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camcorder for church

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I hope someone help me. I am looking for a professional camcorder for my church, my budget is very limited. can someone suggest some models for me in the range of $1000 - $1500 please. I know that isn't much but that is all we have for the media budget.

thanks for your help
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dblkman View Post

I hope someone help me. I am looking for a professional camcorder for my church, my budget is very limited. can someone suggest some models for me in the range of $1000 - $1500 please. I know that isn't much but that is all we have for the media budget.

thanks for your help

I only go to church for weddings and funerals, so I might not be your best adviser here. But, I'll try. It says this is your first post. Welcome.

You don't get a "professional" camcorder for that price. You can get a "pro-summer" model, meaning best consumer grade, in that price range. And, due to the state of industry standards, they will take video as good or better than you get from cable or satellite on your big screen HD TV

Go to any store from Target and Best Buy to Costco. If a camera or camcorder says it does "AVCHD" it will be good enough for church. Better if it says "1080p", not as good if it says "720p". And, it may not even look like a camcorder, because most cameras now do video too. My current favorite as a camcorder is a Sony HX9V and it looks like a pocket camera.

The quality of your video will depend a lot more on who is running the camera than the camera itself. The learning curve for good video that people actually want to watch is pretty high.

You said nothing about what you are going to shoot, how long it would be or the lighting conditions. However, the following camcorders have lots of fans on this forum. They are all versatile, have good image stability and good color. I listed them in the order of popularity at Amazon. Prices have less to do with quality than supply line shortages and surpluses.

Panasonic HDC-TM900K, now about $720

Canon VIXIA HF G10, now about $1300

Canon VIXIA HF M40, now about $700

Sony HDR-CX560V, now about $1000

Good luck!
Bill
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dblkman View Post

I hope someone help me. I am looking for a professional camcorder for my church, my budget is very limited. can someone suggest some models for me in the range of $1000 - $1500 please. I know that isn't much but that is all we have for the media budget.

thanks for your help

I operate a whole church video production, maybe i can help.

Tell me exactly want to want to film, and how you will use the video files?

What are you wanting to film Sunday services or events?

What is the light level of the events, you intend to film?

Where do you plan to get your audio?

Do you have an audio processor board, where all your sound is routed?

Is your final product an unedited or edited DVD?

Are you wanting to show the video LIVE on screen, while filming?

Are you wanting to stream it to web?

Randy
post #4 of 12
Randy's questions are right on. And the answers will really drive camera selection. But, in the meantime, I want to open up the aperture a little on camera choices.

Bill's suggestions above are all for prosumer 'palmcorders'. These cameras are fine for short backyard videos and vacations, but many professionals prefer a shoulder mounted camera. There are a couple of 1080i shoulder mounted camcorders in your price range that you may want to consider:

The $1649 Sony MC-2000U and the $1150 Panasonic AG-AC7 are both relatively inexpensive shoulder mounted camcorders made for the church/community college/industrial market.

MC-2000U sample here

AG-AC7 sample here

If you need to shoot without a tripod for any length of time, either of these cameras will be easier to manage than a palmcorder-type prosumer camera. Your church's videographer will thank you.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
post #5 of 12
Check for additional reviews at BH Photo.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Here is exactly what I am facing. My pastor wants to stream on the internet via camcorder. The length from our balcony to the podium is about 50ft, lighting is great as there are huge windows in the sanctuary and extra fluorescent lighting. I also need the camcorder to connect to our mixer via XLR and to our computer either via firewire or hdmi (preferably HDMI). just something that gives us a pretty good picture when members are watching online and also if I want to record to our computer to burn to dvd. Thanks
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYRandy View Post

I operate a whole church video production, maybe i can help.

Tell me exactly want to want to film, and how you will use the video files?

What are you wanting to film Sunday services or events?

What is the light level of the events, you intend to film?

Where do you plan to get your audio?

Do you have an audio processor board, where all your sound is routed?

Is your final product an unedited or edited DVD?

Are you wanting to show the video LIVE on screen, while filming?

Are you wanting to stream it to web?

Randy

To answer your questions:
Filming our church service which includes the choir and the pastor.

Video files will be used to convert and burn to dvd

audio source is coming from our computer (computer is connected to the mixer)

unedited or edited dvd, doesnt matter.

possible video live in near future

yes streaming to web

THANKS
post #8 of 12
Canon vixia hf g10
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by muskett32 View Post

Canon vixia hf g10

Never mind. Didn't read your specific needs.
post #10 of 12
Although most camcorders mentioned above will work, you really need to think more about a "system". Most churches end up wanting to do more than one camcorder run by one person. Then they have to start over.

We use 3 wall mounted motorized pan/zoom cameras. They are hooked up to a joystick control unit that allows 1 person to run all 3 from the video room. They go from the controller to a video processor unit, where we can control camera switching and effects. Then out to a PC, overhead projector and DVD recorder. All our sound comes from our audio board. We send out live broadcast to web, from the PC. We use windows media decoder and a custom script, as well as an additional flash output.

You can start with just one camera, and a simple video processor, then build on that. Search Google for "video systems for churches". There are many vendors that can give you advice and help. Units at all price ranges also.

If do decide to go the single camcorder route, you will need a unit with excellent low light performance, a Good smooth zoom, and a heavy duty tripod. The video has to be a pleasant viewing experience as well as inspiring, or viewers will not watch.
post #11 of 12
In addition to my previous post, to hook anything up to your PC, you will need a video capture device. Hooked up to your PC. Make sure the capture device has an input that will accept your camcorder or video input.

Again, I would advise that several church members give this some thought, and develop a chart of all required equipt, needed to do this. Verify that everything works together, before purchasing anything.

Find a vendor that can help you.
post #12 of 12
Randy,

Thank you for the questions. Looking to do LiveStreaming for now. That's our 1st priority. We have already recorded our services with another camera.The camera was mounted on a tripod in the back of the church. (or really the entrance into the sanctuary). There are approximately 20 rows of chairs, from the back of the church where the sound both is to the pulpit area. The distance, although far had no problem with audio, lighting and video. That was using a camera similar to a Sony HDR-CX560V. But I yield to your experience.


1. What you want to film? The entire sermon

2. How you will use the video files? For preview immediately after the sermon and archives.

3. What are you wanting to film Sunday services or events? service

4. What is the light level of the events, you intend to film? Good

5. Where do you plan to get your audio? The camera

6. Do you have an audio processor board, where all your sound is routed? Yes

7. Is your final product an unedited or edited DVD? Unedited DVD. Will use movie maker to make edited DVD. But more focused on streaming for now vs.DVD.

8. Are you wanting to show the video LIVE on screen, while filming? Yes, but no screen/monitor yet. Budget.

9. Do you want to stream it to web? Yes.

Thank You, and Be blessed.
Scott
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