Affordable versatile video recorder?

dnauhei

Member
Messages
2,288
I need an affordable versatile video recorder for recording everything from acoustic rehearsals to live shows. Good sound is a priority. It would be nice if you could face the screen towards the subject so when I turn the camera on on the tripod, I can see how the shot is lined up.

Recommendations?

Thanks!
dn
 

Fran Guidry

Member
Messages
442
I need an affordable versatile video recorder for recording everything from acoustic rehearsals to live shows. Good sound is a priority. It would be nice if you could face the screen towards the subject so when I turn the camera on on the tripod, I can see how the shot is lined up.

Recommendations?

Thanks!
dn

Various folks have suggested that a consumer camcorder, specifically the Canon Vixia HF series, would be useful for what I call "Look At Me Play Guitar" video, especially if an external mic is used. These cameras have been around for several years now, each year a set of three new models are released with some new features, but the video quality is the same and all these cams have a mic input with level control. They are not very expensive to start with, by going to the refurb or used market they can be downright cheap. So I got curious and bought an HF R500 on Ebay. Then I did a little shootout between the Vixia and my Sony HDR-MV1 music camera.

Here's a video with three different comparisons including the built-in mic and an external mic:



And here's a blog post with a bit more commentary: http://www.homebrewedmusic.com/2016/12/31/look-at-me-play-guitar-sony-hdr-mv1-vs-canon-hf-r500/

Fran
 

jawgee

Member
Messages
120
Thanks for sharing, Fran- quite informative and useful to me as I'm at the point of trying out some "Look at Me" guitar videos on YouTube. I have an older Canon Vixia camcorder as well, along with a newer mirrorless Panasonic camera (with video mode), but I do not have a dedicated "music camcorder".

While I preferred the video of the Canon over the Sony in your experiment, I liked the sound of the Sony when using the same frame as the Canon. It got a bit boomy on some parts, which I'm sure could be fixed with some EQ, but the overall tone sounded better to me than the Canon.

I wonder if you'd get much better audio results with the Canon if you had an externally (or self) phantom-powered condenser rather than using the Zoom mic? Is the Zoom mic a condenser mic? Is it possible to run a cable from the Canon mic input to be able to place the external mic in a better position for audio (since the camcorder is so far away)?
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
Zoom Q8 ... good video, movable screen, fast 2.0 lens, many optional mic capsules, has two combo XLR inputs w/48V phantom power. Dynamic FX (limiting, compression). Save MOV (video and audio), audio only, MOV video/audio AND separate audio (WAV). Very, very flexible.

Check it out ... ~350 USD
 

Fran Guidry

Member
Messages
442
Thanks for sharing, Fran- quite informative and useful to me as I'm at the point of trying out some "Look at Me" guitar videos on YouTube. I have an older Canon Vixia camcorder as well, along with a newer mirrorless Panasonic camera (with video mode), but I do not have a dedicated "music camcorder".

While I preferred the video of the Canon over the Sony in your experiment, I liked the sound of the Sony when using the same frame as the Canon. It got a bit boomy on some parts, which I'm sure could be fixed with some EQ, but the overall tone sounded better to me than the Canon.

I wonder if you'd get much better audio results with the Canon if you had an externally (or self) phantom-powered condenser rather than using the Zoom mic? Is the Zoom mic a condenser mic? Is it possible to run a cable from the Canon mic input to be able to place the external mic in a better position for audio (since the camcorder is so far away)?

Sure, any mic or other source that doesn't require power from the camera can be used with the Canon. You could run your mic(s) through a mixer or preamp and feed that output to the camera. I just tried a dynamic Shure Beta 57a into the Canon with an XLR->1/8" adapter and it worked very nicely.

Fran
 

wikwox

Member
Messages
5
Zoom Q8 ... good video, movable screen, fast 2.0 lens, many optional mic capsules, has two combo XLR inputs w/48V phantom power. Dynamic FX (limiting, compression). Save MOV (video and audio), audio only, MOV video/audio AND separate audio (WAV). Very, very flexible.

Check it out ... ~350 USD
Just bought one, impressed so far and trying to get beyond the learning curve. Word is good picture but exceptional sound quality.
 

dnauhei

Member
Messages
2,288
Well, I bought the Zoom Q2N and I have been incredibly impressed with this little recorder. Amazing sound and the design is very well thought out for a musician. Video quality is not the best, but I am quite happy with this little thing. Here is an example from a live gig and one from the living room.

 

1941WillysMB

Member
Messages
684
SJ4000, internal mic is surprisingly good, can wifi to a phone as a monitor or remote and fits GoPro style mounts and brackets. Somewhere around $100
 




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