video camera survey

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Not much happening in this group lately so I thought I'd try a video camera
    My question is what do you mainly use to record video.

    The answers could be dedicated video camera, photo camera such as a SLR
    camera, Smartphone, etc.
    Brian, Apr 8, 2014
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  2. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I have tried using a DSLR camera and a smartphone but still prefer to use a
    dedicated video camera. Reasons are its easier to hold in one hand and has
    features that are related to video recording.
    Brian, Apr 8, 2014
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  3. [Sometimes I think if "Brian" weren't here, the NG would have passed out of
    existence long ago... 8^( Thanks, Brian, for
    keeping it alive, and for often coming up with
    questions that "stir" the interest in responding
    of those who still follow this group!;-]

    Since I "blab" a lot, people probably know what
    I have used for video (although my recent intense
    fun with Panasonic gear and shooting stills [now
    approaching 40,000 frames in the last year and a
    half] put a "dent" in my video shooting...;-).
    Having run through 8mm, 16mm, Hi8, Mini-DV (with
    many Sony cameras, which were the best at that
    time with that format - with, in the end, three
    VX2000s), HDV (with Canon, which was best with
    HDV at that time), and AVCHD/MP4 (with now
    Panasonic, which has been best with 1080-60p,
    with the TM700, then the G5 and G6 "hybrid"
    cameras - and I recently ordered what appears
    to be an incredibly good camera for video, the
    Panasonic GH4). Fun...!;-)
    David Ruether, Apr 8, 2014
  4. Brian

    HerHusband Guest

    My question is what do you mainly use to record video.

    Normally, I use a Panasonic TM700 for my videos, with the occasional short
    clip from a point and shoot camera.

    I also have a Panasonic TS3 waterproof camera that I have used for video
    while snorkeling or jetskiing on vacation. It's not the best quality, but
    it's tough and waterproof. :)

    I bought my wife a Panasonic LX7 for Christmas so she could take still
    photos. Recently, I had the opportunity to try the video feature indoors
    and was quite impressed. It seemed like it performed better than my TM700
    in the low lighting. When I get the chance, I'm hoping to make a
    comparison video between the LX7 and TM700 to see how they behave in
    different conditions.

    I have put a few of my travel videos back on my web site, with more to come
    as time allows.

    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Apr 9, 2014
  5. Brian

    Brian Guest

    They are starting to make more dust proof and water proof cameras. They
    were mainly professional cameras that had this feature but now presumer
    cameras (and smartphones) are becoming water proof. But I think this is
    limited to being water proof in the rain.

    I suspect that the LX7 is a newer camera than the TM700 so there is some
    improvement in technology.
    Brian, Apr 10, 2014
  6. Brian

    HerHusband Guest

    There are several options for "tough" cameras. My Panasonic TS3 is a few
    years old now, so I'm sure the newer cameras perform slightly better.

    The "tough" cameras are nice not just because they are waterproof (being
    able to film under water), but they are more durable too. I took my TS3
    with me while riding a jet ski in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago. It
    really took a beating, drenched in overspray and slamming into the jet ski
    as I pounded on each wave. Thankfully, it didn't seem to suffer any damage
    from that ordeal.

    I've also used the TS3 while zip lining, where it also took a beating
    without any problems.

    Unfortunately, we haven't had a vacation in recent years that I've been
    able to utilize the underwater capability. :)
    The LX7 has a slightly larger sensor and a better lens, though the TM700
    has three sensors. I wasn't really sure how it would compare. I still need
    to make some comparison videos when I get the chance.

    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Apr 10, 2014
  7. Having owned both, I would rate the TM700's video as the
    best of the small-sensor camcorders that shoot 1080-60p
    28Mbps AVCHD, but it's not without a few problems... The
    LX7, with the same specs (but with one chip instead of
    three), is one of the worst for video that I've seen (the
    video image is soft, with considerable "haloing" and it has
    very noticeable aliasing). Much as I like the stills from
    the LX7, it is not very good for shooting exterior videos
    (although video shot inside can look fairly good - and the
    outdoor video, with a slight decrease in exposure bias and
    slight increases in sharpening and saturation, it can be
    acceptable...). The Panasonic G5, G6, GX7, GH3, and most
    definitely the GH4 (and even the tiny GM1) surpass the
    video image quality of the LX7 (and in some ways, that of
    the TM700 and of most other cameras that can shoot video).
    Still, with still-cameras-that-can-shoot-video, I miss the
    better zooming control that the TM700 offered - and its
    picture quality is also quite good...;-)
    David Ruether, Apr 11, 2014
  8. Brian

    HerHusband Guest

    Having owned both, I would rate the TM700's video as the
    I have only made one video with the LX7, just goofing around so I didn't
    critique it much. But, I was just surprised how well the clip came out in
    the low lighting. None of the grain that I typically get with the TM700

    I would still like to shoot similar video with both cameras to see how they
    compare. Regardless, as a second video camera for my wife, it has to
    perform better than my TS3. It would be nice to show up in our videos once
    in a while, instead of just filming my wifes vacations. :)
    Yeah, the zoom is a lot more awkward on the LX7.
    The GH4 is strictly in my "keep dreaming" category. :)

    I might be able to swing the older GH3, but it's difficult to justify that
    kind of expense right now.

    "Honey, I really need a new $1000 camera to make more vacation videos that
    no one watches..." :)

    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Apr 12, 2014
  9. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Over the last 10 years there has been major improvements in digital
    cameras. Features that were only found in more expensive camera are
    appearing in low cost cameras. Camera manufacturers need to work harder to
    justify the extra cost of their more expensive cameras but often its due to
    higher quality of the lens. Even the cheapest camera takes good photos
    these days and most if not all often at least 720 x 1080 video. I guess it
    all comes down to healthily competing and fulling the needs of the customer
    as there is no point in producing a low quality camera that no one wants to
    Brian, Apr 12, 2014
  10. You didn't also include my, "Much as I like the stills from
    the LX7, it is not very good for shooting exterior videos
    (although video shot inside can look fairly good - and the
    outdoor video, with a slight decrease in exposure bias and
    slight increases in sharpening and saturation, it can be
    acceptable...)." The interior (low-light) video from the
    LX7 *is* fairly good, and it generally looks better than
    what it shoots in higher-contrast exteriors with more
    detailed subjects. There, the TM700 footage looks much
    better than what the LX7 can shoot...
    8^). If you reduce the exposure 1/3 to 2/3 stop (using the
    exposure bias), and increase the sharpening and saturation
    on the LX7 a bit for video, its outdoor video is still poor,
    but may be acceptable for some uses... "Great", it ain't...!;-)
    And worse yet on the GH3/4 (the G5 and G6 at least have
    little zoom rockers for use with two of the available
    lenses for them - but "great", they aren't...).
    The G5 is quite cheap now (plus lenses), but the two "PZ"
    lenses are quite small and light, and quite good. See my lens
    reviews at:
    I'd recommend a G5 over the GH3 (it has slightly sharper
    video, and it's FAR cheaper - plus there is that zoom control
    which the GH3 lacks). The G6 adds a few things (especially
    the mic input) and its VFs have better color, but the EVF
    on the G5 is sharper. I was going to sell my G6 on Amazon
    since the GH4 is on the way and prices for used G6s are
    currently higher than what I paid for my new one, but I
    changed my mind about selling it (I generally like both the
    G5 and G6, for different reasons). BTW, I will sell one of
    my G5 bodies (LN, in original box, with all the original
    accessories, plus my wrist-strap for it, AND with all my
    optimized settings left on it [there are a LOT of these on
    this camera!!!] for $300 + shipping). The PZ 14-42mm and
    PZ 45-175mm are fairly inexpensive used (about $250-$275
    each in nice condition used), and these can shoot VERY
    nice video, and (with some work on images) VERY NICE
    16"x20"+ prints - and they offer 35mm-equivalent FLs of
    28mm-350mm (plus extended high-quality video range to
    840mm-equivalent[!], and to 700mm-equivalent for very
    good quality for stills for up to about 8"x10"). They
    also have remarkably good stabilizers in them (I've been
    able to hand hold the "short" zoom at 1/5th to 1/10th
    second sharply, and the "long" one, even at its longest,
    down to 2/15th to 1/30th).
    But, we all know we do it for the "fun" of shooting with
    this stuff...!;-) On a poverty-level income, I've managed
    to sink a total of about 8-grand on this gear, but I've
    had a wonderful time with it - and I've sold a bunch of
    gear on Amazon and recouped all but about $300 of what
    I've spent, so the "hurt" has been minor so far...;-) If
    you want, I can send you a few sample stills shot with
    the G5 (it's "purdy durn gud!";-). (The G5 and G6 are
    basically the same in performance.)

    David Ruether, Apr 12, 2014
  11. Brian

    HerHusband Guest

    Until I can do some hands on comparisons, I will take your word for it. :)
    Good to know, thanks!
    Unfortunately, it seems everything we own is breaking down at the same
    time. So my declining income is going towards repairs and household items.
    Not a good time for buying toys right now. Such is life... :)

    Anthony Watson
    HerHusband, Apr 12, 2014
  12. Brian

    Jason Guest

    I am a reader of this group, but seldom participate. With this
    basically open ended question, however, I thought I'd give it a shot. I
    started off in digital video with simple 640x480 camcorders. For a long
    time, I used a modified $25 CVS Camcorder. It was a buy, use, and then
    return to store unit, but someone figured out a hack that made it
    reusable. Quality was quite poor, but in good lighting, it did
    surprisingly well. I then graduated to a 1080p Aiptek, which I still
    have. I'd say the Aiptek was basically an early form of what they call
    "action cameras" now, but the video quality was surprisingly good for
    such low cost and could even be improved further with Neat Video noise
    processing. That was my first experience with [email protected] I then
    bought what I think was a Sanyo at about triple the cost of the Aiptek.
    It was also fully HD, but the video quality was actually not quite as
    good as the Aiptek. It was with the Aiptek that I began to be
    interested in slow motion. I could do some average slow motion with
    both the Aiptek and Sanyo, but neither had manual control of shutter,
    etc so slow motion using software blurred whatever was moving. I then
    decided on the TM700 based on web reviews and what I read here. It
    broke the bank at the time, but I was very pleased with the camera.
    Although it was still a bit soft compared to the Aiptek, video frames
    were far less noisy and very few artifacts present (this being said, I
    read later that Aiptek had an always on sharpness control that couldn't
    be disabled). Anyway, having full control over the camera meant better
    slow motion results but still only up to a point. I used the '700 to
    film family..... managed to capture interviews with elderly relatives
    before they passed away, caught a type of seizure my father started
    having after his stroke so the neurologist could identify the seizure
    type and correct med (this was scary... hard to look at that video as he
    has since passed 3 years ago), captured some of the younger family on
    it..... but then the time came to sell on Ebay due to low funds and I
    still got 85% of what I paid initially. Currently, I am just using the
    basically non-controllable video capabilities of my Pentax DSLR. A far
    cry from the '700, but at least I still have video capability when I
    need it, although any slow motion experiments are out the window.

    My future goal is obtaining a video camera of "reasonable" cost with 240
    fps in at least 720p quality. Technology is getting close with "action"
    cameras of 240fps in WVGA resolution. The key here though, for me, is
    not spending more than $500 for such a camera. I understand a chip was
    developed recently that will allow such speed and resolution in smart
    phones over the next 12 months, so it's only a matter of time before
    utilized in cameras and camcorders.

    Jason, Apr 16, 2014
  13. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Good to read your comments Jason.

    Maybe waiting a while might allow you to get the equipment your seeking as
    technology seems to be racing ahead at the moment. It was't it long ago
    that still photo cameras could only record 640 x 480 videos and now they
    record in 720p or higher.
    I was lucky that portable video cameras started to sell in my country just
    before my daughter was born as I was able to capture her on video at a very
    early age.
    Brian, Apr 17, 2014
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