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Old August 10th, 2016, 01:55 PM   #1
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New and need help for son with Autism

Hello Everyone !

Please bear with me as I give a little background, and why I need help. Also, I am sure that many of the questions I have, and will have. will to many, if not most of you will seem elemental, and for that I ask for your patience and understanding.

I am new in the field, and need some help for my son (I'm a single dad, he is 24), who has Autism. My reason for seeking help here, is that given the relative lack of opportunities for a person with Autism to have a fulfilling life and employment career, I have thought about starting him in his own video production business, ultimately with the goal of selling his finished work. I will not go into details here, but I do believe there is a niche in which he is highly interested which has some possibilities.

I am a complete novice, and as with most things in his life,I will be there to teach him and help him along the way. As a newbie,I ask your forgiveness in advance for what I am sure will be many questions, but his challenges are my challenges, and I learned a long time ago that breaking things down into small steps, is for him, the most productive way to teach him a new skill. A quick word about my son. From my observation, he takes to technology VERY well. I am not saying he is a savant, but sometimes it sure seems like it. Sorry for the rather long introduction.

Please keep in mind that the goal is to sell DVD's of his production(s), in HD, BluRay, and probably/possibly one day 4K/UHD. . I have pretty well decided, that a 4K "capable" camera is the way to go looking into the future, and I have looked into and researched many cameras. Among the ones I am considering are:
Panasonic
AG DVX 200
XCX 1000
AG UX 180
AG UX 90

JVC
GY HM 200
GY LS 300

Sony
PXW X 70
PXW Z 150
PXW Z 100
FDR AX 1
PXW FS 5

These are some of the cameras I am considering and is not meant to be all inclusive. By all means, if anyone has any other ideas, please let me know. What I am looking for, is a very shallow learning curve, relatively speaking of course. Ideally something as close as point and shoot as we can get, and still fill our needs. I know that it is the photographer, or in this case, the videographer that makes the video, but we need all the help (camera) that we can get. I realize that learning and using manual controls are critical to achieving the best results. My thought is that during the "teaching period" I could use the camera in "auto" mode as positive reinforcement for my son, and then, over time, introduce the manual features and their use to refine and enhance his skill level and eventually begin production. I am under no illusion about the difficulties I may be facing in this task, however, if I did not think it might be possible, I would not be making the attempt. At this point, I would have to say, that nearly 100% of the shooting will be done from a tripod, and outdoors during daylight. We will not be trying to make Gone With the Wind, but rather much more simple things like (our actual shots will be none of these, which are given as reference) farm equipment in use, airplanes, ships, etc. I will be purchasing two cameras, with one as a back up (we will be traveling for our shoots, and I thought it would be wise to have a back up). I know that many of you will at least think that perhaps I should be looking at something a little less complicated to learn on, but it is harder by far, for him anyway , to "unteach" a skill learned and try to teach a similar skill a different way. It would be "easier" to teach the skill on the camera he will be using for production. Any thoughts/insights on the cameras I have listed, or any others will be appreciated. I decided to start with the camera, and as I have said, plans are to sell his production(s) as DVD's in HD, Blu Ray, and when the time and technology is right 4K/UHD. I have read that it is estimated that by 2026 half the viewing screens in this country (USA) will be 4K. He will be doing the filming, editing, order filling, etc, with help when needed.

I have "looked" at the cameras listed above,looked at the specs, read the articles, etc., but my fundamental lack of knowledge has led me here to seek guidance and insight to try and shorten the learning curve for me and my son. As we go along, I will have many other questions, and I thank all of you in advance for any help and advice you are willing to give . With him and his needs included, I have a full day now, but I am willing to put in the work to learn the things I need in order to make things understandable for him.

My purpose as I have said, is to give my son a reasonable opportunity at a fulfilling life and career opportunity that few persons with Autism have a chance at. It is also my hope, that if we can be successful, we can be, in some way, an inspiration to those who have a loved one with Autism. Perhaps my son, if successful may serve as an example of what can be possible. Honestly, I do not know with a certainty if he can do this. I think he can, and for him it will be no different than any of the other things he has learned (which most people take for granted), the difference is that this time, he is going to be learning to use a video camera (to start with).

I thank you very much for your attention while reading this rather long communication, and I thank you any help, advice, suggestions that you are willing to give.

Thanks,
Michael and Mackenzie (son)
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Old August 10th, 2016, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

You indicate that most of the shooting will be outside in daylight on a tripod. Can you be more specific regarding the subject matter? Will you need slow motion? Will there be a lot of movement from the subjects? Would you prefer a high dynamic range cinematic type image or better ergonomics from an ENG type camera? Will you need good autofocus?

You might consider starting out with a more modest camera like the Sony A6300 at $1000 (plus lenses and rigging) and then when that works out, you can move up to an FS5 and use the A6300 as B-cam, with the ability to share lenses with each other.

Or you might consider a similar step-up approach with the Blackmagic micro cinema camera (with EF to mft speedbooster), then moving up to the Blackmagic EF URSA Mini 4k or 4.6k.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Hi Michael,

I applaud your intentions. In no way do I want to detract from them but I do have concerns. First, the biggest problem is that you will be his mentor/educator and you do not have the knowledge to do so. You are asking about cameras, a very small part of the professional video production world. Have you done any research on the industry? Have you put together a business plan about how you will make money at it?

With that said I would like to offer some helpful advice. Have you considered trying to find him an internship with a working videographer or possibly a TV station. He could be exposed to the industry and accelerate his learning curve. He would be putting his hands on real equipment and the two of you could learn together from someone who knows how it works.

Michael, please believe this. My advice would almost be exactly the same for anyone that wrote your post even if you took out the autistic part. This forum and every other one like it is littered with posts from people that don't own a camera and have virtually no experience in video production. Yet some how they think that in a relatively short period of time they are going to be profitable enough to quit their day job and go on happily ever after. Very, very few of them ever make a dime of profit.

I hate to sound so negative but I call it the way I see it. I am not discouraging you from trying to succeed at your goals. I sincerely hope you make it. I hope you understand they are lofty goals for almost anyone to achieve when you are starting from the starting gate.

As you pursue this endeavor I wish you all the success in the world.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old August 10th, 2016, 04:10 PM   #4
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Brenner View Post
You indicate that most of the shooting will be outside in daylight on a tripod. Can you be more specific regarding the subject matter? Will you need slow motion? Will there be a lot of movement from the subjects? Would you prefer a high dynamic range cinematic type image or better ergonomics from an ENG type camera? Will you need good autofocus?

You might consider starting out with a more modest camera like the Sony A6300 at $1000 (plus lenses and rigging) and then when that works out, you can move up to an FS5 and use the A6300 as B-cam, with the ability to share lenses with each other.

Or you might consider a similar step-up approach with the Blackmagic micro cinema camera (with EF to mft speedbooster), then moving up to the Blackmagic EF URSA Mini 4k or 4.6k.
Stephen,

Thanks for the reply ! The subject will be moving, sometimes at a fairly decent pace. I do not belive or anticipate ever needing slow motion. As I indicated in my post, I intend to use the "auto" mode of whatever camera I purchase as a positive reinforcer , an then over time, introduce the various manual features How long it will take until a usable shot is made is anyone's guess.

I understand you mentioning the use of a more modest camera initially, but the probable confusion (and his probable frustration that would accompany that confusion), that would come with switching cameras, has led me to conclude that learning (no matter the difficulty) on the camera intended for production is, for him, the smoothest path.


Thanks,

Michael
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Old August 10th, 2016, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Also what is your budget? The camera's you list range from 3K to 6k+ if you also need to buy lenses.
Personally I would start with a camera that has a fixed lens like the DVX 200 and you are all set, with a camera like the fs5 and ls300 you need to consider buying lenses and that will easily double the price for a set of good quality glass, the fs5 and ls300 are also not so good in all auto functions compared to a fixed lens camera that usually also has a smaller sensor and is easier to maintain focus.

I also would choose a camera that has all the functionality you would expect from a professional camera like build in ND's, 3 rings on the lens for zoom, focus and iris, physical switches on the side for iso, whitebalance and xlr connectivity.

The reason why this is important is because you need that to learn the camera basics which you can only do with a camera where you can change every setting manually through easy accessible buttons or switches.

Then you need to teach yourself first what impact each setting has, like when to set a ND, what f-stop to choose and why, what shutter to select, how to read the histogram because that is your exposure, how to set and interpret the zebras, how to assure you nail the focus and then shoot for hours and look on your pc what the result is. everytime something doesn't look right you need to ask yourself, or us if you can't figure it out, why it is happening so you can correct the mistake next time. It's important that you first exactly know how it's supposed to be done because like you said, it's easier to teach a person with autism something new then it is to unteach them something they have become used to.

I think it is awesome what you are planning to do, my youngest daugther is a teacher for children with autism that are 12 years old, she only has a group of 6 children because each child needs individual guidance. I hear from her how different they can be in what they are capable off so if you see that your son has a special talent for technology then the best you can do is to help him to see where his limits are and even try to push him beyond that and don't let anyone tell you what he cannot do because of his disability.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 04:54 PM   #6
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
Hi Michael,

I applaud your intentions. In no way do I want to detract from them but I do have concerns. First, the biggest problem is that you will be his mentor/educator and you do not have the knowledge to do so. You are asking about cameras, a very small part of the professional video production world. Have you done any research on the industry? Have you put together a business plan about how you will make money at it?

With that said I would like to offer some helpful advice. Have you considered trying to find him an internship with a working videographer or possibly a TV station. He could be exposed to the industry and accelerate his learning curve. He would be putting his hands on real equipment and the two of you could learn together from someone who knows how it works.

Michael, please believe this. My advice would almost be exactly the same for anyone that wrote your post even if you took out the autistic part. This forum and every other one like it is littered with posts from people that don't own a camera and have virtually no experience in video production. Yet some how they think that in a relatively short period of time they are going to be profitable enough to quit their day job and go on happily ever after. Very, very few of them ever make a dime of profit.

I hate to sound so negative but I call it the way I see it. I am not discouraging you from trying to succeed at your goals. I sincerely hope you make it. I hope you understand they are lofty goals for almost anyone to achieve when you are starting from the starting gate.

As you pursue this endeavor I wish you all the success in the world.

Kind Regards,

Steve
Hey Steve,

First, thank you for the reply. I am aware, of course, of my lack of knowledge in this field, specifically, in this case, about cameras, but, I did not know anything about Autism either, until I had to learn about it. I have done research ( a lot of it), and I have at this point a pretty decent idea of what lies ahead, filming, editing etc,. from a production stand point, and I have identified a niche in which he is highly interested (this is most important, and I can not express his interest highly enough), which if done properly, can generate a modest revenue stream. He/we will never get wealthy, but it will give him a purpose, and hopefully a satisfying life and career over the next 30-40 years.

I am having a difficult time as of now locating someone who would be willing to be a mentor. It could be because I am not using the right search key words (though I have been using the ones I can think of), here in CT.

I understand your skepticism, and as I said in my post, I honestly do not know if he can do this. I think he can, and I have learned not to underestimate him (especially if he is motivated). Is it a huge challenge, yes, it definitely is, but then again so have many of the things he has learned, the only thing different this time is that he will be learning to use a video camera (which will take a while).

Ultimately, time will tell , if he is capable, and if I am up to the task of teaching him the things he needs to know. Keep the observations coming, and if you have any advice on equipment or technique, that would be great. I am also concurrently exploring my options for the editing process, and there is a lot to learn there as well, but I thought I would start with the camera(s)

Thanks,

Michael
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Old August 10th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Also what is your budget? The camera's you list range from 3K to 6k+ if you also need to buy lenses.
Personally I would start with a camera that has a fixed lens like the DVX 200 and you are all set, with a camera like the fs5 and ls300 you need to consider buying lenses and that will easily double the price for a set of good quality glass, the fs5 and ls300 are also not so good in all auto functions compared to a fixed lens camera that usually also has a smaller sensor and is easier to maintain focus.

I also would choose a camera that has all the functionality you would expect from a professional camera like build in ND's, 3 rings on the lens for zoom, focus and iris, physical switches on the side for iso, whitebalance and xlr connectivity.

The reason why this is important is because you need that to learn the camera basics which you can only do with a camera where you can change every setting manually through easy accessible buttons or switches.

Then you need to teach yourself first what impact each setting has, like when to set a ND, what f-stop to choose and why, what shutter to select, how to read the histogram because that is your exposure, how to set and interpret the zebras, how to assure you nail the focus and then shoot for hours and look on your pc what the result is. everytime something doesn't look right you need to ask yourself, or us if you can't figure it out, why it is happening so you can correct the mistake next time. It's important that you first exactly know how it's supposed to be done because like you said, it's easier to teach a person with autism something new then it is to unteach them something they have become used to.

I think it is awesome what you are planning to do, my youngest daugther is a teacher for children with autism that are 12 years old, she only has a group of 6 children because each child needs individual guidance. I hear from her how different they can be in what they are capable off so if you see that your son has a special talent for technology then the best you can do is to help him to see where his limits are and even try to push him beyond that and don't let anyone tell you what he cannot do because of his disability.
Noa,

Thank you very much for the reply. Let me begin by saying how special your daughter must be. It is one thing to live and work with Autism because you are personally affected, and it is entirely different to voluntarily take on the task. I have nothing but the highest regard for people like your daughter who take this horrible affliction on voluntarily. In my book, anyone who does so is a very, very special person.

In my budget which is penciled in for two cameras, a new computer with editing software, various other equipment like a tripod, microphone, lenses(if needed), monitor, storage medium, I have a flexible budget of $5,000 per camera. Hoping for less, but it is what it is.

I have considered what you said in connection with the Panasonic DVX 200, and you make valid and correct points about how I am going to have to progress with this once I make the purchase. You are also very right in your statement about how much easier it is to teach (if done properly) a new skill, than to try to "unteach" an old one. Glad someone understands.

Everything you said makes sense to me, especially about the fixed lens aspect. As you saw in my list in my post, the DVX200 is one of the ones I am considering, along with some others. I have seen pretty good reviews of the JVC HM 200, and of course there are the Sony cameras. With my being new, I was hopeful that experienced users (as you have done) would, knowing my challenge, give me better insight as to which camera might make the best possible fit.

Once again, thank you for the reply, and please tell your daughter how special I believer her to be.


Michael
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Old August 10th, 2016, 07:33 PM   #8
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Steven makes good points about video as a small business. I've seen many, many, many people who think media production is a great and growing field that they would enjoy. Most are looking for some starting point, typically employment or education.

It may or may not be beyond Mackenzie's current capabilities to enroll in courses in a workshop, community organization, or community college environment, but it may serve you well to do so.

It's not just about how to use a camera. Almost any video or film production is about using various tools in storytelling. Of course any new business also needs its story told.

Traction. How to get that traction. You seem to have decided that learning and helping your son learn basic camera work as applied to an unstated area of content is that point where the two of you will find traction. Well enough, though you should know that many come to my college courses with a mission, and some want instructors and courses to conform instruction to support that mission, but, most end up doing something different than they first imagined.

Storytelling with a camera takes sound and editing, which are considerable studies in themselves. Unless you're thinking about stock videography. This is a business whose time has mostly come and gone - (almost) everyone can afford a camera now, it's crippled what was once a good market.

This is good, though some would disagree. I have a friend who once specialized in stock wildlife and scenic photography, he went through several agencies and started his own library as well. It was good for many years, now the bottom has fallen out and he is teaching the next generations of photographers.

It is good, in that the great democratization of video/film production enables anyone with a good story to reach an audience, perhaps even making some money along the way.

Good storytelling. Reaching an audience. A camera is just a tool along the way, that is needed at one stage of the production process. It's hard to give any meaningful feedback about your plans without also discussing the other phases. Pretty pictures are important, but so are many other things!
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Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; August 10th, 2016 at 10:40 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2016, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Seth,

Thank you for the reply, and the words of wisdom and experience. I know it is difficult to evaluate my "plan": without further information, but if you are willing to discuss what I have in mind in more detail, PM me. As I've said the niche that I have picked out is one in which Mackenzie is HIGHLY interested, and this will be an asset as we go through the learning process. He will be in top form as far as his concentration level goes in order to get to his final result, of which we have numerous examples.

I take your point about getting more formal instruction for myself, and I have been actively searching for local video clubs as I thought that might be a good place to start.. You and Steven are correct in that the act of recording with a camera is only a step in the whole process, but what I have in mind once we somewhat master the image capture on the face of it, does not seem over complicated or beyond where we will be in a skill level as far as the editing process goes. I know that is easy for me to say having never done video editing, but the examples of what I have that are similar to what I envision what Mackenzie will be doing do not seem to be beyond reach.

Again, I recognize the probable hard road ahead (main reason why I am here), and I truly appreciate each and every comment, suggestion, tip, question, and bit of advice that the members here are willing to give. As I looked around, I have tried to come up with an idea that was motivating for my son now and in the future as a career and indeed a lifestyle that was an alternative to what typically is available for a young adult with Autism. Ever since he was first diagnosed, it has been my mantra that as I looked back, I never wanted to say "I wish I would have done this, or I could have done that", knock on wood, so far I have not has to say either.. The line in Superman...". the father becomes the son, and the son becomes the father" has been inside me for years. You may rest assured, that if Mackenzie can do this, I will move mountains and do whatever it takes to see it done.

Again, thanks for your input, and if you wish more details, feel free to PM me.

Michael
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Old August 10th, 2016, 11:04 PM   #10
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Michael -- first, I would like to offer you a (belated) welcome to DV Info Net. You have already received some excellent input and advice so far. More will follow I'm sure; but I have a couple of tips for you. I cannot relate but I can certainly appreciate the challenges you are facing as a single parent in a very special situation. I know I'm speaking for the entire community when I say that we all wish you the very best with everything.

How often do you go into the city, and are you already aware of B&H at 9th & 34th? They have a superb touch & try area where you can see and handle all of these camcorders in person. If Mackenzie is up for such a trip, this will be a most useful way to evaluate which is the "right" camera... that is, which one feels *best* in his hands. Ultimately, regarding camera selection, that's the most important criteria. You've already done your homework and you have your narrowed-down short list. Any one of those that you have already mentioned will be fine. They all have automatic and semi-automatic and full manual shooting modes, which are useful for learning as you go. Start with full auto, and concentrate on framing and composition. Then, step up to semi-auto and begin to take more control over the image. Any of these camcorders will suffice. There is no "wrong" choice.

B&H is a huge, sprawling retail space. If he's never been in there before, it may prove daunting for Mackenzie (even I can get lost in there sometimes... there's just so much to see). If he would prefer a smaller and more quiet environment, then pay a visit to Abel Cine, on the 5th floor at 609 Greenwich in lower Manhattan. They also have a very well-equipped touch & try demo area with nearly all of the cameras on your list.

B&H is huge and has everything. Abel Cine is more like a specialty boutique; "smaller on purpose" and may be better suited for a visit by you and your son. Both shops have *excellent* staff who will take very good care of you. My point here though is that you really should see these cameras and get your hands on them in person before you make a purchase decision. The two of you will know which one is right when you can both pick them up and hold them. B&H and Abel Cine provide the opportunity for you to do that.

Also, there are two trade shows coming up soon in the city and you would benefit greatly from attending one or both. The first is PhotoPlus Expo at Javits convention center (11th & 34th) on Oct. 20-22 and the second is NAB East, also at Javits, on Nov. 9-10. The "plus" in PhotoPlus is video. There's a lot of video at PhotoPlus. And there's even more video at NAB. You should take a very close look at the seminars and conferences that both shows are holding, as I'm sure you will greatly benefit from attending either one or both of these. I'm hoping to be there for both as well.

Best regards and undoubtedly there will be more to follow in this thread. Good luck!
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Old August 11th, 2016, 12:02 AM   #11
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

I would like to echo Chris's warm welcome. Also, I'd like to echo Steven's comments. He answered the least of your original questions, but his advice was much more helpful than the folks calling out specific camera models.

I am the king of analogies, both good and bad, so let me lay this one out here for you. I want to get my son involved in doing deliveries. What kind of vehicle should I buy?

As you may know about delivering things, "what kind of vehicle should I buy" is a crucial question. But ahead of that is... delivering pizzas, delivering mobile homes, or delivering mail? How much do your deliveries weigh? What kind of license would be needed? What kind of certifications? Who would the customers be? Do they have any money? Do they have existing delivery partners? If so, why would they choose me? If not, why would they choose me?

You seem a bit tight-lipped about what your niche is. Perhaps rightfully so, I have some "secret sauce" to what I do, and while I post here to help others, I stop short of telling people what sets me apart. At the same time, I can tell you that I do mainly corporate videography, selling video to companies advertising products B2B. Most of my work is shown via web (website, YouTube, social media, trade pub, etc), and a minority is shown direct to consumer on an iPad or a conference room projector. Similarly, the wedding video guys all have something that sets them apart. However, they are all selling the same thing. You don't have to give up your secret sauce, but give us some direction on what it is you want to do. It would help you far more than knowing what model number camera someone's favorite is.
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Old August 11th, 2016, 01:20 AM   #12
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael L. Johnson View Post
In my budget which is penciled in for two cameras, a new computer with editing software, various other equipment like a tripod, microphone, lenses(if needed), monitor, storage medium, I have a flexible budget of $5,000 per camera.
Personally I have the feeling that the journey is more important to you then the destination but I think if you want to reach that destination it's important to know what you will be shooting to be able to give you some advice which camera's might be best suited for that task, you are spending a lot of money so you better be well informed to be sure you will not be disappointed about your choice. I"m a weddingvideographer so for me lightsensitive camera's are important and I like them to be small so I can shoot without being noticed. A fs5 or ls300 would do for my purpose but I would prefer to have a panasonic gh4 and even smaller the panasonic gx80. Other weddingvideographers might prefer a dvx200 and put a videolight on it because they want to have a all in one solution and don't want to be messing with adding a nd-filter or buying separate lenses. If you shoot stage performances then a dvx200 alike camera would also be much better with a fixed lens that has a controlled variable zoom or if you want to deliver to a tv station then the codec is one of the factors that will determine what camera you need to buy etc...
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Old August 11th, 2016, 01:30 AM   #13
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

The cameras you list are all nice, but in my personal opinion they seem a little too advanced for a beginner.

I actually started back in 2012 and learnt on one of these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-1.../dp/B0031RG4EK

It has auto and limited manual. It allowed me to nail important things such as the story but also how to set white balance, why that's important, what zebras are, how to frame shots, interview technique.

Phillip Bloom famously shot a piece with a Barbie doll camera.

This was my first ever piece, shot exclusively with the camera I linked above:

http://media.ncl.ac.uk/pages/film/bbc11/#num=01&id=1105

(It's a little slow loading sorry)

It's dreadful! Look at the cars flying across the bridge at the start because I sped it up! But it's reasonably priced dreadful. If I had a more professional camera, would I have achieved the same standard of work? Probably not. In fact, there's a good chance it would be worse as I wouldn't have a clue what I was doing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't splash out $$$$'s for an expensive camera if it's not what you need right now. There is a long way for him to go before he starts making money. Nail the basics first.

I hope that's useful, like others have said, I'm not trying to discourage you, I think it sounds ace and it's a wonderful business to be in. I love it! But we all have to start somewhere :) I've only been at this a few years and I only just got a HC-X1000 last year (I wouldn't recommend it btw) and I still have a long way to go. Hope that's helpful in some way!
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Old August 11th, 2016, 04:09 AM   #14
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Michael -- first, I would like to offer you a (belated) welcome to DV Info Net. You have already received some excellent input and advice so far. More will follow I'm sure; but I have a couple of tips for you. I cannot relate but I can certainly appreciate the challenges you are facing as a single parent in a very special situation. I know I'm speaking for the entire community when I say that we all wish you the very best with everything.

How often do you go into the city, and are you already aware of B&H at 9th & 34th? They have a superb touch & try area where you can see and handle all of these camcorders in person. If Mackenzie is up for such a trip, this will be a most useful way to evaluate which is the "right" camera... that is, which one feels *best* in his hands. Ultimately, regarding camera selection, that's the most important criteria. You've already done your homework and you have your narrowed-down short list. Any one of those that you have already mentioned will be fine. They all have automatic and semi-automatic and full manual shooting modes, which are useful for learning as you go. Start with full auto, and concentrate on framing and composition. Then, step up to semi-auto and begin to take more control over the image. Any of these camcorders will suffice. There is no "wrong" choice.

B&H is a huge, sprawling retail space. If he's never been in there before, it may prove daunting for Mackenzie (even I can get lost in there sometimes... there's just so much to see). If he would prefer a smaller and more quiet environment, then pay a visit to Abel Cine, on the 5th floor at 609 Greenwich in lower Manhattan. They also have a very well-equipped touch & try demo area with nearly all of the cameras on your list.

B&H is huge and has everything. Abel Cine is more like a specialty boutique; "smaller on purpose" and may be better suited for a visit by you and your son. Both shops have *excellent* staff who will take very good care of you. My point here though is that you really should see these cameras and get your hands on them in person before you make a purchase decision. The two of you will know which one is right when you can both pick them up and hold them. B&H and Abel Cine provide the opportunity for you to do that.

Also, there are two trade shows coming up soon in the city and you would benefit greatly from attending one or both. The first is PhotoPlus Expo at Javits convention center (11th & 34th) on Oct. 20-22 and the second is NAB East, also at Javits, on Nov. 9-10. The "plus" in PhotoPlus is video. There's a lot of video at PhotoPlus. And there's even more video at NAB. You should take a very close look at the seminars and conferences that both shows are holding, as I'm sure you will greatly benefit from attending either one or both of these. I'm hoping to be there for both as well.

Best regards and undoubtedly there will be more to follow in this thread. Good luck!
Chris,

Thank you for the reply and the welcome! It is funny that you mention B&H as I have been contemplating a trip there. I agree that it would be invaluable to see and hold these cameras before I make a purchase. I was not aware of Able Cine, and will have to check them out.

Thank you also for the heads up about the two conferences at the Javits Center. I will have to see if I can fit one or both of them in, as I am sure they will be great.

Michael
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Old August 11th, 2016, 04:32 AM   #15
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Re: New and need help for son with Autism

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Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
I would like to echo Chris's warm welcome. Also, I'd like to echo Steven's comments. He answered the least of your original questions, but his advice was much more helpful than the folks calling out specific camera models.

I am the king of analogies, both good and bad, so let me lay this one out here for you. I want to get my son involved in doing deliveries. What kind of vehicle should I buy?

As you may know about delivering things, "what kind of vehicle should I buy" is a crucial question. But ahead of that is... delivering pizzas, delivering mobile homes, or delivering mail? How much do your deliveries weigh? What kind of license would be needed? What kind of certifications? Who would the customers be? Do they have any money? Do they have existing delivery partners? If so, why would they choose me? If not, why would they choose me?

You seem a bit tight-lipped about what your niche is. Perhaps rightfully so, I have some "secret sauce" to what I do, and while I post here to help others, I stop short of telling people what sets me apart. At the same time, I can tell you that I do mainly corporate videography, selling video to companies advertising products B2B. Most of my work is shown via web (website, YouTube, social media, trade pub, etc), and a minority is shown direct to consumer on an iPad or a conference room projector. Similarly, the wedding video guys all have something that sets them apart. However, they are all selling the same thing. You don't have to give up your secret sauce, but give us some direction on what it is you want to do. It would help you far more than knowing what model number camera someone's favorite is.

Mike,

Thank you for the reply ! When I have more time later this evening, or in the next day or so, I will expand on what you have said. This idea came to me out of the blue on July 9th, and since then, every spare moment I have has been devoted to learning as much as I can about as much as I can in this field. I have said that I am not 100% positive that my son can do this (though I think that he can), and my first checkpoint if you will is finding that out, which is why I have asked specifically about cameras at this juncture. If he can not "master" the camera, then obviously everything else is moot.

I will be back in touch, thanks again for the reply.

Michael
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