advice on camcorder for recording newborn & a live band

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Charlie, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Guest

    I'm new to all this having never owned a camcorder. I'm wanting to do
    two things:
    1 - make dvds of my newborn son for relatives.
    2 - record live bands in dark/loud venues (a reasonable sound/picture,
    doesn't have to be cd quality!).

    Any advice for a good quality camera for < 1000 pounds that could do both?

    I've read so will go with minidv, just not
    sure about the lowlight advice because of my live band requirement.

    I'm going to be using a dell inspiron 9300 laptop for editing, haven't
    decided on the software yet either.

    Any advice much appreciated as I don't really know where to start!

    thanks in advance,
    Charlie, Mar 29, 2005
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  2. Charlie

    Rob D Guest

    Just a few words of advice Charlie (I´m sure you will get many more from
    different angles):

    However much you love your new Son, remember, even the greatest Video
    Producers in the world could only do so much with the theme "baby". So I
    really would recommend that after many hours of shooting footage, you edit
    it down remorselessly: A few minutes of really good stuff will be far better
    than subjecting your "audience" to an hour or more of your loved one´s every
    As for the live band. Every one I´ve done has been a great improvement on my
    previous efforts: Here are a few short cuts for you:

    Record the sound separately if at all possible (i.e. via mini disk or
    whatever - don´t rely on the camcorder´s mic).
    For reasons of continuity any live gig production is fas superior when shot
    on two cameras - if you only have the one try borrowing or shooting as a
    pair with a friend. Only this way can you save yourself a lot of hassle
    trying to stitch together incongruent sections of different tracks or worse
    still, having your production look really amateur by jumping about between
    shots with no continuity.

    Rob D, Mar 29, 2005
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  3. Charlie

    Charlie Guest

    Just a few words of advice Charlie (I´m sure you will get many more from
    Thanks for the advice... I'll try and keep baby videos short and sweet,
    maybe the length of a music video even!
    For live music, I've got a hard disk recorder so I can try that then its
    just down to finding two cameras now.

    Any ideas on makes/models of cameras that would be good?

    thanks a lot,
    Charlie, Mar 30, 2005
  4. Charlie

    Rob D Guest

    If you ask 50 folks in this NG about which is a good camera, you´ll get
    about a dozen different answers (maybe a lot more)!
    You should stick with digital and unless cost is no object, that probably
    means Mini-DV.
    Lots of folks here seem happy with Sony - I know I am; I have a PC100E (no
    longer in production), which has during the past 5 or 6 years, given me
    incredible service: It has been half way round the world and suffered all
    manner of non-camera-friendly conditions from Rain Forest to Middle Eastern
    Desert, Swamps, Mountain Tops, Ice, Snow, Temperatures of minus 25, etc.
    It has survived being dropped and slammed against rock faces during numerous
    URD´s ("unplanned rapid descents"), Fallen from a 4WD onto compacted sand at
    50 degrees plus in a dust storm, It has been in contact with enough water to
    send its designers screaming for cover....and only when I accidentally
    drenched it in seawater did it need any kind of repair (new main circuit
    board - covered by insurance).
    You´ve probably guesssed that my main line of action is *not* the live bands
    :) Those I do mainly for fun, favours for friends and to make a few bob
    from doing promo DVDs for unknown bands.
    My specialisation is Wildlife & Adventure Travel video. Hence all the crap
    the camera gets! Contrast that with my Brother in Law´s JVC experience -
    he´s had no less than 3 in the time I´ve had the aforementioned Sony - the
    last one only because the warranty wouldn´t allow him to select an
    alternative make! (He wouldn´t touch JVC with a bargepole again).
    I have nothing personal about JVC, but my B-I-L´s cameras have all been
    really flimsy and plasticky to hold, obviously unreliable (despite being
    used only in a domestic situation), and not upto any kind of hard usage.
    It should be pointed out that Sony, like most other manufacturers, make a
    range of devices of varying quality and to suit varying purposes. I´m sure
    there are quite likely to be models in the Sony range which could be of a
    lesser standard than I have been "lucky"(?) to experience - and quite
    possibly, JVC models of a better standard than I have described here. Just
    be careful what you choose and get as much info from actual users as you can
    on the models you are considering.

    I´m quite surprised noone else has chipped in with advice for you yet
    Charlie, so if you have any more questions please feel free.

    Rob D, Mar 30, 2005
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