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Best Video Camera For What We Do?


Ralph A
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I would like to buy a decent video camera this year to record my show.  I bought one several years back and was very disappointed with the results. I would like to hear from others what you bought and what you think of the cameras you have used or what you have seen others use.  What features do you like best in your camera and why.

 

Thanks for the advise, Ralph

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I have a Canon Vixia HF11 . I purchased in 2010 for around $500 and was a decent camera at that time. Still pretty descent...I used it to film my 2010, 2011 and 2012 shows. You need to change some setting for recording super bright flashing lights at night. I recently borrowed a Sony camera to film a display I'm working on and totally brew my Canon away. Yes it cost more ($1100) but well worth it to me. Probably too much if want the camera for just to film your show. But if your looking for a camera to use besides your shows....check it out. A cool feature....just for show....is the projector. Projects the image on a wall or whatever and watch your recording on like a 70 inch screen. But like I said...that's just a show feature. The stabilizer is truly awesome. I filmed in the back on a truck on a unpaved bumpy road and it looked like I was gliding. Filming bright flashy lights at night is no problem. Looks really good.

http://store.sony.com/32gb-full-hd-camcorder-with-projector-zid27-HDRPJ650V/cat-27-catid-Collections-Projector-Camcorders?_t=pfm%253Dcategory

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Here is a suggestion regardless of what camera you use.  Place a polerizing filter on the front of the lens (available from most camera stores or the internet but you will need to know the filter size of your lens,  something like 45mm, 52 mm etc).  The are available in fixed or adjustable. This will not make up for the high contrast other than it will darken up a little but will help reduce the glare (as this is what the are intended to do). Film at dusk or dawn (dawn is likely the best as traffic will be less depending on what direction your house faces (never shoot into the sun direction).  If the sun is just comming up or has just gone down and you can see without additional light the contrast issue (bright lights against dark backgroun) will be less of a problem and will appear more realistic in the video rather that a bunch of bright lights of some color.

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If you could find a Contour Roam2.

 

Contour is supposed to coming back to life with the Contour 3.

I love all of my Contour cameras.

I wish their marketing was as good a GoPro. The Contour camera is much superior.

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If you could find a Contour Roam2.

 

Contour is supposed to coming back to life with the Contour 3.

I love all of my Contour cameras.

I wish their marketing was as good a GoPro. The Contour camera is much superior.

From Amazon:

Important Message About the Manufacturer Contour recently announced that it will be exiting the digital camcorder business. Service & support (including warranties) have been discontinued and all Contour products, software and apps will no longer be supported by Contour following your purchase. This product is still covered by Amazon.com’s return policy. Learn more about our policy here.

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I would like to buy a decent video camera this year to record my show.  I bought one several years back and was very disappointed with the results. I would like to hear from others what you bought and what you think of the cameras you have used or what you have seen others use.  What features do you like best in your camera and why.

 

Thanks for the advise, Ralph

I purchased the FZ200 Lumix camera by Panasonic and I am thrilled as to the fantastic video  I get from it (It also does stills).......  Approx $500 and it exceeds cameras costing 3x that much ( and I personally tried out the more expensive ones)   it does 1080P video, the lens is a 24 to 600 built in zoom with a f2.8 apature all the way thru the zoom range which is almost unheard of at that price point (Fantastic low light capabilities) and it's a Lica Lens on the camera. It can be used fully automatic or if you understand lighting you can set your own F stop and shutter speed so you get the best of both worlds.

 

I could go on and on but check it out for your self heres a link http://www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/fz200/ You won't be sorry if you purchase it.

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I purchased the FZ200 Lumix camera by Panasonic and I am thrilled as to the fantastic video  I get from it (It also does stills).......  Approx $500 and it exceeds cameras costing 3x that much ( and I personally tried out the more expensive ones)   it does 1080P video, the lens is a 24 to 600 built in zoom with a f2.8 apature all the way thru the zoom range which is almost unheard of at that price point (Fantastic low light capabilities) and it's a Lica Lens on the camera. It can be used fully automatic or if you understand lighting you can set your own F stop and shutter speed so you get the best of both worlds.

 

I could go on and on but check it out for your self heres a link http://www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/fz200/ You won't be sorry if you purchase it.

Thanks gmac!!!  This is in the price range that I'm looking for looks like a good camera.  Do you have any video on the Christmas lights that I can see the quality?  Thank again!!!

A 3 CCD HD camera is your best bet for capturing low-light color accurately. Use any tripod. There is no one "right" camera.

 

Charlie

Thanks Charlie!

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I have a Canon Vixia HF11 . I purchased in 2010 for around $500 and was a decent camera at that time. Still pretty descent...I used it to film my 2010, 2011 and 2012 shows. You need to change some setting for recording super bright flashing lights at night. I recently borrowed a Sony camera to film a display I'm working on and totally brew my Canon away. Yes it cost more ($1100) but well worth it to me. Probably too much if want the camera for just to film your show. But if your looking for a camera to use besides your shows....check it out. A cool feature....just for show....is the projector. Projects the image on a wall or whatever and watch your recording on like a 70 inch screen. But like I said...that's just a show feature. The stabilizer is truly awesome. I filmed in the back on a truck on a unpaved bumpy road and it looked like I was gliding. Filming bright flashy lights at night is no problem. Looks really good. http://store.sony.com/32gb-full-hd-camcorder-with-projector-zid27-HDRPJ650V/cat-27-catid-Collections-Projector-Camcorders?_t=pfm%253Dcategory

Hey Kevin, thanks for that.  I would love to have that Sony, but a bit out of my price range.  Can you send me a link on the video that you have shot in the past, so I can see the quality of the camera.  That is the cannon.  Thanks for the advise!!

I have the Canon Vixia HF 40. It works great in the forced manual focus mode to prevent the jitters that I got with my previous camcorder. I only spent 500.00 for the camera. Real good camcorder.

Hey there neighbor. Long time no speak.  How are ya?  Show going  yet?  Thanks for the tip.  Do you have your videos posted, so I can take a peek?

Thanks, Ralph

Here is a suggestion regardless of what camera you use.  Place a polerizing filter on the front of the lens (available from most camera stores or the internet but you will need to know the filter size of your lens,  something like 45mm, 52 mm etc).  The are available in fixed or adjustable. This will not make up for the high contrast other than it will darken up a little but will help reduce the glare (as this is what the are intended to do). Film at dusk or dawn (dawn is likely the best as traffic will be less depending on what direction your house faces (never shoot into the sun direction).  If the sun is just comming up or has just gone down and you can see without additional light the contrast issue (bright lights against dark backgroun) will be less of a problem and will appear more realistic in the video rather that a bunch of bright lights of some color.

Hey Jerry, good tip!  I'll have to check that out.  Thanks!

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Thank you everyone for all the good tips and the great leads on a good camera.  This is a great help.  Hope everyone is doing well with their shows.  I have yet to get mine running.  Hopefully this weekend.

 

Thanks again for the help!!

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Hey neighbor!

 

Had real good Halloween this year and changed up my display but I am not doing anything for Christmas.

 

All my videos are on YouTube under West's Halloween Light Shows.  

Thanks Tracy, I'll check it out.  Great to hear you had a good Halloween show.  I'm having a hard time with mine this year with all my changes. 

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I use the Canon Powershot S110. I was all set to go out and buy an expensive SLR camera, but spoke to my friend who is way in to cameras and told him what I wanted it for. He said the very best camera for me was this one. So far I have been very happy with the results. Produces great high def videos of Christmas lights.

1470100_614473041925099_2061059215_n.jpg

Sample video (shot in fog)

http://www.vevo.com/watch/USH5V1221634


Link didn't work the way I wanted on previous post.

http://www.vevo.com/watch/USH5V1221634

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I use the Flip Camera... pretty easy, no settings to set and fairly decent video.

Hey Jim. I used Kodak Flip camera and I was not to happy with mine.  But like anything else there are good ones and bad ones!  

Thanks!

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I use the Canon Powershot S110. I was all set to go out and buy an expensive SLR camera, but spoke to my friend who is way in to cameras and told him what I wanted it for. He said the very best camera for me was this one. So far I have been very happy with the results. Produces great high def videos of Christmas lights.

1470100_614473041925099_2061059215_n.jpg

Sample video (shot in fog)

http://www.vevo.com/watch/USH5V1221634

Link didn't work the way I wanted on previous post.

http://www.vevo.com/watch/USH5V1221634

That is very impressive for a fair priced camera.  Thanks for that!!

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Hey Ralph:   Sorry it took so long but here's a Video using the FZ200 I took of one of my new elements for this year

 

https://vimeo.com/77938956

Thanks, That is very sharp.  Good with detail, I like this camera, and it's a good price. Found it new for $399. here;    http://www.primotronix.com/tron/product_info.php?csv=gg&products_id=20865       I was looking at the specs on line for the camera and I did not see if it had RCA audio inputs or not. That is a cool feature to have so you don't have to edit it after the fact.

Thanks again, this camera is at the top of the list!!

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Wow.....thats about $100 less than I paid for it.........But I always have to jump in when they just hit the market ;)  Oh well, But I'm really happy with the camera.

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I was thinking about hiring professional to film and edit my show.  Ill have to see on the price, Maybe I can work out a deal with him that he can film it  when he is slow a day or two, then edit it and get it back to me late winter. Did anyone ever have this done? 

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Last year, I was disappointed with my Nikon D5000 in video mode. After converting and posting on Vimeo, using their additonal enhancements and so on, the video was soft or fuzzy. This year, rather than spend for a better quality formal video camera, I'm going to rent a professional one. Got a quote for $88, for a couple of days from a local camera shop. Plus, found myself a bonus!!! The guy at the camera shop, his father has a couple of new controllers, never used. They're Gen2's but that's Ok, they'll work and saved a little money on the purchase. So next year, I might be using 32 more channels!

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