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Old 21-10-2013, 11:15   #1
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What movie cam do you recommend

I want to buy a camcorder or whatever they call them nowadays to record our sailing adventures. I've had a look at the Go-Pro which looks great but perhaps a bit one dimension-able, eg all wide angle stuff.

What have you got, and do some fare better against the elements than others. Don't really want to spend more than $500 and would like one that has an external mic facility that I could put one of those fluffy wind shields on to stop the noise of the wind.

Thanks in advance
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Old 21-10-2013, 11:35   #2
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

I will be interested to see the answers you get,I Have the same opinion about the go pro,all the mounts make for a big +
I have wanted to do a better documention of several trips but would not bring the camera out in the conditions that would have been interesting and I needed both hands
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Old 21-10-2013, 11:42   #3
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

IMHO, the GoPro is a good bet because you can take it up on deck without fear. One drop of saltwater in a regular camera makes it into a nice looking paperweight (ask me how I know.) There are usually some drops flying around on the ocean.

Other advantages to the GoPro is that you can put it in you pocket and carry it around without a hassle. Try that with a digital SLR. It works well under most lighting conditions. It takes still pictures. It's always in focus. You can take it snorkling and diving. Anyway, good luck on the search.
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Old 21-10-2013, 12:00   #4
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

I have a Samsung HMX-W300 that I'm very happy with. It's small, waterproof, shockproof, rustproof, inexpensive, and takes pretty good video.

IMHO it does not make sense to spend a lot on a video camera unless you're a real video nut because anything you buy today will be an antique in a year or two. Why spend $300+ on a camera when next year you'll be able to get the same quality and features for half the price?
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Old 21-10-2013, 13:02   #5
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

I've used Sony Camcorders in the past (1990-2009), going from 8mm to Hi-8 to Digital 8. All of the cameras were under $300 and took decent video for each stage of the technology. I stayed with the Sony line for backward compatibility with the video I had already shot. Everything is Digital HD today, so the compatibility issue is not a major concern. I still have my Digital 8 camera, but will replace with an HD camera if and when I am ready to shoot more video. Since I haven't started looking for a new camcorder I can't make a recommendation, although I have a preference for Sony products.
IMO, having good video editing software is as important as the camera you choose. Unlike still photos, a video has to tell a story - otherwise it's just a home movie that no one wants to watch. There are low-end editing packages that are bundled with some computers, but I recommend getting a package that is aimed at the high end of the consumer market. I currently use Pinnacle Studio 16, which has all of the editing features I've used in the past. If all you want to do is post a few short clips on YouTube then you probably don't need to invest in editing software. However, if you want to produce a little more permanent video record editing software becomes very important.

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Old 21-10-2013, 13:29   #6
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

Can't say enough good things about my GoPro:

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Old 21-10-2013, 13:59   #7
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

I've got three GoPros, my Canon super zoom, and a Contour. If I had to pick one for the rest of my life, I'd pick the Contour, hands down.

GoPro:
+ When it works, it's great.
+ Better field of vision in general.
+ Great accessories.
- Stupid expensive by the time you get all the doo-dads.
- Miserable customer support.
- Buggy hardware and software.
- Difficult / impossible to reconfigure once "in the environment".

Contour:
+ Cheaper, more stuff right out of the box.
+ Much longer battery life.
+ Easier to interface with.
+ Dive housing is dirt cheap and works simple.
+ Almost no fogging problems, and you can use non $20 anti-fog inserts (unlike GoPro).
+ Rock solid stability.
- Bigger.
- GoPro's super fish eye lense really is great in a lot of ways.

As an example though, this was filmed by my Contour (Roam model):



And this was via my GoPro:

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Old 21-10-2013, 14:03   #8
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

GoPro hero III Black...no question, and its not all wide angle, its infinitely adjustable. Impressive light control, cant say enough good things about it.
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Old 21-10-2013, 14:07   #9
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
...IMHO it does not make sense to spend a lot on a video camera unless you're a real video nut because anything you buy today will be an antique in a year or two. Why spend $300+ on a camera when next year you'll be able to get the same quality and features for half the price?
My buddy has a Go-Pro mounted on his helmet for skiing and it takes a beating and is easy to control even in foul weather. I agree one can buy a 1-2yr old model and save $.

I use my iPhone. The headphone mics have noise cancelling. I have another friend, who's daughter was in film school and taped her iPhone to the tripod when her video-cam failed during a shoot.
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Old 21-10-2013, 14:08   #10
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

Sounds like Contour is out of business. I'm sure you can still get product online.
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Old 21-10-2013, 14:26   #11
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Re: What movie cam do you recommend

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Sounds like Contour is out of business. I'm sure you can still get product online.
Damn, that sucks! I wish they would have cranked the price a few bucks and put more into marketing. No one heard of them and they built a terrific product. GoPro really crushed them by getting in first to market and pushing into retail venues.

I think I'll snag one of the higher end Contours just to have a spare. Really it's a terrific product.

With a squaretrade (or equivalent) warranty you'll get your money back anyway if it goes kaput, and I'd stake my chances with that well over the miserable support of GoPro.
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