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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:19 AM   #1
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Advise selecting camera, sound, editing software

I am currently using entry level Canon consumer digital camera and PowerDirector editing and production software. I need to improve sound, image quality, and editing capability.
My main application are family history & event videos, humorous shorts, training videos. So far all at my cost.
I cannot even plug the mike into this camera and the resolution is very poor. I would like to get a high definition but the options are staggering and I don't know where to start and what features to look for.
PowerDirector is simple but very limiting.
I am starting with a budget of $2000. Okay, have you stopped laughing? Sorry that's all I've got to work with for the moment.
I appreciate your taking the time to consider my request.
Jeff
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Old June 1st, 2007, 01:40 AM   #2
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HDV Camera: Canon HV20 Somewhere around $ 1,000.00

Rode Videomic about 150.00

Vegas 7 (includes DVD Architect) 450.00

Neo HDV from Cineform 250.00
(if you want to use 24p pull down)

"Cheapy Tripod" to get buy with 150.00
________

Total $ 2,000.00
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Old June 1st, 2007, 07:29 AM   #3
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Another possibility... For under $600 you could get a Mac Mini which includes iMovie and iDVD. These are some very user-friendly software options which can edit high definition video right out of the box.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 03:51 PM   #4
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I find that iMovie has problems with really big projects... some *nasty* bugs crop up (i.e. that delete your clips and you have to redo your project). I don't know if it's still like that.

iMovie of course is also limiting if you need to do advanced things.

But it is very very easy to use... you barely need to refer to the manual/help.

2- For deals on Vegas, check out bhphotovideo.com and videoguys.com
If you Vegas+DVD without sound forge, b&h is a better deal. For bundles, videoguys has some nice bundles including sound forge and training DVDs. Sound Forge I believe comes with sony's noise reduction plug-in, which is useful (though nowhere as efficient as capturing good sound to begin with; and it will not fix terrible sound).

3- Chris has some good advice... the only thing I'd change is that

-I might omit Neo HDV. 24p/f doesn't make a huge impact on your production values. You're better off getting lighting.
(*I think that Vegas can actually edit that footage, whereas Neo HDV makes the process more convenient if you want to work in a true 24fps timeline?? I'm not familiar with that camera so I can't say.)

-If you need to shoot in low light situations, getting an on-camera light is better than no image. The mic light (http://flolight.com/miclight.htm) looks interesting, though I've never used it myself. You'll likely get better advice in the lighting forum. Though depending on what you shoot, you may or may not need this.

- It might be worthwhile of course to budget for business-oriented items. Business cards, CD/DVD printer or labels to make your DVD look professional, that kind of thing.

- Mic stand to hold your mic if doing interviews. *I'm not sure what fits best with the Videomic and is light-weight/portable. You generally (ideally) want the mic 1-2 feet from the talent... if you mic from above you can get this.
- Headphones- always use em. It covers your butt in case the battery dies, the connector is unplugged, there is a lot of wind noise, etc. etc.

-Audio: If you need to get audio from sources that are far away, you may want a mic you can move closer. For wedding ceremonies, that would be a lav mic recording into a portable recorder like a mini-disc recorder (make sure it can record) or iRiver. See the audio forum here.

- Lighting: Check out the lighting forum, particularly the low budget lighting article sticky.
* efplighting.com has some great info + pictures. Though all the setups there take gear.
* A cheap way to get reasonable lights would be to build Vic Milt's "nanolights". Instructions are in his DVD ( http://www.vasst2.com/product.aspx?i...8-51b10f22fcfd )... though that does cost money.
* Homeless Portraits shows good use of natural lighting (though they use a 35mm adapter, which gives the shallow DOF aesthetic). On a low-budget, moving people into good light may be one way to go. Fast, cheap, and hopefully it looks good (in all situations; which it probably won't).
http://cinevate.com/index.php?page=demo&demoid=hvx3


4- $2,000 is definitely enough to get your feet more than wet. Have fun with it.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan View Post
I find that iMovie has problems with really big projects... some *nasty* bugs crop up (i.e. that delete your clips and you have to redo your project). I don't know if it's still like that.

iMovie of course is also limiting if you need to do advanced things.

But it is very very easy to use... you barely need to refer to the manual/help.

2- For deals on Vegas, check out bhphotovideo.com and videoguys.com
If you Vegas+DVD without sound forge, b&h is a better deal. For bundles, videoguys has some nice bundles including sound forge and training DVDs. Sound Forge I believe comes with sony's noise reduction plug-in, which is useful (though nowhere as efficient as capturing good sound to begin with; and it will not fix terrible sound).

3- Chris has some good advice... the only thing I'd change is that

-I might omit Neo HDV. 24p/f doesn't make a huge impact on your production values. You're better off getting lighting.
(*I think that Vegas can actually edit that footage, whereas Neo HDV makes the process more convenient if you want to work in a true 24fps timeline?? I'm not familiar with that camera so I can't say.)

As I understand it, if you want to actually have a true 24p from the HV20, absent a long involved free process with serveral different programs, outlined elsewhere in the HV20 forum, NeoHDV is best way to go. You can shoot in 24p, and actually edit it in Vegas, within the standard 1080 60i capture, and you get relatively good results, but there are occasional issues with ghosting, etc. None of the editors deal with HV20's 24p by removing pull down, because Canon does not include flags in the 24p footage. Cineform's NeoHDV has method of locating proper frames during capture and immediately converting footage to 24p.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #6
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Molly's Pilgrim

Are you the same Jeffrey connected to Molly's Pilgrim? I found something you might be interested in.
:-)
Lydia Robertson
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Old June 18th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
HDV Camera: Canon HV20 Somewhere around $ 1,000.00

Rode Videomic about 150.00

Vegas 7 (includes DVD Architect) 450.00

Neo HDV from Cineform 250.00
(if you want to use 24p pull down)

"Cheapy Tripod" to get buy with 150.00
________

Total $ 2,000.00
Great list, but you could save money by using Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD for ~US119.00. Maybe get some reflectors and a light.
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