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thinking about a new camera

 
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I've been doing some editing lately and this is turning into a massive pain in the ass.

My old reliable camera takes video in a max resolution of 640x480. It is still set up on a tripod taking pictures of those light bulbs.

I bought a new camera which i thought was exactly the same as old camera only it took video with a higher resolution. It does take video with a higher resolution. But everything comes out super shaky compared to the older camera. I'm not quite sure what is going on. Maybe I'm just getting shakier with age?

So I end up spending hours on a video trying to take out the shaky stuff with software.

Both are sony cybershot cameras. I researched a long time with the first sony to find a camera that would fit in my pocket AND have excellent sound quality.

Suggestions?
 
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By shakey, I assume you mean camera shake? Not 'jittery' playback, which can be an issuing with playing back HD video on older computers.

Apperent shake is greatly affected by field of view, if you want smooth video without any investment, shoot as wide as possible and get closer to the subject.

Perhaps your new camera doesn't have as wide as a FOV as your previous camera, or perhaps the previous camera had a better image stabilization system than the new camera.

Something you might want to try is building a home made stabilizer (YouTube and Google "DIY steady-cam") they are clumsy and sometimes heavy but can help when shooting hand held. Tripod is obviously the best choice in a stationary scene.


This is all based on the assumption that you're shooting primarily video correct? What do you intend to do at this point, adjust technique or purchase another camera?

I can help with either...
 
Nick Sims
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Oh by the way "good sound" is a whole 'nother thread...

But your never going to get anything more than mediocre sound from in camera.

For on camera look into attached "shot gun" microphones which have a pickup that looks somewhat like a shotgun spread pattern, that is primarily forward at angles from 5° to 35° (generalization) with only a small pickup from the rear/sides.

As long as the camera has a 2.5mm/3.5mm or XLR input you can attach some form of microphone. Be aware that some connections are camera/manufacture specific, common in Sony.
 
paul wheaton
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I spent some time yesterday looking around. I found a few places where they talked about steady video stuff. I even saw some demonstrations on youtube about a samsung phone attached to an iphone and they both videoed the same thing. And the iphone was freaky shaky while the samsung was super smooth. Some ads for cameras talk about having an internal gyroscope that helps with this sort of thing.

My guess is that my old camera had something in it that compensated for my jiggle. And the new camera doesn't.

 
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check out www.lensrentals.com
Roger has blogs discussing the billions of cameras, their uses, their downfall etc. You can also e-mail them (about 50 gear-heads work there) with your request. They also sell "gently used" cameras which is where I got my latest - about $300 less than what I saw elsewhere.
 
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Is your intention at this point on purchasing a new camera?
 
paul wheaton
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My intent is to buy a new camera. Dealing with the jiggle is driving me nuts.

I think the superior sound for the last couple of years is from the new camera having a tiny microphone hole on the FRONT of the camera. It seems a lot of the cameras like this don't have this.

So I'm at the sony site and I see this:





I think the sound on the first one will be better.
 
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Honestly I wouldn't expect much from a budget camera.

Because of the inher
Technology...sighit turn-over of electronics, people will dump "old" things for nothing... I would MUCH rather see you get a used Sony HX10 (about $130-$150) than a new budget camera. The image stabilization on an old camera (comical calling a camera old at less than 2 years since introduction) higher end camera like this will give far superior real world results. The HX10 is known for impressive video, and it's replacement the HX20 and HX30 are also video oriented.

There is a lot of meaningless drivel towards camera equipment, mostly by people who don't make many pictures, which causes the separation of the wheat from the chaff a tedious task.


Oh and does your audio recorder have a microphone input? Then I would pick up a cheap lavalier microphone and use that for good speech quality. If you are 15' away from the camera, you're going to have echoes, interference, and foreign sounds no matter how good your camera is... But using the audio from a lav pinned to your shirt 6" away filters out people carrying out coughing and farting in the background. You do have some extra work in editing, but in certain circumstances you'll need/want the audio, if not no harm done.

Start recording with both the camera and the audio recorder, then clap before (or after) your scene, then you match the audio form (big spike in the little waves) to the video frame where you clap and then your good to go. Sounds like a lot of work until you learn it, then it's about a 15 second process. There are programs which can match audio automatically, without the clapping...but it's $$



I have currently have around $8000 worth of Canon equipment... and regularly leave it at home in favor of a Sony RX100, or just my iPhone. Funny how it all pans out.


Technolgy... sigh.
 
paul wheaton
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My current cell phone is nearing the two year mark - so soon it will start to feign death. I am now thinking of exploring getting a phone that might end up being my primary video contraption.
 
paul wheaton
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Will an HX10 fit in my pocket? Does it have a microphone in the front?
 
Nick Sims
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paul wheaton wrote:My current cell phone is nearing the two year mark - so soon it will start to feign death. I am now thinking of exploring getting a phone that might end up being my primary video contraption.




Not a half bad idea... A smartphone is conveniently an editing computer and an uploader.


None are going to have an optical zoom (unless they're making something I'm unaware of) and they also lack real image stabilization, two things to consider.
 
Nick Sims
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paul wheaton wrote:Will an HX10 fit in my pocket? Does it have a microphone in the front?




Absolutely, it's a pocket camera.

It also has dual microphones positioned on top (on top is actually the ideal location, forward doesn't pick up much ambient sound)
Sony-Cybershot2012-inline4.jpg
[Thumbnail for Sony-Cybershot2012-inline4.jpg]
 
Nick Sims
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Lens obviously retracts into the body and has a nifty automatic lens cover (a lot easier than dealing with a cap when putting in pocket)
sony-hx10v.jpg
[Thumbnail for sony-hx10v.jpg]
 
paul wheaton
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Thanks Nick!

I think my current plan is: get a new phone (samsung galaxy note 2) and tinker with it a bit. I suspect that it will fall short of my video needs in some way that I cannot think of yet. Then try the hx10.

I feel like things are now on a good solution path.
 
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Get an iPad, I love mine and there are countless apps for integrating your life. It is incredibly versatile, mic and video are superb which can help with farm design as well.

 
paul wheaton
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I tried an iphone once for three days. yuck. plus a mac for 14 days. yuck again. plus, i like the idea of giving my money to not-apple.
 
Amedean Messan
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LOL, yeah I was like that for a while. Well, let me give you a rundown of my favorite aspects and you be the judge.

Long battery life.
Hours of HD video storage potential.
Amazing mic.
Ability to take and edit video within one platform.
Incredibly portable.
Replaces a laptop for most things.
Apps are dirt cheap. (1.99 to 5.99 usual price range)
Durability and quality.
 
paul wheaton
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How is it for fitting in your pocket? Or for making a call?
 
Amedean Messan
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Well, it is not as portable as a phone naturally but it sure beats that thick hot bulky laptop. I am probably not going to buy another laptop in a very long time. The iPad just makes sense in more ways than I had originally known. I really do cherish this thing, the mic is so good I even use an app to tune my guitar. Reading books is wonderful. They have the iPad mini but I think the regular iPad is a perfect fit for me.
 
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Funny, I ran across a CNBC guy's article on LinkedIn that says:

If there was ever any doubt, it is now very clear that the digital still camera (at least the point-and-click) is going the way of the Polaroid.



Of course due to smart phones, iPads, etc. with built-in cameras.
 
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Personally (as well as professionally), I'd recommend you buy a real Video Camera if you intend to do real video productions. Sure, the cost is going to be higher, but the quality of the finished product (Video) is sooooo much mo'better.

I was going to recommend building a small counterweight rig to hang below the camera to help stabilize the "shaky", but that is of little use for a pocket cam.

There's an old saying in Electronics ..... "if you want an all-in-one anything, you will compromise something about each platform."

If you are looking to do occasional short video when you don't have an actual Video cam at hand, that's one thing, but to plan on filming a full-day or multi-day event or class or workshop, a full-size cam is actually a better choice. Many Cams in the "Prosumer" class are palm-size now (under 6"x3'x3") compared to even just a few years ago, and their prices are far less too. Really decent full-featured cameras can be had for under $300, while "new" models are going to be in the $500-$700 range. Of course, they also range into the thousands of dollars, which really isn't necessary for anything you'd be interested in doing (unless you were to produce an eco-Reality Show or similar)

Good luck with whatever you choose, but DO consider getting a real Video Camera. Especially if you want to reach hundreds of thousands of people world-wide. In video, there is no replacement for quality.

btw ..... I don't know this to be true, but I'd be willing to bet that in the Land of Hollywood, SOMEONE would be extraordinarily interested in trading an excellent Camera for back-to-the-land expertise or ability; ie - building a Rocket Heater, designing a mini-forest in their Laural Canyon hide-away, next-step "eco-tizing" their home, etc.

 
paul wheaton
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There is something I had not thought of before: just make the camera heavier. If I had some sort of really heavy thing attached to the bottom of the camera, it would still fit in my pocket but it would probably have far less jiggle.

At the RMH workshop Jon Trask loaned me his fancy video camera. So all of the footage of that event is with that. But when I am visiting farms and stuff, most of the time I have no idea what I will be doing there. I just show up and see how things go. And then whip out the camera when something seems good.
 
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It doesn't need to be really heavy, but shake-absorbing weight is one of the by-products of extra mass. The real idea of a below-can stabilizer is to add a longer axis as well as a counter-balancing weight to spread any movements, which are what causes the 'shakiness' you are experiencing.

Here's a real cheap homemade stabilizer for a full-size video camera, claimed to be built for only $14, that does what $600+ units do. http://14dollarstabilizer.org/. For other ideas, Google "Video Cam Stabilizer" and you can see several different designs from which you can model.

Here's a (funded) Kickstarter showing what an iPhone/Pocket Cam stabilizer would look like. This looks like it could be built for about $30. If I were to build this version, I'd make a provision to mount it to a tripod. (I'm talking about a REAL full-size tripod, not a 4' or 5' flimsy-assed assembly of adjustable legs. The Manfrotto I used would extend to over 7' tall, well above peoples heads, and collapse to 44". Again think quality and versatility and end-product, not just price)

about visiting Farms and Fields ...... one of my favorite Bonsai Mentors taught us "the True Master Always Learns from EVERY Source." He encouraged us to have a camera at hand to photo trees in Gardens and in Nature. (this was in the 80s, long before inexpensive digital cams)

My guess is that you see yourself as a Master (or at least a Duke), willing to gain knowledge and application, and pass that along to willing and eager ears and eyes and hands. In that regard, you probably film more than you think you do (or, maybe not enough!). You might as well film with a tool that equals your knowledge and ability, your Students anticipation, and the subject matter at hand. (Change the World, and all that jazz)

Besides ..... I'm not buying into your claim that you can't have a palm-sized video camera (smaller than a 20oz water bottle) with you when you go a'visitin', especially if you're wearing Farmer Bib Overalls most of the time. I'd be winning to bet that you have lots of room in one of those pockets.
 
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An eye bolt(that screws into the camera) with some 550 cord or other light rope/string stuff tied to it may do the trick.

Step on the rope, when it's tight, camera is stable.
I've not tried this... but you know the little watch clasp hole on your bibs? Tether and "bipod" all in one.
 
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While I agree that a dedicated video camera will produce a technically superior result, I argue against them in Paul's circumstance. He's dealing with people not accustomed to having a camera pointed in their face, and subconsciously will be more comfortable with a "picture" camera than a "video" camera.


Also while the quality difference in the video spectrum is relatively small, I've yet to see a camcorder that can take a picture worth a crap. Video cameras also are generally worse in low light conditions, and also encourage people to zoom in (usually wayyy too far) instead of moving closer to the subject.


And there is a small monetary difference as well, which Paul noted as being important.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:My current cell phone is nearing the two year mark - so soon it will start to feign death. I am now thinking of exploring getting a phone that might end up being my primary video contraption.



My thought was exactly this.

Have a friend on the island who has a Galaxy S3 as a phone and it actually does a decent job at trying to stabilize the frame when taking a picture. Am assuming it works the same for video, meaning to try and stabilize the video. It also has many more features than your current phone. Don't know anything about the new BlackBerry phone.

Am sure some of those features are present in Android 4.x so other phones will probably have it.

I concur that any Apple products probably won't suit you. Infinitely difficult to do anything outside of their (Apple's) perceived notions of what you should want to do, or even be able to do. Will spend more time "fighting the man" instead of doing actual work. (my own two cents knowing you're an engineer).
 
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Paul, I can suggest a few cameras these days if you are still looking, in the under $500 range.

I can also say last year I got an iPhone 7 plus, with the honking memory. For the camera. It's spendy though. I won't deny that. It does pretty well overall and I have used and abused mine for close to a year. It's much better than my dear old Olympus Camedia 740, which still has a really good optics package on it. Just that resolution is no match any more.

If you are having shakies there are a few digitals that have anti-shake built in... a friend of mine has issues with hand shake. The updated version of the one I chose for her:
https://www.amazon.com/Canon-PowerShot-Digital-Battery-Charger/dp/B01EX4MNGC/ref=pd_day0_421_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=7VRFG8GDXECMEDEBQEAT  She said the earlier version did a good job of taking her hand shake out.
There are ones closer to $500 that do better with video though. Other way to kill shake is to use a good well set leveled tripod and hang some weights off the crossmembers. About 10 pound of strap on wrist and ankle weights or similar do great.

Technology moves so fast though.... I'm currently looking for a top end of the sort where you buy the body then the lenses then the accessories and it goes with you as your carryon. That's too much camera and it's NOT going to go in your pocket.

(yes I tend to be partial to Canon too... admitting it)
 
paul wheaton
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This was written a long, long time ago.   Everything is different now!
 
Deb Rebel
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paul wheaton wrote:This was written a long, long time ago.   Everything is different now!



Oh man, very much so. Still if you're still in market I've been digging because I'm looking into a very professional rig... needful for some things I need to do.
 
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