digital camera for a teacher/classroom setting

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by onetitfemme, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    Hi *,

    I am a teacher in need of a digital camera with the following features:

    1._ you can use to take still snapshots and for actually taping
    (recording as 'movies')

    2._ you could use to record voice well. People have said to me I could
    (or rather could NOT ;-)) buy one of these very expensive professional
    ones, OR I could by one which lets you plug in an external professional
    mic if you need to

    3._ I would like for the camera to be able to stream the data directly
    to a computer, instead of using this extra memory sticks as an option
    as well and I would like for the transfer/streaming to be in an
    standard format so that I could use a Windows, Linux or a MAC computer
    if I need to

    I need it for my classes

    As a teacher sometimes I need to make copies/pix of textual information
    and then be able to scan it and get the text files, which they have
    said to me you could somehow do with a digital camera as well. How do
    you do this?

    Any ideas? Which other things should I be watching out for?

    Also what would you recommend for video/voice editing?

    Any -good- links and/or books out there. It is virtually impossible for
    a newbie to tall apart good info from the lousy/ultimately time wasting

    onetitfemme, Oct 28, 2005
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  2. onetitfemme

    Jim Townsend Guest

    From what you've described, it appears you need a digital movie
    camera, not a digital still camera.
    Jim Townsend, Oct 28, 2005
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  3. onetitfemme

    Chuck Guest

    It sounds like you actually have two requirements.
    1. Record sound and video in realtime.
    2. Take still pictures including "Macro" or closeups so that a document or
    smaller fills the frame.

    Transferring pictures to a PC actually works much better with memory cards
    than it does with a camera.
    The time is much shorter, and there is no camera battery charge issue.

    Having said all that, you may also want to consider control of a camera from
    the PC.
    There are third party software packages that allow you to control exposures
    and sequences from the PC, with extensive control of camera settings.

    Picture/video resolution may be an issue, as may be the upcoming/current
    changes to TV broadcast standards.
    5 to 8 megapixels (true) may be the area of resolution you will need for
    good quality still pictures, and a lesser resolution for video.
    I'm not into the current video cameras, so I'd pass on that area.

    An area that may also be problematic is that of focus. Most of the digital
    cameras have auto and manual focus. The auto focus may not work well in some
    applications, and require that manual focus be used for maximum sharpness.
    Manual focus on many of the digital cameras is not easy to use, due to the
    size of the LCD display and the expanded area in the center used for

    It should be possible to spend less than $1000 and possibly around $500 for
    the basic equipment you seem to need.
    An additional 1 to 2 hundred may be needed for software. Basic software
    comes with the digital camera, or is part of windows XP. Video camera
    software is a bit different, in that minimal or no software is usually

    Sound is usually better handled by the video cameras when compared to the
    digital still cameras.

    My Oly C8080 will record sound using a built in mike, however the sound is
    more suited for comments than sound to be played back with a video. ( I
    would not recommend this camera for your stated uses.)
    Chuck, Oct 28, 2005
  4. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    I'm a teacher also. I have, as my personal camera, a Canon S2 IS. It's one
    of the few camera's out there that will take video with stereo sound. Having
    said that though, I don't think I would recommend it for a school. It's too
    large and it has a seperate lens cap.
    It can do #1 very well and #2 very well. I don't agree with you about #3 in
    not using a memory card.
    It's got a great macro mode.
    Let me do some research and get back to you with a recommendation or two.:)
    Joe Fisher, Oct 29, 2005
  5. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    What's your budget?
    Joe Fisher, Oct 29, 2005
  6. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    I was just looking today at the Canon 610 or 620. The 610 is 5 megapixels,
    the 620 is 7.1 megapixels. I think that 5 is very sufficient. Too many
    people read the hype and get caught up in the "megapixel race". Megapixels
    are one of the last things I look at when I'm looking at a camera. (I"ve had
    3 digicams)
    I look at things like the optical zoom, ergonomics, power source...I mean,
    how the heck many poster sized prints are you going to make? The one thing
    that's nice about having a bunch of pixels is that you can take a picture at
    high resolution, then crop it and when you print it, it will still be good
    resolution, much less likely to be pixelated.
    I only saw the Canon Powershot 610/620 reviews today, not sure about the
    movie mode. But I can tell you that pretty much nobody makes a really good
    still/movie camera. Probably the best is my Canon S2 IS, but I don't think
    it's the best choice for a school. That is if the kids will be using it. If
    *you* will be the primary user, I'd say go for it!
    Canon Powershot 610/620 announcements...

    610 Reviews

    Quote from the following review of the 620
    "The PowerShot A620 has a very good movie mode. You can record video at 640
    x 480 (30 frames/second) with sound until either your memory card is full or
    the file size reaches 1GB. It takes about eight minutes to hit the 1GB file
    size, so at that point the recording will end (remember, the file size limit
    is per movie). For longer movies you can either reduce the frame rate to 15
    frames/second or lower the resolution to 320 x 240 (which supports both
    frame rates). A "compact" movie mode is also available, recording at 160 x
    120 (15 frames/second) for up to three minutes"
    Very good 620 Review. I really like this site!

    Damn! I want the 620 for my next camera.:)

    Joe Fisher
    Teacher, K-8
    Marion, MT
    Joe Fisher, Oct 29, 2005
  7. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    I don't agree with you about #3 in not using a memory card.

    the thing is that I don't want to have to use these sticks, I would
    rather create each time a new file and archive directly in the
    computer's hard drive. If I need to use sticks it would be fine too,
    but I don't want to go through the extra step of having to transfer the
    data from the memory stick to the hd for archival

    Using a cable is not an impediment to me at all. Since I will just be
    standing in one spot and record my studnets conversations. I am an ESL
    teacher by the way

    Also the sound option is most important to me. Stereo sound recording
    right from the device, I mena internally or does it use an extra mic?

    onetitfemme, Oct 29, 2005
  8. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    What's your budget?
    a teacher's one ;-)
    No kidding, I could throw a good $700 at it
    onetitfemme, Oct 29, 2005
  9. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    the cannon digicams look impresive, but can you actually record for
    say three hours with them?

    onetitfemme, Oct 29, 2005
  10. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    the cannon digicams look impresive, but can you actually record for
    say three hours with them?

    onetitfemme, Oct 29, 2005
  11. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    Record Voice only? Probably longer than 3 hours. Video w/voice, 30 minutes
    Joe Fisher, Oct 30, 2005
  12. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    No worries then. $700 will buy you a lot!
    Joe Fisher, Oct 30, 2005
  13. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    Even using the "sticks", all I do is plug the camera into the computer and
    download the pictures. I virtually never take the memory card out of the
    camera. I have a 1 GB card. With my camera at least, the stereo sound
    recording is right from the device. It's got quite a good internal mic, it
    surprised me how good it is.
    Joe Fisher, Oct 30, 2005
  14. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    Video w/voice, 30 minutes max.

    the thing is that I don't want to stop the class to tinker with the
    camera as my students wait for me. Usually they go through for 2 hrs 45
    mins classes and I would like to leave the camera work unattended from
    a tripod. That is why I need direct streaming to a file in the computer

    Also it does not feel right. If you stop and do camera work while
    teaching that gives them a feeling of staging something, which is not
    good for what I need. I teach ESL and I would like for my students to
    play/do their regular nuances/mistakes as if they were in the regular
    class setting

    onetitfemme, Oct 30, 2005
  15. onetitfemme

    Joe Fisher Guest

    Then you'll need a movie camera. There is no still camera that does more
    than 30 minutes of video at at time.
    Joe Fisher, Oct 30, 2005
  16. onetitfemme

    onetitfemme Guest

    onetitfemme, Nov 7, 2005
  17. onetitfemme

    Jared Guest

    if you are going to be recording while connected to your computer... umm
    have you considered a webcam?
    Jared, Nov 29, 2005
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