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I want to record a good quality video, don't know anything about cameras

post #1 of 11
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I'm building a Facebook app and I'd like to record a video "commercial" to use to advertise it, I can do the editing but I don't know anything about the actual camerawork, lights, mics, etc and whatever other equipment goes into recording the footage. I have one friend in the business but he does music videos for singers and stuff like that so he gave me a 5-figure quote and I'm not really looking to spend that much, I just want to record a couple minutes and have it looking good and presentable and not like something blurry that I recorded on my phone where you can't hear what anyone is saying.

The footage won't be of the computer screen, it will be of people playing the game and things like that, and will be uploaded to Youtube. Can anyone give me some info on what equipment I should get, if I need to buy/rent some lights/mics and how to position them in relation to the people? Do I even need extra mics or can I just get a decent camera with a built-in mic? Would a <$1000 camera from Best Buy suffice or do I need to spend a lot of money on a camera?
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post #2 of 11
If you want the ultimate cheap HD video recorder, check out the Flip HD; it records in 720p. I know what you're doing is a bit more on the professional level, but if you add some mics and toss away the audio captured from the Flip I think it'll be fantastic for you. Other than that, I'm sure ANY of the 1080p camcorders you can find at any retailer are amazing. Sony/JVC have some that have 250GB of internal memory, which is very nice. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasoni...&skuId=9921706

You can find plenty of samples of the Flip on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...hd+sample&aq=f
Edited by Stealth Pyros - 1/6/11 at 5:28pm
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post #3 of 11
flips are great for low resolution or small screen viewing like youtube. wont look good on anything bigger than a computer monitor but will still look pretty darn good for the price.

basically when it comes to quality of the video itself the more you pay for your camera and equipment such as lenses the more you get. i dont suggest spending lots of money on pro equipment for a facebook app.

any flip or HD camcorder will be best suited for what you need and they come is a wide range of prices for all budgets.

ALSO the camera that stealthpyro suggested would be fine if you want to spend that much money just be sure to ignore the whole 9.1MP thing HD is HD and is always the same resolution how many megapixels the camcorder is doesnt change the quality. panasonic is an excellent place to start, then canon, and sony is ok

dont forget to link us to your video and the app when your done

---> also on a side note its very hard for me to explain how to properly light subjects for a video shoot. do some research. if you plan on spending money to rent equipment which does get expensive start by looking at 3 point lighting and glamour lighting as some references to good basic lighting setups. as far as extra equipment it depends on how much money you want to spend to make this more professional quality. video and film sounds equipment is not cheap to rent and not easy to properly use if you are a first timer. no offense

if you really want a good camera with a decent built-in mic you are going to need to look at prosumer cameras that are way more than $1k no camcorder is going to produce audio on a professional level that i know i personally would not be proud to use. as far as prosumer goes you cant go wrong for the money with either a panasonic DVX100 or a canon XL1 or XL2
Edited by Conspiracy - 1/6/11 at 5:40pm
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conspiracy View Post
ALSO the camera that stealthpyro suggested would be fine if you want to spend that much money just be sure to ignore the whole 9.1MP thing HD is HD and is always the same resolution how many megapixels the camcorder is doesnt change the quality.
For the record, the megapixels listed there are referring to photo resolution. That camera can capture still photos, at 9.1mp. There is another camera just like that one I posted that has less storage and less still photo quality for maybe $300 less; so that may be worth it.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasoni...&skuId=9921715

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+H...&skuId=9746014
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go with the Flip HD.

That just leaves the mics and the lighting. Any suggestions as to those?
Also, are mics really necessary if the footage will just be of people playing the game and commenting on it? Is the built-in mic horrible?
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by a!!!!1 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go with the Flip HD.

That just leaves the mics and the lighting. Any suggestions as to those?
Also, are mics really necessary if the footage will just be of people playing the game and commenting on it? Is the built-in mic horrible?
Not at all, it's actually pretty darned good.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Pyros View Post
For the record, the megapixels listed there are referring to photo resolution. That camera can capture still photos, at 9.1mp. There is another camera just like that one I posted that has less storage and less still photo quality for maybe $300 less; so that may be worth it.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasoni...&skuId=9921715

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sony+-+H...&skuId=9746014
oh i know. i have been working with video and film for 6 years almost. the one thing i learned is companies will say extra stuff out of order to make a camera seem better than it really is to make people want to buy it more. like saying 100X digital zoom 10X optical, normal people dont know what that means they just see 100X zoom and buy it not knowing that digital zoom is not a good thing lol.

and what you suggested would be pretty good for him.

-----

i see you decided on the flip. lighting is important but not nearly as crucial as good sound. bad sound quality will make even the most amazing camera work look amateur. top priority is sound and then lighting is #2 but really with a flip camera you can still get some good lighting if you work really hard but the flip doesnt allow you to control what your exposure is so its going to do it automatically for you which means that all the time you spent getting some really nice lighting might not be seen as the flip will expose the shot differently than you may want. a lot more work is ahead of you if you want dramatic lighting.
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post #8 of 11
I own a Flip myself, so long as you keep 1 decent ceiling light on or have a floor lamp or 2 in the room it'll record without any visible grain. The Flip's weakness is interior recording. It looks great quality-wise, but it is grainy in dark areas. You should be fine as I only encounter a reduction in quality if I have NO lights on at all. 1 decent source of light should be enough for what you're trying to do.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conspiracy View Post
i see you decided on the flip. lighting is important but not nearly as crucial as good sound. bad sound quality will make even the most amazing camera work look amateur. top priority is sound and then lighting is #2 but really with a flip camera you can still get some good lighting if you work really hard but the flip doesnt allow you to control what your exposure is so its going to do it automatically for you which means that all the time you spent getting some really nice lighting might not be seen as the flip will expose the shot differently than you may want. a lot more work is ahead of you if you want dramatic lighting.
I don't need any dramatic lighting, just something that looks natural but not dark and blurry. I'll be recording most of the footage inside with the lights on, so based on what you said it sounds like I won't really need any additional lights.

What mic(s) should I look at? Are they just things you attach to the camera, or does the person wear them?
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post #10 of 11
if your using a flip you are going to have to get an audio recorder which a good one of course will cost extra plus the price of microphones. i would just have your actors speak loud and clear and never have a shot where you need audio and the camera to be far away in a wide shot. hope that makes sense
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