Camera Buying Advice: Filming small objects & toys


I’ve been searching the internet looking for advice on equipment for filming small scenes featuring toys; I’m hoping I can find some solid answers here.

Background: I have a little bit of photography and filming experience, but I’m basically a beginner.

Budget: Ideally I’d like something around $500, but I’m willing to go up to $1000 if necessary.

I’m going to be filming educational videos for children that feature toys as the set pieces and the actors. I will be filming pretty close up to the toys, I imagine the max frame height would probably be 2-3 feet. It will be live action video most of the time, but I do have a bit of experience with stop motion filming. (I think stop motion filming is a bit too time consuming for this project)

I imagine most of this filming will happen in a small studio space on a table with the camera on a tripod (also to be purchased). I may take the camera out into the wild every once in a while to film in other environments, but it will primarily stay in a studio environment.

I imagine I will want to film in 4K so that these videos don’t feel out of date in 5 years. Am I wrong? Will that limit my options? This isn’t a deal breaker for me.

I would like to film live audio as well. I’ve heard having an external mic is best, but should it be connected to the camera or just aligned with the footage in post?

I’ve seen some great camera guides on this site, but I wasn’t sure if the up close filming would affect the recommendations here. I would appreciate your insights and recommendations on a camera for my requirements. I’d also appreciate any insights you have about other elements like lighting and audio equipment. Etc.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration!

PS – Not required, but it would be a bonus if the camera could also take good photos of my little kids. Happy

Discussion is locked

Reply to: Camera Buying Advice: Filming small objects & toys
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Camera Buying Advice: Filming small objects & toys
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 -
Is this two different techniques?

Close up photography or animation? Give an example with my kit. My Panasonic HC-V750 will focus easily to about 2" or 5cm so close up is no problem. I would suggest most camcorders would have this ability.
Most high end consumer cams have an external mic socket. It will depend on how you want to record the audio as to how you mic the set. Quite a few of us use independent audio recorders and sync in post production. I use a Tascam DR-60D which has a feed that can be connected directly into my camcorder. This gives me high quality audio and a sync track in the camcorder to align the Tascam audio to.

For animation I use a decent webcam on a stand and connect via USB to my PC. The software is part of Corel's VideoStudio Pro which has a section devoted to controlling the webcam, selecting the number of frames per shot, using "onion skin" to align shots etc. As the software is integrated with the video editor, I can combine animation with live action or green screen action. Green screen action allows me to change the sizes and location of the actor to fit in with the animation.

The Panasonic takes decent stills too and stores them in an independent folder on the SD card.

Post was last edited on September 1, 2018 12:04 PM PDT

- Collapse -
Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

I didn't communicate very clearly in my original message: I am primarily interested in a camera for live action video and I will not be doing stop motion at this time. I only brought it because I thought a lot of people would assume it is stop motion. However, I am interested at adding stop motion to our projects in the future... so I appreciate the info you provided

It's also good to know that most cameras do well fairly close up, particularly your Panasonic. I was actually looking at a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85.

- Collapse -

If you are filming video primarily, I would recommend a 4K camcorder rather than a DSLR. There are many advantages in camcorders over DSLRs. There has been overheating with some DSLRs while using for video.(possibly corrected now) but the main advantage is the cams have facilities suited to video and the production of film.

Post was last edited on September 2, 2018 3:30 AM PDT

CNET Forums

Forum Info