I keep getting asked to suggestion video camera’s so I here is my current suggestions/thoughts for video kits to get. The actual models doesn’t matter look at the reasons I have picked them and there are always new models out so shop around.
So lets start the base kit that I think you need.
Flip Camera Kit (<$300)
- Kodak Zi-8 ($116.80)
- Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone($25)
- Manfrotto 682B Self Standing Monopod($119.90)
- SDHC Flash Memory Card
I have picked the Kodak because it has an external microphone jack. If get an stereo to mono adaptor you can have two microphones.
With this microphone you will be able to get some more usable sound than from the build in microphone and its 20ft cable will allow some freedom. On camera microphone’s just don’t work because to get a good shot you what to film from from about 6 feet plus to get sound the microphone needs to be within a foot of the sound source.
You need some to help you keep the camera steady as having you and the subject moving just is two much (some cameras have a build in image stabilizer and that will help but its not as good as a monopod or tripod) I picked monopod as a flip looks silly on to of a tripod and this one stands on on its own. It will still move if you try use it touch the recode button etc. so checkout the the remote for $10
And buy lots of memory as you can ship the footage via UPS as it will be to big to transferee across the network/web.
Basic zoom camera ($1,300)
- Canon VIXIA HF S20 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder($869.00)
- Davis & Sanford Provista 7518 Tripod w/FM18 Head($189.95)
- Audio-Technica Pro 88W – Camera Mountable VHF Lavalier System – Includes: Body-Pack …($149)
- Behringer HPX2000 Headphones High-Definition DJ Headphones ($20)
There are cheaper cameras than this, but again it the microphone input jack I am looking for. So now you better low light an optical zoom and a Headphone jack so can check your sound as you are recording.
You could use a monopod with this (get both if you what options) but this tripod has basic video fluid head( it pan and tilts smoothly opposed to a camera tripod which is designed to lock the camera still) this is nice kit with a bag and dolly.
The next stage up in microphones go wireless more freedom less likely hood of someone tipping up on a cable (health and safety alert!)
And do get some headphones and use them. If you can’t hear the speaker while you are filming It can’t get fixed in editing.
Memory as above.
Before you start spending more money on better cameras lets look at some lights. Adding some lights is the best way to improve your video that money can buy. Your camera will be working less hard so your video will be less grainy (noisy), will be using a smaller aperture and therefore will have a long depth of field (more in focus).
There are lots of LED kits out so picked this slight at random. What I like it that there are powered by 6 AA Batteries / AC adaptor they come with floor stands. One of the problem with floor stands is that they get in the way and in public place some really needs to stand next to them and hold them all the time (health and safety alert!). This why I have added the Magic Arm kits so you can use this to attach the light to something that not in the way (exhibition stand extra) they cost a bit and you will need one per light but I feel they are worth it to free the floor space etc.
I like this kit because you get two for the price of one. The radio kit has two channels so you can use one as the tie clip and plug the other into a microphone. This microphone is a long hand model so you don’t have to put your hand into someone face to get it close enough.
You will of seen microphone flag been used every night and not know what they are called, this square bit of plastic that you put on a handheld microphone with your logo will make it look like you know what you are doing.
High end kit
- Sony HXR-NX5U NXCAM Professional Camcorder($4,000)
- Manfrotto 501HDV Head w/546B 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod System ($500)
There is a reason this costs $4,000
- 3 1/3″ CMOS Sensors
- 1080i/1080p/720p AVCHD (@24Mbps)
- Native 1080/24p, 720/60p
- Wide Angle 20x G-Lens
- HD-SDI & HDMI Output
- SMPTE Time Code In/Out
- Dual XLR Inputs
- Simultaneous HD/MPEG-2 SD Capture
- Uses Memory Stick PRO Duo / SDHC Cards
- Built-in GPSThis is proper camera that you can set the white balance on and work in low light and record un-compressed video. But it a bigger camera so you will need a bigger tripod. This need extra fast memory class 6 + so watch what you buy.So the question is does anybody have $6,000 so we can buy some kit?I will end with one last word of warning BIG storage and HEAVY duty editing PC needed. If you want a laptop and software that you can edit these file on in real-time $7,500 is number you need in your budget.