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A Strange Yearning for a Camcorder

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 8:36PM
Maybe CB and a few other video experts can turn me back on the straight and narrow path of photography but I've been having inexplicable yearnings to get a camcorder

What started it was the fact that I've begun shooting instructional AV shows for public display and realised that I really needed a little point and shoot to take pics of some of my camera / other bits set-ups,
all the cheaper P&S cameras seem so ridiculously small (for my somewhat arthritic hands anyway).

I spent a few minutes in our local PC world and they had some nicely sized Sony camcorders which could also take 8mp stills and for some reason they seemed to nestle quite nicely in my hand going, buy me, you know you want to! Grin

So, has anyone else gone down this route and if so, is it worth it? (prices seem ridiculously low at the moment?)

In additon to my AV work I was thinking of them for Macro video, airshow and windsurfing type use (along with the required Grandchildren activities of course Smile )

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25 Apr 2013 10:11PM
Seems like a wrong move to me, with DSLRs now having video capability. Smile Having said that, I have a Sony Handycam HC19E which I bought a few years ago to take on holiday. Great wee camcorder, I used it to create a video presentation of video clips interspersed with stills and manipulated stills, which I handed in as my Final Major Project for HND Photography in 2007. I still use my camcorder, but I would love to have a video-capable DSLR so I don't have to faff around with two different cameras. The biggest (well the only TBH) drawback is that I have to transfer the video in real time to my PC, as I'm recording on MiniDV. I've used other camcorders which record to SD card, which makes transfer of files much more efficient. If you want to shoot decent video, a tripod is essential. That's before you frighten yourself looking at the price of Steadycam rigs! I found that my camcorder, though very good, had a very long lens, which didn't lend itself to shooting indoors. A Sony wide-angle lens adapter was about £150 (the camcorder cost me about £300 or so) but I searched the net and tracked one down for £50. Likewise with the battery. The original battery was quite low capacity and a larger one was £114 from Sony. Got one from a battery supplier online for about £12. Hope this helps, Alex.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 10:56PM
thanks Alex, some good thoughts there.

The EM-5 isn't bad for video but its the business of what to get as a 2nd camera / camcorder that is the driver here I think (I tried using my ASUS transformer tab today but its so darned clumsy and my HTC phone can do it too but that's too small and fiddly - its a bugger having hands that don't work so good anymore)
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
25 Apr 2013 11:07PM
How about looking around for a deal on a Pany GF1, 2, or 3 fitted with a 14mm, two birds with one stone Brian.

Something like this.

brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
25 Apr 2013 11:14PM
Thanks Paul, I had mulled that one over a bit but I found the GF2 was a bit small in my hand when I looked at the panny bodies some time back. Even with the EM-5 I have to keep both parts of the battery grip on to make it comfortable to use
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
25 Apr 2013 11:19PM
You can get those handle thingy`s that screw into the tripod thread.

All you need do is press the red button Smile
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
25 Apr 2013 11:24PM
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2013 12:38PM
just to update you on where I've ended up, I've ordered an "Opened box but new" fuji XS-1

Paul, you are partly to blame Grin as I have picked up on your positive comments on the X series cameras and, as I understand it. the XS-1 has the same 12mp sensor as the X10.

The EPZ review was pretty positive too

It covers the same range of FL as my current EM-5 lens collection and looks to have a decent range of video options, inlcuding some Slow Motion options for my "Bubble Planet" work

Should have it by Weds so I'll let you know how I get on with it. Weight could be a problem but as it will only be a "Reserve / Fiddling at Home" option I hope that won't be too bad (it certainly won't be too small for me to handle! Wink )

Thanks for your various inputs
29 Apr 2013 12:48PM
You know how much the X-S1 weighs, right? If not, you’re in for a shock!

Here’s a useful link in the meantime.

Edit: sorry, I missed your comment on weight in your last post. I see you’ve done your research.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2013 12:53PM
yep, handled on some time back Samuel and read the spec sheets to refresh my memory.

I certainly would want to use it as my "walking about hand-holding camera", but that isn't the objective (I can always return it within the 7 day return window if it is worse than I remember Wink )
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
29 Apr 2013 12:57PM
Just about exact same weight as a 5D.
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
29 Apr 2013 1:25PM
When it comes to HD video, the playing field is levelled somewhat because you are taking moving pictures with a maximum size of 2 megapixels. The main advantage of using a CSC or DSLR is ability to change lenses and the 'arty' shallow DOF capability.

Brian, it sounds like a decent compact plus a Camgrip (about £7 on Amazon) could suffice, since an instructional video will not normally need arty effects! Wink

I use my shirt-pocket Sony TX55 with Camgrip sometimes. The camera's video bitrate is actually higher than that of my Olympus OM-D. In good light the compact is really quite good.

If you have problems with your hands, a grip such as the one I've suggested, or a pistol grip, is essential IMO. Smile
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2013 2:19PM

Quote:since an instructional video will not normally need arty effects!

Thank goodness for that, I'm not very good at "Arty Effects" CB (have enough problems with bog-standard video at the moment Grin )

The high frame rate / slow mo vids would be shot off a tripod when shooting my soap-bubbles to allow me to show the convection current effects better than trying to slow down standard 25fps vid which ends up a bit "Stop-motiony" (new word Wink )

Thanks Keith, I had one of those so should just about be OK for what its intended for
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
29 Apr 2013 3:06PM
Post processing is arguably even more important for video than stills. What software are you using, Brian?
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2013 4:13PM
I'm still trying to sort that out CB so any advice would be welcome.

I use Proshow Gold and Picturestoexe at present and have tried Magix movie edit pro (but couldn't get on with it)

I even had a go with the Windows Moviemaker prog which I found gave not bad results, but as you see, I'm still flailing about with Video Wink

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