Originally Posted by onetourone
Hey there. New to the forum and could use some help. I work for a start-up travel and tourism site and we are looking for video equipment - specifically cameras and mics. Set up should be relatively small, compact, of good quality, needs to have excellent sound (so we're thinking wireless mics). Easy to travel and shoot with. Looking for some people to sound out on some recommendations for equipment. Any thoughts?
Your first post! Welcome to the forum.
I enjoy trying to answer questions like this, so I'll give it a try. You didn't give much information, so I may be answering the wrong questions. You didn't provide a budget, descriptions of what you want to shoot, your photographic background or where you want people to watch your video. So, take this with the usual grain of salt!
First, quality video is directly related to the skills of the shooter and skills with editing software. Results will be very bad if you don't make a serious effort at developing those skills.
Second, least important is equipment. As a guy named Steve said in another post, "If you give me a $20K camera and I compete with (Dave) making a video, odds are that mine will suck and yours will rock. You have more experience .... and knowing what you are doing makes a world of difference."
Technology has brought HD quality video to everything from smartphones up. However, specific recommendations on this forum will probably center around what appears to be the two champions, the Canon HF G10 and the Panasonic TM900. Both are far more compact than "pro" cameras costing thousands more and, in most cases, are capable of "pro" camera quality.
But since you asked for advice, my three suggested steps to success would be:
1. Buy and read "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck" by Steve Stockman. It will keep you from being focused on equipment and will get you to concentrate on results.
2. When you are done with that book, buy any Canon, Panasonic or Sony camcorder that says it does HD video and records on SD cards. If you really want external mics, make sure it has a hole to plug one in. Read the manual a couple of times. Install the software that comes with the camcorder and learn it too.
3. Assuming you have a pretty good computer, buy any brand name editing software. Popular are Sony Vegas and Adobe Premier. Both brands offer expensive pro versions and cheaper consumer versions. Do not try to by the "best" one. Instead, buy one that has good third party training available. I like lynda.com and video2brain for rapid learning.
When I travel, I don't check bags. My personal kit consists of a Panasonic HDC SDT-750 (very similar to the TM900), a Sony HX9V (because it is tiny and is not noticed in crowds), padded travel cases, a monopod , extra batteries and chargers. For editing, I use a Toshiba i5 laptop with Premier Elements 10. This equipment will allow me to produce video equal to the best I've seen anywhere, if I can learn the skills.
My equipment is amazing. My skills aren't yet.