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Old July 9th, 2014, 10:49 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon
Posts: 10
New Guy looking for advice

I would like to get started with doing news video's with the Panasonic HC X920. Will this camera be sufficient to do what I want? Any advice or tips would be appreciated. I'm just beginning and have a lot to learn about digital video.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 01:18 AM   #2
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Location: Belgium
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Re: New Guy looking for advice

What type of news will you be covering? If it involves recording interviews, how will you be recording that sound? If it involves shooting in darker environments, is your camera light sensitive enough or do you use your own lights? Will you be shooting from a tripod or handheld?
Just a few questions that come to mind to help you decide if the camera could be used.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 05:29 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon
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Re: New Guy looking for advice

I Live in a small city and wanted to ride along with the local police and cover events that happen, both day and night. I had planned on using the Pana HC X920 hand held.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 05:55 AM   #4
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Re: New Guy looking for advice

How important is audio? The onboard mikes from such a handicam are usually not very good, I"m also not sure if the x920 has a mike input where you could attach a external microphone mounted on the camera's hotshoe and if it does, is there haedphone input so you could monitor your audio?
As you plan to shoot at night, I"m sure you will run into issues quickly with this camera, I"m also not aware how light sensitive it is but you definitely would need a videolight as well for anything that you shoot from a closer distance.
If you would buy another camera, what is your budget you can spend on it?
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Old July 10th, 2014, 06:42 AM   #5
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Re: New Guy looking for advice

Peter,
I've seen some really good footage with decent enough audio on major networks both locally and nationally that was taken on cell phones. The key isn't the gear but the person using it.
Now having said that, doing what you want to do sure you're better off with "better gear" and as Noa said, a better way to capture audio so perhaps a stand alone recorder like a small Tascam with a lav mic.
If you watch some of the reality shows today like "First 48" you'll see many of the cops wearing lavs which are routed back to the camera. These are small crews by necessity, cameraman/producer and MAYBE a PA but in many case it's a crew of 1 and they seem to get all the footage they need. I believe they're still using Sony EX-1Rs but I could be wrong on that.
So it all depends on what you plan on doing with the footage. If for local air cast, I'm sure your gear is fine.
In the news business, CONTENT is everything. They can work around some of the other technical stuff but they can't work around content. Make sure the story is compelling, frame and focus is close, exposure is with in a stop and make sure you can hear at least most of what's being said and for hot news, you'll probably be OK. Back in the day when I was freelancing news, I turned in some stuff that frankly I was ashamed of but it told the story and that's all they wanted then and now.
Good luck!
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Old July 10th, 2014, 08:29 AM   #6
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
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Re: New Guy looking for advice

The 28mm wide will be tough in a vehicle. Minimum focus distance is another struggle in a vehicle. I found 24mm wide is much better. Many camera's have a 3ft minimum focus distance. Putting on a wide angle adapter usually helps that too.

As others have mentioned, audio is key. If you are leaning backward in the back or side seats to maintain a typical 3ft minimum focus distance, it's pushing your camera mics away and thereby picking up more unwanted ambient sound. The rule is "closest mic wins". That is, you want a mic as close as possible to your subject(s). A mic 8" from your subject's mouth is better than a $200 shotgun on the camera. I used a Sennheiser wireless lav on a Panny TM700 to solve that problem. Untethered mics are wonderful for run and gun environments.

Also, a light in the daytime gives you a shot at stuff outside the window being exposed well enough to see it instead of blowing out. Attached still is off an EX1R handheld with it's glorious rotating grip, Sony wide angle converter, Senny wireless and Zylight Z90.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 05:18 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: KLAMATH FALLS, Oregon
Posts: 10
Re: New Guy looking for advice

Thanks for all the advice. The x920 has an input for external mic. The internal mic is sound around 5.1, but I was suggested to use a Rode video pro with a dead cat. I'm not sure about the head phone input. Most likely, I' be chasing the ambulance sort of scenes, with some interviewing close up. I like the idea of a remote wireless clip on mic to be used for interviews. I most likely be involved with a variety of conditions, both day and night. I do want to be prepared for most situations. Not sure if I'll be doing anything in a car.
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