WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

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Rico
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WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Rico »

Hello fellow aircraft enthousiasts,
my old camera (with DS tapes) has gone to the here-after.
I want to buy a new videocamera for filming for instance my 1 year old daughter but namely for flying aircraft / spotting.
I'm thinking of HDD drive, SD card, HD, lots of optical zoom and stabilizers and so on.

Please share your experience and tips here:

thanx in advance

Rico
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pjotrtje
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by pjotrtje »

I bought a Sony HDR200VE for my wife's birthday (due in 10 days), I hope it's useful for me too ;-) but it's got all the stuff you mention.
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by SquAdmin »

How big is your budget? If it's pretty big I'd go for a DSLR camera with video functions.
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Richard from Rotterdam
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Richard from Rotterdam »

Yep, that's the main question: how much do you want to spend? And do you want to edit your material into a proper movie afterwards or not?

Depending on your budget, if you spend about 1000 euros on a videocamera, I would suggest either a Sony or Canon camcorder as they produce normally the optimum quality. Personally I do not like the consumer HDD cams much, I have a Canon HV30 for private use but that is still tape based (easier with editing software though).

The quality of the video coming out of photocameras from both Nikon and Canon has improved a lot lately so I would personally go for the best of both worlds. You need a solution for sound recording as that is still being done in a low quality as fas as I know. You can get all sorts of add ons to turn your DSLR into a shoulder mount camcorder, which is very useful. They record in the H264 or similar codec which provide very good picture quality and very small filesizes. Especially on the internet these look very nice. On a big screen television I am not too sure, but it can't be bad.

Good thing is you can get as much zoom as your wallet allows you to, both for filming as for still photography.

I am still considering trading my Nikon D300 for a D300S, which also has the filming option.
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Rico »

Thanx so far people!
I already have a DSLR Canon 450D. Has no filming options and at the moment I have no budget to trade for one which has.

My budget for a camera would be around 300 Euros. With my Panasonic (DV based) I made satisfactory DVD movies in Ulead VideoStudio 11. But they never came out nice enough for my big screen TV. So a HD function would be a pre.
Keep the tips coming and I will surch myself on the net.
"And than in the trees I heard a twig snap ... warning lights flashed on my map ... I opened my eyes and to my surprise ..."
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Richard from Rotterdam
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Richard from Rotterdam »

If 300 euros is your max, then any camera from the "big" manufacturers (Sony, Canon) should be good enough. All of them come in some form of HD mode. Just make sure you stay away from camera's with less than 10x optical zoom, and do not go for anything that offers a lot of digital zoom as any digital zoom is basically cr@p.

I would suggest you go on the prowl for a proper video tripod (brands like Sachtler) you might be able to find one second hand. Regular photo tripods are too vulnerable to vibrations and shudders and do not really help produce a steady shot, especially at full zoom range. No idea on second hand prices for these, new ones start at about 1600 euros, so judging your budget this will also be way out of your league, but it is definitely worth it.

If your shots did not come out nice enough, it depends on the size of your tv obviously, but most of the time it has to do with the quality and steadiness of your shots.
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Flyboy »

Depending on what your quality requirements are:
(edit: I now see the budget restrains, then disregard the below)

I would not do for an DSLR camera with video option: it is a gadget, not for serious filming.
HD is sure good, also look for the way your video is stored: if is already compresed you lack quality (same as RAW/JPEG in photo's)
Do you want to do post prosessing or only clipping and making short films?

I bought my video before the HD era, and I looked fot real panchromatic image: the normal PAL screen has 576 lines, commercial television (RTL4) has cliped this to about 400. They removed the top en bottom of the screen and enlarged this. HD should be 720 minimum, or 1080 lines with ratio 16:9.

Maybe wait for the Sony HD camera with exchangable lensen (NEX, to be released this autum). It will be sure expensive...
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by SquAdmin »

Flyboy wrote:I would not do for an DSLR camera with video option: it is a gadget, not for serious filming.
They used Canon EOS5D mk II's to record the final season of House, so it's more than just a gadget.
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Herbertvh »

Flyboy wrote:I would not do for an DSLR camera with video option: it is a gadget, not for serious filming
Not quite. The video options in EOS cameras is of very high quality and gives more options and possibilities than most of the consumer video cameras do. Like SquAdmin already mentioned, they are being used for more and more professional movies. BUT, you can't make proper use of the video options "on the fly", like you can with a handheld video camera. You'll need some preparation and at least a tripod and an external microphone to make good use of it. EOS cameras don't lend themselves very good for handheld movie taking. Because of this, these video options are not a good replacement for consumer video cameras, but they are for many professional uses!

Not convinced? Take a look at http://philipbloom.net/blog/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .

Cheers,
Herbert
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Andras »

+1 on the above

Video on 7D or 5DII or similar is far superior over normal consumer camera's.. You can use the optic features of your lens and create Pro-movie like scenes. You just need to know how to use it :-)

(Check Youtube if you want to see what you can do with a 5d or 7D with just a 50mm 1.8 of around € 80)

Greetz,
Groet,

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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Flyboy »

Herbertvh wrote: Not quite. The video options in EOS cameras is of very high quality and gives more options and possibilities than most of the consumer video cameras do.
I'll sure look into this as I am gladly being convinced of the pro's of DSLR for Video.
I was told that (with an other make than Canon) the quality was not that good, which is the reason that I still haven't upgraded my equipment.

to be continued...
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Richard from Rotterdam
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Richard from Rotterdam »

The only "downside" to using a DSLR is that it records in an H264 codec, which is not edit-friendly. Normally this codec is used as an end-product for websites, or Bluray discs.

In photography terms the difference is comparable to RAW-JPG.

To solve the handling issues of a DSLR for filming you can buy all sorts of rigs and grips that basically turn your DSLR into a camcorder. Have a look here for instance: http://www.cinevate.com/catalog/product ... cts_id=143" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sound recording still is an issue as the quality of the audio-recording in-camera is low. So you should need something like a portable DAT recorder to get optimum sound.

All in all it works magic as the use of photo-lenses create a cinematic look (depth of field) at very low prices. It might not be ideal for projection in a cinema, but for tv with its low resolution it is nowadays qualified as acceptable.

Friends of mine shoot tv-programmes on the DSLR and like I said in my earlier post I want to trade in my D300 for a D300S to also get the video option.

I recently bought a Sony EX3 camcorder, which will have more bitdepth in the picture, but the general cinematic look and feel with a DSLR comes close or is even better as the lenses are much much cheaper on a DSLR.

Once Nikon and Canon decide to upgrade their DSLRs with better audio-handling then they will become even more useful. And they know they won't be beaten on cost by the pro / semi-pro video cameras. So they kind of have a winner in their hands!
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Richard from Rotterdam
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Richard from Rotterdam »

Flyboy wrote: I bought my video before the HD era, and I looked fot real panchromatic image: the normal PAL screen has 576 lines, commercial television (RTL4) has cliped this to about 400. They removed the top en bottom of the screen and enlarged this.
What? Where do you get this "knowledge" from? OK, this might be the technique to use 4:3 footage in a 16:9 environment, but that is definitely not how they show their programmes in general.
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Richard from Rotterdam
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Re: WANTED: tips for buying videocamera for aircraft filming

Post by Richard from Rotterdam »

For those interested in filming with a dslr, here is a useful article (in Dutch) on the subject. Especially the attention to ND-filters (normally built-in in camcorders) is a very useful tip.

http://www.onemorething.nl/2010/05/film ... #more-7790" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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