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Author Topic: Video Recording - Requesting Advice for Beginners  (Read 509 times)

Paul DuBose

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Video Recording - Requesting Advice for Beginners
« on: March 05, 2014, 02:56:23 pm »

Hi all,

I've browsed around the forums and while I've found several topics similar to what I'm looking for, I've not found a thread (or threads) that really addresses the full range of my questions.  I'm not trying to start a big discussion, I'm just looking for simple answers and advice on a few questions with maybe a few specifics as far as examples on how-to and equipment.  Hopefully I've included enough information on our current equipment so that you can get a feel for where we're at.  If any other information is needed, I'll be happy to pass it along.

The Problem:
As the main tech guy at the church I attend (Sunday attendance around 200), I've been asked to look into spec'ing out a system to video record sermons for at a minimum creating DVDs for our shut-ins.  I'm a musician at heart, tech/programmer by trade and coming from those worlds I really have no clue about video.  I can record my kid with my iphone and make simple videos with iMovie on my macbook but that's about the extent of my knowledge base.

Budget: 
I guess this is really a "question" (see below) but I wanted it to be first.  Given the following points below, what should I be looking at money-wise?  Of course, as we all know, when it comes to doing tech stuff for the church, the cheaper the better.  Of course, if it comes back too high, that might save me a lot of time and effort, LOL.


The Knowns:
1) Building:  We currently meet for Sunday morning services in our "Family Life Center".  Basically a gym with a stage at one end.  The room is pretty long and with a high ceiling that is "vaulted".  The "sound booth" is a room located off to one side and at the "2nd floor" level (my terminology, it's up a set of stairs).  It's not the best location but we make do.  The sound booth will likely be where the camera will be positioned.  Again, not ideal, but I'm not sure that I have any other choice.  Remember that at times basketballs will be flying around this place.  All in all, it's a decent vantage point and should be fine for our purposes.

2) Audio: We run a PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2, with a Windows Vista PC attached using Reaper to record audio for sermon podcasting.  Of the Aux Sends, we're currently using 3: Choir Left, Choir Right and Piano.  The main mix is stereo (please no comments pro or con) and the mono out is feeding our assisted listening system.

3) PC(s):  We have a spare Windows Vista 64 bit machine that is available for use with a video recording system (although we'll have to scrounge up a monitor).


The Questions:
1) Camera: I'm sure there are tons of options and opinions and all kinds of considerations.  I need basic.  I want to get quality video as easily as possible.  My only real concern is that I need decent zoom as the sound booth is fairly good distance from the stage (and uphill - see #1 above).  I'm not so much worried about HD vs. SD, we're talking DVDs and web streaming after all, so HD is probably overkill, plus, most shut-ins probably don't have an HD TV.  16:9 would probably be nice though given the web streaming side.
 
2) Audio: Again looking for simple.  Should we be pulling audio from a post-fader Aux?  We're just looking at doing the sermon for now, so should we split the signal from the pastor's mic somehow and run that straight into the camera?  Split the mono?  Come from the tape out (not being used as we record audio through the firewire connection to the PC)?  I don't want to use an onboard mic since the camera is going to be in the booth and the crew often discusses various things throughout the service and I don't want to pick that conversation up on the video.

3) Recording: The end goal is DVDs for shut-ins but I see no reason to not post the video online as our audio hosting service also offers video services as well (and there's always YouTube).  So is there any other equipment I need to just record directly on a PC?  What about software both for recording and simple editing?  Will windows movie maker be enough to do a simple "Play" menu on a DVD and to do some simple titles with fade in and fade out at the beginning and end of the video?  Or do we need something a little more powerful?


So to sum it up: I'm looking for suggestions on a single camera recording solution, preferably PC based, that will allow my church to record sermon video for the purpose of posting online and creating DVDs for physical distribution.

Thanks!

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Jonathan Kok

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Re: Video Recording - Requesting Advice for Beginners
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 03:10:51 pm »

Hi all,

I've browsed around the forums and while I've found several topics similar to what I'm looking for, I've not found a thread (or threads) that really addresses the full range of my questions.  I'm not trying to start a big discussion, I'm just looking for simple answers and advice on a few questions with maybe a few specifics as far as examples on how-to and equipment.  Hopefully I've included enough information on our current equipment so that you can get a feel for where we're at.  If any other information is needed, I'll be happy to pass it along.

The Problem:
As the main tech guy at the church I attend (Sunday attendance around 200), I've been asked to look into spec'ing out a system to video record sermons for at a minimum creating DVDs for our shut-ins.  I'm a musician at heart, tech/programmer by trade and coming from those worlds I really have no clue about video.  I can record my kid with my iphone and make simple videos with iMovie on my macbook but that's about the extent of my knowledge base.

Budget: 
I guess this is really a "question" (see below) but I wanted it to be first.  Given the following points below, what should I be looking at money-wise?  Of course, as we all know, when it comes to doing tech stuff for the church, the cheaper the better.  Of course, if it comes back too high, that might save me a lot of time and effort, LOL.


The Knowns:
1) Building:  We currently meet for Sunday morning services in our "Family Life Center".  Basically a gym with a stage at one end.  The room is pretty long and with a high ceiling that is "vaulted".  The "sound booth" is a room located off to one side and at the "2nd floor" level (my terminology, it's up a set of stairs).  It's not the best location but we make do.  The sound booth will likely be where the camera will be positioned.  Again, not ideal, but I'm not sure that I have any other choice.  Remember that at times basketballs will be flying around this place.  All in all, it's a decent vantage point and should be fine for our purposes.

2) Audio: We run a PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2, with a Windows Vista PC attached using Reaper to record audio for sermon podcasting.  Of the Aux Sends, we're currently using 3: Choir Left, Choir Right and Piano.  The main mix is stereo (please no comments pro or con) and the mono out is feeding our assisted listening system.

3) PC(s):  We have a spare Windows Vista 64 bit machine that is available for use with a video recording system (although we'll have to scrounge up a monitor).


The Questions:
1) Camera: I'm sure there are tons of options and opinions and all kinds of considerations.  I need basic.  I want to get quality video as easily as possible.  My only real concern is that I need decent zoom as the sound booth is fairly good distance from the stage (and uphill - see #1 above).  I'm not so much worried about HD vs. SD, we're talking DVDs and web streaming after all, so HD is probably overkill, plus, most shut-ins probably don't have an HD TV.  16:9 would probably be nice though given the web streaming side.
 
2) Audio: Again looking for simple.  Should we be pulling audio from a post-fader Aux?  We're just looking at doing the sermon for now, so should we split the signal from the pastor's mic somehow and run that straight into the camera?  Split the mono?  Come from the tape out (not being used as we record audio through the firewire connection to the PC)?  I don't want to use an onboard mic since the camera is going to be in the booth and the crew often discusses various things throughout the service and I don't want to pick that conversation up on the video.

3) Recording: The end goal is DVDs for shut-ins but I see no reason to not post the video online as our audio hosting service also offers video services as well (and there's always YouTube).  So is there any other equipment I need to just record directly on a PC?  What about software both for recording and simple editing?  Will windows movie maker be enough to do a simple "Play" menu on a DVD and to do some simple titles with fade in and fade out at the beginning and end of the video?  Or do we need something a little more powerful?


So to sum it up: I'm looking for suggestions on a single camera recording solution, preferably PC based, that will allow my church to record sermon video for the purpose of posting online and creating DVDs for physical distribution.

Thanks!
Cheapest solution:

Step 1: Get a camera with a USB or Firewire output, and an external audio input, capable of sending live video down the USB/Firewire. Connect said camera to your PC.
ALTERNATIVE: Get a camera with an SD video output (composite/s-video), and use an external capture device connected to your computer, such as the ADVC-55 from Grass Valley. That'll allow you to connect audio to it separately, if your camera doesn't have an audio input option.
Step 2: Use Windows Movie Maker to record the video. Under the 'Options', you'll find a 'Webcam' tab that allows you to select the audio/video inputs. Once your camera/capture device is connected to your PC, it should come up as an optional 'webcam'.
Step 3: Do your post processing, if any. Add the intro, outro, etc. Post directly to Youtube, create your DVD, whatever. Done deal, and cost you only the cost of the camera.
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Paul DuBose

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Re: Video Recording - Requesting Advice for Beginners
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 04:32:41 pm »

Cheapest solution:

Step 1: Get a camera with a USB or Firewire output, and an external audio input, capable of sending live video down the USB/Firewire. Connect said camera to your PC.
ALTERNATIVE: Get a camera with an SD video output (composite/s-video), and use an external capture device connected to your computer, such as the ADVC-55 from Grass Valley. That'll allow you to connect audio to it separately, if your camera doesn't have an audio input option.
Step 2: Use Windows Movie Maker to record the video. Under the 'Options', you'll find a 'Webcam' tab that allows you to select the audio/video inputs. Once your camera/capture device is connected to your PC, it should come up as an optional 'webcam'.
Step 3: Do your post processing, if any. Add the intro, outro, etc. Post directly to Youtube, create your DVD, whatever. Done deal, and cost you only the cost of the camera.

Thanks! That all sounds pretty straight-forward.  Any suggestions on camera models to look at to begin with? 

Thanks again,
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dick rees

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Re: Video Recording - Requesting Advice for Beginners
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 04:35:26 pm »

Thanks! That all sounds pretty straight-forward.  Any suggestions on camera models to look at to begin with? 

Thanks again,

Anything that will take an XLR input for the audio.  You can record the audio directly into such a camera and dispense with any post-production....as long as your camera feed is a good mix. 

The input should be selectable between "line" level and "mic" level, but if it is good enough to have XLR inputs, that's pretty much a given.

This will not be cheap.  You should have a video camera budget around $4,000.00 to get a good production camera which will allow you to put out the product you desire with a minimum of fuss and a good quality.

Most videographers I do audio feeds for have  cameras that run upwards of $30K...and they have several.  So 10% of that will be a nice, entry level production camera.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 04:55:06 pm by dick rees »
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Jonathan Kok

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Re: Video Recording - Requesting Advice for Beginners
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 12:25:44 pm »

Anything that will take an XLR input for the audio.  You can record the audio directly into such a camera and dispense with any post-production....as long as your camera feed is a good mix. 

The input should be selectable between "line" level and "mic" level, but if it is good enough to have XLR inputs, that's pretty much a given.

This will not be cheap.  You should have a video camera budget around $4,000.00 to get a good production camera which will allow you to put out the product you desire with a minimum of fuss and a good quality.

Most videographers I do audio feeds for have  cameras that run upwards of $30K...and they have several.  So 10% of that will be a nice, entry level production camera.
Completely true.

Looks like you can get a used Panasonic DVX100 for <$700. It's a decent camera that has XLR inputs. NOT HD, however, for the purposes you've mentioned, you don't need HD.
Bear in mind that the Firewire ports on any camera can be 'blown' due to improper connections. So if you're going to look for a used camera, verify that the firewire port works, and then make sure you always connect it in the correct order.
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