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Unread 07-28-2015, 03:39 PM   #1
Jei-Cos
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Taking video at cons

I didn't know where to put this so I hope it's ok here.

So if you go to cons, you probably know that people take videos of the con that they splice together and put up on youtube. I have a channel that is empty and I want it to be a cosplay channel, where I take con videos and so on. It's not gonna be those kind of videos where you take certain people and get a really nice video of them doing something like an attack or something..I don't have that kind of money to get that kind of equipment. For now, I'm going with the "Hey here we are at [Con name]! And a video roaming the con put to music.

The problem is, I only have my phone (which has the WORST autofocus I've ever seen!!) and my moms digital camera, which is about 6 or 7 years old..It's not very good, and takes really small video (like the camera doesn't see very much..Where you might see a whole cosplay in the video from like, 6 feet away, this one you might only get half of a person in the shot. It's bad..also even though my phone sucks, it's still more high quality with higher MegaPixels, and more high quality video when it DOES focus.

I do eventually wanna get to the point of taking those awesome videos I mentioned above, so I don't wanna spend the money on a camera that will never get me to that kind of level of video just to have to buy something else later. I know lens types are also something that help with this kinda thing.

So what are the cameras that are good, but not bank breaking?
I don't have $5oo to spend on JUST the camera part..
I've seen a lot of cameras on OfferUp (if you don't know, it's like craigslist, but better), but I don't know anything about the cameras I'm seeing on there. So knowing what you guys use could help me see if these might not be the thing I'm looking for.

Oh yea, I also want it for taking lots of pictures too.
Thanks
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Last edited by Jei-Cos : 07-28-2015 at 03:42 PM.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 08:42 PM   #2
WonJohnSoup
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What kind of phone do you have? The iPhone 5 and 6's are pretty darn good and you can get away with just that if you download the Filmic Pro app to give you more manual control over everything, including focus. You'll have to know basic exposure technique though. I've shot an entire short film/cinematography tutorial on the iPhone 5 and didn't reveal the camera used until the end just to stress the point that the camera isn't the limiting factor.

Most basic point and shoots nowadays are outstanding at video. I wouldn't worry about megapixels because 1080p HD resolution is still only 2 megapixels if you do the math. The extra megapixels on the sensor chip is for downsampling and anything over about 5 megapixels doesn't matter much IMO. Image quality between any of the cameras from $300-700 are near indistinguishable. I use a pocket $800 Panasonic LX100 for all my video work and also shot all my photoshoots at AX on it in this folder: http://on.fb.me/1NUJ8SQ

The key specs you'll want to search is whether it has 24p frame-rate capability, ISO over 3200 (for those dark indoor con portions), in-lens image stabilization and a tripod socket (for the steadicam stabilizer rigs you see the videographers using at cons). I wouldn't get a camera for video if it were missing any of these. Dpreview.com is a great place to search. If you're having problems with focusing, it may be worthwhile to make sure it's a small sensor camera with deep depth of field (though for under $500, it probably will be).

Steadicams for cameras under 1 pound are ridiculously cheap and easy to use/transport: http://amzn.to/1I0bDfW They're only expensive if you use a heavy camera.

If you have specific models in mind feel free to shoot me a PM on my facebook page. Hope that helps!
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Last edited by WonJohnSoup : 07-28-2015 at 08:56 PM.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 09:09 PM   #3
Jei-Cos
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To answer the first question, I have a Moto X, and I've taken video with it before. The auto focus on it is complete garbage. The photos turn out nice enough, but the video is horrible.

See, those kinda specs was what I was hoping for in a reply. so this is extremely helpful. I'll be sure to go on that site. I found a few point and clicks for cheaper on places that people are just selling thing (like OfferUp and stuff like that) so I can review the ones I liked and see what the specs are of them and see what I can manage.

Thank you very much.
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Unread 07-28-2015, 10:46 PM   #4
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But yeah, for just using at cons, a normal and modern point-and-shoot can do decent quality video of you keep your hands steady. I would suggest following exactly what WonJohnSoup stated, unless you are seriously broke and want to go for just the cheap camera. I recently found a camcorder from my first con (2008) and my current 4-year old camera can take better video than it, so it kind of proves that technology has improved a bot since your mom's camera.
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Unread Yesterday, 05:26 PM   #5
KittyAngel
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Hey Jei-Cos.

So, the camera I strongly suggest is a Nikon Coolpix L28 or L32. Both me and my Mom have Nikon brand cameras. I've got a Coolpix L28 and it's a dream for both photos and video. Coolpix L32 is the upgraded version of L28, but it's still a great camera. In terms of cost, if you're willing to give up $100 at your local WalMart, plus maybe $20+ for the memory card it requires, then this is the best quality, but budget friendly camera. In terms of picture taking, the camera takes 20 megapixel pictures.

For my personal use, I use it for taking pictures of my artwork and at conventions. These 2 convtions that I went this year are great examples of quality for the video.

MTAC 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IBz-TO14zA Friday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhVlSyTnOoY Saturday


Anime Blues Con 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnhJ948yZkk Friday

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsuk7AFQFSs Saturday

The only other thing I can say is make sure your computer can support the software that it comes with. The software is what you can transfer your photos and videos from you camera to your computer/laptop. I do know that it supports Windows Vista and I know it supports a Mac, just don't remember what kind of Mac. Anyway, I hope this helps and good luck on what you're looking for
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Unread Yesterday, 05:54 PM   #6
WCMorpheus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
So what are the cameras that are good, but not bank breaking?
I don't have $5oo to spend on JUST the camera part..
I've seen a lot of cameras on OfferUp (if you don't know, it's like craigslist, but better), but I don't know anything about the cameras I'm seeing on there. So knowing what you guys use could help me see if these might not be the thing I'm looking for.

Oh yea, I also want it for taking lots of pictures too.
Thanks
I wouldn't recommend using your phone for this type of venture. A few photos here and there isn't an issue, but hundreds of photos and several 10 minute video clips can eat up space, and before you know it, your phone is in the red.

I recently purchased a Canon Powershot 18.1 Megapixel digital camera from Target that was on clearance for $130, regularly priced at $230. It's a great camera that takes good (not great) photos, and excellent video. Something like this may be precisely what you're looking for. It's also not too bulky like an SLR camera, so you can carry it around without issue while you're in costume.

I used the above camera to take roughly 500 images at SDCC a few weeks ago. You can view the photo galleries in my cosplay Facebook page in the link below and judge the quality for yourself.
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Unread Yesterday, 09:11 PM   #7
Otaku Gunso
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I have a bloggie and even though that thing is about 5 years old it still works like new xD The camera quality is actually 1080 but the picture quality is only 5 mega pixal. For the most part I only take pictures but I have taken con videos and stuff before, but I just don't have them anymore x-x
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Unread Yesterday, 11:11 PM   #8
Jei-Cos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WCMorpheus View Post
I wouldn't recommend using your phone for this type of venture. A few photos here and there isn't an issue, but hundreds of photos and several 10 minute video clips can eat up space, and before you know it, your phone is in the red.

I recently purchased a Canon Powershot 18.1 Megapixel digital camera from Target that was on clearance for $130, regularly priced at $230. It's a great camera that takes good (not great) photos, and excellent video. Something like this may be precisely what you're looking for. It's also not too bulky like an SLR camera, so you can carry it around without issue while you're in costume.

I used the above camera to take roughly 500 images at SDCC a few weeks ago. You can view the photo galleries in my cosplay Facebook page in the link below and judge the quality for yourself.
This is good because I just picked up a powershot today. I bought it from someone. I got it for only $115, and I read reviews and stuff before hand. It takes HD video, and has really good picture quality, The good thing is I can "con vlog" with it too (you know.."Hey guys, we're here at [con]! This is day 1" blah blah blah) because it has a flip out screen which I can turn facing forward so I can get myself in some video without having to be like "Am I in frame". I tested it out before buying it and it seems like just the right kind for me.

Thank you all, you've been helpful.

EDIT:
Well..That wasn't long..
I tried 4 different NEW sets of batteries (takes AA batteries, which I prefer when not going back to the room at cons often, meaning just changing them out once they die so I don't have to go charge it and miss taking pictures), and EVERY set of them lasted about 5 minutes tops before it shut off telling me that the batteries are dead..Upon looking up "[camera model] battery problems" (which, sadly AUTO FINISHED!! meaning it's common to look up!!), I was met with PAGES of people complaining about this exact problem, and found out it's extremely common..
So here I go looking up cameras again..

There's a Panasonic one I was also looking at, so I'm hoping I can get that one. It's a little more money, but I've seen tons of reviews, and even tried to find bad ones..I have yet to find even one bad review on this other one. So yea..lol
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Kumoricon 2015:
-Sora (Kingdom Hearts)
-Peach (Super Smash bros 3DS)
-Gohan (DBZ, Cell Saga, Either SSJ1 or SSJ2)
-Nepgear (Hyperdimension Neptunia)

Last edited by Jei-Cos : Today at 01:05 AM.
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Unread Today, 01:22 AM   #9
WonJohnSoup
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I've had two Canon Powershot A-series (A-series means it takes AA batteries) that spanned over 5 years apart in model production. Yep, it's a well known issue and both cameras had that problem. Eventually they'll both also have sensor failures.

If you bought it used that's probably why they were selling it. The problem usually doesn't pop up until about a year in. If you want to, you can send it back to Canon and trade in for ANOTHER refurbished copy of the current model. Another thing some people have done is try different batteries (like lithium batteries instead of nickel cad rechargeabales, etc).

Brands aren't the greatest thing to go by (models are more important), but in general the Nikon point and shoots are kind of restricted in their controls, even for a point and shoot. Canons are much better with controls but you can see that the super low end budget models have a lot of reliability problems. Panasonics tend to give a lot of performance and control for the money, but they always have ugly colors out of the box in my opinion (Canon is known for having the best color science and I personally agree). Fujifilm is by far the best for straight out of the camera JPEGs, especially the cameras using the X-Trans sensors. I also like that they give a lot of controls.

If you're looking for a compact pocket camera with amazing specs for both still photo and video this is a good list: http://bit.ly/18TLiDj The most popular is the Sony RX300 and the mk2's and mk3's can be bought used for okay prices now that the mk4 is out. The main competitor is the Panasonic LX100 and I went with that because it's a little more of a "photographer's camera" in regards to its controls.

It also just occurred to me you'll need 60fps ability if you want to "eventually get to that level" with cosplay videos. Most of the good ones you see were all shot at 60fps to get the slow motion effect.

Are you in California? I'm holding a panel at Anime California in a few weeks for beginning cosplay photographers and one of the topics I'm covering is camera selection.
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Last edited by WonJohnSoup : Today at 01:49 AM.
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