Camcorder mainly for presentations domumantation - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-31-2013, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

 

I'm looking for a camcorder to film lectures for a knowledge base.

So I guess it should have a tripod option, direct power option and external mic input.

 

Another important thing is that the video files will be convenient and not too large.

Currently I have a Panasonic camcorder and I need to convert the files every time.

 

The budget is for a good home use camcorder, nothing too professional.

 

Any advice will be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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post #2 of 9 Old 10-31-2013, 08:24 AM
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Could you provide some more detail? What Panasonic camera do you have now? What conversion process do you have to use? What kind of computer do you have? Where will the knowledge base be stored? And, how will it be normally viewed.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-02-2013, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

 

I have Panasonic HDC-SD600.

The files created are huge even with the lowest recording quality.

I usually convert the files to compressed wmv format with expression blend and save about 90% of the volume.

I know that I loose some details, but it's good enough since it's just presentations for knowledge base, the sound is very important but the video  quality  not so much.

The files are stored on a NAS inside the office.

The original files just take too much volume and are difficult to view via Wifi.

 

I'm looking to skip all the conversion process and have nice compressed files from the  beginning.

 

Thanks

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-02-2013, 09:28 AM
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You have a good camcorder! I have a similar model. You won't get it to make files as small as you want. Worse, you may not find anything aimed at making small files. The trends are to have video quality better than smartphones and viewable on HD TVs.

On the other hand, I've got a brand new catalog from B&H. If I see something aimed at what you seem to be after, I'll post it.

What do you use to do the conversion?

Bill
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-02-2013, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orya View Post

Thanks for the reply.

I have Panasonic HDC-SD600.
The files created are huge even with the lowest recording quality.
I usually convert the files to compressed wmv format with expression blend and save about 90% of the volume.
I know that I loose some details, but it's good enough since it's just presentations for knowledge base, the sound is very important but the video  quality  not so much.
The files are stored on a NAS inside the office.
The original files just take too much volume and are difficult to view via Wifi.

I'm looking to skip all the conversion process and have nice compressed files from the  beginning.

Thanks

Since you already have a nice camcorder and are willing to spend more money...why not:

1) Buy more storage (1 and 2 TB external drives are cheap these days)
2) Buy editing software, such as Sony Vegas Platinum

Those together would be roughly $150, a lot cheaper than a new camcorder.

Record in the highest quality video setting to the card, take the card out, put in card reader.
Import files into software then lay clips on timeline, make minor adjustments such as project properties and you can edit the files/take out what you don't want in the final..

Now you can render out to one file any format, resolution or storage size you want.

If you want to make the rendered file 320x240, 1920x1080 at any bitrate or whatever..you still have the original, highest quality stored on your drive for future reference and use (the editing software doesn't effect the original files). If the drive fills up, you could deleted unwanted projects/files or buy more storage (a second backup drive is also a good idea).

If you are recording one continuous session, the files will get broken up on the SD600..the editing software can stitch them back together.

Otherwise, I think you could buy a cheap point and shoot camera that takes HD, they will typically make smaller files. I think there are a few Samsung camcorders that don't break up into files as it keeps recording...but not familiar with that brand.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-02-2013, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,

 

The thing is that all the conversions take a lot of time and I don't really want to mess with it.

I just want to be able to record and then archive.

Another problem is that I can't connect external mic to that model.

 

bsprague, I use expression blend to convert. Any other recommendation?

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post #7 of 9 Old 11-02-2013, 03:42 PM
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I've never heard of "expression blend" before this. Turns out it seems to be a free software accessory from Microsoft. I don't know how it works.

When your camera was new, the associated model that included a mic jack was the TM900. It was about twice the price. The current itterations of that series are the X920 and V720. Both appear to have mic jacks.

An alternative that may work for you is a Panasonic FZ200. It looks like a camera, but is a "hybrid" that does movies well. It is the cheapest video camera that I know of with a mic jack. The specs for the FZ200 says it has low resolution "VGA" recording mode at only 640 x 480 pixels with a variable bit rate of 4Mbps. Nothing I've seen in the last couple of years would make smaller files. The specs say a 52 minute continuous video would fill a 2GB SD card.

That said, I'm with xfws. Buy some drive space to store originals. And buy some better software. xfws uses Vegas. I use Adobe Premier Elements, a competitor to Vegas. I could open it, set it up, load a 1 hour lecture, pick a low res output setting for a convenient wmv or mp4 file format and start it working in 5 minutes. Depending on your computer the output transcoding could take 2 or 3 times longer than the video. Maybe longer. I would make it my last project of the day and get the result in the morning.

Good luck with this!
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-03-2013, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you say about Sony HDRCX430V ?

 

Looks like it has it all, at least on paper...

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post #9 of 9 Old 11-03-2013, 05:44 AM
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Quote:

Originally Posted by orya View Post

 

 

I'm looking for a camcorder to film lectures for a knowledge base.

So I guess it should have a tripod option, direct power option and external mic input.

 

Another important thing is that the video files will be convenient and not too large.

Currently I have a Panasonic camcorder and I need to convert the files every time.

 

The discontinued Canon EOS M hybrid has external mic input and direct power option (Canon ACK-E12 AC Adopter Kit) and is currently only $359 with EX90 flash. Creates MOV files.

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