Options

Camcorders and editing of footage

suadeosuadeo Registered User regular
Ok, so me and a few friends have an idea for a TV show for the internet. We plan to record in a spare room in my house but right now we lack the equipment. We need a decent computer to edit footage and a way to capture video. It came across my mind to use a few webcams for different angles or possibly buy a cheap ($300-$400) camcorder. Does anyone have suggestions on the webcam vs camcorder option? If so, what are good brands/products to look at?

Also, we will need a computer that cen edit this video. Motherboard, proc, ram, I know what I will need. My question is mostly with a video card/sound card. What are some good products to look into? Thank you.

Valseki.png
My 360 is [strike]back[/strike] [strike]bricked[/strike] back! :D
suadeo on

Posts

  • Options
    flatlinegraphicsflatlinegraphics Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    what is your budget? video is a serious serious investment in hardware and software. video will absolutely trash a computer system. and while the barrier to entry is a fraction of what it was a few years ago, its still a major investment for anything more than chopping together family gathering videos.

    this is a basic overview for a small semi pro studio. you can spend more or less, and get better or worse end product. you can use this as a jumping off point for more research.

    best value right now in software is probably the adobe video suite. you get photoshop, premiere (your editor), aftereffects (post production, effects, titles, etc), flash pro (publish to web). comes in at $1700. other options, such as avid media composer, will put you back $5k. an apple turnkey FCP system would set you back about 5k. with either the apple or media composer, you would still need a compositor, a graphics package, and a delivery system.

    there are FOSS systems out there, but there is no guarentee that they will sync with your camcorder.

    which brings us to the camcorder. put webcams out of your mind. just don't do it. best you will get is 25fps, generally ok to bad quality, and most commonly 320x240 or best 640x480. look for a used canon gl1. you can usually find them on ebay for less than 1k. that is the standard entry level pro camcorder. there are cheaper consumer camcorders, but the canon is (or was) the best one for getting semi pro quality. you can occasionally see them being used by second on site camera people on discovery shows (mythbusters, dirty jobs). alternately, look at renting a camera. you can get a really nice betacam for a day of shooting, and then digitize the footage and edit on your own time. you will get much better quality, and not have to invest a lot in a camera. the majority of your time will be in editing and finishing, and not in actually shooting.

    as for specific hardware, its best to look at which ever software package you choose and what the recomended system specs are. then double the ram, quad the storage space (with extra scratch capture disks), and atleast double the cpu specs. yes, you can get away with less, and people have for years. but as i said, video will trash your system. and stay away from gaming video cards. look for quadro/fireGL cards.

    for sound, thats a whole nother problem. you will need mics. you will need multi channel capture devices, probably separate from the actual camera.

    yeah, you can probably get away with using a prosumer camcorder, and whatever editor you can find. but be aware that there are worlds of difference between 'just good enough' and 'good enough to show to someone else'.

    flatlinegraphics on
  • Options
    suadeosuadeo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    what is your budget? video is a serious serious investment in hardware and software. video will absolutely trash a computer system. and while the barrier to entry is a fraction of what it was a few years ago, its still a major investment for anything more than chopping together family gathering videos.

    This is a problem, our budget won't be huge. I will explain throughout this post.
    best value right now in software is probably the adobe video suite. you get photoshop, premiere (your editor), aftereffects (post production, effects, titles, etc), flash pro (publish to web). comes in at $1700. other options, such as avid media composer, will put you back $5k. an apple turnkey FCP system would set you back about 5k. with either the apple or media composer, you would still need a compositor, a graphics package, and a delivery system.

    I have experience with both premiere and after effects from my skating days. This seems to be an option I would take. It comes with everything we need. And at $1700, it is cheaper than some other options, as you have said.
    which brings us to the camcorder. put webcams out of your mind. just don't do it. best you will get is 25fps, generally ok to bad quality, and most commonly 320x240 or best 640x480. look for a used canon gl1. you can usually find them on ebay for less than 1k. that is the standard entry level pro camcorder. there are cheaper consumer camcorders, but the canon is (or was) the best one for getting semi pro quality. you can occasionally see them being used by second on site camera people on discovery shows (mythbusters, dirty jobs). alternately, look at renting a camera. you can get a really nice betacam for a day of shooting, and then digitize the footage and edit on your own time. you will get much better quality, and not have to invest a lot in a camera. the majority of your time will be in editing and finishing, and not in actually shooting.

    This is where I am kind of worried. Initially, we plan to offer video's at 320x240/640x480 with the option of higher resolutions down the road. I was looking at some of the consumer level camera's at the $400 mark. But i notice a lot of these lack mic inputs or have some other flaw in which I don't like. The GL1 for under a grand seems like our best bet. Plus, I have been thinking about it, getting a $500 camcorder just to replace it with a $1000 dollar camcorder in a few months doesn't make sense.
    as for specific hardware, its best to look at which ever software package you choose and what the recomended system specs are. then double the ram, quad the storage space (with extra scratch capture disks), and atleast double the cpu specs. yes, you can get away with less, and people have for years. but as i said, video will trash your system. and stay away from gaming video cards. look for quadro/fireGL cards.

    Ok. This is what I needed to hear. Pretty much what I thought.
    for sound, thats a whole nother problem. you will need mics. you will need multi channel capture devices, probably separate from the actual camera.

    A little bit more information on this is what I need. Our first show will probably we something along the lines of a news show kind of. Two people at a desk, not alot of movement/action.
    yeah, you can probably get away with using a prosumer camcorder, and whatever editor you can find. but be aware that there are worlds of difference between 'just good enough' and 'good enough to show to someone else'.

    You are very awesome and thanks a ton. I am going to price together a computer later with some specs and post them in here. Would you mind looking them over?

    Thanks again!

    suadeo on
    Valseki.png
    My 360 is [strike]back[/strike] [strike]bricked[/strike] back! :D
  • Options
    flatlinegraphicsflatlinegraphics Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    ok, for sound, most cameras do straight stereo, if they have a mic in at all. most are mono. this means you need a separate multitrack. if you have the option to dump straight to multi track into a computer, thats best. you should have a lavalier mic for each host dumping into its own channel. an overhead would be optimal. best would be a DAW you can sync to the timecode on the camera. second best would be to yell MARK! and then try to sync the yell on the video to the yell on the sound. alternate: a multitrack firewire daw/mixer. there is an alesis 8 channel firewire mixer for around $300.

    if you have your workstation in the same place as the cameras, you might be able to use the computer as a master. firewire supports direct camera control from within your editor. so you may be able to just hook everything up and hit record in premiere and have everything (audio and video) pump in at once.

    once the sound is in, you can mix it in software. the adobe package includes soundbooth. and the inter program drag and drop of the CS suite is, frankly, awesome. right click->edit anything from your timeline.

    other things to think about: if you have a dedicated room, paint the walls an aweful shade of green for cheap junk masks and greenscreening virtual studios in.

    and as for the camera, get the best you can afford outright. its better to have full frame 720x480 video and downsample the output than to have 640x480/320x240 and be stuck there. and you'd have to sell the current camera later to get a better one... for less than 1k, just get the canon. plus, a good compressor (media cleaner/DiVX) can get you very good quality video at a reasonable size.

    flatlinegraphics on
Sign In or Register to comment.