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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I need some advice choosing a camcorder. I don't know much about camcorders.

Camcorder will be used to film lectures. That material will be the edited and uploaded to web.


The things that I believe are important are the following:

- Ability to film relatively high quality video (in HD format)

- Small sized

- Good operation under low light

- Convenient battery life

- Relatively big optical zoom

- To not exceed 3500 Eur


I was offered these three cameras:

- JVC GY-HM100

- Panasonic AG-HMC41E

- Sony HXR-NX70E


Which one to pick? Why? Or should I look for something else.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20873559


Hello,

I need some advice choosing a camcorder. I don't know much about camcorders.

Camcorder will be used to film lectures. That material will be the edited and uploaded to web.


The things that I believe are important are the following:

- Ability to film relatively high quality video (in HD format)

- Small sized

- Good operation under low light

- Convenient battery life

- Relatively big optical zoom

- To not exceed 3500 Eur


I was offered these three cameras:

- JVC GY-HM100

- Panasonic AG-HMC41E

- Sony HXR-NX70E


Which one to pick? Why? Or should I look for something else.


Just curious as to why you picked those models? They certainly are decent camcorders but why those?

Are the lectures outdoors or do you have no access to Mains?

For what you are doing you could spend less and do just as well.

The Sony is the dust/rainproof model so unless you are filming in those conditions you are paying for something you don't need.

The JVC is highly rated and used by a lot of places for reviews and the like.

You could also buy less expensive model like the Canon HF G10/XA10 depending n whether or not you need XLR mic inputs. They take great video and are easy to upload to the Web.


If you need a higher end camera that's fine but most just give you a lot more manual control. The video will not neccesarily be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response.

I have not picked them myself. I have told the same story as I did here in a few shops and based on it I was offered those camcorders.

Most of the time there will be no access to mains.

I guess that Sony is partly more expensive because it has 96 Gb internal flash memory which is a great thing.

As I understand, XLR and TRS are just the type of connectors, so I could use XLR to TRS cable if there would be no XLR inputs on camcorder.


Comparing JVC GY-HM100 and Canon XA10. What extra features do I get for the higher price (JVC)?
 

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I used to have the JVC HM100. I sold it, here is my opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE9eJbimRp0 Out of the three you listed the HMC40 will be the best quality/price wise, but the NX70 will probably be the best if money is not a problem.


Look at the Canon XA10 (AVCHD, XLR) or XF100 (XDCAM EX/HD422) before buying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These cameras could also be added to the comparison:

- Panasonic AG-HMC150

- Canon XF100

- Canon XA10


The question remains. How to choose the best camcorder among those 6 based on my needs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20874252


Thanks for your response.

I have not picked them myself. I have told the same story as I did here in a few shops and based on it I was offered those camcorders.

Most of the time there will be no access to mains.

I guess that Sony is partly more expensive because it has 96 Gb internal flash memory which is a great thing.

As I understand, XLR and TRS are just the type of connectors, so I could use XLR to TRS cable if there would be no XLR inputs on camcorder.


Comparing JVC GY-HM100 and Canon XA10. What extra features do I get for the higher price (JVC)?


Dave Mack a forum member shot this video with his XA10, it's low light and the sound is great.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sAnu1bNkQg&sns=em


This video is far more demanding than your needs as you seem to want to use it for talking heads. If you don't need XLR inputs you can save even more money and get a Canon HF G10 which has less internal memory and no XLR. The Sony looks to be a decent camera but it's costly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So these six camcorders will give the same video quality? XA10 gives 24 Mbps of video bandwidth while XF100 – 50 Mbps. Is this figure not related to video quality?

Here is an official comparison between those to camcorders. I do not see much of the difference except the $1300 lower price.
 

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You have not posted about who will be watching, what they will be watching with, where the lectures are being recorded or how long they will be.


Common web consumer connections require fairly low "quality" levels if you want to watch without pauses for buffer downloads. Watch a few random YouTubes on a common consumer connection. Look at the lower right hand corner for a number. Click on it and see "Settings". Often you will see "360p" or "480p". Then, with some, you will see "HD" with some numbers like "720" and Y"1080". Select those and you may see how well shaven he is or how many skin wrinkle she has. But, the lecture won't get any better.


If you are working on delivering lectures to students or busy young professionals they are likely to be watching on iPhones, iPods or Androids. Those delivery speeds and screen sizes require nothing near what you are looking at.


If you shoot lectures with the camera set to these high quality levels, then deliver them to the web in that high level, the only people that will see the difference are the ones with the highest priced internet connection and that will watch on the highest priced wall sized flatscreen HD TVs -- if they are connected to the web.


Another way to put it is that you seem to be shopping for a Kenworth truck with a 18 speed manual transmission to haul home four bags of groceries. A Subaru Outback with an automatic will do it better.


So start with the potential web audience, their viewing needs and their equipment. Back up from there and you will probably find that any Sony, Cannon or Panasonic at Best Buy will do the job. Yes, you may want all the automatic stuff aimed a consumer level if you are the beginner you say you are.


If you record a 30 minute lecture at the quality settings being suggested here it will create such large files, YouTube will have to dumb it down to where nobody will ever know you used a pro camera. If you do ANY editing at all (even a title screen) you will need a monster computer to handle the monster files.


Your biggest challenge may turn out to be sound quality. Picture quality suitable for the web will be easy. Anything you record from the back of the room will have crappy sound. Stop comparing frame rates and bps. For web lectures, figure out the sound.


How far away will the camcorder be and will the lecturer be in one spot or will he be all over the stage. Will she/he be using a white board, electronic screen, power point or black board? Will the shooter have to follow the lecturer? Or, will it be tripod mounted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The country I live in has a very good internet speeds. 100 Mbps is quite common (you can get it for as low as $20/month) and is some places it reaches over 500 Mbps (for $50/month). Youtube will not be used for this, the separate server and high quality internet line will be supplied.


I believe primarily people will be watching those recordings with computers, not iPads or smart phones.


Professional wireless microphone will be used for audio. So I believe there will no problems with it.


Camera will be tripod mounted. Different lectures at different places will be filmed, so he/she could be using black boards, PP presentations etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann /forum/post/20876937


Lectures -> locked on a tripod -> no need for manual controls -> Canon HF M400 + 3rd party XLR adapter.

I am not comfortable with buying a consumer camcorder. Low end pro camcorder is the thing I want to invest in.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann /forum/post/20876937


Lectures -> locked on a tripod -> no need for manual controls -> Canon HF M400 + 3rd party XLR adapter.

An 8 GB card at at 12Mbps has room for a 60 minute plus lecture, 10x optical zoom should be more than enough for any room, it has a mic input and it has good Canon automatic modes for dependable and consistent results. The video will still have to dumb down for easy to watch web video -- if a lecture can be easy to watch!


What "3rd party XLR adapter" do you use? Does it have an 1/8th inch plug on it?


Thanks.


Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20876992


I am not comfortable with buying a consumer camcorder. Low end pro camcorder is the thing I want to invest in.

The right tool for the job? I can do a better job tightening the nut on a 1/4 inch bolt with with a box wrench that fits. On the other had, I can adapt a small socket to an impact wrench hooked to a 5 horse 220 volt compressor. That might strip the threads. Big and powerful is not always the best.


I'm reading that pros (that actually get paid) are using all sizes and shapes.


The difference between the HF M400 "consumer" and a "low end pro" is marketing not technology.


Was your original question "How do to a good job of getting lectures on the web?" or "Which camcorder of three have the technical specs that will create envy when seen in use by professionals?"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20877051


I will not need to use any XLR adapters for now as I am thinking about getting this one - Sennheiser EW-112P. It has 3.5 mm jack.

I looked it up on Amazon. Those are cool! There appears to be a few different versions. A $600 wireless mic should be good enough to not pick up any interference in a lecture hall full of cell phones, iPods, wifi laptops, mifis and a sound system. Since price is clearly not a concern, you might consider an XLR adapter and mic as a backup.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20877108


My question was which one out of these six to pick:

- JVC GY-HM100

- Panasonic AG-HMC41E

- Panasonic AG-HMC150

- Sony HXR-NX70E

- Canon XF100

- Canon XA10


Actually, you wrote "Which one to pick? Why? Or should I look for something else."


I have no hands on experience with any of them. So I will butt out.


But, before I do...


I have a professor brother-in-law that lectures in the Business school at a good southern university. For the convenience of his students he decided to buy an iPad, put it on a stand on his desk, lecture in to it and put it on the web. Then, his students could review what they missed in class, didn't understand or fell asleep for.


He knew I had recently decided to take up video as a hobby and told me about a book his librarian daughter recommended as new, popular and effective. Called "How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck", I bought it. I'm half done reading it. So far my brother-in-law's video plan flunks on every point the author makes. His videos will be unbearable and unwatchable.


Good luck and have a ball learning all the features, buttons and modes of whatever toys you choose to buy.


You set the budget in Euros. Where do you live?


Best...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20876975


The country I live in has a very good internet speeds. 100 Mbps is quite common (you can get it for as low as $20/month) and is some places it reaches over 500 Mbps (for $50/month). Youtube will not be used for this, the separate server and high quality internet line will be supplied.


I believe primarily people will be watching those recordings with computers, not iPads or smart phones.


Professional wireless microphone will be used for audio. So I believe there will no problems with it.


Camera will be tripod mounted. Different lectures at different places will be filmed, so he/she could be using black boards, PP presentations etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20876992


I am not comfortable with buying a consumer camcorder. Low end pro camcorder is the thing I want to invest in.


You are making a big and very common mistake. First off I'm going to reccomend that you buy a Canon HF G10 and here is why.

Based on everything you have stated including the mic you are planning on using will work on the HF G10. You will save a lot of money over even the XA10 because you do NOT need XLR onboard, you do not need infrared and you would pay 3 times too much for on board memory.

The HF G10 will cost a lot less, take video you will be proud of. It will look great on YouTube and the mic solves any sound problems you might have except that you might want to mount the mic on aboom pole instead as that it what pro's normally do an you'll get significantly better sound doing that.


Sure you can go out and blow a LOT of money on the hardware, but really you need to buy something you can use easily with full manual controls and something that takes awesome video in low light.

You will also need video editing software and Sony Vegas Pro 10 is a great program and relatively easy to use.


So spend more money if you just feel like wasting it but you will not outgrow an HF G10 anytime soon.


I'd love to own a Pro rally car but I'd need 2 years of rally car driving school to be able to drive it properly.

You should be focusing on the lectures not on the hardware.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tich /forum/post/20877108


My question was which one out of these six to pick:

- JVC GY-HM100

- Panasonic AG-HMC41E

- Panasonic AG-HMC150

- Sony HXR-NX70E

- Canon XF100

- Canon XA10


I owned the nx70, xf100, and xa10. The nx70 compares mostly IMO to the xa10 but is bigger and rain proof. The xf100 for the money has a ton of manual control over the other two. You can get custom picture profiles or make your own for the xf100. The codec for the xf100 is 50mbs but it needs to be converted down for most end use. I have the hf g10 and it's the same as the xa10 with out the handle, xlr, and IR. I suggest the canons you just need to know how much you want to spend. Sounds like the g10 would do what you need.
 
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