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Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound

VirginiaTam 21 Nov 09 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Ed 21 Nov 09 - 10:14 AM
treewind 21 Nov 09 - 10:30 AM
VirginiaTam 21 Nov 09 - 10:45 AM
Will Fly 21 Nov 09 - 11:07 AM
Stewart 21 Nov 09 - 01:16 PM
Stewart 21 Nov 09 - 03:04 PM
The Fooles Troupe 21 Nov 09 - 07:31 PM
treewind 22 Nov 09 - 06:36 AM
richd 22 Nov 09 - 07:08 AM
richd 22 Nov 09 - 08:08 AM
Micca 22 Nov 09 - 06:47 PM
open mike 22 Nov 09 - 08:55 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 09 - 05:06 PM
open mike 23 Nov 09 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,Mr Red 24 Nov 09 - 08:24 AM
treewind 01 Dec 09 - 05:17 PM
GUEST 02 Dec 09 - 04:58 AM
Will Fly 02 Dec 09 - 05:15 AM
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Subject: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 10:06 AM

Looking to get a small digital video camera, but we want good sound and not too costly.

Any suggestions?

Oh we are in the UK, but would want to use in Europe and US.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 10:14 AM

How small? What price? How good sound? What do you want to use it for?

There are hundreds of models out there, each with their own pluses and minuses.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: treewind
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 10:30 AM

For good sound, don't use the camera mic at all.

Any camera with a socket for an external mic is going to be a huge improvement as long as you can put the mic where it will get the best sound.

After that you are looking at recording the sound separately and recombining sound and video later, which is in a different ball-park of complexity.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 10:45 AM

£200 - £300 to record myself and other willing victims at song sessions (read dark pubs) to put up on youtube.

Easy traveller, not too bulky.

I knew that about needing an external mic socket for better sound.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 11:07 AM

I have a Canon SD (Standard Definition) camcorder which I used for all my early YouTube videos - cost about £160 (reduced in Dixon's) about 2 years ago.

A couple of months ago I bought a Sony HD (High Definition) camcorder for around £440 from Jessops - with a much better resolution and, given that YouTube and other sites have increased their capacity for larger files, a huge improvement in screen quality.

When I bought the Sony I hadn't realised that the camcorder has a built-in sound "zoom" function - a bit like a long-range microphone - which takes the sound from what it focuses on. I have always normally preferred to dub proper recorder sound over camcorder sound, but the Sony is surprisingly good. Here's a recent sample:

I Got Rhythm

Not as good sound as my Shure SM58 and 8-track Roland digital recorder, but not bad at all. So you pays your money and you takes your choice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: Stewart
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 01:16 PM

I have a Canon PowerShot S3 IS digital camera that I use for video. The sound recording is not bad, in fact fairly good in a quiet environment. With a 8 GB card I can get about an hour of good quality video. I use it to record our coffeehouse concerts, but the camera mics pick up all the extraneous noise (espresso machine, etc). So I use my Zoom H4 to record the sound directly from the mixing board. The sound quality is quite good, and since it is directed I eliminate much of the extraneous noise. I then use Windows Movie Maker to dub the recorded sound into the video (not too complicated, it's basic software and does what I want).

However, what I would really like is the ability to input the sound from the mixing board directly into the camera. I have considered a video cam, but it seems that only the high-end, expensive models have this capability. Is there something in a moderate price range that can do this?

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: Stewart
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 03:04 PM

And here are some examples of the videos I've done with this set-up.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 07:31 PM

"the ability to input the sound from the mixing board directly into the camera."

A suggestion: use an FM mic setup to transmit the sound from the MB output to some appropriate receiver to plug directly in to your camera - you may need to fudge together a few bits - someone else may know of something readily available that works for this. Doing it this way should prevent any lip-sync type problems that may occur with your dubbing setup.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: treewind
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:36 AM

"to input the sound from the mixing board directly into the camera"

If the camera has a mic socket, you need a cable with the right plugs on the ends and an attenuator to lower the levels out of the mixer down to microphone levels. A box with, essentially, four resistors in it (if it's stereo) is all. Much simpler than a radio link, unless there's a physical problem with running a cable between the desk and the camera.

I'd have though that the editing software (I don't know movie maker) should make it easy to sync the sound to the video anyway.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: richd
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 07:08 AM

1. The big problem with dubbing sound over domestic camcorder footage is sync drift. Starts out in sync, then drfits out over the length of a shot. At shot lengths over 3.00 mins or so this can become really noticable, especially if you are using a basic editing package like movie maker. If its a singer/singers in close up it will become noticable in much less than that. You will find it might work on YouTube, but it won't work on a TV.
2. You can do mic into radio mic transmiter to radio mic receiver, then to mic input into camera. However, radio muics that work are pretty pricey, and very prone to interferance from other radio sources.
3. It is possible to take sound via cable from desk to mike input, but you would need to reduce the line level output to mic level i.e. attenuate it. You can cobble together something to do this using easily avaiable parts and a soldering iron.
4. Camera mics, even zoom ones, don't work very well UNLESS YOU GET THE MIC CLOSE TO THE SOUND.- inverse square law.
5. Camcorders are sold on the basis of picture quality, not sound quality, you therefore have to work a lot harder to get decent sound
6. The minimum you should look for is a mic input and headphone output. Spend less on the camera if you have to and a bit more on a mic and a decent cable. The only way you will get decent sound is if you get the mic close to what you are recording and in the right place. Sound isn't like light. You can't 'aim' a mic like you can a camera to avoid distracting sound. This isn't so noticable on items that are recorderd in quiet rooms with no other noise to ditsract, but will become very noticable indeed as soon as conditions worsen.
7. Choice of mic is, for these reasons, as important as important as choice of camera. But always remember that a cheap mic that you can get close to the sound source will alwys outperform an expensive mic further away.
8. Might be worth buying an older modelrecording on mini-dv tape, te sound circuit would be the same, but would record on older format.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: richd
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:08 AM

Don't know if you are US or UK, but for PAL the Sony Handycam HDR-HC9E is ok. about 400-500 British Pounds. Cheaper is Canon MD235 Camcorder for around 200 British pounds. I've used both of these as basic cams with first year BA film students and both are pretty good. External mics are a bit more problematical, depending on what you want to record.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: Micca
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:47 PM

I use a
Panasonic HDC-HS9 for a couple of years now and it gives very good sound and HD video as well,it seems to have good "low light" capability also and a Pinnacle Studio Ultimate version 14 editor, which, while not being "intuitive" is easy to learn and produces remarkably good results, it is also easy to adjust sound sync with it!! and if you have a seperate soundtrack ,either complete or partial, it is easy to insert or replace


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: open mike
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:55 PM

an external mic or a "shot-gun" mic will capture the best sound.
you need to make sure the camera itself has a way to monitor and/or
adjust the audio levels..mine has an imput for external audio, but
no way to see the levels or control this.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 05:06 PM

Even for a "hand-held model. Use a tripod (or at least a mono-pod)and external directional mic


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: open mike
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 09:24 PM

look in this catalog http://www.bhphotovideo.com/

or check out this magazine http://www.videomaker.com/

see comparisons and critiques here

http://reviews.cnet.com/camcorders/

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/

let us know what you decide on!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 08:24 AM

It is worth remembering that:
MiniDV cassettes record in a compressed form. eg jpg compression for each frame only.
DVD camcorders use MP2 which adds a temporal compression with master frames every second or so. (Terrestial TV uses MP2)
HDD/SDcard camcorders use MPeg4 which is a heavier compression than MP2. But alledged superior encoding. Superior quality is not assumed.

All compressions are lossy which means that any video editing, particularly: fancy flying intros, titling or morphing etc has to decompress and re-encode so there is a loss of quality with each generation.

For this reason I would say DV cassette for heavy video editing use.
DVD (if still sold) for unedited archiving/convenience.
And for HDD/SDcard (etc) camcorders I would personally opt for HD versions because it is the future and it does compensate for any losses in encoding, somewhat.

Do you have a DVD writing facility? Most people want to share their videos. I usually edit the video and then make the DVD in Nero, which allows me to add slideshow effects and audio tracks very simply. I also do some slideshowS in Pinnacle and Adobe Premiere as well but always try to edit AVI files (the least compressed form) until the Nero/DVD stage.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: treewind
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 05:17 PM

I just tried making some videos with a Pentax A20, which is an ordinary Digital camera that can also do video. The sound quality is dreadful, not just because of the internal mic but also the encoding of the audio track. I tried again recording the sound separately with a good mic and an Edirol R-09, and resynchronized the sound with the video using avidemux, which is the most usable video editor I could find that runs on Linux, and the result was far better.

I hope any camera intended primarily for video will have better sound than mine did. It was really bad!

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 04:58 AM

The new JVC HD Everio GZ-HM400
audio restores fine sound details
capable of 600 frames a second
available 999.95 US
anything less is a play-toy.
http://www.jvc.com


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Subject: RE: Tech: Which digital video cam w/ best sound
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 05:15 AM

I'm sure the JVC Everio is a fine camera - but it's surely outside the pocket of the OP, as set out in her original post.


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