Hi, I'm hoping you guys can help me out. For the last year, I've been filming a video series on youtube that runs through gameplay for boardgames (thttp://www.youtube.com/rahdo
in case anyone is interested). I generally film for 30 or 40 minutes straight, uninterrupted, sitting at a table, demonstrating the gameplay of a boardgame, holding the camera in one hand and manipulating the pieces with the other. No tripods, no multiple shots, just really simple and basic.
I've been using my iPhone4 to do this, and while it's been adequate, the main problem I've been having is that the video is very jerky. Most of my audience puts up with it, but I know I turn away a lot of potential subscribers because of this problem.
I could get a tripod, but I desperately want to avoid long static shots of boardgames because that makes the subject matter visually boring. I generally try to bring a lot of life and energy to my run-throughs, and a live active camera, zooming in on the detail, panning about, etc., is really crucial to me.
So after a year, I've decided to get more serious about this and want to get a decent camera to try to minimize the jerkiness and maybe improve the overall quality of the video as well, so I thought I'd come and ask for some advice. I'm hoping to pay under $300 or $400, want something that's very comfortable to hold in my hand and aim for upwards of 40 or 50 minutes straight, and makes my handheld zoomed in action as smooth as possible. I know there are a lot of cameras on the market with optical stabilization built in, but I have no idea how to go about choosing which is the best fit for me.
I should also say that currently I film in a fairly dark room, which just has a bright office lamp for light, so that's far from ideal as well. So anything that could help deal with the bright glare that creates would be great too. This is less important though, because in a few months we'll be moving into a house with a LOT of natural light, so hopefully the lighting situation will improve massively.
Only other consideration I can think of is that I'll eventually this year start doing interviews at conventions with developers, and so it would be nice to get a camera that works well for that, but I suppose mostly that simply means having a mic jack (or wireless somehow) so the ambient noise in the background won't override the interviewee.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!