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Old June 13th, 2013, 07:40 PM   #1
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Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

I have a client that is looking to film internal meetings. So I'm looking for a cheap camcorder type camera that is decent in online quality, autofocus, but maybe can get set on manual exposure and stuff. And has some sort of audio input. Also something with a dead simple workflow where the client can easily send me the footage to edit. Maybe an SD slot?

Not sure if you guys have any of these types that you use for backsups and such.
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Old June 13th, 2013, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Or a camcorder that can record straight into a computer.

Looking at this one so far. Don't know about computer recording though
Canon VIXIA HF M500 Full HD Camcorder 6096B001 B&H Photo Video
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Old June 15th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #3
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Sony HXR-NX30

Sony 96GB HXR-NX30 Palm Size NXCAM HD Camcorder HXR-NX30U B&H

I had about an hours play with this thing. Amazing for its size, price, picture quality and was pretty good in low light all things considered. XLR audio inputs and amazing stabilization to boot. Check it out.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old June 15th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

You don't state a budget for "affordable"... but if the NX30 is out of budget, there are cameras in lower price ranges that similarly should do the job - from Sony: PJ710, PJ760, etc... Canon has some, Panasonic as well... as long as the meetings are well lit, you can probably even drop into the lower consumer price point cameras and get away with it, if that is the only use.

Be sure to include budget for sufficient batteries (unless they will just run on A/C), and a few good sized SD cards plus a stout tripod!
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Old June 17th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #5
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Canon XA10 or the new XA20 are good ones to consider. You can get the XA20 for around $1699. Double SD slots allow for either extended recording time or dual recording so you have a backup if you ever had a bad SD card. Also nice professional audio section with XLR connectors expanding your audio options.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 11:00 PM   #6
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Actually the XA-20 is $2199, the G30 is $1699, which might be the one you were thinking of D.J. G30 would be an excellent choice. The other inexpesive suggestions might be fine as well.
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Old June 17th, 2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Perhaps if you defined "cheap" it would help with suggestions? And what is the expected length of these meetings?

I'm presuming you will need a camcorder for both length of recording and for audio input capability, but if it's for very short and casual use, perhaps even a P&S camera with video might fit the bill for really "low budget"... I have a couple old "loaner" DSC-TX100's for things like that! Very cheap, and not terribly fancy, but decent video/audio and no one will cry if they get damaged or whatever...

Which brings to mind one other consideration... where are these meetings, is it a single speaker situation, or will they try to capture everyone in a room (and how big a room...)? Field of view and/or the need for a WA adapter might be a consideration?
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Old June 18th, 2013, 03:50 AM   #8
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Hi Travis - I recommend a $495 Panasonic FZ200 bridge camera instead of the
$499* Canon HF M500
recommended earlier. Both meet your requirements - they are relatively low cost, record to SD card and have mic inputs - but the FZ200 has a standard hot shoe instead of Canon's proprietary shoe - and it records to 1080/60p instead of the Canon's slower 30p and 24p frame rates - which, even in a relatively static meeting, will give you less jerkiness and motion blur.

Like a camcorder, the FZ200 has essentially unlimited recording time.

It also has full manual exposure control, a constant f2.8 24x power zoom (rather than the Canon's 10x zoom), and its standard hot shoe allows you to use a standard camera mounted shotgun such as the Rode Videomic Pro, if you choose.

And when you need it to, it can take high quality stills like these, something the Canon cannot do.

It does have a non-standard 2.5mm mic input, so you'll need a $5 adapter for standard 3.5mm mics.

Here is a video from Marlene Hielema at imagemaven.com talking about the FZ200 for YouTube "talking head" videos. Her comments may have some applicability to your meeting setups:


Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution

*price only good until June 30th - then it goes back up to $549
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Old July 6th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Bill, this camera is a real find, what a lens! Great recommendation. I want this camera very much. I'm currently selling off my GH2s and need a replacement for photos, and for backup video, and this fills the bill nicely. Unbleivable feature set for the money, unbeatable camera. Want 60p and a power zoom? F/2.8 constant aperture? It's really a marvel of technology.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

I'm actually quite suprised by that digital bridge camera.

Seriously considering replacing my Sony NEX 5N with this.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #11
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 doesn't have a micro 4/3" sensor. How is its low light performance?
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Old July 6th, 2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Here is a sample of low light footage directly off the camera, an MTS file. The good thing about Camera Labs is that they endeavor to shoot the same scenes under the same conditions, for the most part, when reviewing cameras which enables a reasonably useful comparison to other cameras. I pay way less attention to the text as a picture is worth one thousand words, not that Camera Labs is short on words by any means.

Compared to say the Sony HX200v to me the FZ200 looks a tad washed out and noisy however that is not to say it could not be improved in post or possibly the camera settings may be adjusted to improve the outcome.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 09:19 PM   #13
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

That looks like average room lighting, not low light. The camera was on auto exposure so it responded to the backlight from the window during the pan which makes for an ugly shot. It looks like an interesting camera with some utility as a C cam. I would love to see other sample footage.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 12:17 AM   #14
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

The zoom and autofocus on the camera is very good....here's another sample.

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Old July 7th, 2013, 12:30 AM   #15
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Re: Affordable/Small auto cameras with easy workflow

Thanks Jeff. Is that you playing the lute? :-) Looks like an interesting camera. I use a Canon C100 and a GH3. This might be a versatile lockdown with a lot of extended capability as well. I just wonder how it handles low light with its smaller sensor.
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