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Old 04-10-2012, 12:14   #1
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Video cameras

Can anyone share their experiences of which video camera to buy (I don't mean hugely expensive top end ones)? I am considering taking videos under sail as well as everyday videos of our adventures and trips ashore etc. Of course I am wondering about taking underwater videos too.

I lean towards a Sony and one which has a hard drive for longer recordings. I doubt I would need something with a huge digital zoom function but would rather focus on say HD quality videos.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:37   #2
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Re: Video cameras

Hi Bluewaters2812, I recently purchased a Panasonic HX-WA20. It is one of those gun-style camcorders. This one is sealed and waterproof to three meters, has decent still and video capabilities, and is compact and easy to use. Optical zoom up to 15x (depending on file setting), and seems pretty durable.

I used it on our recent 34 day trip, so have a bunch of raw video and stills. I've looked through them, and they look good (the image quality that is ... not sure about the artistic merit).
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:41   #3
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Re: Video cameras

We have received recommendations from a few of our friends that are professionals and all have recommended the same thing. Get a high quality DSLR like the Nikon or Cannon that can shoot high quality photos and do video. If you want sound, no matter what you choose, get a remote audio recorder mike, like those used on TV, etc and sync the sound and video with good software. prices for these will range from $660 to $1200 but if you calculate what a photo camera AND a video camera can cost, you still might be ahead of the game. Chuck
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:46   #4
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Re: Video cameras

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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
We have received recommendations from a few of our friends that are professionals and all have recommended the same thing. Get a high quality DSLR like the Nikon or Cannon that can shoot high quality photos and do video. If you want sound, no matter what you choose, get a remote audio recorder mike, like those used on TV, etc and sync the sound and video with good software. prices for these will range from $660 to $1200 but if you calculate what a photo camera AND a video camera can cost, you still might be ahead of the game. Chuck
Thanks for that. I am not too bothered about the ability to take stills. I already have an excellent digital camera for that. I would like the versatility of being able to shoot underwater though.
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:05   #5
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Re: Video cameras

I'm going with the Go Pro (GoPro Products - Record & Share Your Most Memorable Moments). One of my customers, a skydiving pilot, showed me his. I love it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:09   #6
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Re: Video cameras

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We have received recommendations from a few of our friends that are professionals and all have recommended the same thing. Get a high quality DSLR ...
Hi Chuck, I agree a good DSLR produces excellent video and stills. We have used our DSLRs for the past many years, and still do. And yes, getting a decent mic is definitely the way to go. DSLR are great for capturing those wonderful sunsets, calm views over the anchorage, etc. The downside for me has always been the relative difficulty in using them while underway, especially when sailing gets "interesting." IOW, when the wind pipes up, when its raining or the seas get big, and sailing gets challenging.

I found we had few active sailing videos, or stills, b/c of the need to protect the fancy camera, and the relative difficulty of using the DSLR while all hell is breaking loose. This is why we're experimenting with this new panasonic. It is easy to use, waterproof, and pretty rugged. The image quality is certainly lesser, but we found that we took a lot more shots and vids while underway.

So far, we like having both.
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:09   #7
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Re: Video cameras

Keep in mind that the GoPro only has a wide angle, or fish eye, lens so shooting certain videos will be affected. Chuck
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:16   #8
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Re: Video cameras

Ahh, but the quality of those images is something else.
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:16   #9
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Re: Video cameras

Mike, Our friends are profession photographers that work for various publications and TV networks. Today, about a half dozen feature films have been shot with a DSLR. I ask about using the cameras in adverse conditions and these guys have seen some conditions we hope we'll never see. Each recommends a cover for the camera to protect it in those kind of conditions and then the cover can be removed in the other 90% of the time when it's not needed. But each of us must choose what we feel comfortable with and determine what we need to accomplish. Since we're starting from scratch, the need to upgrade our camera and the desire to shoot quality video, this is the path we have chosen. Hope you share those videos some day. Chuck
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:38   #10
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Re: Video cameras

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I'm going with the Go Pro (GoPro Products - Record & Share Your Most Memorable Moments). One of my customers, a skydiving pilot, showed me his. I love it.
I watched a video of someone crossing the Atlantic and he had a GoPro camera mounted on the stern. It gave a great view of what was going on and it certainly was one that I had in mind. I was waiting to see if anyone mentioned it. You have, so now it goes on my list of options I guess, thanks. Perhaps if one bought an underwater housing as an accessory it would serve all the purposes I am looking for?
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Old 04-10-2012, 13:50   #11
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Re: Video cameras

I have a Gopro, haven't used it much yet, but am happy with the quality, there are 3 settings, wide, medium and narrow view, it comes with waterproof/underwater case. It's pretty cool, I also have the remote for it. I got the hero 2 with autosport mounts.
I'm thinking this will be all I need for video

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Old 04-10-2012, 13:58   #12
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Re: Video cameras

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Hi Chuck, I agree a good DSLR produces excellent video and stills. We have used our DSLRs for the past many years, and still do. And yes, getting a decent mic is definitely the way to go. DSLR are great for capturing those wonderful sunsets, calm views over the anchorage, etc. The downside for me has always been the relative difficulty in using them while underway, especially when sailing gets "interesting." IOW, when the wind pipes up, when its raining or the seas get big, and sailing gets challenging.

I found we had few active sailing videos, or stills, b/c of the need to protect the fancy camera, and the relative difficulty of using the DSLR while all hell is breaking loose. This is why we're experimenting with this new panasonic. It is easy to use, waterproof, and pretty rugged. The image quality is certainly lesser, but we found that we took a lot more shots and vids while underway.

So far, we like having both.
Which Panasonic do you have that is waterproof if I might ask?
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Old 04-10-2012, 14:01   #13
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Re: Video cameras

+1 Gopro...droool.
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Old 04-10-2012, 14:24   #14
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Re: Video cameras

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Originally Posted by Bluewaters2812 View Post
Which Panasonic do you have that is waterproof if I might ask?
It's a Panasonic HX-WA20. It's good to 3 meter depth, so no deep diving, but I've taken it underwater while swimming. Rain and spray are no problem, and it's even good against dust and sand (other killers of cameras). So far, it's living up to its billing.

The quality seems pretty good for basically a point-and-shoot. It will record vid at HD quality, a decent built-in mic, still image size up to 4608x3456, and has full manual capabilities (which I like). Lots of other options.

It's certainly not a professional-quality camera, but so far I'm impressed with it.

BTW, I looked long and hard at GoPro, and a few other similar ones. I like them, but the fixed focal length, and limited general capabilities led me to look elsewhere.
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Old 04-10-2012, 14:45   #15
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Re: Video cameras

I use a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 16.2 MP Digital Camera.

Amazon.com: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 16.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 4x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Blue) (2012 Model): Camera & Photo

Its waterproof and I have used it underwater for snorkeling. The quality is really amazing and you don't have to worry about getting it wet. I have a floating wrist strap for use on the boat and that way even if its dropped overboard it floats. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the HD vids, even though I bought it for a camera. one of the things I really like is just sticking it in my pocket so its always handy, no more babying a camera.

My son has the GoPro and it also takes really great video, but does take a few more seconds to turn on and off when you want to get it out and start it up.
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