How to video some speeches and music


Standard Member

I have been roped-in last minute to video a leaving do - I should film the speeches and there'll be a bit of music too. Accoustics aren't too bad, and the lighting shouldn't be too dim. I'll have a tripod too.

The trouble is, my camera (Panasonic HDC-SD700) is brand new and I haven't had much of a chance to play with it and get to know it. So some quick questions to save myself some embarrassment:

- How realistic is the quoted battery life (60min normal, 100min max), given that there shouldn't be too much mad panning or zooming in and out? I have been told the slot I need to record will be 60-75min (continuous), and I won't necessarily be near a power point (and I have no spare battery).
- Should I just leave it on automatic, or is there a better suited video mode?
- I'll be among the audience, so is the surround mic likely to be swamped by quiet murmer around me rather than the speaker I am pointing the camera at?
- Which video format is best? I would like to provide a copy in HD on a (single) data DVD, but also create a SD playable DVD. The 32GB internal card is plenty for 90min of video, right?
- Anything else to watch out for?

Many thanks! :smashin:

Edit: I should add that this is my first video camera ever, so zero experience here!


Active Member
The 32gb card should hold enough. I'd set it up in auto but then lock down the focus and white balance to stop it messing around but auto will almost certainly be fine. The battery that comes with it will usually run for the time it says it will. The audio could be a problem but I wouldn't know without seeing (hearing) the place. If you can get hold of something else to record the sound then you can stick it together afterward.

Doesn't the sd700 record as avchd only? You can convert it to any other format using something like "Super" although I haven't used it for avchd. It's not a big deal to make a DVD or hi-def avi once you've got the footage using free software.

Other than that have a really good mess around with the camera first.


Standard Member
Thanks for the reply. Now, after the event, comes the nightmare. There was no time to get hold of a proper mic or record the audio separately; I just recorded in Dolby 5.1 (the default). The speaker's voice is really quiet compared to the surrounding hustle and bustle.

What is the best tool for playing around with the individual tracks of a 5.1 soundtrack (I was thinking of reducing the side and rear tracks and emphasizing the centre, maybe also with some filters for enhancing speech). Premiere Elements does not seem to support this, I didn't get much further with Handbrake, what would be your recommendations (pref free!).

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