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Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

PembsPanther
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Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Good afternoon all Smiley
So my daughter is a budding pop princess and wants to start her own youtube channel displaying recording of her doing various cover versions and also we have a couple of professional studio days booked early next year so want to be able to capture that process as well and upload that to her channel etc etc. For this she is going to need a capable camcorder and a decent studio mic, the microphone I have figured out but am looking at buying her a decentish camcorder for Christmas to start her on her journey. She is only 13 so we do not need production company tech at the moment just something that will be capable of capturing good HD quality motion and also high quality sound whether that be from an internal microphone or an external plugged into it when using the studio mic is not possible for whatever reason. Now I do not want this to take up her whole Christmas present budget so have set a maximum budget for the camcorder of £250, looking at Argos there are a number of them at the moment some with what seem like great deals starting at around £199, trouble is although I am reasonably tech savvy in a lot of ways I am not when it comes to camcorders or cameras so I could do with some help, please Smiley
Here are links to the ones that jumped out at me:
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2055888.htm
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2620213.htm
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1983793.htm
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1665956.htm
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2272403.htm
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2271129.htm
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2558220.htm
That last one has a snazzy projector built into it.
Here is the actual page:
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Browse/ID72/39637298/c_1/1|category_root|Technology|33006169/c_2/2|330...
Can you kind people offer some advice? Do you know of a decentish camcorder that will fill the requirement I am looking for maybe somewhere else? £250 would be the top end of the budget for this as there are other things she wants as well.
Thanks in advance Smiley
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Quote from: PembsPanther
So my daughter is a budding pop princess and wants to start her own youtube channel displaying recording of her doing various cover versions

Have to stop you there, youtube's rules state that uploading music not written by the uploader or used with permission of the writer or record companies is not allowed, even just idly singing away to something can cause copyright issues, not fair I know, but that's youtube's rules for you, mostly because they kept getting sued by record companies for uploads of original and cover versions of songs, some get away with it, but others get their accounts closed... Undecided
Just thought you should be aware of this to prevent disappointment for your daughter's sake...
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

That doesn't stop people though does it.
Youtube may have the rules but it doesn't mean they strictly enforce them. The rules are there.. they apply them as and when they're forced to. Everyone knows that Youtube want to keep as many users sweet as possible.
Quite frankly if the ops daughter wants to have her own channel, fair enough good luck to her. Until youtube decide to give her a telling off then there is little point shooting her down is there.
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pwatson
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Back to the original question...
None of the camcorders listed have a socket for an external mic so you'll need to decide how important this is.  I'm sure they're all capable of capturing fairly good images but I'd go into somewhere that you can see a range of cameras and look at:
How wide does the lens go?  Important for shooting in small rooms.
How good is the auto focus?  Does it hunt or hold good focus?
How good is the auto exposure?  Does it get thrown by bright lights in shot?
Manual control?  Can you set a manual white balance/  Can you lock the shutter to 1/50 sec?
Also, don't forget that you'll need a tripod!
Best of luck choosing Smiley
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

To add to pwatson:
Sony cameras have better Carl Zeiss lenses for image quality.
Ignore references to digital zoom as the results are just plain awful.
Look for 1080p at 50fps as this will give better results if you plan to use any slow motion.
I currently have a Sony HDR-PJ260VE which is similar to the HDR-PJ240E. The projector is gimmicky but can also be useful for quick viewing when there is no monitor around. I used it to show footage just taken on a boat trip when projected against a white background while still on the boat and everyone had a good view without crowding round a small LCD screen.
A low lux is handy if your rooms are not well.
Why not pop into PCWorld/Currys and get a closer look/feel of each of them?
I would also suggest a cheapish tripod for your daughter's use as well as they can be invaluable.

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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Quote from: 7up
Quite frankly if the ops daughter wants to have her own channel, fair enough good luck to her. Until youtube decide to give her a telling off then there is little point shooting her down is there.

You'd be surprised how much the rules and enforcement on youtube has been changing over the past 12 months, a lot of music-related channels have been removed where the content involved music that was not written by the uploader, it doesn't stop people at the moment, but in the future it could mean that potential musical talent is banned from there, I'm just pointing out the risk of losing an account over using cover versions on there, I'm friends with a few regular youtubers and they're often complaining about the overzealous anti-music nonsense that's been pressuring seasoned 'tubers, even those who make their own music are getting hammered with copyright notices from illegitimate claims, some to the point where they've stopped doing anything on youtube because it's not worth the stress... Undecided
I'm not shooting down the OP's daughter, I'm all for proper talent being put out there (as opposed to the TV talentless shows), but, the music-nazis of the world (also known as the record labels) are not keen on their profits being eaten away by people singing their songs in their own way and not paying for it, so they keep suing youtube and google for all the cover versions and original versions uploaded on a day to day basis...
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Quote from: pwatson
None of the camcorders listed have a socket for an external mic so you'll need to decide how important this is.

Important if you ask me. They all seem to have built in mics but these pick up all the sounds around the camera and can be a bit hit and miss - if the camera operator makes a slight sound that comes up far louder than the target on screen.
I'm in the same boat with my camera.. gift someone got me but has no mic socket lol. If you feel brave you could always dismantle the camera and fit a mic socket but thats always risky with fragile electronic products and would of course invalidate any warranty.
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PembsPanther
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

You guys are great, thank you, I knew I would get the right advice and help here I appreciate all your time reading and posting  Smiley
I thought an external mic would be a better option as well, at home she will be singing into a studio condenser mic that will be linked to her laptop and editing software so I planned on merging the sound into the video via the editing software, in the studio I should be able to achieve the same as long as I ask the sound guy for the right thing but I am sure they will be able to help out with that, any potential gigs I could take a live feed from the mixing desk again into her laptop so although an external mic makes complete sense it might actually not be needed especially if I can somehow mute the internal mic so no sound at all in recorded just motion.
It is the image quality that is of concern to me, we have, in the past for our son bought cheaper end camcorders that claim to be 720p HD so not full 1080p HD but was still expecting something of a decent standard from them however we have had 2 now, both admittedly at the very budget end of the market at under £50 but they were both terrible, fuzzy images with no depth and clarity to them so am trying to avoid this again, there is such a learning curve that a camcorder that just works out of the box with as least hassle as possible would be perfect.
A tripod is already on the list, I have seen a snazzy Sony remote control one that looks the business for just over £100 delivered, I have managed to talk the wife into this and a decent sized memory card or 2 being "essential" extras that should not come out of her total budget along with a decent quality mic stand as well.
I think going into our local Currys would be a great idea to get hold of them and have a good play with them as well, I also have had some luck in the past bartering with Currys so that might be worth as shot as well.
pwatson mentioned some number 1080p at 50fps could someone explain what this means please and what I need to be looking for for the best clarity in picture?
Good points twocvbloke  I had not even considered this being an issue with there being so so many different budding artists on Youtube doing the same thing, you have given me something to think about and research so thanks Smiley
Thanks again everyone Smiley
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Ey Yup, 7 up.... you can do this....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVFTvAJKnA
Very instructional video !   Cheesy  he actually gets down to it, about half way through !  ... go on... give it a try ! !  
PembsPanther
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Quote from: shutter
Ey Yup, 7 up.... you can do this....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peVFTvAJKnA
Very instructional video !   Cheesy  he actually gets down to it, about half way through !  ... go on... give it a try ! !  

I love stuff like this and whenever I watch the videos I think, oh yes this will be easy no problem, never works out for me hence why i have a garden shed full of all sorts of electronics that at one time worked fine until they got the PembsPanther treatment  Grin
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Why do you need a "Video"" Camcorder ?  modern digital cameras have excellent picture quality and some do have sockets for external mic....
from googling "digital cameras with external mic"  I found these
http://snapsort.com/cameras/Samsung-Galaxy-Camera-2                priced at about   £220 from WEX photographic
http://snapsort.com/cameras/Canon-PowerShot-SX700-HS             priced at about   £204 from UK digital cameras
http://snapsort.com/cameras/Olympus-Stylus-SP-100                        priced at about £238 FROM WEX photographic

http://snapsort.com/cameras/Sony-CyberShot-DSC-H400                  priced at about  £218 from AMAZON
http://snapsort.com/cameras/Olympus-Stylus-SH-1                            priced at about £230 from Amazon
So you have the benefit of giving her a half decent digital camera.... with the advantage of using it as a video recorder....... and and external mic facility...

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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

1080p is the pixel count

50fps is 50 frames per second.... ( like the old film movies )... !  ( but much better quality, of course ! ! ! )...
pwatson
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Does the Sony tripod have a wired remote with a multipole square plug?  You may need one of these to make it work (and it will only work with Sony cameras)
If it has a 2.5mm jack plug on, then it is designed for older cameras that have a dedicated LANC socket
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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

Quote from: PembsPanther
pwatson mentioned some number 1080p at 50fps could someone explain what this means please and what I need to be looking for for the best clarity in picture?

That was me Wink
1080p refers to the image being displayed in it's entirety for each frame whereas interlaced (1080i) is where the image is displayed by illuminating odd and even pixel rows in an alternating fashion. Progressive produces better results generally. 1080p is also known as Full HD.
fps is the number of frames recorded each second. Normally in UK it is 25fps but In it's simplest terms doubling to 50fps is better when there is motion and also gives better results when slowing footage down for an effect.
Quote from: PembsPanther
and a decent sized memory card or 2 being "essential" extras that should not come out of her total budget along with a decent quality mic stand as well.

Make sure you get a decent branded Class 10 card as these cameras can shift a lot of data very fast.
Also, I suggest you always record at the highest quality available then you can always reduce resolution, frame rate or bitrate later depending on delivery format.

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Re: Camcorder Experts Advice Needed Please

As someone with a particular interest in live sound I would also concur with the use of a dedicated off-camera microphone not only for frequency response but isolation of extraneous noise.
I also agree with the use of a decent sturdy tripod which can considerably improve the overall quality of the footage making it more of a pleasure to watch.
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