AVS Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a teacher in a high school where some students have expressed interest in taking a video production class if it were offered. I've volunteered to teach it, and I'm trying to put together a list of equipment we'd need to get started. I'd like to teach using prosumer to professional gear. I'm thinking of either purchasing a Sony PXW-X70 or a Panasonic AG-AC130A. Which should I go with? What should I look for in a camera for teaching the fundamentals of videography?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
Those two cameras would be fine if you are trying to teach a class in expensive camera operation. They have all the right parts.

The catch is that by the time the kids get out of high school most of what they would learn with those cameras would be outdated. Instead of teaching about cameras, I would teach using video to tell a story. What's going on in local government, how do you make beef stew, is there polution on our beach, what is a typical football practice, season highlights of the basketball team, etc.

The required textbook would be Steve Stockman's "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck". The final exam would be a presentation of their video to the class with an explanation of how they told it with a less than 5 minute video on YouTube!

It does not matter what camera they use. iPods, iPads, Smartphones and Point&Shoot cameras all shoot good video now. Every student could find something and be busy creating. Sharing one big professional camera would severely limit hands on time.

Significant in the story telling is editing. Editing tools have popped up everywhere. Recently on another forum a guy was looking for an editing app for his tablet. He was in a film school and the assignment was to shoot and edit a story on something other than a computer with a keyboard!

Good luck with your course. Teaching High School is important work and it is not easy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,630 Posts
I have a Canon C100 which is a pretty great camera, uses a proper Super35 Sensor which is the same as what all the cinema cameras use and it has an interchangeable EF Lens mount which means you can put any lenses from any Canon SLR camera on it, and you will achieve a very cinematic look with it with ease. What about something like that? The cameras you listed will have very little DOF. Looking back on when I did video production in School, I think if I had learned a little more about the whole lens side of the world it would have been a little more help to me. I currently work in the film industry and I can tell you this stuff is important. Weather they learn it from you now or have to actually attend film school later to learn it, it must be learned at some point.

I think what bsprague above has said completely ignores your question and is not a useful comment. I am not here to tell you how to do your job, but if you want info on what camera are excellent for teaching students the world of film the Canon C100 is a better step towards that than the fixed lens non-cinema sensor format cameras you have listed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
I think what bsprague above has said completely ignores your question and is not a useful comment. I am not here to tell you how to do your job, but if you want info on what camera are excellent for teaching students the world of film the Canon C100 is a better step towards that than the fixed lens non-cinema sensor format cameras you have listed
This is rubbish.
Bsprague has "hit the nail on the head", you don't need expensive cameras to teach video making plus a camera like the Panasonic AG-AC130A is way over the top for what you want. Two or three consumer cameras such as the Panasonic HC-V750 (or the newer models) to give the video experience and also give insight to the effects of shutter and aperture is a much better starting place. It will also stop quibbling about who has the (one and only) camera.
Good story telling is the key. You only need to look at YouTube to realise that the thing is stuffed with video rubbish. A watch of some of the repeats on TV will show the importance of a good story against picture quality.
Good sound is also important. You want equipment to show how to record decent sound. An external mic or a Zoom type recorder would help here.
Finally let me also say "Get a Good Editor". This is the key to all decent video. I use Corel's VideoStudio which has the advantage of being easy to learn and has plenty of on-line tutorials. A good video is how you put the raw shots together, how you enhance them with sound, both voiceover and music, and how you present the final compilation.


Bsprague is right. The kids already have video cameras in their phones or tablets, the don't need a $4000 camera. A small number of good video cameras plus the sound equipment and PC editing would be a better way to spend your money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
The op did say he wanted prosumer to professional gear equipment so a tiny cam with little manual control is not in that category,PD 13 is my choice of editor at present.
This is true but I was trying to suggest some lateral thinking and ask OP to consider the range of equipment needed to make a video plus considering the story rather than the high tech. After all you don't need a Rolls to pass your driving test and a mini will do just as well!
Technical considerations could be covered with a talk from a local film maker or video club.

Video is not just about the camera. How about directing or script writing, lighting and scenery? This is an opportunity for the whole group to participate and express their interests in video.

OP has the massive advantage of having a group which will naturally split into those who want to be in front of the camera and those who want to be behind and do the techy stuff. Our Club teamed up with the local Am Dram to make the odd film.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
This is true but I was trying to suggest some lateral thinking and ask OP to consider the range of equipment needed to make a video plus considering the story rather than the high tech. After all you don't need a Rolls to pass your driving test and a mini will do just as well!
Technical considerations could be covered with a talk from a local film maker or video club.

Video is not just about the camera. How about directing or script writing, lighting and scenery? This is an opportunity for the whole group to participate and express their interests in video.

OP has the massive advantage of having a group which will naturally split into those who want to be in front of the camera and those who want to be behind and do the techy stuff. Our Club teamed up with the local Am Dram to make the odd film.
This is true [Video is not just about the camera. How about directing or script writing, lighting and scenery? ]but i maintain using tiny point and shoot mostly auto shoot camcorders is not the way to go IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
.........I think what bsprague above has said completely ignores your question and is not a useful comment. I am not here to tell you how to do your job, but if you want info on what camera are excellent for teaching students the world of film the Canon C100 is a better step towards that than the fixed lens non-cinema sensor format cameras you have listed.
I apologize if I offended you or the OP.

My suggestions are based on teaching my granddaughters. We started with a $900 camcorder a few years ago. It took about two days to learn the knobs and buttons. Children that have never seen film or dial telephones think with a different set of tools!

Their most recent creative work was for a chemistry class. The youngest was to do a "report" on titanium. She rerwrote the words to a popular song explaining the element and sang them while playing the guitar. Her sister played the piano to help. She thought nothing of grabbing her iPod to shoot the video. In the story telling she merged the bodies into one to give the appearance of one person singing, playing the guitar and the piano as well. She got an A+. It was not about the camera, it about the quality of the story telling.

If you've chosen to not look at the book, "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck", consider looking at Steve Stockman's website, http://www.stevestockman.com/ . It's full of information. If you drill down a bit , you will find a teacher's classroom guide. Steve writes, "“It’s the beginning of a new school year. Which means one more year of school projects shot on video. And hours of misery for the teachers who have to watch them. If only there was a way to make student video better. If only someone would create a set of downloadable lessons that could turn students into little Steven Spielbergs in a few short hours. And if only they were free.”

The lesson plans are here: http://www.stevestockman.com/free-downloadable-lessons/ . With more here: http://www.stevestockman.com/Steve Stockman- 5 Hour Video Boot Camp.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your input everyone.

Perhaps if I give a bit more background to the class... This year has been a dry run for the course. I've only had two students. We were given no budget and no curriculum. Students had to supply whatever gear we used (cameras, computers, editing, etc.). As a result, we've shot everything with a Canon T3i and it's kit lens. For curriculum, I've tried to used video tutorials from lynda.com. We've only done two large projects so far. One was a substantial highlight film for our state champion girls volleyball team. The second was a promotional video/commercial for a parent with a startup company. He "paid" us $5000 with the understanding we'd use it to get gear for the class to continue. And that's where we are.

During this trial run, teaching has been difficult. We as a class are being asked by the school administrators to produce professional level productions; I'd like to teach them how to shoot great video, record great audio, light interviews properly, tell great stories, etc; the class is limited to the gear one student owns and shares. There's so many moving parts and pieces.

I think HD quality is a must; also a versatile lens and DoF for a variety of shots (sports to interviews). I have a feeling the class will soon morph into an in-house production studio for official projects and event videography.

Based on that info, does it change your recommendations? Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,630 Posts
Bsprague you didn't offend at all mate I was just trying to call attention to the specific question that was asked.

You guys seem to all be missing the point though, you all keep preaching ideas on syllabus to this person who is already a TEACHER. OP was asking specifically about what are some great cameras to teach video production to students. If OP wanted to know how to teach or what to teach the kids he would have asked that.

The camera I suggested wouldn't have been far off the price level of the cameras he was already thinking about and the addition of removable lenses is paramount to anybody wanting to learn more than just pointing and shooting, it will force them to consider framing and lens choices rather than "ok ill just stick the camera here and spin the zoom wheel" instead they can be thinking " ok ill use a nice long lens here, 100mm will give me that nice shallow depth of field observational tone". This is high school not elementary school. Assume for a moment the kids are fairly technically interested in using some useful gear and build skills. This all comes from my personal experience in high school film class. And I do actually work in the industry and had to learn some fundamental things on the job which I didn't learn in high school specifically lensing so it is not rubbish at all!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,630 Posts
Just saw the above post from OP.

Considering your budget I would almost be inclined to look at something like a Canon 7d Mark II with a Rode Videomic pro which will give you pretty decent audio as its a powered mic.

The sensor is large so you will have great low light performance and DOF and the ability to change out your lenses, you would have enough change left over to get a decent entry level lighting kit and a nice zoom lens like a 24-70mm Canon or a half decent zoom and a prime lens or two. With a 7d if I were to get prime lenses I would go with a 24 / 50 / 85mm lenses. You should be able to get all 3 of those for about $1500 from B&H. Rokinon lenses would be the brand which will give you great bang for buck here.

If you truly want an all in one camera though then the ones you suggested should do fine but I would suggest buying a semi pro mic for it as those built ins are rubbish. I have a Rode NTG2 which uses XLR and was just under $300 and sounds fantastic.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
...... We as a class are being asked by the school administrators to produce professional level productions; I'd like to teach them how to shoot great video, record great audio, light interviews properly, tell great stories, etc;......... I have a feeling the class will soon morph into an in-house production studio for official projects and event videography.

Based on that info, does it change your recommendations? Thanks again.
That changes everything. Your students' gear has to look "professional". Besides taking HD video it has to be shoulder mounted, have a viewfinder, a visible mic that sticks out and XLR inputs. I apologize for intruding with my theories. My assumptions were wrong.

Good luck with your project and may you have the good fortune of having excellent students.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top