Non-standard POV Cam question at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Micro / POV Camera Systems

Micro / POV Camera Systems
Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 1st, 2010, 01:59 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 150
Non-standard POV Cam question

So I'm thinking of purchasing a POV camera- not because I need to mount it on a helmet or something similar, but because I record music performances where I cannot have a camera visible to the audience (ie small ensemble classical music). I'd like some shots on stage, but I cannot have a full size camera and/or a cameraman on stage.

i've been contemplating using a POV camera to fill this need- they tend to be small and easily hidden and I could use that to get some good shots of the performance from angles I wouldn't otherwise be able to use.

I went to look at a Go Pro and it looked quite cool, but I wasn't convinced that I'd be able to mount it as needed. Unfortunately, my salesperson wasn't terribly knowledgable so that didn't help. Also the pastic case was a bit of a turn-off for this use. If I was mounting the camera on a snow-board, it would be fantastic, but I need small and inconspicuous (and a shiny plastic case isn't exactly that).

Here's what I am looking for:

1. small and easily hidden. Preferably black matte color.
2. Good image writing to an HD format. Other cameras in use include Sony NX5U, Canon XH-A1S and similar...
3. Must be able to record sound. Being a music guy- I tend to use audio cues for sync of my cameras. It doesn't have to be good sound as I've got feeds going to other cameras and I do a mix in post of multitrack audio recorded to a Pro Tools rig.

All else is possible. I'd prefer it not to cost thousands of dollars, but if that is what it costs, then I'll budget accordingly.

Any ideas for cameras that may work for my needs?

Thanks!
__________________
Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com
Benjamin Maas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2010, 10:54 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 81
I briefly contemplated the Sony HXR-MC1 (there's a bunch of reviews around the web somewhere...) for some similar applications (and much more) but at more than USD 3K I just couldn't justify it. But if you can afford the price, it looks like a very usable unit that would probably do a good job in the situation you're planning for...
Hamish Reid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2010, 11:26 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The Great Northwest
Posts: 133
if you go with the gopro, check out all the various mounting stuff at eyeofmine.com
John Abbey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2010, 12:08 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 150
Very cool mounts- thanks for the link. Many of those are the kinds of things I was looking for, but couldn't find.

I'll also look into the Sony POV camera. I wish I could see one in person, though and see what the image looks like. I don't mind an imperfect image on a $250 camera (what do you expect), but if I'm going to drop bigger bucks, it needs to be worth it.

--Ben
__________________
Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com
Benjamin Maas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2010, 12:22 PM   #5
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 4,093
I love my GoPro cameras for what they can do. In sunlight, the image is surprisingly good. But as Dylan and other have pointed out, the image falls apart with noise and grain very quickly as avalaible lighting diminishes. If your stage is very well lit, the GoPro may be ok for you. Also, you should determine if the extreme wide angle and the quite significant barrel distortion work for you. At 1080p, it shows 127 degrees and at 720p it is 170 degrees.

Otherwise, there are regular AVCHD camcorders that aren't that much larger than a GoPro in its clear case, and would do better in less than ideal lighting.
__________________
Pete Bauer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Albert Einstein
Trying to solve a DV mystery? You may find the answer behind the SEARCH function ... or be able to join a discussion already in progress!
Pete Bauer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2010, 12:26 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 150
I'm totally open to suggestions. I'd prefer not having the distortion and I really don't need 170 degrees for the stuff I do. The lighting thing could be an issue- when I'm working in churches and other similar rooms, the lighting can be an issue- even for better cameras.

What other AVCHD cams are of similar size? Most of the consumer camcorders I've seen are substantially larger.

--Ben
__________________
Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com
Benjamin Maas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 7th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 202
If you take the GoPro Out of the case you could paint it black.
Another option is get a regular camera with a telephoto lens and shoot from the back of the auditorium.
Then just capture the sound with a separate sound recorder.
__________________
Independent Filmmaker in Canada's Capital
Graeme Hay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 8th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,570
I've shot a few performances in churches large and small and I don't quite understand why the camera has to be totally invisible to the audience. Sure a camera dangling beneath a crane with a hot head might be a bit much but so long as the camera is just sitting somewhere static and isn't huge I cannot see why there's be any objection.
We use a HC5 as a B camera to our EX1 and the HC5 can perform quite well. You could probably pickup a second hand HC7/9 quite cheaply and they're small enough to not be objectionable. The GoPro has almost unlimited mounting options, just checkout their website. Whilst it's far from stellar in low light for some interesting ECU POV shots as cutaways you could do well using several of them hidden amongst a small ensemble. You could mount them on the music stands for example, most performers today have their own lights so they can read the music, one little extra box shouldn't be noticeable and up that close to say a violinist or horn player the wide angle would work for you.
Bob Grant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 8th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washoe Valley, NV
Posts: 301
I would avoid the GoPro for this application.... as many have noted, the low light (or even moderately well-lit) performance is abysmal.
Have you looked at the Sony CX550V or Canon HFS20? I have used every iteration of Sony's HD camcorders for remote work since the HC3. The CX550 blows every one of them away in all regards (AVCHD codec over HDV, stellar low-light performance, solid state recording, much wider lens)
I briefly used a Canon HFS20, but it wouldn't interface with my motion sensors so it didn't stay around long, but for the period I played with it I was impressed. Very similar in performance to the Sony 550.
(plus, those cameras are black, and relatively small) You will also have the ability to manually control exposure, focus and audio.
__________________
www.zooprax.com
Derek Reich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 101
Re: Non-standard POV Cam question

I definitely think you should check out the Drift Innovation HD170 Stealth POV Camera. It records 1080-30P, 720-30P, and 720-60P. It has the usual tripod mount and can rotate, so you can mount it in a variety of orientations. It also will take an external mic input (with optional adapter cord). It has an LCD screen for mode adjustment and aiming. It has a low light setting.

I recently bought one for in-car video but plan to use it in my special event video business as well.
Mark Goldberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 319
Re: Non-standard POV Cam question

ALL of the POV type cameras are totally unsuitable for this purpose, full stop.
Ian Newland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 150
Re: Non-standard POV Cam question

Ended up getting a pretty awesome deal on a used Sony HXR-MC1. Used it a few times with and without the wide angle lens and it has provided pretty good results. i'm looking forward to giving it a good test over the next couple months.

--Ben
__________________
Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com
Benjamin Maas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 319
Re: Non-standard POV Cam question

Good luck with your purchase, 1/5 image sensor is not going to be great in low light but it's what you have now and just have to work around it.
Ian Newland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Southern, CA
Posts: 198
Re: Non-standard POV Cam question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Maas View Post
Ended up getting a pretty awesome deal on a used Sony HXR-MC1.
--Ben
Here's a close competitor to the SONY for a lot less money.

POV.HD Digital Video Camera :: V.I.O.

I have their original SD camera and it's a great camera.
Kirk Candlish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 10th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 150
Re: Non-standard POV Cam question

I'm aware of the shortcomings of all of these cameras. I had wanted to get the POV cam, but when the time came that I *had* to have the camera, the POV was still not out. I couldn't wait anymore and got the Sony. I did get a great deal on it. Still close to 2x what the POV would have cost, but when you need it you can't wait anymore.

Still happy with it. Would still like some cameras that do a bit better in low light (not thrilled with the NX5 that I use as my main cam either), but for now, it will have to wait. Need upgrade the audio rig and the money is going there first.

I'll also add that the zoom feature on it is very handy when I cannot position the camera exactly where I would normally like to have it.

--Ben
__________________
Benjamin Maas Fifth Circle Audio Signal Hill, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com
Benjamin Maas is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Most Recent Additions... > Micro / POV Camera Systems

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:08 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network