Camcorders

General discussion

Camcorder for Documentary in Afghanistan

by justdecide / February 27, 2011 2:02 AM PST

Hi,

I'm going to Afghanistan and require a small, durable, camcorder for shooting a documentary. I'll be in rugged terrain and running around quite a bit, so the camcorder must be small and durable.

Would I need a semi-pro camcorder?

Thanks

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A "prosumer"?
by boya84 / March 1, 2011 6:14 AM PST

It depends what you really want/need.

Rugged = stay away from hard disc drive camcorders.

Documentary might = interviews and decent audio = camcorder needs a mic jack + manual audio control OR using a "field recorder" for the audio that will replace the camcorder audio during editing.

"Small camcorder" = small lenses and most likely small (single) imaging chip... Likely only the high end of the consumer camcorder area. Small lenses (and small imaging chip = poor low-light video capture behavior. Big lenses and big imaging chips = big camcorder and better low-light behavior. Any camcorder can capture good quality video if the lighting is good and within the acceptable brightness level of a camcorder.

Check what "Survivorman" uses. One small camcorder is a Sony HVR-A1. It is what provides him with the green-tint monochrome night vision ("NightShot"). Depending on the episode, he *could* be carrying two other camcorders. Used to be one or two HVR-Z1's. Now, I *think* he typically is carrying one or two HVR-Z5's. All are miniDV tape based. And a tripod or two. And several optional high-capacity rechargeable batteries. And Pelican 1500 or 1550 cases.

DO NOT rely on only one camera. You are setting yourself up for failure if it dies/breaks or is confiscated/stolen/lost.

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What is this madness?
by Razzl / March 6, 2011 10:03 PM PST

What is this madness? Stay away from places you don't belong. What possible good is it going to do the world for one more westerner to go to Afghanistan to be slaughtered in the chaos? The world has all the documentaries it needs on Afghanistan from people who didn't have any reason to be there. Don't give me an attitude, just give up this insanse project now rather than on your knees about to be beheaded by fanatics who can't be reasoned with. As for your question, it doesn't matter, your camera will be stolen within days of your arrival anyway...

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