You can find them for sale online at third-party sites for $200-300 usually.
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