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Old March 30th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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Basic Training!

I have many years experience in still portrait photography; however, brand new to video.

My goal is to produce my own series of training videos and have a couple of questions.

Is it necessary to use a 3 ccd camera? Do I need that level of capture quality for this project?

Would a new HD video camera (but not 3 chip) adequately do the job?

I was considering a used Canon XL1. Should I be considering a camera that old? Is a used XL1 in fair condition worth $1100?

If this kind of information is available somewhere on the web can you provide a link?

Thank you all for helping. If you have any portrait questions, feel free to ask.

Don Chick
M.Photog., Cr., CPP
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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Just like with still photography, lighting and composition will make more difference than what camera you shoot with. A well lit scene will look better, even shot with a relatively low cost consumer camera, than a poorly lit scene will look, shot with a high end camera.

The single chip HD camcorders need more light than the three chippers, but you can indeed get beautiful images (with good lighting).

An XL1, in good shape is probably worth $1100. I don't really know what "fair" condition might mean. If you want to shoot 4:3 SD, with an inexpensive three 1/3" CCD camera that can shoot a very good image (good manual control - very tweakable image), I'd suggest looking for a used JVC GY-DV300U. They can be found in excellent condition, with low hours, for under $1000 (a lot of camera for the money).
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #3
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In my opinion, a training video is much more forgiving than a film. a movie buff will put the blu-ray disc in, grab a bucket of popcorn, and watch it on a 60" television. any flaw will be noticed. an instructional video is much more likely to be watched on a smaller television, or even the computer. and the viewer is not concentrating on the film, they are concentrating on the content. I agree, a single chip HD camera with good lighting should be perfect. the camera will wear out long before the lights or microphones. invest more money in lighting and audio, and less on cameras. later, you can upgrade the cameras.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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Hi Robert,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your help.

Right now I have a Sony DCR-TRV720 NTSC Digital Handycam.

The video's that I want to produce will be shot in a small studio space and I have the equipment to illuminate the space very well.

So, in your opinion, or anyone else who wants to offer advice.... with the Sony camera listed above and a well list scene, do you think the potential results would be of high enough quality to satisfy someone purchasing the videos?

Next question... I have Pinnacle Studio version 9

I want to do a very simple presentation, nothing fancy. With that in mind...

Should I look at the Sony software, Adobe Elements or upgrade to the latest Pinnacle Studio revision?

Again, I appreciate your help. Thank You.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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Thank you Allen for your insight. That makes complete sense to me.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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With enough light, that camera produces a very good SD image. I would suggest you script your first "lesson" and try shooting it with that camera - you will be surprised I think. I have a TRV350 and have done some stuff for group presentation and the picture quality even stood up decently well when blown up for presentation. (Mind you it does not compare to HDV from a SonyZ1, but it's pretty darn good for SD.)

You only have a miniplug audio input, and cannot control the recorded audio, so you may want to consider separately recording the audio and mixing it in during post. Use a clapboard for synch, and use decent microphones properly set up. I think your audio may be the weak link in that set-up. For example, a long cord from an unbalanced lavalier to a miniplug input has a good chance of picking up stray RF interference over its length.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #7
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I have a TRV730 (very similar to a TRV720, I believe). It's not a bad camera. It shoots a fairly sharp, clean image for a consumer camera. I could see making low budget training videos with it. The one thing I dislike the most, is that there is no manual white balance (automatic white balance only). If you find the quality of the images from the TRV720 to only be borderline acceptable, then getting a DV300U (or another three chipper, like an XL1, VX2100, etc.) would almost surely give you results that would make you real happy.

You can probably get by with something like Pinnacle Studio 9, so long as you are just doing basic editing. If you go that route, I'd suggest using TMPGenc 2.5 to do the MPEG2 compression for making DVDs (rather than the encoder bundled with Pinnacle). It's low cost, yet a good quality encoder. VirtualDub is another useful tool (free).
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:36 AM   #8
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Thank you again Robert.

Are there any websites with info that I can check to help de-mystify some of the language and hardware nomenclature? Or, is there a book or series that I might consider to get me up to a basic understanding of what I need?
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Old March 31st, 2008, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Chick View Post
Thank you again Robert.

Are there any websites with info that I can check to help de-mystify some of the language and hardware nomenclature? Or, is there a book or series that I might consider to get me up to a basic understanding of what I need?
Heres some sites that I found and posted that might be of help.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=117401
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Old March 31st, 2008, 02:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ben Dailey View Post
Heres some sites that I found and posted that might be of help.
Thank you Ben, I've already began to check those out and learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
You can probably get by with something like Pinnacle Studio 9, so long as you are just doing basic editing. If you go that route, I'd suggest using TMPGenc 2.5 to do the MPEG2 compression for making DVDs (rather than the encoder bundled with Pinnacle). It's low cost, yet a good quality encoder. VirtualDub is another useful tool (free).
Please help me with a bit more of the basics....

I would capture with the TRV720, use Pinnacle to get the information to the computer, then what? It that where TMPGenc 2.5 comes in to get the info out to the disc? Does VirtualDub replace Pinnacle somehow?
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Old April 1st, 2008, 03:13 PM   #11
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Thanks!

I know this info seems trivial to those with more experience; however, I am so on the front end of this process that everything thats been said so far on this thread has helped me tremendously. Thank you all for your help.

If I could get a reply to additional basic info, it would help me again.

I can capture with the Sony TRV720, use Pinnacle Studio to get the information to the computer, then what? It that where TMPGenc 2.5 comes in to get the info out to the disc? Does VirtualDub replace Pinnacle somehow?

Thank you again for all your help.

Don
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Old April 4th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #12
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Pinnacle is a consumer level NLE (non linear editor). You can also use it to capture files from the camera. An NLE is what you use to take your raw footage, and cut, splice and arrange your video the way you want it to be viewed as a finished product. VirtualDub is a real basic editor, that is used more for applying filters to video (like noise reduction). There are a lot of filters available on the internet (mostly free) for VirtualDub. TMPGenc 2.5 is an MPEG encoder. You use that to compress your finished video, in preparation to make a DVD. You also need software to take the MPEG2 video you encode, and turn that into a structure that complies with DVD video specs. It's a multiple step process.
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