Sound Recording with Camcorder - Purchase Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AEngineerDU, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. AEngineerDU

    AEngineerDU Guest

    I'm contemplating purchasing a camcorder to record student
    presentations. I think I know generally what I want after some
    research, but would appreciate advice on a couple of thing.

    What I think I'm purchasing
    - Mini-DVD recording media - to enable ready transfer
    - Separate lights

    Possible Units - Opinions on these or advice on others appreciated -
    in the $400-600 range
    - Sony DCR-DVD205
    - Hitachi DZGX3100A
    - Canon DC40

    What I'm uncertain about is the sound recording capabilities. Perhaps
    the built-in microphone is good enough, but I'd like the capability to
    have an external Microphone (mono is sufficient).

    Each of these units has a different capability so here are my
    questions since I cannot find info on the manufacturer's sites

    1) Canon has USB-2.0 in - does this mean that it will take sound from
    a USB microphone

    2) Sony DVD205 - has "line-in" - So I assume correctly this means that
    a microphone won't feed it directly but must be amplified first.

    3) Hitachi DZGX3100A - has line-in, Microphone-in and S-Video AV - I
    assume this gives me the most choice.

    If anybody has specific suggestions of a reasonable microphone to go
    with these it would be a bonus.

    My thanks.
    AEngineerDU, Feb 4, 2007
    #1
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  2. "AEngineerDU" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > What I think I'm purchasing
    > - Mini-DVD recording media - to enable ready transfer
    > - Separate lights
    >
    > Possible Units - Opinions on these or advice on others appreciated -
    > in the $400-600 range
    > - Sony DCR-DVD205
    > - Hitachi DZGX3100A
    > - Canon DC40



    Surely your Sony option records straight to DVD?

    I was lucky - I bought my MiniDV camcorders 3 & 4 years ago. They're both
    Sony and have "Plug-in power" mic sockets so can power small and low cost
    electrets, and do it quite well. (Tiepin type on a 5m lead.) I use the
    Yoga brand from Taiwan.
    They also have headphone monitor sockets - essential if you're using an
    external mike. (Guess who's made a silent movie.)

    --
    M Stewart
    Milton Keynes, UK



    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    Malcolm Stewart, Feb 4, 2007
    #2
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  3. ? "AEngineerDU" <> ?????? ??? ??????
    news:...
    > I'm contemplating purchasing a camcorder to record student
    > presentations. I think I know generally what I want after some
    > research, but would appreciate advice on a couple of thing.
    >
    > What I think I'm purchasing
    > - Mini-DVD recording media - to enable ready transfer
    > - Separate lights
    >

    Why do you want to do this, all the fun is after the shooting when you edit
    the video on your computer and burn the dvd yourself?For more information,
    come over to rec.video (or any other video newsgroup).And the quality is
    much better with a mini dv camcorder, because you will author the dvd on
    your comp and select the quality/compression.And a mini Dv camcorder is more
    flexible, there are 80 min tapes (at least on PAL countries).


    > Possible Units - Opinions on these or advice on others appreciated -
    > in the $400-600 range
    > - Sony DCR-DVD205
    > - Hitachi DZGX3100A
    > - Canon DC40
    >
    > What I'm uncertain about is the sound recording capabilities. Perhaps
    > the built-in microphone is good enough, but I'd like the capability to
    > have an external Microphone (mono is sufficient).
    >
    > Each of these units has a different capability so here are my
    > questions since I cannot find info on the manufacturer's sites
    >
    > 1) Canon has USB-2.0 in - does this mean that it will take sound from
    > a USB microphone
    >

    Surely it's not usb 2.0 *out*?I'm wondering what's in for?I don't think
    there's a wide choice of USB micros?
    > 2) Sony DVD205 - has "line-in" - So I assume correctly this means that
    > a microphone won't feed it directly but must be amplified first.
    >

    Then, you'd need a line level *portable* amplifier and its energy source?
    > 3) Hitachi DZGX3100A - has line-in, Microphone-in and S-Video AV - I
    > assume this gives me the most choice.
    >

    Right.Definitely.
    > If anybody has specific suggestions of a reasonable microphone to go
    > with these it would be a bonus.
    >
    > My thanks.
    >
    Tzortzakakis Dimitrios, Feb 4, 2007
    #3
  4. AEngineerDU

    AEngineerDU Guest

    My logic for Mini-DVD is that I'm going to be recording about 12 hours
    straight (with enough breaks to switch a disk). As I understand the
    mini-DVD format one must spend as much time transferring to HD as one
    spends shooting. That means 12 more hours before I can begin doing
    anything with the output. I assume that the transfer from mini-DVD
    will go much faster.

    Am I missing something?

    Jim Mitchell


    On Feb 4, 2:19 pm, "Tzortzakakis Dimitrios" <> wrote:
    > ? "AEngineerDU" <> ?????? ??? ??????news:...> I'm contemplating purchasing a camcorder to record student
    > > presentations. I think I know generally what I want after some
    > > research, but would appreciate advice on a couple of thing.

    >
    > > What I think I'm purchasing
    > > - Mini-DVD recording media - to enable ready transfer
    > > - Separate lights

    >
    > Why do you want to do this, all the fun is after the shooting when you edit
    > the video on your computer and burn the dvd yourself?For more information,
    > come over to rec.video (or any other video newsgroup).And the quality is
    > much better with a mini dv camcorder, because you will author the dvd on
    > your comp and select the quality/compression.And a mini Dv camcorder is more
    > flexible, there are 80 min tapes (at least on PAL countries).
    >
    >
    >
    > > Possible Units - Opinions on these or advice on others appreciated -
    > > in the $400-600 range
    > > - Sony DCR-DVD205
    > > - Hitachi DZGX3100A
    > > - Canon DC40

    >
    > > What I'm uncertain about is the sound recording capabilities. Perhaps
    > > the built-in microphone is good enough, but I'd like the capability to
    > > have an external Microphone (mono is sufficient).

    >
    > > Each of these units has a different capability so here are my
    > > questions since I cannot find info on the manufacturer's sites

    >
    > > 1) Canon has USB-2.0 in - does this mean that it will take sound from
    > > a USB microphone

    >
    > Surely it's not usb 2.0 *out*?I'm wondering what's in for?I don't think
    > there's a wide choice of USB micros?> 2) Sony DVD205 - has "line-in" - So I assume correctly this means that
    > > a microphone won't feed it directly but must be amplified first.

    >
    > Then, you'd need a line level *portable* amplifier and its energy source?
    >
    > > 3) Hitachi DZGX3100A - has line-in, Microphone-in and S-Video AV - I
    > > assume this gives me the most choice.

    >
    > Right.Definitely.
    > > If anybody has specific suggestions of a reasonable microphone to go
    > > with these it would be a bonus.

    >
    > > My thanks.
    AEngineerDU, Feb 5, 2007
    #4
  5. AEngineerDU

    Just D Guest

    "AEngineerDU"
    > My logic for Mini-DVD is that I'm going to be recording about 12 hours
    > straight (with enough breaks to switch a disk). As I understand the
    > mini-DVD format one must spend as much time transferring to HD as one
    > spends shooting. That means 12 more hours before I can begin doing
    > anything with the output. I assume that the transfer from mini-DVD
    > will go much faster.
    >
    > Am I missing something?
    >
    > Jim Mitchell


    Maybe you're missing just the poor quality of the movies that you're
    recording because of the limitations of the stream. Also to edit you need to
    recompress... Also Mpeg real-time encoder using in camcorders is much more
    poor than even some intermediate using by software. And if you get a little
    bit more expensive rendering system on your PC then it would worth it,
    absolutely.

    If you shoot some running objects then you'll see a lot of artifacts. Try to
    shoot in the forest with many sharp details, that will increase the video
    stream and the quality will die as soon as you start shooting this busy
    environment. MiniDV tapes give me a very nice quality together with
    convenience even when I render my movies after shooting using my PC and Sony
    Vegas. Actually you'd better move to uk.rec.video.digital. There are many
    guys just dreaming to explain everybody that in detail! :)

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 5, 2007
    #5
  6. AEngineerDU

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "AEngineerDU" <> writes:
    > I'm contemplating purchasing a camcorder to record student
    > presentations. I think I know generally what I want after some
    > research, but would appreciate advice on a couple of thing.


    Do you mean you just want the audio? If so I suggest using an audio
    recorder. Here's what I use:

    http://www.nightsong.com/phr/pmd660.html

    It can record 70+ hours in 128kb/sec mp3 format to a 4gb compact flash
    card. I see that my review of it isn't all that favorable, but
    really, it works pretty well once you get used to it.
    Paul Rubin, Feb 5, 2007
    #6
  7. AEngineerDU

    ASAAR Guest

    On 04 Feb 2007 23:13:25 -0800, Paul Rubin
    <http://> wrote:

    > Do you mean you just want the audio? If so I suggest using an audio
    > recorder. Here's what I use:
    >
    > http://www.nightsong.com/phr/pmd660.html
    >
    > It can record 70+ hours in 128kb/sec mp3 format to a 4gb compact flash
    > card. I see that my review of it isn't all that favorable, but
    > really, it works pretty well once you get used to it.


    The PMD 660 seemed interesting at first, but based on the photos
    in Jeff Towne's review, for a small portable recorder, that thing is
    *huge*. Your review briefly mentioned the MiniDisc recorder's
    inability to transfer files to the computer as quickly as the PMD
    660, which is true, but I wonder if perhaps it was written before
    the appearance of HiMD recorders? The 30 hours of recordings made
    over the 3 day event could be recorded at comparable quality, would
    fit on a single HiMD disc with hours to spare, and probably would
    take about 30 minutes to transfer to the computer via USB. The real
    inconvenience would be converting from Atrac3plus to mp3, but with a
    decent computer that shouldn't take too long, and the convenience of
    using the much smaller MD recorder, along with not having to carry
    so many batteries (there's no comparison, really) would clinch the
    deal for me in favor of using an MD recorder.

    You mentioned in the last update getting almost 8 hours of
    recording time from 2,500 mAh NiMH cells. Since the PMD 660 uses
    four of them, to record 30 hours would require four sets, or 16
    fully charged AA cells. A HiMD recorder would only need two fully
    charged 2,500 mAh NiMH cells, since each one can record for slightly
    more than 16 hours. And unlike the PMD 660, which appears to be too
    large to fit in many of my medium sized coat pockets, MD recorders
    can easily fit in most shirt pockets.

    You got the PMD 660 almost two years ago. Has Marantz since
    addressed some of the shortcomings you mentioned, or introduced a
    smaller model that isn't so battery hungry? It's ironic that the MD
    recorder is so much smaller than the PMD 660 even though the
    minidiscs it uses are so much larger than CF cards.
    ASAAR, Feb 5, 2007
    #7
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