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Old December 21st, 2017, 01:14 PM   #1
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Equipment recommendations for on-line course

I'm designing an on-line course that teaches people how to create their own family history documentaries and I want to be able to suggest some decent but affordable gear. It will be mostly sit-down interviews and some b-roll. Any ideas for a low priced camcorder that could still provide a shallow depth of field? It's been a while since I used consumer-level equipment so I'm not sure how much they've improved. Would a DSLR be a better option?. Also a decent lower cost lav and some cheaper light kits. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thx
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Old December 21st, 2017, 02:44 PM   #2
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Re: Equipment recommendations for on-line course

All respect, but maybe this is all you need on the tech side: Make sure granny isn't sitting with her back to a window. Hold your smartphone horizontal. Go.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 04:30 PM   #3
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Re: Equipment recommendations for on-line course

It's true.

If you're going to futz around with consumer level equipment then you might as well get a cell phone and use it to shoot the video - they're giving pretty good results these days. I've even used one in a pinch (accident scene) and you can't tell the difference as I held it horizontal and steady.

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Old December 21st, 2017, 06:57 PM   #4
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Re: Equipment recommendations for on-line course

I agree most people are just going to go with the cheapest option and use what they have, a smart phone. Then it would come down to a tripod for a phone and lav mic. Although most people interested in family history are going to be older and not tech savvy to do any of this. You also should include how to import, edit and distribute (some phones have apps for that) it still gets complicated fast.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 05:49 AM   #5
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Re: Equipment recommendations for on-line course

Several things to consider. Small sensors help get the focus right. There might be photos to scan and some of those may need restoration. Donít forget artifacts. There is the workflow of getting all that to film. Then there is the task of reliably sending that production on its time voyage. After all, why do it if folks in the future never see it?
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 03:16 PM   #6
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Re: Equipment recommendations for on-line course

Agreed, smartphone. You're USP (Unique Selling Point) can be that you 'teach them how to get the best outta their smartphone'. Things like working with llighting, a small tripod so its not handheld, placement of speaker vs windows, and composition.

You can have a segment giving recommendations to those buying gear, rather than suggest 1 camera I'd mention price ranges & what they get from them (sub $250, $250-500, $500+) or something along those lines, mention zooming to enable better composition based upon the rooms layout.

Lastly the big thing you'll need to recommend is a cheap, easy editing tool? I know there's freeware Photoshop type software, but I don't know of any aside from Windows Movie Maker, which I find terribly cumbersome the few times I ever tried it. Maybe there's tutorial vids out there for people.
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