Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Camcorder for art videos...please help!

by pipyr / December 4, 2008 4:39 AM PST

Hi all. I am a glass artist and I'm wanting to make videos of my pieces to show the movement on my hanging work and to give a real feel that the viewer is looking at the work in person. I plan to use these videos to send in my portfolio to galleries as well as to post online on sites like youtube.

I am extremely well-versed in still cameras and take all of my own photos, but I have never owned a camcorder...ever. I have done a lot of research and am now more confused than I was when I knew nothing Wink

For at least another year or two, I will be working on my Intel-based Macbook with a 2 gig processor and currently 1 gig of ram, but the ram can be easily upgraded if need be.

Being able to edit the video is going to be very important to me, as is accurate color balance (under controlled lighting conditions) and detail close-up. (Of course I realize that the compression when putting a video on-line will kill a lot of detail, but I'm concerned more with the galleries that will be viewing on DVD)

Because of the nature of why I'm creating these videos, I really have no idea what type of screen they will be viewed on. I expect many will be viewed on a computer screen.

I'm mostly concerned with image quality and the ability to edit these videos. As I said, I'm a complete novice when it comes to video but I am a fast study and don't mind extra work if it will produce better stuff. I'm looking for a model in the $1000 range and I'm *still* undecided about mini dv vs hdd, even after everything I've read.

Any suggestions or advice would be *GREATLY* appreciated!!

Thanks so much!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Camcorder for art videos...please help!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Camcorder for art videos...please help!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I think your MacBook can provide you
by boya84 / December 7, 2008 10:55 AM PST

what you want - but we also know that color reproduction accuracy will be impacted by all the different monitors. You can't allow that to stop you as they are out of your control. You can only provide the best that you can provide.

The most recently released MacBooks do not have a firewire port. If you have a new MacBook, then that eliminates miniDV tape. In my opinion, miniDV tape is the best solution for you, so if you have an older MacBook with a firewire port, then you would be wise to investigate the Canon HV30 or Sony HDR-HC9. iMovieHD can easily deal with DV and HDV these camcorders record. As the least compressed of the consumer digital formats, DV/HDV will render best available video quality. You will need a firewire cable - it is not included in the box with the camcorder.

Next best are hard disc drive (HDD) and flash memory based camcorder - they store using very similar compression and file types. The Sony HDR-CX12 and Canon HF10, HF11, and HF100 are flash memory based camcorders that save to very highly compressed AVCHD files. The video is pretty good, but compressing that much as the first step just is not a good idea. I've been reluctant to recommend hard disc drive camcorders because of their known issues with vibration from loud audio and inability to record at high altitude (9,800 feet and higher) - this may not impact you. Video is copied over USB. In the Mac environment, an Intel-Mac running the newest versions of iMovieHD or FinalCut (Express or Pro) are required to deal with the AVCHD files.

In either case, iDVD will downsample the high definition video to some of the clearest standard definition video you've seen when you menu and burn the DVD to yur MacBook's SuperDrive (optical drive.

You could also save the file as a 720p, h.264 compressed high definition file and upload to and youtube... Your concern on detail caused me to render out some high definition video to vimeo for you. This is purely to be used as an example - recorded with an older Sony HDR-HC1, I was playing with the telemacro functions (and the speed up "special effect" of iMovieHD06... and having a little fun with the sound design.
Password: 120708

I realize this is not exactly "security", but I guess it assumes only the folks reading this post will access... and I can change the password later... But the detail that is possible now is pretty amazing. My favorite is the dragonfly...

Collapse -
Thank you!!
by pipyr / December 7, 2008 11:29 AM PST

Thank you so much for all of the great info. You confirmed what I had been leaning towards over the last couple days of HV30. Luckily, I got my Macbook last year for xmas so I still have a firewire port *grin* I can't believe mac got rid of those on the new macbooks.

Thanks also for the video example...the detail is incredible! It's definitely much more clear and clean than I thought would be possible for an on-line video. I'm really glad I saw that. The dragonfly was really amazing...the amount of detail really surprised me!

Thanks again so much. I really appreciate the help on this!!


Collapse -
Glad to help...
by boya84 / December 7, 2008 12:08 PM PST
In reply to: Thank you!!

On that HV30 (or any other HDV camcorder), you will need to buy a firewire cable. The miniDV tape based camcorder's DV port is always 4-pin. I don't remember if the previous generation MacBook firewire port is 6-pin or 9-pin. Also, you may need to do a custom install, using the OSX system discs, to get the Apple Intermediate Codec installed. It is a QuickTime component and required for iMovieHD (or FinalCut) to recognize and use the HDV stream from the camcorder.

Lucky you to have the MacBook with the firewire port!

On that detail... Youtube seems to be making similar high quality video available - you just need to use the right settings. Vimeo has a nice list of video export settings for Windows and Macintosh environments to allow great video quality. The same files uploaded to Vimeo can be uploaded to youtube.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?