Which mic? Handheld, shotgun or lavaliere? Is the mic $ included with the camcorder or a separate budget? Wired or wireless?
Will you have control over the lighting? Is lighting $ included with this $700 budget? This does not need to be fancy - it could be as easy as a couple of worklights from the hardware store.
1) It depends on your budget - if the $700 is supposed to include the mic and the lights, then you may be able to afford SD only. Best practice is to capture best quality you can afford - once the video is captured, the audience's viewing platform will dictate different rendering and output. For example, when you record in high definition, you can post high definition video to the web - but for most of your DVD recipients, you will need to downsample to standard definition. No, it is not difficult to convert from high definition to standard definition. Basically, in the video editor, it is an export or Save As... or the DVD authoring application takes care of the transcoding.
1.1) Least compression to the digital video stream is "best". Any camcorder less than about $1,300 is in the "consumer" area (as opposed to "prosumer" or professional grade. Least compression is in the DV/HDV format - in the consumer environment, this means miniDV tape. This means the computer must have a firewire port. If the computer does not have a firewire port, hopefully it has an available expansion slot to add one. If not, then flash memory is the next viable choice. It uses the same file types as hard disc drive camcorders.
Suggested camcorder: Canon HV40; Canon FS series; Sony HDR-CX100 series.
2) That is up to you. I capture and edit 1080i (high definition) HDV then render out to the various file types - 720p (high definition) for video web sites like vimeo and YouTube, then for DVDs to standard definition ("DV widescreen")... and I also export back to the camcorder (miniDV tape) so I have a "full quality" 1080 high definition version archived... and if I feel like it, I can connect the camcorder to a HDTV for high definition playback. If I wanted to, I could invest in a BluRay burner and burn high definition discs - but I am skipping BluRay. The high definition computer-stored files in h.264 format are also playable by "media center" type machines connected to a HDTV...
What computer are you using? For Windows, Sony Vegas and Adobe Premier always float to the top; For Macintosh, iMovie and Final Cut are good starters. Both platforms have many other editors available.
3) Doing a voice over is probably easiest if you know the script and what you want to convey during the voice over at the start of the project. You can use the camcorder to record the audio and import that the same way you import the video... then just extract the audio. Or you can use a "field recorder like those form M-Audio, Zoom, Edirol, Marantz, and many others - and import the audio... or you can use a mic connected to the computer... This has nothing to do with the "conversion" to standard def. The video editor will take care of the "multiplexing" that will mix the live audio captured by the camcorder and the audio you imported (the voice over) when the video is rendered. All you are doing is adding a couple of simple steps by adding the voice over. Use of an audio editing tool like Audacity is suggested. You will also learn what "normalizing" the audio can do to improve the audio quality.
4) You don't need to care - let the camcorder you select worry about the video file format. If your video editor can't deal with it directly, there are lots of tools that can provide good quality transcoding to get the video into a useful format.
Hi, I intend to shoot an instructional video staring myself and an associate. I will edit the footage myself, and create the final product. The video will be shot indoors and outdoors and focus on do-it-yourself home improvment issues. Consumers will purchase the video and either download it online or recieve a dvd in the mail. I don't want to rent, so I will buy a camera and a mic. My budget for the camera is about $700.
Question #1 - should I buy an SD or HD camera? Will HD footage need to be converted to SD in order for consumers to view it as a download or dvd? Is it difficult to convert HD to SD?
Question #1.1 ? I assume tapeless is best, please confirm or correct me on this.
Question #2 - Do I edit once it is in SD format? Regardless, what software should I use?
Question #3 - I need voiceover (or dubbing - not sure of the correct term here) as well as live sound. How do I do this? Will this complicate the conversion to SD? Will it complicate the editing process?
Question #4 - Should my file be an mpeg format, or something different? What is the most popular format? Should I care at this point?
Seeing that I am a newbie, I want to buy a camera that will make this whole process as simple as possible. Thanks. Keyword grubert