Cameras for video

Florida Sportsman

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  1. #1
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    Cameras for video

    So I have started enjoying making videos of our fishing trips. Someone borrowed my prior P&S and when they broke it they gave me a Nikon AW100. So now I have a waterproof camera and have added regular video as well as some underwater video to my picture taking. As with anything, once you get into it and start seeing stuff produced by better equipment, software and more experienced people, you raise your expectations. Been watching a lot of fishing videos on vimeo and BTW some of that stuff is amazing!

    Questions/thoughts:
    1) I have used peoples GoPros. Good idea but limited function. I have mounts for my Nikon so I can do a lot of what a GP can do, but their wide angle lense is nice at times. Not sure a GP replaces anything tho. Can't really use it easily for still pics. It is a nice camera to have mounted somewhere to capture all that is going on or to dunk underwater for some action when you got a fish near the boat. But looks like they are about $400 for a new HD3 with all the features.

    2) DSLR - look like some of the good videos I have seen lately are being made with DSLR's. I assume because you have the choice of various lense options plus they simply do a nice job. Wife takes a lot of pics and is a Nikon fan. Currently has a D60 which is probably getting to replacement age.What price range do you have to consider to get into this type camera for stills and videos? I find Nikon's model numbering system confusing so hard for me to tell whats a moderate functioning camera vs a higher one, other than looking simply at the prices.

    3) My AW100 - its adequate for videos and takes some decent stills. Probably can produce some decent videos based on the time and software I currently have.

    4) Software - currently using Iphoto and IMovie for my editing. Looks like $300 for Final Cut Pro. Good next step?

    Challenge for me is this is about like remodeling a house, you cannot do just one step and be done. One step leads to another. Plus I see no reason to spend $1000 on a video camera if my stills are not going to be any good or why have a camera that is more capable than either me or my software or more importantly maybe my online options to share such high quality. Trying to be practical and match up inputs and outputs.

    I am probably not ready with time nor money to try and make some of these really high quality videos some of which are really short films. My wife and I were talking, to do that you are probably talking about needing a really good video camera, a waterproof housing, a really nice DSLR, some nice editing software plus a new computer with the capacity to deal with really large files. In addition I expect it takes a lot of time when you are back him to do the editing. I really want to spend as much time as I can on the water and when on the water I don't mind doing some filming but don't want three cameras around my neck all day! Then when I get home I do enjoy spending a few evenings or a day or two putting together a nice 5-10min video to share with people I take fishing, to share with friends, or simply to keep to remind me when I get old!

    Any guidance from those who have been down this road is appreciated. So far my thought is I need a friend who is really into this stuff and wants to bring it along on a fishing trip !

  2. #2
    Senior Member WaterEngineer's Avatar
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    OK, here we go. I have been down this path, have made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot. I am happy to share.

    I would suggest determining what you want the end product to be. Do you just want something quick and fun for you and your fishing buddies to see? Do you want something more refined and professional as the end product? The reason I point this out is it will largely determine what hardware purchases are needed.

    Another point. I strongly suggest limiting the number of cameras on any one shoot. The reason for this is each camera's output does not "look" like others.....a P&S like your AW100 doesn't look like what comes off the GoPro which doesn't look like what comes off a DSLR......etc. Getting them all to look alike in the post-production software is a challenge.

    The link below is mixed footage from two models of DSLR's (one Nikon and one Canon) and one straight video camera (Canon). It took me damn near forever working in After Effects to get it to all look similar.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQTocbNcSM4

    Final Cut Pro I have used a little on my nephew's machine. I am not an iToy guy so I don't use it regularly. However, when I did use it, it was a fairly intuitive and the way to go on an Apple platform for a good looking product.

    I agree the GoPro is a specialty camera. It of course is the major player in the P.O.V. camera market. To me the distorted view of the GoPro lens gets old and should only be used sparingly, like when a sailfish is fighting boatside for example.

    For the record, getting my DSLR's to "work" in a good manner for video is a challenge sometimes. It is also expensive because to do it correctly you need more than the camera. It works great for shallow depth of focus, blurring out the background, in a filmic, cinema look, when on a tripod.

    Shallow depth of focus is not the way action sports are shot because with the shallow depth of focus it will be extremely tough to keep focus on a moving boat. You will want a deep depth of focus so as much is in focus as possible on the moving boat.....f8 to f16, for example. That way point of focus will not be so critical.

    Further, many DSLR videographers are finding that using DSLR's a hassle and are moving back to proper video cameras (especially with the recent advent of relatively cheap interchangeable lens video cameras.)

    Now, with all that said, I would suggest combining a GoPro and a good video camera. Considering a DSLR size budget, you should take a hard look at the two video cameras below. Both are high def and can be found much more inexpensively that the prices listed, thereafter. One the first link below find a camera a generation old would be fine, and it is basically a DSLR optimized for video - you can pull stills off of it fine. I have.

    http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...52921666489331

    http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...52921666415442

    Now that all figures you have something of a budget you are willing to spend.

    On a shoestring this guy has a run and gun set u using a Sony P&S that is known for having nice looking video - amazing looking actually. Would make a very small and relatively inexpensive package for on the boat.

    You should watch the entire video but move to 5:25 or so to see how he has it set up for video. > >>>

    Consider renting some DSLR or video gear from someone like Lensrents.com. Just make sure you get the insurance, for the obvious reason.....LOL!

    That way you can play with a lot of equipment and see what actually works for you.

    I have a ton more to offer but I will leave it here for now. If you get serious and want more or have specific questions, ask away.
    "I'm not a physicist." ~ ac2020

    "It's a shame PACs cannot simply lie and get away with it." ~ SWFL

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEngineer View Post
    OK,
    I agree the GoPro is a specialty camera. It of course is the major player in the P.O.V. camera market. To me the distorted view of the GoPro lens gets old and should only be used sparingly, like when a sailfish is fighting boatside for example.
    The GoPro camera has another len's setting that reduces the angle of the lens from 170 to 127 degrees, this reduced angle does not have the barrel distortion that is inherent with the wider setting. However the 127 degree setting is only available in the highest resolution mode.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WaterEngineer's Avatar
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    One more thing. For a fairly serious project you should consider renting one of these gyros for a a few days. I have used one in a copter and it makes the video footage smooooooooooth. It would do great things for video in a bobbing boat.

    Here is the link to the manufacturer who also rents them. There are other makers and other rental houses have them for shorter duration and more inexpensively.

    http://www.ken-lab.com/
    "I'm not a physicist." ~ ac2020

    "It's a shame PACs cannot simply lie and get away with it." ~ SWFL

  5. #5
    Senior Member WaterEngineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat's Eye View Post
    The GoPro camera has another len's setting that reduces the angle of the lens from 170 to 127 degrees, this reduced angle does not have the barrel distortion that is inherent with the wider setting. However the 127 degree setting is only available in the highest resolution mode.
    Didn't know that. I will have to look that up. 127 degrees is still a very, very wide FOV........similar to a 14mm lens in 35mm format.
    "I'm not a physicist." ~ ac2020

    "It's a shame PACs cannot simply lie and get away with it." ~ SWFL

  6. #6
    Senior Member mississippi mac's Avatar
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    i use gopro shooting sailing videos on my sail boat...
    i don't own one but have a generous friend that does, and i can use it anytime i want...
    it does a great job but the sound gets a little awkward going up wind due to the breeze...
    i use it more for a training tool so we can see where we can improve our sail handling and boat handling...
    however, it also captures those moments when porpoises play, or we are in "down time" drinking a beer or 6...

    i will probably buy one, but the present deal works very well for me....

    tim

    The Real White Dog

    if you can't catch a fish...catch a buzz....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEngineer View Post
    Didn't know that. I will have to look that up. 127 degrees is still a very, very wide FOV........similar to a 14mm lens in 35mm format.
    Most people use the default setting of 170 degrees all too often, myself included. I only have owned the GoPro2 for a couple of months, but have read the manual intensively.

    To get better sound while the camera is in one of the waterproof housings is simple, but of course you will lose the waterproofing; just open the back door and let it hand down, then secure the camera with a hair band or rubber band wrapped around the entire housing. Of course you chance getting the camera wet if you are in a boat or wet environment, but you can quickly remove the hair band and close the door if you see rain or "trouble" coming your way.

    In bright sunlight the LED screen is almost impossible to see, so I made a sun visor from a plastic electrical junction box that I purchased on Home Depot. I used a high speed dremel tool to cut out a opening for the camera. I was successful on my first try, so this visor fits snugly to the back of the camera, but I still applied a small piece of tape to keep it from falling off.

  8. #8
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    Good thoughts and info, thanks. I did see the new Hero 3 Black version is out. Looks like they make some nice improvements with each new release. Seems like that would be a good camera to have and I would expect the next gen to be even better. Sounds like the DSLR route is ok if I wanted to replace my D60 anyway but otherwise, you guys recommend going with a true video recorder for video capture.

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