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Camcorder Help needed for Church!!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello All. I’m currently working in the Media Ministry for my church. The church currently records services and events and plays them weekly through my local cable company. I’m fairly new to the Media Ministry and have run into a huge problem. The video capabilities are inadequate. We currently have a no name used camera that’s probably 10 years old. I've been tasked with upgrading the system.

I've been on Google all day long and am slightly more familiar with camcorders then I was yesterday. While not well versed in with cameras I am great with technology. I am currently Team Lead for a I.T. company and have several people around me who are familiar with cameras (but not familiar enough for what I need) so feel free to use any terminology needed to help. I will first describe our current setup and then describe what we would like to do.

Current setup:
• We have a very old camera that records crappy videos and records voices even worse.
• Camera currently sits on Tripod in back of sanctuary.
• We have DVD burner with audio video that records real time from the camcorder.
• At the end of the service we edit the title of the track and finalize the DVD on the DVD burner.
• We then take the master copy and make copies on a DVD copier.
• We take a DVD to the local cable company that then airs the service twice a week.
• An additional problem is that the sound system is pretty horrible as well which we are currently upgrading and the lighting of the pulpit isn’t that great. They have been adjusting the lighting in an attempt to improve quality but have decided that it would be best to find the right camera before proceeding with the lighting.

Desired Setup:
• We would like to maintain the ability to record real time from camcorder to DVD burner.
• Would like for service to fit on only 1 DVD (some people suggest blue ray needed since it can run 1.5 hours.)
• Camera still needs to be able to sit on sanctuary.
• Would like capability to either record with external mic or directly from audio systems.
• Would like to record in true HD. (have been told I need at least 30 fps for TV quality and 60 fps for HD quality)

As far as the budget goes, I would like to keep it under $1,000 but could go higher if the result would be worth it. By selling this horrible quality film we made $460 in 2012 so I’m sure a good product would easily double or triple the profits allowing the camera to pay for itself time and time aain.

Any help would be greatly appreciated biggrin.gif
Edited by jjessup0002 - 12/31/12 at 9:16pm
post #2 of 7
Try to get this

1/3'' sensor with XLR audio inputs (you can take in from the audio mixer).

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-PMW100/ 1/3'' sensor

If the church is broadcasting and is interested in a multi-camera, you can do that with this camera (you just need more than one) so you can buy one and get more later.

This cam has timecode input, genlock (to sync multiple cameras), and SDI output (for live HD feed)

Live Blu-ray/DVD recording http://www.amazon.com/JVC-SR-HD2500US-Blu-Ray-Recorder-Capacity/dp/B007ZW744Q/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1357022907&sr=1-4&keywords=HD-SDI+switcher

Feed the camera straight into this Blu-ray recorder, or take the multi-camera feed from this mixer below.

Mixer w/ SDI and genlock
Edited by Chevypower - 12/31/12 at 11:17pm
post #3 of 7
chevypower - That would be a great setup, but I think you missed the part about their $1000 budget.

jjessup - that's a tough problem to solve for $1000.

First - to clear up a few misconceptions. You have been misinformed about the relationship between frame rates and "quality". Number of pixels resolved or lines of video resolution are much more important numbers than frame rate.

So a camera that resolves 1920x1080 pixels at 24fps or 30fps will give you higher image quality than a camera that resolves 1280x720 pixels at 60fps, for example.

Also, you are limiting yourself by delivering your product to the cable company on DVD. I suggest a conversation with your cablecaster to see whether they can take an SDHC/SDXC card straight out of a modern HD camera. If so, you can pull the SD card out of the camera at the end of the service, add your title on a PC in an editing program, copy the file back to the card, take it to the cable studio for transmission - and maintain full HD quality.

That said, given that you have the camcorder on a tripod in the back of a poorly lit sanctuary, I recommend the Canon HF G10. Even though it is a couple of years old, it is still the low light champ among camcorders at the $1000 price point. New, they are a little over $1000 at $1079 brand new at Amazon.

Here is what the HF G10 can do in a poorly lit church setting (please watch at 720p):

Here is a wedding shot with this camera:

Your sound challenge is a separate issue, and a new camera will probably not solve that - but at least you will raise the quality of your video - and you can use that as an argument to spend the resources required to raise the quality of your sound and lighting.

Blessed New Year to you,

Hybrid Camera Revolution
post #4 of 7

Thank you for your examples of video. They show just what needs to be said, that a quality camera at the back of a large room isn't going to capture as much detail. Your videos are properly framed for the ceremony taking place. This quality is just not possible with a satellite camera.

Sound is not as expensive to enhance, just requires a feed to a small powered speaker close to the camcorder so that audio is received 'near field'. How the congregation is best mic'd, is something to be learned by trying.

For example:

Cheap: A lapel mic for minister, wired, very inexpensive, but a pain to be 'tethered'.

Better: Add one 'vocal' mic for the choir, the least expensive quality mic is a Shure SM-58, $85. Very robust and it takes alot of abuse.

Even Better: If you have any budget left over, a shotgun mic (with dedicated person) to follow other interaction in the congregation. Heck, you could even strap a Go HD Pro with its mounting accessories, to the boom pole so that an 'alternate' video would always follow the shotgun, stored on a convenient memory card.
Edited by biomedtech - 1/1/13 at 5:51am
post #5 of 7
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

I think you missed the part about their $1000 budget.
I guess I was focussing on the part I bolded below.
Originally Posted by jjessup0002 View Post

I would like to keep it under $1,000 but could go higher if the result would be worth it.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for all of the feedback. All of my co-workers agree that any of these will be good solutions. I will present this information to the finance committee and hopefully purchase one of these cameras. Again, thank you all!!!!!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I bought the Canon HF G10 as you guys suggested. I love this camera. It addresses all of the issues that we were having.

I do have a new problem though. The camera records in the .MTS format (MPEG-TS). The software that came with the camera is crap. It only accepts DVD-R when converting to dvd format. Can anyone recommend some free software that will allow me to convert MPEG-TS files to a DVD format that can be burned to DVD+R discs?

I have started a new thread an you can reply to either.

You guys have been awesome so far and i'm hoping you are able to help again.

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