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    What budget cam has decent mic input and interchangeable lenses for our students?
    #1
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    Hi,
    I'm a teacher of media in our school and we would like to buy several cameras that:

    * Be used for video and photography
    * Can swap lenses for our photography (+ video) students
    * Shoot 1080 video
    * Have a mic input and headphone option for use in interviews. (We run a student tv show)
    (Dual audio is just an extra layer of complexity it would be good to avoid)
    * We don't need the 'latest and greatest' quality...just good quality...
    * Don't break the bank....we have a budget...and each extra dollar is one less camera we can buy!

    Any cameras come to mind?

    I think we need to settle on a family of cameras...that we can purchase a range of lenses for.

    I'm thinking about going with Canon. But open to suggestions.

    Thanks for any thoughts!


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    What do you mean by "budget"? Not trying to be snide, but wondering if something like a Canon C100mkII would work for you.

    Or perhaps your neighbors at Blackmagic Design have some old/refurbed/demo cameras they can let go cheap. That might be a good way to go...
    https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    #3
    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    I would get a bunch of used GH4 cameras.


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    Senior Member El Director's Avatar
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    Get a few Canon Rebels. They'll be perfect for learning, plus you have the option of installing Magic Lantern. When I was in High School, we had one really nice camera (Sony VX1000) and like three Cannon ZR10's (they were Canon ZR, the number I don't know). Point being, Canon makes good stuff, and a Canon DSLR is perfect for learning.


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    #5
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    Thanks all for replies...I am leaning towards going with the Canon DSLR family myself....(I already have Canon gear)

    The idea of achieving both photography and video in the one package is appealing...

    Here in Australia the local Camera stores have the 80D with a kit lens for about $1700 AUD. We would then supplement this with a bunch of lenses that kids in groups could rotate through to experience different features like portraits/bokeh/wide angle/macro etc.

    I have wondered about the second hand option too....only thing is the school budgeting culture tends to be 'buy new'....but bang for buck...there might be a lot of merit just searching out a bunch of older Canon 70d's for example:

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Canon-EO...wAAOSwNDdbXsPd


    My biggest concert of all about these cameras is the mic and headphone aspects for video...

    Has anyone here used a 70D or 80D with external mic? I found some threads where people described problems with the 80D....

    We run an internal a 'tv news' show and have found the handheld mic option with Shure SM58's just a lot easier for kids to manage and get good quality compared to on camera mics or running around with boom poles.

    ...would like to use these with XLR adaptor into the cams...just not sure it would even work!

    Thanks for all the ideas...


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    Junior Member KinostadtFilms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mavoz View Post
    My biggest concert of all about these cameras is the mic and headphone aspects for video...

    Has anyone here used a 70D or 80D with external mic? I found some threads where people described problems with the 80D....

    We run an internal a 'tv news' show and have found the handheld mic option with Shure SM58's just a lot easier for kids to manage and get good quality compared to on camera mics or running around with boom poles.

    ...would like to use these with XLR adaptor into the cams...just not sure it would even work!

    Thanks for all the ideas...
    I've been using a few Canon 80Ds as 2nd and 3rd cams on documentary shoots for a few years now. (A cam is a C100 mark II) The 80Ds have been rock solid and very versatile. When not on a gimbal (80D has DPAF), they will typically have a Rode VideoMicPro mounted, plus sometimes a wireless lav, both connected through a small Beachtek passive mixer.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...o_adapter.html

    I set the manual audio level in the camera to one tick over zero, and let the mics provide the gain. The knobs on the Beachtek allow for easy level adjustments. If you prefer XLRs to 3.5mm, I know Beachtek offers a few options for similar small mixers with XLR ports. although I haven't used those personally. Some are battery powered, so they can provide gain if needed. Also, unlike the 70D, the 80D has a headphone jack.


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    80Ds are very popular for learning...plus they have the superior DPAF with face-tracking which can be very fun for them to use for their shows.

    Recording audio (especially in this case) will be perfectly fine. You can use the SM58s with any XLR to 3.5mm cable but keep in mind they are very low-sensitive mics and you'll have to raise the gain in the camera to get any usable audio which will introduce a 'hiss'. If the budget allows, I recommend picking up a few Beachtek DXA-Micro Pros...you'll be able to lower the gain in the camera and raise it through the hardware for perfectly clean audio. The DXA has lots of other neat features as well.

    Also, you'll obviously have to speak right into the dynamic microphones, which should be fine for the 'tv news' show, but if any other projects come along (like commercials or films), they won't be usable unless you're okay with showing the microphone in the frame.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...o_adapter.html


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    #8
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    P.S. There is also a cheaper version of the preamp (see below), but the rechargeable one above is really worth it:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...r_compact.html


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    #9
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    Thanks so much Kinostadtfilms and NorBro for the info..much appreciated.

    I'm thinking the 80D may well be the best camera option then...is three times more expensive than a used 70D...but is new with a warranty...so probably the right choice in our school context...

    looks like I'll need to budget on a decent adaptor like the Beachtek...


    Is a shame the camera companies don't build in a decent input in the first place...but I guess it would add cost for something that many don't need....

    (Might have to check out one of those for my own Samsung NX1...as it might save me the trouble of recording external audio..)

    As a matter of interest...are there any options out there that would provide the option of working as both a preamp like this...but also have a 'record to SD' feature...that we could use as an external audio recorder as well?

    (We sometimes need kids recording audio for Voice over etc....so having that ability would be a great option..)

    Looks like the Tascam DR-60D could be an option too....

    Thanks.


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    Depending on the type of school, perhaps Canon can help out, or at least coordinate education pricing through a dealer or something.
    https://www.canon.com.au/business/education-solutions
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    Jim Feeley
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