Camcorder + Clip-on mic recommendations? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys, first post and all.

I need a camcorder and a decent clip-on microphone for vlogging. I plan on shooting in different locations, and it would be pretty beneficial to have something that has a little bit of battery life so that it doesn't just automatically die. Budget is also something to keep in mind, I'd like to keep it in the $500 or less range.

As far as clip-on microphones, that's obviously a whole lot more important. I need decent sound with these. I know they're usually expensive as ****, so some products you guys consider steals would be amazing. I'd prefer wireless microphones that I can plug directly into camera, so I don't have to bother with all the clapping. I mean, I'll look ridiculous either way vlogging while traveling, but clapping to sync up all the time just isn't as cool. A lot more flexible on the price here, because I simply know nothing about microphones.

So yeah, this is both a camcorder and a microphone question. Posting here, because that's the first thing that came up when I googled.

Help a brother out? Peace.
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 05:36 PM
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Camcorders with mic inputs are rare in your price range.

Try a Panasonic FZ200 and a Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier.

If you don't like cords and break the budget a little you can get the Sony ECM-AW3 Wireless Microphone

Not only does the FZ200 have a mic input, but it does excellent video.

Bill
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Camcorders with mic inputs are rare in your price range.

Try a Panasonic FZ200 and a Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier.

If you don't like cords and break the budget a little you can get the Sony ECM-AW3 Wireless Microphone

Not only does the FZ200 have a mic input, but it does excellent video.

Bill

+1
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 06:36 PM
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The FZ200/DSLR-type form factor wouldn't be good for vlogging - where one holds and points the camera towards themselves as they talk/walk. It would be awkward, no?

All of the Canon camcorders have a mic input, i..e. the HFM50/500.
As far as lapel/clip-on mic; wireless is not ideal because it would be difficult to monitor with one person. Many times the signal goes in and out and there's interference. That kind of thing is more readily caught by a separate cameraman.

Plus with wireless, you need to mount the transmitter, a small box, somewhere like a flash bracket...in addition to the receiver on your end.

You can get a wired lapel at various price points:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=wired+lapel+mic&sprefix=wired+lapel%2Caps%2C404&rh=n%3A172282%2Ck%3Awired+lapel+mic&ajr=0
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 06:38 PM
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Do you like the rich sound and colors and clarity of this outdoor video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZsgPrLOlpY

If so. it was shot by a Canon M40 camcorder http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/5378/m40i.jpg with a $160 Canon SM-V1 5.1 Channel Surround Microphone attached to it: http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Channel-Surround-Microphone-Camcorders/dp/B0034AJ89M. The M40 has been replaced by the M50, but lightly used M40's may be available on ebay for $200-300.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-16-2013, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfws View Post

The FZ200/DSLR-type form factor wouldn't be good for vlogging - where one holds and points the camera towards themselves as they talk/walk. It would be awkward, no?

I think holding any camera pointed at myself for very long would be awkward. But grips like this one could help.

http://www.amazon.com/Photography-Cinema-Handheld-Point-n-Shoot-Cameras/dp/B007VR4376/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=5UYKHOCXT09L&coliid=I1KFO9JHPR38YP
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
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So many great suggestions! I'm liking the FZ200 suggested here.

The problem with a wired mic is that it hampers my freedom of movement. That's sort of why I want a wireless mic, although I can be persuaded if that's not right.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwormjim View Post

So many great suggestions! I'm liking the FZ200 suggested here.

The problem with a wired mic is that it hampers my freedom of movement. That's sort of why I want a wireless mic, although I can be persuaded if that's not right.

jim - After seeing this review/test, I am really sold on the Sony ECM-AW3 Bluetooth wireless that Bill S. suggested ($150 new from Amazon, $141 used from Amazon Warehouse Deals):

Good luck with your vlog, Where can we see it?

Bill B. (the other Bill)
Hybrid Camera Revolution

P.S. If you do get the Panasonic FZ200, you should know that it has a non-standard 2.5mm mic input, so you'll need a $5 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter to plug in a standard wired or wireless mic. This is not a problem - it works just fine. Here is my FZ150 with the Hosa adapter and an Azden SMX-10 external mic:

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post #9 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

I think holding any camera pointed at myself for very long would be awkward. But grips like this one could help.

Photography & Cinema Handheld Pistol Grip Handle For DSLR's, Point-n-Shoot & Video Cameras - D-Ring Included

Good idea, Bill. Pistol grips are a great way to make a "still" camera more video friendly.

I use a Rainbowimaging pistol grip with a remote trigger for Panasonic cameras ($22 on eBay, $30 on Amazon) on my larger camera, and it is terrific. I almost feel like I'm shooting Super 8 again wink.gif



Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 08:39 AM
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I tend toward smaller, travel suitable cameras that don't have any remote capability. My favorite pistol grip for now is a Gorilla Pod. The one I have is a "video" model with a pan head and magnetic feel. It does not look like a pistol grip with finger indents formed into the handle. But, with the legs squeezed in, the bumps provide excellent grip.

With any video gear, holding with two hands is critical for me. The smaller the gear, the more important to have some sort of handle. My best results are with a light monopod with small ballhead, but even that is sometimes bigger than I want to travel with. I use the monopod more like a long handle. The foot rarely touches the ground. It seems that a little distance between my two hands makes an improvement over both hands on the camera. Often the monopod is at a 90 degree angle and horizontal. Sometimes the food is tucked behind my belt buckle when I want to make slow and steady pans. Twisting at the waist is superior to waiving the arms along the horizon.

http://www.amazon.com/GorillaPod-Video-Tripod-Black-Blue/dp/B0042FZA1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368887835&sr=8-1&keywords=video+gorilla+pod

Bill, your setups can be amazing! My results improve by simplifying the equipment.

Bill S
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 03:41 PM
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You're right, Bill. Sometimes simple is good. I have another little $12 pistol grip/tripod that I use when I'm on the road. This might be a better choice for a vblogger:



Best,

Bill B.
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, that video has me convinced about the microphone.

Vlog has no URL as of now, but it'll be on YouTube at some point in time. I gotta conceptualize big parts of it first though, as it's related to some bigger career stuff I'm doing. Related to movies, and music. If something takes off in the entertainment related part of YouTube within the next 6 - 12 months, that's probably my stuff. tongue.gif

And I'll probably return here to get some more tips and tricks, because you guys seem like a really helpful bunch. smile.gif
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

You're right, Bill. Sometimes simple is good. I have another little $12 pistol grip/tripod that I use when I'm on the road. This might be a better choice for a vblogger:



Best,

Bill B.
I like that one! Maybe $2500 for a camera that is made so compact you need a $25 handle to get it steady!

I was reminded yesterday how important handles, monopods or tripods can be.

I was asked to attend a funeral. My granddaughters (the ones I brag are part of SS&G Productions) were coerced into singing "Amazing Grace" while standing in front of their Great Grandmother's closed casket! Their other Grandmother (not my dear wife) was the guilty party directly responsible for the coercion. My daughter-in-law asked me to take a video. Since she gave me such wonderful and charming granddaughters, I would never say anything but "Yes"! Trying to be a little less than obvious, I tried to hide in the background trying not to look like a participant in this morbid and grotesque side show, leaving all my gadgets behind hoping zoom would help. There was nothing I could do about audio. I was not going to get close or rig mics. My 67 year old hands did their best, but the video is shaky.

The point is that any kind of handle would have been a big improvement.

To add insult to injury, the other (brain dead) grandmother took a break in her deep and tearful mourning to whip out her brand new iPod. As the new family elder, promote to that position by the death of her own mother due to bone cancer, she had arranged herself 3 feet away from where the singing granddaughters would be. The dumb, bleach headed imbecile got better video and audio than I did. She had assured she was seated in the right spot and as soon as the shortened version of the song was complete, she returned the iPod to her purse and resumed dramatic bawling.

The point is that the width of an iPod causes one to hold it more steady due to having a little distance between the hands, much like having a handle on a real camera.

If you are still reading, the brain dead, bleach headed grandmother-in-law was to cheap to buy a decent casket for her heavier that usual mom. When the funeral workers tried the first time to slide the thinly constructed box into the crypt, the coffin flexed and the lid popped open. The had to slide it out, close the lid and try a second time.
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-19-2013, 06:05 AM
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I am sorry for your family's loss. And blessings to your granddaughters for honoring their great-grandmother.

Respectfully,

Bill
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-19-2013, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

I am sorry for your family's loss. And blessings to your granddaughters for honoring their great-grandmother.

Respectfully,

Bill

Thank you for that, I really didn't know her. I have only seen her at a few family gatherings. It was only this week that I learned she owned and ran a neighborhood tavern for 20 years. It appears I should have known her better!
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