Camera Choice Help? [Solved]

Wasn’t sure where to post this, or if this is even the right forum to be asking, but I’m looking for a decent HD video camera to shoot footage that I can match move and add 3D elements to from Blender. If anyone here has had experience with 3D integration to film I’d really appreciate any help or camera suggestions. Ideally, my budget is $200 USD, but I might be willing to spend another $50 or so.

$250 and descent? you need to define first what descent means in this case. Lot of cameras can shoot in HD this day, even a tablet could do the work ;).

You’ll get a used Canon HG10 or alike for $250, that’s a really nice camera, you can use an external mic, manual focusing, there’s a hotshoe, all that stüff you don’t get if you buy a cheap, newer camcorder… Canon had a couple of models with about the same specs back in 2008-2009, Canon HV10, HV20, HV30, HF100, all quite nice prosumer models…

The reviews for those look fine and dandy, but unless those same “manual” controls apply to video shooting mode (and not just stills), the thing is a worthless compositing nightmare. Especially the ISO: if the camera’s stupid white balance and brightness keep auto-adjusting during a video, you might as well be using your cell-phone. Screw the HD or high speed: it’s a deal breaker without manual controls.

I’ve seen so many camera reviews boasting of “manual controls,” but none of them directly apply those claims to the video mode. Does this mean they apply to picture mode only? Who can vouch otherwise?

You’ll get a used Canon HG10 or alike for $250, that’s a really nice camera, you can use an external mic, manual focusing, there’s a hotshoe, all that stüff you don’t get if you buy a cheap, newer camcorder… Canon had a couple of models with about the same specs back in 2008-2009, Canon HV10, HV20, HV30, HF100, all quite nice prosumer models…

Wow the HG10 is extremely nice. I’ll definitely look for some used ones. Know any websites besides Amazon, Craigslist, or Ebay?

Is this in regard to what I wrote? If so, these are camcorders, so the still funktion is like an old Nokia cellphone, hehe, they are really good at capturing video though… ;D

…and yeah, all controls are ‘real’ manual settings accept focusing which is through a scroller thingie, but it works quite well. :slight_smile:

yeah, it’s a nice camera. I used one together with a Raynox x5 wide angle adapter and a Rode Videomic, a really nice setup. I run a Canon T2i on a shoulder rig with follow focus now - even more nice, but the Canon was way simpler to handle and run around with, this new rig is a handfull to say the least…

About where to buy, I bought mine on a local auction-site here in Sweden, but where to buy is all about where you are I guess…

Sounds good. I think I’ve found my camera. I’ve seen the T2i in action and it looks pretty dense haha, but I guess you can’t argue with the results. Thanks for the help.

Cool beans bro. :slight_smile:

And I’m actually thinking of replacing the T2i-kit with a prosumer camera again, what I miss with my old setup was the simplicity of it - this setup I have now, it’s just not as simple to run out & shoot,m like whatever, it all becomes a project just getting the damn thing up & running - it kinda takes the joy out of it, hehe… :o

But good luck. :slight_smile:

Oh man, that’s so true!!! Look what you get, if you use such a camera (shot with the Nikon D90):

Try to record some test footage if you can. Maybe you can get Footage from that camera for reference on the internet. Or go to a shop and take your own SD-Card with you, equip a camera with it, aquire some footage in the store and take the SD Card with you, to test it directly inside of Blender. Maybe this is the perfect approach, what do you think?
Good luck! :slight_smile:

I think the important thing to remember is that filming in itself isn’t that easy and tracking isn’t that easy - people think if they just get a better camera everything will work perfectly - well, DSLR’s isn’t the best choise for tracking as rolling shutter is a big issue - and with footage from a handheld DSLR, there will always be rolling shutter issues, even if you can’t see it, and that will throw any tracking off, even if it’s so slightly… So for perfect tracking, shoot with actual film, preferable on a Panavision camera, and transfer it to 8k - then tracking will be much easier… :slight_smile:

What I mean is, don’t expect perfect tracks even with the proposed ‘right tools’ - also, most of what people think is camera tracking in feature film is actually set-extensions, camera projection and compositing trickery… In TV (where the use of set-extensions exploaded the last years) the camera actually records it own movement, so no need for tracking at all. :wink:

The thing is, Spielberg would get better results from an Iphone 4 than most of us would with a Red Scarlet, hehe… I use a Canon T2i/550D which use the same sensor/imagechip as the 7D - which has been used in TV-shows and even feature films like the new ‘Act of Valor’… I dunno of any cheaper camera that matches that (even though there probably is) and we’re talking about $1000 for a kit…

…but that still doesn’t mean that you shoot, track and all is fine & dandy, hehe, you still need to noise reduce and optically straighten the image to get perfect tracks - you’ll need to do that with almost all cameras/lenses though…

I don’t need perfect tracks, I don’t need perfect lenses, I don’t need perfect images, I don’t need a Red Scarlet. I need a cheap (but practical) camera that will let me adjust the ISO manually for video recording. Other manual controls would be fantastic, but let’s be conservative for the moment. I understand perfectly that it is the artist, not the tools, that make the film. I understand. But as a humble artist, I have just enough experience to know what’s holding me back as far as tools go. However, I am probably asking the wrong people, since everyone else can seem to afford $1000 camera kits. Thanks anyway.

What I ment was, you need to work to get a good track, disregarding your camera setup. Maybe a little less setup with a RED Scarlet and good prime lenses, but tracking is not magic, you have to work for good tracks. And a used Canon prosumer camera is the best bet to get good image quality & manual control for about $250.

I think it’s really hard finding something under $250 good enough too shoot with for (good) tracking, though… :frowning:

You’ll find it hard to get a camera that can do what you want for under $250, that market is for the point-and-shoot consumers.

Either save up, or buy second hand / refurbished - If you look around you may be able to pick up a T2I for a few hundred dollars, maybe $300 - 350.

EDIT : Complete manual controls while in video mode, ability to use older M42 (and dozens of other) lenses, and adapters, and add in magic lantern firmware and you’re well on your way to having an incredible rig for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a professional camera.

A few disadvantages are that you’ll be shooting in H.264 (compression!), and with 4:2:0 chroma sub-sampling - Not good for green screening.