Going Touring with my camera?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by cj550, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. cj550

    cj550
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    Hi all, i will be shortly going on a 10 day motorbike tour which i would like to record. Only problem is i know very little about camcorders. I have already purchased a bullet cam (which is placed on the front of my bike with rubber to minimize vibration) and a power pack which goes to the bikes battery, but i'm not sure which camcorder to go for? I'm looking for good quality footage but i'm on a £400.00 budget, i only need the camcorder to record straight ahead and in good light, i dont need fancy options, but i would like a great picture without distortion-- is this possible on my budget? should i go secondhand to get the best camcorder? ( is there any pitfalls to buying a secondhand camcorder?) I've been looking at miniDV camcorders but these use tapes-- is a miniDV tape less in picture quality than a DVD camcorder? I'm hoping to send copies of my trip to quite a few friends and family? I've also found out that DVD recordings are difficult to edit-- is this true? Also what about video storage, ideally i would like at least 6 hours per day, how can i store this amount over 10 days at the cheapest price but also maintaining picture quality? Any info greatly appreciated all the best
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Hi cj550 and welcome to the forum :hiya:

    OK a fair few questions to get through, so here are my opinions on what to do:

    Well as you have a bullet cam already that is just about the possible PQ set as it will be the bullet cam that controls most of the quality. The camcorder will just be a recording device. All you need to do is make sure the cam you get has AV-in. This is different to DV-in and not on the majority of camcorders, so check the specs carefully. If going for a Canon (and they are a good make to look at IMO) then any model numbers that end in an 'i' will have AV-in. I would also recommend Sony cams, but these are often a bit more expensive than Canon for the same features.
    Second hand can get you a good deal, as long as you trust the seller or buy from a shop that offers a warrenty. With sellers on the likes of eBay etc you take your chances on what 'could' be wrong with it. Ask yourself why they are selling if they claim it is 100% working. But you may still get a bargain, you just have very little comeback if something goes wrong.
    Tapes are about the best archiving media going and the quality from miniDV is the best there is without upping the cost by a fair bit and going to HD.
    Not a problem. Once you have it on DVD or VHS you can make as many copies as you want.
    Not now. If you use a good MPEG editor such as Womble you can edit with very little problem or loss of quality. Until recently though this was not the case.
    10 Sony miniDV tapes for £15.04 inc VAT & postage from Here. You could use LP mode on the cam to get 90 minutes per tape, but you are likely to get a lot of dropouts due to the shaking of the cam. SP at 60 minutes per tape will give more reliable results.

    Good luck with the cam hunting & the holiday. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions :thumbsup:

    Mark.
     
  3. cj550

    cj550
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    Hi Mark,

    thanks for taking the time to give me some very good information, It will take me a while to look into your answers and if its ok I will most likely throw you a few follow up questions, all the best

    Cormac
     
  4. cj550

    cj550
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    Hi Mark,

    Have looked into your answers and I have a few more questions for you.

    You said the PQ was set by the bullet cam i've bought . The thing is i can still change the bullet cam if needs be due to a mix up with my online payment. But the reason why i went for the below cam spec originally was that it came with a 'multi box' that connects to the bikes battery so that i would not have to get external power for the cam. Here is the cams' spec--

    Camera Specification:
    High resolution Colour CCD Bullet Camera

    It is the world's first High resolution Colour camera in a bullet style.

    Image Pick-up Device: 1/3" CCD video sensor
    Don't be fooled by cheap CCTV cameras that are only 1/4" Video Sensor.
    Horizontal Resolution: 420TV Lines
    Picture element(pixeles): (H)752x(V)582
    Minimum illumination: 0.5 LUX
    Synchronizing system: lnternal
    Video output: 1Vp-p 75 ohm composite
    S/N Ratio(AGC off): More than 50 dB
    Electronic iris(Auto): 1/50,1/60-1/100.000sec
    Gamma correction: r 0.45
    Gain control: Auto 4dB-30dB
    White balance: Auto 2800k-8200k
    MTBF: 80,000 hours
    Power source: DC12V(Tolerence:±10%)
    Operating current: 90mA w/regulated power in
    Lens: 3.6mm
    Reverse Polarity protection built in

    what do you think of this package? could you have a look at the website-- www.easyvision-sportcameras.co.uk/

    I've seen cams with more lines 520, 540, 560. But most miniDV's dont have this line capacity anyway(?) so is there any point in buying them?

    You spoke about HD, if the picture quality was fantastic i would increase my budget, but is it alot better than miniDV? How many lines res does a HD have?Would I notice the difference? Also with HD i would have to download every evening to a computer then burn onto a CD, is this correct? ( so a B+B would have to have a computer?+ i would also have to bring burning software with me, like Nero- is this correct??) )Then convert the CD to DVD when I got home? But if this is the best way to get fantastic picture quality I would really like to do the tour this way. Thing is i've looked at recordings with 520 cams on the net and they dont look that brilliant to me, I would rather pay more to get a better picture? anyway sorry for so many questions, but a little knowledge is an expensive thing! hope you can help, all the best:thumbsup:
    Cormac
     
  5. cj550

    cj550
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    Just to let you see what i'm not looking for, but is this low res for the net? would it be crystal clear on DVD? anyway i would spend whatever it takes as long as i didnt end up with this kind of footage- heres the web address

    www.trackdayriders.co.uk/overview.html

    "On bike road video" "Hartside"
     
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    The specs of the bullet cam you list seem fairly good, but never had the need to use one I really don't know how it compares to others.
    Full resolution PAL video is 520 visible lines (576 including over scan etc) so a bullet cam with 520 lines should work better with a camcorder than one with only 420 lines (about the same resolution as VHS).

    HD cams will give a far better picture, but this is not likely to be any good with a bullet cam because I've don't know if you can get HD bullet cams or even if the AV input will accept HD.

    HD cams come in mainly 2 different resolutions - 720p & 1080i

    With some HD cams you can record to the same miniDV tapes as for a standard cam. I think there are a few HD cams that have an internal hard disc to record to but don't know the specs so how long you can record for would need to be checked.
    You would not want to save HD video to CD's as you would only get a couple of minutes per disc. Even saving to DVD would give a reduced amount of video time over the 2 hours (depending on bit rate used etc) you get from SD video. Also there are currently no UK DVD players that can play HD video - not until BluRay/HD-DVD gets released, and then you will also need an HD burner and they are very expensive at the moment. HD will just be used to get the best possible recording quality for distribution in the future, but lets you future proof your purchase as much as possible. But it will be an expensive option for now. The HD video can though be captured, edited and then copied to a SD DVD in standard definition for now if you do decide to go this route now.

    It is very unlikely that any video you watch from the internet will be full resolution, but heavily compressed for streaming so it doesn't eat up too much bandwidth. Therefore any footage you get should look far better than you are seeing off the net.

    I hope the above helps,
    Mark.
     
  7. cj550

    cj550
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    Thanks for the info very helpful, I'm going to go for a miniDV camcorder but i'm still not sure about the bullet camera. I think i will go for a 520 rather than the 420. all the best
     

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