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Splinky
10-22-2007, 01:57 AM
A group of people I know want to start a video production class in our town. This would be an after school program for kids. We sponsor a student film feastival were I live, but no one from our town has ever entered anything. We are looking to change that. I was elected to research some video camera's. They are pretty much looking for something basic. I think for a few hundred bucks you can get a decent starter camera. So far I looked into the Panasonic PVGs320. It's a very nice camera, and has a lot if nice features. The only flaw is that it doesn't have a mic input.
Would anyone know of a somewhat decent inexspensive camera? I'm not getting lazy with my research. I would just like to hear what some of you have to say.

In my opinion these are the specs that are a must have.
Mic input
Mini DV
ilink to Firewire
Steady shot.
Auto/Manual Focus

Thanks

Jim

Drew Ott
10-22-2007, 10:07 PM
GL2 if you want some manual features.

You want the kids to learn so I'd go for the camera with the most manual features (hardest learning curve). I wouldn't worry too much about the image.

yorlov
10-24-2007, 04:40 PM
Canon HV20.

You can do HDV, HDV 24pf or regular DV, 16:9 or 4:3. And it's much cheaper than GL2. You can get it on eBay from the sun4snowland store for around $850. GL2 might be too complicated for kids.

HV20.com forum has plenty of information on how to use this camera.

Splinky
10-25-2007, 03:18 AM
Thanks for replying. I may even be looking for something even cheaper. From the $200 to $400 range. I was asked to find a camera that was somewhat decent, but also wouldn't let us take a big hit if one of these camers was lost or dropped in the water.

Evan_Newman
11-04-2007, 10:08 PM
Thanks for replying. I may even be looking for something even cheaper. From the $200 to $400 range. I was asked to find a camera that was somewhat decent, but also wouldn't let us take a big hit if one of these camers was lost or dropped in the water.

Well, try not to use it as a basketball or go swimming with it. Your camera should be treated as your child, like a Marine's rifle is his lady. In the long run, if you take care of your baby, you'll want to have manual controls and possibly 24p capabilities.

Splinky
11-07-2007, 09:27 PM
Thanks.... I guess. I myself don't need a lesson on how to take care of a camera. You may have missed the point of the question.

ESTEBEVERDE
11-23-2007, 10:27 PM
Canon HV20.

lambchops99
11-23-2007, 10:42 PM
Canon HV20

Price vs. Features it wins out easy. And it's HD! :D

Or on the SD cheap side.....There isn't very much available these days.... You could go for some second hand Panasonic GS400s :)

Tom

Ian-T
11-24-2007, 09:41 AM
.....by the way.....the HV20 shoots SD also....

Capt Quirk
11-24-2007, 10:11 AM
Look into Aiptek. They have several small cams in the $100 range and up, some of them even shoot 720 P HD.

Ian-T
11-24-2007, 10:33 PM
Look into Aiptek. They have several small cams in the $100 range and up, some of them even shoot 720 P HD.
But I don't believe they have mic inputs or manual focus..as he requires.....

Capt Quirk
11-25-2007, 06:06 AM
But they are in his budget, so he needs to decide whether he wants cheap, or features.

Inspired Vision
12-24-2007, 09:08 AM
Can anyone tell me what fps the panny pv-gs320 records ?

Concept89
12-25-2007, 03:49 AM
Can anyone tell me what fps the panny pv-gs320 records ?

Well, it doesn't record in 24p, that's for sure.

Kegan
12-25-2007, 10:32 AM
I'm not going to suggest the HV20, like almost everyone else here in the thread because it's way more than your budget will allow. As for the GS320? Its a good camera, but you're not going to get mic inputs, so its sort of useless in that regard. Check out a GS300 if you can (discontinued, but offers the same quality AND mic input). Even if its used, it might still be better for what you're looking for.

The Panasonic 3CCD series is ideal for low budget filmmakers in my opinion and its what I started out with, before 24p was the "golden standard". The kids don't NEED 24p to start out with filming - they're not even going to know what 24p is. They need to learn framing, lighting, technique and how to pull good sound out of what they have. All that they can learn on a camera with less features.

Of course your intent isn't to have it dropped, but you're dealing with kids - it's a risk you gotta take, but a factor you must consider. I bought my dad a Sony HCR28 for Christmas and it takes great video. It doesn't offer mic inputs, but its satisfactory for what he does. All you really have to do is look for a camera in your price range with a mic input and the rest will come later. Quality will be at least average to be honest with you...not spectacular, but for an after school kid's program, quality really isn't the first thing on your mind.

Good luck with your search and Merry Christmas,

Kegan

MsKly
12-28-2007, 03:34 PM
I'm not going to suggest the HV20, like almost everyone else here in the thread because it's way more than your budget will allow. As for the GS320? Its a good camera, but you're not going to get mic inputs, so its sort of useless in that regard. Check out a GS300 if you can (discontinued, but offers the same quality AND mic input). Even if its used, it might still be better for what you're looking for.

The Panasonic 3CCD series is ideal for low budget filmmakers in my opinion and its what I started out with, before 24p was the "golden standard". The kids don't NEED 24p to start out with filming - they're not even going to know what 24p is. They need to learn framing, lighting, technique and how to pull good sound out of what they have. All that they can learn on a camera with less features.

Of course your intent isn't to have it dropped, but you're dealing with kids - it's a risk you gotta take, but a factor you must consider. I bought my dad a Sony HCR28 for Christmas and it takes great video. It doesn't offer mic inputs, but its satisfactory for what he does. All you really have to do is look for a camera in your price range with a mic input and the rest will come later. Quality will be at least average to be honest with you...not spectacular, but for an after school kid's program, quality really isn't the first thing on your mind.

Good luck with your search and Merry Christmas,

Kegan
I was just checking out similar price range cameras w/ SD, 16:9, mic input FireWire ready and came up w/ the Canon ZR800 for $185.00 at B&H. I shoot an XL2 but want something real cheap I can drag around the dusty desert, damp forests, strap to bike helmets or car bumpers even and not freak out if something breaks or worry constantly about dust or fungus.
(Like Hunter700 said in the last reply, they need to learn the basics first!)

HBlack
12-29-2007, 01:53 PM
I wouldn't get an HV20. Editing in HD is a hassle kids who are learning shouldn't have to deal with. Look at the low end canon DV cameras, my school uses those and they seem like a good option for your purposes.

ProfessorU
12-31-2007, 01:00 AM
I teach a class every summer with kids 8-12 years old. I make them bring their own camcorders, and we use the diversity of cameras as a learning tool. By halfway through the course I make them pair up so we can cull the top 50% of cameras from what's available. I also bring my GL2 so we can talk about manual settings, but that usually doesn't happen until the last few weeks, since there is so much to cover before that point.
The best tool to protect the cameras is responsibility. :) I've been doing this for three years and haven't seen a camera dropped or swimming yet.

my name is joe
01-15-2008, 05:36 AM
My school uses the Panasonic GS180. The usb cord is behind the LCD unlike the 320. It also has a mic input on the side. I believe its a 1/6 CCD. You can still get good picture on it but it wont be as good as whatevers a higher end. It has your manual focus and some presents you can play around on. But its nothing serious where you can control everything.