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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm putting together an equipment list to record training sessions presented by various individuals at my company. These sessions take place in a conference room with a projector wired to that person's computer. We want to capture video and audio of the person presenting and separately record video from the computer.

The sessions will last up to four hours. The camera will be a fixed location for the duration. The end result is intended to be (unless there's a better way to do this), a side-by-side video of computer and the individual. We're trying to limit the scope of the video editing. The delivery mechanism for the video could be anything from a file server up; my company makes custom software.

Here's what I'm looking at now:

* Panasonic VX870 camcorder
* Audio Technica AT803B lavalier mic
* Sony PCM-M10 portable recorder
* Atomos Ninja 2 HDMI recorder
* Tripod with fluid head
* 128 GB x 2 SD
* PowerDirector (if PC) or Premiere Pro (if Mac)

The workflow will be to take Panasonic video at 4K, downsample or crop it, add the Sony audio, put the Atomos capture on one side, and export the result. I have limited video editing experience.

I've excluded DSLRs from the equipment list because all the recent
 

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I'm putting together an equipment list to record training sessions presented by various individuals at my company. These sessions take place in a conference room with a projector wired to that person's computer. We want to capture video and audio of the person presenting and separately record video from the computer.

The sessions will last up to four hours. The camera will be a fixed location for the duration. The end result is intended to be (unless there's a better way to do this), a side-by-side video of computer and the individual. We're trying to limit the scope of the video editing. The delivery mechanism for the video could be anything from a file server up; my company makes custom software.

Here's what I'm looking at now:

* Panasonic VX870 camcorder
* Audio Technica AT803B lavalier mic
* Sony PCM-M10 portable recorder
* Atomos Ninja 2 HDMI recorder
* Tripod with fluid head
* 128 GB x 2 SD
* PowerDirector (if PC) or Premiere Pro (if Mac)

The workflow will be to take Panasonic video at 4K, downsample or crop it, add the Sony audio, put the Atomos capture on one side, and export the result. I have limited video editing experience.

I've excluded DSLRs from the equipment list because all the recent
 

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I'm putting together an equipment list to record training sessions presented by various individuals at my company. These sessions take place in a conference room with a projector wired to that person's computer. We want to capture video and audio of the person presenting and separately record video from the computer.

The sessions will last up to four hours. The camera will be a fixed location for the duration. The end result is intended to be (unless there's a better way to do this), a side-by-side video of computer and the individual. We're trying to limit the scope of the video editing. The delivery mechanism for the video could be anything from a file server up; my company makes custom software.

Here's what I'm looking at now:

* Panasonic VX870 camcorder
* Audio Technica AT803B lavalier mic
* Sony PCM-M10 portable recorder
* Atomos Ninja 2 HDMI recorder
* Tripod with fluid head
* 128 GB x 2 SD
* PowerDirector (if PC) or Premiere Pro (if Mac)

The workflow will be to take Panasonic video at 4K, downsample or crop it, add the Sony audio, put the Atomos capture on one side, and export the result. I have limited video editing experience.

I've excluded DSLRs from the equipment list because all the recent
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I may not need the fluid head, I just assumed there was something special about video tripods. They all look very robust relative to the $300 rig I used for my DSLR.

The computer is likely to be whatever is available. We have a lot of heavy hardware, excluding the rMBP I'm typing on.

Is there a better capture device for this purpose than the Atomos?
 

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I'm a little timid to follow Mark's suggestion, but you may be being sucked into an impossible situation!

I think you have engineered a complicated mess. Forget the 4K. Start with a camcorder with good audio input ports and record the "talking head". The mic should be connected to the camera or you'll get fired for crappy production. Audio is the hard part of video.

For the computer part, use Camtasia or other screen recording program. Put the two "feeds" together in software that supports multiple cameras, like PowerDirector. For examples, google for "Terry White" or look at Lynda.com.

Any tripod will work because the last thing you want to do is wave the camera around. It will make the viewers seasick before they learn anything.

Work hard at KISS, Keep It Simple.....

Good luck!

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good points. Is there any advantage to native XLR over XLR -> 1/8 converters? What am I likely to miss from 'professional' cameras relative to a prosumer model like the Panasonic?
 

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Good points. Is there any advantage to native XLR over XLR -> 1/8 converters? What am I likely to miss from 'professional' cameras relative to a prosumer model like the Panasonic?
Only if you want to use condenser mics requiring 48v Phantom Power. I would concentrate on electret condenser mics, most of which have their own batteries. These and an extension lead should cover your audio needs. There are a number of Lavalier mics in this category, I use a stereo Yoga Tie Clip.


I'm with "bsprague". Why go 4K? An HD 1080/60p rendered to AVCHD standard will give an excellent picture. I suggest you also look at the 770 as well as the 870.


You were correct about the fluid head. It is used for smooth movement of the camera in pans or tilts. For static use, a good tripod with a lockable pan/tilt should do the job better.


One area you have not mentioned is lighting. If you are recording a lecture in a darkened room why use a camera? The info from the computer with a voice over could be enough. But if you want to record the lecturer, you will need decent lighting to get a decent picture. (this applies to any camcorder) Also bear in mind that, even on a 16:9 screen a side by side of computer and lecturer will compress the info from the computer and may make it unreadable. I suggest that picture-in-picture may be an option to consider.


Finally a four hour continuous recording?? Please. I would be "climbing the wall" after two hours!!!!! As I presume you will be breaking up the session on replay, so break up the session on record. The camera will do its own recording on to the SD card so, maybe there is no need for an external video recorder.


Just a few thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Noted. I've had a change of heart on the video side. I think I can do better with a GH3 and a 35-100/2.8. Apparently the body doesn't have a time limit, but does have quite a few more recording options and noticeably higher quality.

I've read that the preamps on the GH3 aren't total crap. Not sure whether I want to run a cable or just stick to the external recorder and sync in post. Apparently Premiere can do that automatically.
 

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..... Not sure whether I want to run a cable or just stick to the external recorder and sync in post. Apparently Premiere can do that automatically.
You wrote, "I have limited video editing experience." Run the cable! I can't speak for anybody else, but video editing has a steep learning curve. It never does things your way and and only becomes fun when you surrender and do it the software's way. Premier is as complex as you will find. There are real people that spend 10 hours a day with it!

Did you look at any of the Terry White tutorials?
 

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Why go with 4K?

Why go with 4K?: because you can zoom and pan in post and get superb HD. This is essential for a more interesting video, and is the only way to do this with an unmanned camera. There is no cost to shooting 4K: a GH4 versus a GH3 is a trivial added expense, and the GH4 is superior to the GH3 in many other ways. And I have not even mentioned again that the downrezzed HD will be much better than the GH3 HD, but that is not the essential point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The points here are well-taken. It would be good to preserve the flexibility to do it 'right' even if I'm not set up that way at the outset.

I'll float the idea of the GH4 relative to the GH3. I agree that the audio feed and the laptop feed are the most important things; the video of the presenter is really an adjunct, so while I'd like to be able to shoot in a somewhat dark room without overwhelming noise, I'm not as concerned about the quality as I could be. The playback method is likely to be a small sub-1080p laptop screen, so the additional resolution may not be as important at this stage.

I'll have months to experiment before this equipment is used seriously. If it turns out I'm getting audio drift or the mic preamp is inadequate with a smaller equipment set, I'll be able to buy the necessary upgrades as needed.
 
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