Friday, January 31, 2014

What's a good, inexpensive camera to use for videos?

I bought a new digital camera a few months ago and have shot a couple of short videos with it so far. I'm still learning some of the manual controls, but the auto controls do a pretty good job of shooting as well.

The camera is a Canon Vixia HF R300. I did a lot of research on cameras before I bought this one because I wanted a camera under $300 that I could plug in both headphones and a mic. This was the only camera I found on which you could do that for the price I was looking to pay.

You want to have a headphone input so that you can hear the sound that you're recording, and a mic input so that you can use an external mic to record sound if you need it. So far, because what I've been shooting is fairly close up and in a quiet room, I've only used the built-in mic that comes with the camera, but it works pretty well when recording regular speaking voices.

Of course you need a few more things to go with the camera. If you shoot mostly indoors like I do, you'll need a couple of lights - but they can be regular clamp lights with reflectors that you can get at places like Home Depot. They're around $10 and work fine for a start.

Also a tripod is real handy to keep your shots from shaking. And of course you'll need some storage drives (I use Sun Disk extreme 16's).

There's always more stuff you can add, but the above will get you started making short vids and self-submission auditions.

So far I've used the camera to shoot a sketch for Funny or Die:

The Grimble World Championships

and then taped myself for a self-submission audition for an acting role on a feature film. The whole self-submit thing (where you are given sides and then record yourself auditioning) is becoming more and more popular. It allows actors, who don't live in the same city as the casting director, to audition for a role. In fact - that's what I will talk about on my next post.



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