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Author Topic: Cameras and video  (Read 1224 times)

Craig Hauber

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Cameras and video
« on: October 25, 2020, 09:56:46 pm »

I feel like a newb asking this
-probably the equivalent of "what is the best kick drum mic"

Looking to get into video production as I feel my career in large format live audio is essentially over.
I have some basics and have always done switching of existing feeds, slides and imag but have never been around the creation of content beyond powerpoint.

What is a good entry-level camera for me to cut my teeth on?  Some have told me a mirrorless DSLR type camera is a good way for high quality but others have said get a dedicated video camcorder type unit (like I'm more familiar with from past productions i-mag use)  Others have said "cinema" cams are a good way to go too -like the blackmagic units.
I do have an eye for photography and have used the hell out of my phone camera, and have college level background on visual art and composition so I'm not "tone deaf" to the art aspects of this.

Of course I am way underemployed right now and finances are tight, but a used DSLR I could probably swing right now and buy lenses and accessories over time.

Once that is figured out, then how do you manage the recordings?  What is good software to edit it all in -I've used iMovie, but that seems too consumer-ish.
-what would be the "Behringer X-32" level of product that's relatively affordable and ubiquitous now.   Apple final cut pro?
I have an original Blackmagic Television Studio switcher (HD-SDI & HDMI rackmount unit with no controls on it using a PC to operate it)  Is this anything I should be using for the production process or is it simply a device for live use?

I figure you do takes and assemble your finished product in post production.  Is there a procedure for multiple cameras at once or do you just sync everything up using a clapper board like in hollywood?  Is sound recorded on one of the cams or is it usually a separate recording device?  Is timecode necessary or does digital drift between separate recording devices like in the old analog days?  (I had some classes in film sound back in the 80's and I doubt any of it's even relevant anymore)

As you can see I have more questions than not and it would probably be easier to ask if anyone knows of any current books texts or guides to use, any forums like this one but for vidiots? 

Yes a lot of what I want to do is considered art so it's hard to just go "learn" it -Been in audio for 30 years and still don't know everything! 
So I understand this will take time and practice makes perfect, but beyond the videography part of it, there's still proper workflow and ways to connect up the gear properly that I need to get solid first.

Any help at all in this would be great -or if anyone knows of an intern program -like the proverbial "loading trucks before you ever get to mix".  Or if anyone has guru co-workers that wouldn't mind spending phone time.  (as I'm in the least production oriented state in the union right now)

Thanks for reading this diatribe, and again any info tidbits are welcomed.

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Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
-Live PA
-Installs
-Theatre

David Simpson

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 02:25:44 pm »

What part of the video industry are you looking to segue into? What sort of clients and projects? This will dictate recommendations.

Blackmagic design has a lot of great products, depending on what you are going to do. They have a free editor as well DaVinci Resolve. Editors are ultimately only tools to do the job, so you could always start there. Download it free and start to hone your editing chops there. Start with a high powered computer no matter what you do, and have a good plan for data backup. And, rendering and editing always takes substantially extra time, so be sure to budget that into your workflow.

~Dave
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2020, 03:23:03 pm »

The biggest question is what are hoping to do with this?  This is really a buy once cry one situation that you probably can't answer yet.
I would spend a bunch of time on Youtube.  There are quite a few really good resources out there; information and tutorials.
PhotoJoseph, DSLR Video Shooter, Aaron Parecki, to name a few.
Streaming, Weddings, Music, 'Films', all are going to have different requirements, although there is a lot of overlap.
Lenses and lighting can make a bigger difference than camera type.
Generally camcorders don't allow lens swapping, so I would stay away.
BlackMagic cameras come with the full version on Resolve, but it's a steep learning curve.
If you go for a Mirrorless DSLR, make sure it has a clean out and can record continuously.
Also, if you see yourself upgrading at some point, pay attention to the type in lens interface; Canon, Sony, etc.  If you plan ahead and pick a body that has a pro lens interface, you can feel better spending more on lenses, knowing that you can upgrade the body and not have to change your lenses.
The list goes on. . .Good luck!

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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 04:11:35 pm »

Disclaimer: I don't have the energy patience to thoroughly think/research my response out.

Here's what I did for a recent live-stream event.
Hired a friend who does videography and uses Canon DSLR's (A7s, FS5, Z cam E2 S6) price & image quality: (Low > High) the quality level between the various cameras is incredible.
Bought a Roland V-60HD, some sdi cables, decimators, Pelican 1510.
Used OBS on laptop streamed to vimeo.
Small issue getting digital audio into OBS so I used an UMC404HD interface with ~300ms delay on audio.
Pro Intercom for coms.

Worked reasonably well, client was super happy. I came out ahead even after purchases.
I'd like to get better at switching, but luckily we had 3 practices so by the final event I was smooth and confident (confidence is more important than skill in switching IMO, commit to the transition).

Future plan:
2x Lumens VC-A61P & hiring videographer friend.
BMD Hyperdeck studio 2
BMD Smart videohub 12x12 / 20x20
Matrox Monarch HDX encoder

---

As far as doing it cheaply. Get OBS (or vMix) and start playing around with studio mode and a touch-screen laptop.
Ingest a few NDI/RTSP sources from some phones on your network.
Get used to switching/streaming/recording...

When you need to make money, grab some DSLR or SLR + power cable + MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T AUTO POWER OFF
Get some HDMI > USB Encoders (elgato or BMD, try not to cheap-out on Mirabox or chinese; there is a noticeable visual + latency penalty for doing so).

Ask around for dealer pricing to save monies!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 06:35:40 pm by Nathan Riddle »
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 07:39:10 pm »

Disclaimer: I don't have the energy patience to thoroughly think/research my response out.

Here's what I did for a recent live-stream event.
Hired a friend who does videography and uses Canon DSLR's (A7s, FS5, Z cam E2 S6) price & image quality: (Low > High) the quality level between the various cameras is incredible.
Bought a Roland V-60HD, some sdi cables, decimators, Pelican 1510.
Used OBS on laptop streamed to vimeo.
Small issue getting digital audio into OBS so I used an UMC404HD interface with ~300ms delay on audio.
Pro Intercom for coms.

Worked reasonably well, client was super happy. I came out ahead even after purchases.
I'd like to get better at switching, but luckily we had 3 practices so by the final event I was smooth and confident (confidence is more important than skill in switching IMO, commit to the transition).

Future plan:
2x Lumens VC-A61P & hiring videographer friend.
BMD Hyperdeck studio 2
BMD Smart videohub 12x12 / 20x20
Matrox Monarch HDX encoder

---

As far as doing it cheaply. Get OBS (or vMix) and start playing around with studio mode and a touch-screen laptop.
Ingest a few NDI/RTSP sources from some phones on your network.
Get used to switching/streaming/recording...

When you need to make money, grab some DSLR or SLR + power cable + MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T AUTO POWER OFF
Get some HDMI > USB Encoders (elgato or BMD, try not to cheap-out on Mirabox or chinese; there is a noticeable visual + latency penalty for doing so).

Ask around for dealer pricing to save monies!

If live streaming is your goal, look at BlackMagic ATEM Mini, Mini Pro, and Mini ISO.
Four channel HDMI switcher, converter, encoder, streamer, recorder, with upstream and downstream keyers (green screen and overlays), audio inputs with delay, EQ and dynamics, stills, and control of other BMD products like the PCC4K and Hyperdeck.

Phenomenal value and really easy to use.
Hardware streaming is more reliable than software streaming (OBS or Vmix).
The ISO is also great for re-editing a 'show' after the fact, as it can record a fully synced 4-cam project file that drops right into Resolve.

I have two PCC4Ks, a video player, and one SDI PTZ camera and with a BMD HDMI converter.
I just finished rigging a handheld option for one of my cameras to wirelessly feed the ATEM.
Can't wait to try it out.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 07:49:26 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Nothing can be made idiot-proof; only idiot resistant.

Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
Chauvet dealer.  Home of the Angler.
Inventor.  And now, Streaming Video!

Caleb Dueck

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 08:31:20 pm »

What part of the video industry are you looking to segue into? What sort of clients and projects? This will dictate recommendations.

To expand on this a bit - look over some 'typical' camera systems (message me offline, I can help more) and especially the infrastructure.  Personally I'd get a solid SDI router, SDI cabling, monitoring, etc first.  From there, any pro (SDI) camera will work, and any video switcher.  This allows you to incrementally upgrade sub-systems of your overall system. 

For example, if you start out with all HDMI cameras/cabling, then add HDMI over Cat6A STP, and such - you'll have to re-do the infrastructure when you move into or integrate with an SDI based system. 

This also lets you focus on logical sub-systems - spend a few days reading up on cameras and lenses, a few days on video switchers, a few days on encoders/streaming, etc.  That will help with which sub-system to allocate funds to. 

Lenses aren't cheap.  The BMD cameras are a great deal - until you realize that $4k camera needs a $40k lens. 

How 'Pro' are you going for?  BMD is the Behringer of the video world.  It mostly works, but I've seen such high failure rates with it I'd rather look at Roland and Decimator and AJA and such first. 
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 09:06:40 pm »

What part of the video industry are you looking to segue into? What sort of clients and projects? This will dictate recommendations.


My own artistic endeavor.

Like being a musician/performer vs FOH engineer.

Always been on the receiving end of artist output and having to work/deal with it
Would like to be on the producing end of things for once and I suck as music but have always been good at visual arts (painting, photo, sculpture)

Video would be a good fit in that it still is primarily technical and scratches that itch in my life

For decades have played rolls and content on the large screens at high end corporate type events.  Would really like to be able to make that content instead of just playing back what others have done.

This pandemic has killed off what I've done for years so trying for anything else that I could possibly be good at and actually like doing.
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Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
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-Theatre

Dave Garoutte

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 09:57:19 pm »

To expand on this a bit - look over some 'typical' camera systems (message me offline, I can help more) and especially the infrastructure.  Personally I'd get a solid SDI router, SDI cabling, monitoring, etc first.  From there, any pro (SDI) camera will work, and any video switcher.  This allows you to incrementally upgrade sub-systems of your overall system. 

For example, if you start out with all HDMI cameras/cabling, then add HDMI over Cat6A STP, and such - you'll have to re-do the infrastructure when you move into or integrate with an SDI based system. 

This also lets you focus on logical sub-systems - spend a few days reading up on cameras and lenses, a few days on video switchers, a few days on encoders/streaming, etc.  That will help with which sub-system to allocate funds to. 

Lenses aren't cheap.  The BMD cameras are a great deal - until you realize that $4k camera needs a $40k lens. 

How 'Pro' are you going for?  BMD is the Behringer of the video world.  It mostly works, but I've seen such high failure rates with it I'd rather look at Roland and Decimator and AJA and such first.

Any proper high end cinema camera will need a $40k lens.  I don't need 12K or even 6K.  4K is fine.  Not looking to get into feature cinema.
There are some excellent lenses in the $750-$1500 range for the level I require.
HDMI can convert to SDI also.
If you're planning on live streaming, you're pretty much limited to 1080p and maybe 4K.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 12:05:07 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Nothing can be made idiot-proof; only idiot resistant.

Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
Chauvet dealer.  Home of the Angler.
Inventor.  And now, Streaming Video!

Steven Cohen

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2020, 05:47:38 pm »

Craig,

You are asking all of the right questions. Here is my take. I started out in TV years ago when editing and digital video effects equipment cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today, video is going through a period as audio did, where one can put out a "broadcasts quality product" for several thousands of dollars and some knowledge, so its a good time to get into the industry.

While I am getting up to speed on non-linear editing and rendering, some old school techniques still apply like three point lighting, proper color temperature, and avoiding jump cuts.

Some of the best ways I gained experience in TV production in the past was at local origination TV stations and local PBS affiliates.

To answer one of your questions, we have been using camcorder recorded audio to sync up several isolated cameras in post production. For example, Adobe Premier Pro will match audio waveforms from each camera's footage and synchronize everything. The key is to have clean line level audio feed each camcorder so the audio waveforms have enough amplitude for Adobe to synchronize properly. Obviously this technique only works with cameras that record audio.

When using a computer to edit video, there is never too much RAM or hard drive space. One of our 4 camera, 1080i shoots is well over 150 GB.

When uploading raw Iso video to the web, there is never too much bandwidth.

If you go the camcorder route, Panasonic is a brand to consider. They have been in the Industrial/Prosumer field for decades.

The camcorder route excels at weddings, depositions, lower budget productions, and small market local commercials. Think of a camcorder as a Mackie SRM 450.

I don't think I would jump into the higher end market without first gaining some knowledge, including market knowledge along with technical knowledge. The camcorder market exists everywhere, the higher end market does not. 



   


I feel like a newb asking this
-probably the equivalent of "what is the best kick drum mic"

Looking to get into video production as I feel my career in large format live audio is essentially over.
I have some basics and have always done switching of existing feeds, slides and imag but have never been around the creation of content beyond powerpoint.

What is a good entry-level camera for me to cut my teeth on?  Some have told me a mirrorless DSLR type camera is a good way for high quality but others have said get a dedicated video camcorder type unit (like I'm more familiar with from past productions i-mag use)  Others have said "cinema" cams are a good way to go too -like the blackmagic units.
I do have an eye for photography and have used the hell out of my phone camera, and have college level background on visual art and composition so I'm not "tone deaf" to the art aspects of this.

Of course I am way underemployed right now and finances are tight, but a used DSLR I could probably swing right now and buy lenses and accessories over time.

Once that is figured out, then how do you manage the recordings?  What is good software to edit it all in -I've used iMovie, but that seems too consumer-ish.
-what would be the "Behringer X-32" level of product that's relatively affordable and ubiquitous now.   Apple final cut pro?
I have an original Blackmagic Television Studio switcher (HD-SDI & HDMI rackmount unit with no controls on it using a PC to operate it)  Is this anything I should be using for the production process or is it simply a device for live use?

I figure you do takes and assemble your finished product in post production.  Is there a procedure for multiple cameras at once or do you just sync everything up using a clapper board like in hollywood?  Is sound recorded on one of the cams or is it usually a separate recording device?  Is timecode necessary or does digital drift between separate recording devices like in the old analog days?  (I had some classes in film sound back in the 80's and I doubt any of it's even relevant anymore)

As you can see I have more questions than not and it would probably be easier to ask if anyone knows of any current books texts or guides to use, any forums like this one but for vidiots? 

Yes a lot of what I want to do is considered art so it's hard to just go "learn" it -Been in audio for 30 years and still don't know everything! 
So I understand this will take time and practice makes perfect, but beyond the videography part of it, there's still proper workflow and ways to connect up the gear properly that I need to get solid first.

Any help at all in this would be great -or if anyone knows of an intern program -like the proverbial "loading trucks before you ever get to mix".  Or if anyone has guru co-workers that wouldn't mind spending phone time.  (as I'm in the least production oriented state in the union right now)

Thanks for reading this diatribe, and again any info tidbits are welcomed.
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Craig Hauber

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Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 09:15:51 pm »

Craig,

You are asking all of the right questions. Here is my take. I started out in TV years ago when editing and digital video effects equipment cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today, video is going through a period as audio did, where one can put out a "broadcasts quality product" for several thousands of dollars and some knowledge, so its a good time to get into the industry.

While I am getting up to speed on non-linear editing and rendering, some old school techniques still apply like three point lighting, proper color temperature, and avoiding jump cuts.

Some of the best ways I gained experience in TV production in the past was at local origination TV stations and local PBS affiliates.

To answer one of your questions, we have been using camcorder recorded audio to sync up several isolated cameras in post production. For example, Adobe Premier Pro will match audio waveforms from each camera's footage and synchronize everything. The key is to have clean line level audio feed each camcorder so the audio waveforms have enough amplitude for Adobe to synchronize properly. Obviously this technique only works with cameras that record audio.

When using a computer to edit video, there is never too much RAM or hard drive space. One of our 4 camera, 1080i shoots is well over 150 GB.

When uploading raw Iso video to the web, there is never too much bandwidth.

If you go the camcorder route, Panasonic is a brand to consider. They have been in the Industrial/Prosumer field for decades.

The camcorder route excels at weddings, depositions, lower budget productions, and small market local commercials. Think of a camcorder as a Mackie SRM 450.

I don't think I would jump into the higher end market without first gaining some knowledge, including market knowledge along with technical knowledge. The camcorder market exists everywhere, the higher end market does not. 



 
Thanks for all the info
definitely not looking for "live streaming" setup, although it would be nice to re-purpose some of the gear for that if necessary.
I do believe that the TV studio and location shoot thing is where I'm headed, with all projects ending in post, not transmitted live.
Trying to save some community theater entities while providing an outlet for social-distanced, no-audience performing arts.
Working with a kid who has done simply amazing things with just smartphone cameras, so the skill and the eye for it is there, I just want to bring the tech up a notch but still within the typical community theater type budget so overly lavish cams and lenses will have to wait, but we should be able to do better than iphones!

I can also now blow the dust of my collection of fresnels and actually put them back to use!
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Craig Hauber
Mondak Sound Design
-Live PA
-Installs
-Theatre

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Cameras and video
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 09:15:51 pm »


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