RyGa

RyGa

Hi, I am interested in shooting video, but I have no experience, because I never had a camera.

For a beginner with a $400 budget, what camera would you recommend? I'm interested in making shorts, and basically learn the ins and outs. Would I need a camera with changeable lenses at this point?

Also any advice is greatly appreciated.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

I am unaware of any cameras with interchangeable lenses until you more than double your budget. So that's probably not a consideration here.

Though it may seem an odd question, what computer do you plan to use for holding, editing, and preparing the video from your purchased camera?

RyGa

RyGa

I have an ASUS G50vt laptop.

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

Alright,

Given your computer, I would suggest you try to find a used minDV camera to begin with. This will keep costs low and won't overtax your computer. Do you have issues with purchasing a used camera?

Are you planning on purchasing the other equipment that generally goes with doing decent video? A tripod, a decent microphone, some editing software, etc.?

matt wolfe [cc]

matt wolfe [cc] Plus

Perrone's advice is pretty solid, RyGa. Here's another thought. Depending on what extent you are wanting to go with. My office just bought a GoPro Hero. For three hundred USD we got an underwater casing and a mount to attach it to cars.

Is the video quality the greatest? It's okay. (My latest video was shot with the GoPro Hero.) The sound quality is terrible, but you can do some cool things with it. It's fun video footage to edit around in. I mean, it's a niche camera, much like a Flip Mino or any of those in that category.

You have no control over anything, you just hit the record button. But sometimes that's all you need to start with. (Oh, and it's terrible in lowlight situations, but you get what you pay for.)

RyGa

RyGa

Watched your video, looks great. Was that the regular GoPro Hero or the HD HERO?

And its funny, the website boast about the sound quality...

Would this be better than the Flips? And yeah, I'll be just playing with it at first, clueless about lenses and software at the moment.

Oskar Svensson

Oskar Svensson

im looking at the speccs for ASUS G50vt now (Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 GeForce 9800M etc) and you should have no problem editing 1080p material, my laptop has even lower and I can edit fullhd mtrl with no lag and encode them with heavy avisynth scripts so... And +1 for the GoPro great cam, otherwise look at something like Sony HDR-CX115 or a Canon but i think that you cant mount any lenses on canons budget cams.

RyGa

RyGa

Eventually, I would buy a mic/tripod/etc.

I don't want to go refurbished if I can. Every time I buy something used, I wish I bought it new on the way to the repair shop months after the purchase. Might just be unlucky.

Would I use a minDV camera the same way as flash or hard drive based cameras when getting the video onto my laptop?

Perrone Ford

Perrone Ford

No, a miniDV camera uses tape. You'd connect the camera to the firewire port in your computer, and your editing software would then "capture" the contents of that tape to a digital file.

While I *greatly* prefer flash based cameras, you aren't bringing much budget to this, and your computer is a bit slow to work with the modern file types that come out of those flash based cameras.

That's my opinion anyway, though others may agree or disagree.

RyGa

RyGa

And I really appreciate it. I have poured over reviews of cameras near $400 with no clear winner, which is partly why I asked here.

By the way, Ive used avisynth scripts before like TempGaussMC. I got an average of 4 FPS, and I didn't mind the wait as I would run it over night. Would probably do the same with video I shoot.

Seems like if I want feature rich, I would have to go standard definition. However, that GoPro Hero HD naked is well under my budget with money leftover for memory cards and so on. How bad is the sound quality versus the competition in this price range? If it reduces wind noise, I think I could live with it.

As for miniDV, not sure what to think, never heard of it. Researching it now. Any particular model I should look at that's close to my budget?

The Sony HDR-CX110 looks good as well, cant find the HDR-CX115 though.

matt wolfe [cc]

matt wolfe [cc] Plus

I have the GoPro Hero HD. Sorry about the confusion. And by sound being terrible I mean, if I wanted to capture great audio, like in a dramatic spot, I will use professional grade audio recording and not a GoPro. It's fine for ambient noise, and enclosed in its weather sealing case, the sound is almost non-existant. But like I said, you are limited with to good lighting only. It gets grainy when you are in a car with tinted windows. But does a pretty decent job in sunlight and overcast. Plus, you shoot in HD, then downconvert to SD, and your footage looks pretty good.

RyGa

RyGa

Thanks for the advice everyone!

I think I'm sold on the GoPro, I do own the same model car in my profile picture (one reason why my budget is low), so the Motorsports package is drawing me in...

Unless I can find a good miniDV or SD using flash memory because I think I would prefer something more traditional down the line.

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