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Opetholic
post Jul 20 2014, 02:20 PM
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Hey Guys,

I have a question for the instructors: what kind of gear/camera do you use for recording your HD lessons?

I would like to get some good recording instrument and I need some tips. I am sure this was asked before, you could also point me to a good forum post in the past..

One of the problems I notice while recording with a webcam or a cheap camera is the autofocus. The focus changes as you move or if there is change in the background lighting and so on. How do you deal with focusing and getting crystal clear HD image say of your fretting hand?

Thanks for the advice!


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jul 20 2014, 02:51 PM
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Hi Opetholic - I'd like to share some insights here.

Personally, I'm preferring lately the DSLR cameras for recording video due to very high quality vs cost ratio.
These modern DSLR cameras nowadays can record really stunning video which matches much more expensive (3000$+) video cameras and you are also very flexible with changing lenses etc. Those cameras are becoming popular in independent film quite a bit and even in high end productions.

I personally use Canon 550D camera and I'm really loving it. This is by far the cheapest solution for recording HD video but its the one that will help you get that "crystal clear HD" (with good lighting!).

When it comes to auto-focus, that is a very good question. Usually cheap cameras have very bad auto focus so it moves all over the place as you play. What you need to generally do (with any camera) is to lock the focus. There should be a feature which disables the auto focus. You don't need it when shooting something static like having a camera on tripod and playing guitar in front of it in one spot. BUT - the tricky part which you shouldn't forget is : set the correct focus before locking it. How to do it? You can try placing an object at the distance at which you'll be sitting and playing the guitar. This object represents you when shooting the video. Focus the camera on that object (you can zoom in your camera for precise focusing action and then zoom out to desired level/angle - you won't need to re-focus the camera) and once the focus is spot on - lock it! Then just sit in front of the camera a shoot the video using a remote control of the camera if it has one or just letting it roll until you capture a good take.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions on this topic smile.gif


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Opetholic
post Jul 20 2014, 03:03 PM
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Thanks Bogdan for the very useful insights! Both for a camera recommendation and for the explanations on focusing. I will experiment with your suggestions!! If I have additional questions, I will post here..


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PosterBoy
post Jul 20 2014, 03:04 PM
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Check this out.

Recorded with an Iphone 4S with the Tascam Stereo Mic accessory



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Opetholic
post Jul 20 2014, 03:12 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion PosterBoy! It does look good indeed. However, I don't own a smart phone. I am a bit old fashioned in that regard biggrin.gif and I am not planning on getting one either.. So I guess for me a good camera is a better option..


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jul 20 2014, 03:12 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jul 20 2014, 04:04 PM) *
Check this out.

Recorded with an Iphone 4S with the Tascam Stereo Mic accessory



Yes - I forgot to reflect on this. iPhone 4 and 5 models have really excellent video camera and with a little bit of effort setting up the lighting and everything, you should be able to record some really cool HD videos. I really love how technology has advanced so that we have a very usable camera all the time with us in our pockets.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 20 2014, 04:12 PM
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I use a High Definition "Handycam", not a webcam. Never a webcam smile.gif I use firewire to connect the camera to my computer and it has a remote control for ZOOM functions. Most web cams do NOT have a zoom and if they do it's quite bad sad.gif Being able to zoom in to show my fingers on the frets is very handy to help folks see what I'm doing. So for example, if you want to keep a close shot on your fingers, you can zoom in with the remote and disable "auto focus" so the focus doesn't drift around smile.gif

The camera is a Canon HV20 which supports full HD. You can get one of these used on Ebay very very very cheap!!! So there is no reason not to have nice vid smile.gif If you don't have firewire, you can buy a cheap card to go in your pc (firewire card) for about $25. (assuming a windows pc). I"m running a Apple/Mac which has firewire already.
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To pick up my voice I"m using a MXL condenser mic. It's a great sounding mic and costs between $50 and $100 depending on sales/vendor. Works great recording guitar as well.
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All this goes in to my recording interface/sound card, which is a PRESONUS 16.0.2 that connects to my computer also via Firewire. These are about $1,000 new, half that amount used.

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so I"m able to use OVERLOUD or AMPLITUDE or what not during Video chat sessions and not have an amp blaring in to my talk mic, which is handy smile.gif That's pretty much it!

For your setup, any decent handycam will do the trick as long as it has firewire to connect to your pc. Most hd cams won't connect via usb for live video. sad.gif So with just a few hundred bux you can get
1.)A decent used HD cam with remote and a firewirecard
2.)A good sounding interface/soundcard (the focusrite scarlett comes to mind)
3.)A decent microphone (mxl or Shure SM57/58 etc.)

and be ready to go smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (Opetholic @ Jul 20 2014, 09:20 AM) *
Hey Guys,

I have a question for the instructors: what kind of gear/camera do you use for recording your HD lessons?

I would like to get some good recording instrument and I need some tips. I am sure this was asked before, you could also point me to a good forum post in the past..

One of the problems I notice while recording with a webcam or a cheap camera is the autofocus. The focus changes as you move or if there is change in the background lighting and so on. How do you deal with focusing and getting crystal clear HD image say of your fretting hand?

Thanks for the advice!


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 20 2014, 04:13 PM


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SixStringSamurai
post Jul 21 2014, 08:31 AM
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What do you guys use in terms of lighting? I'm only just getting into making more Youtube videos, so I'd love to know how you pros do it.


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Jeroen
post Jul 21 2014, 09:53 AM
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If you want to produce videos it's all about the right light. With good lighting you can produce crystal clear vids, with bad lighting however, it will usually look bad. You should use daylight lamps with a color temperature of 5500 K. The best way to do this is working with at least two lamps and light yourself from two sides under a 45 degree angle. This eliminates shadows and annoying reflections.

I personally use Falcon Eyes softboxes. My camera for youtube vids is a Canon full HD Legria HFR 56 (you don't need an expensive camera for HD YOUTUBE VIDS!!) For youtube vids you can shoot in 1280 x 720 with 25 fps. That's more than enough for HD vid on youtube. Check my video Iron Maiden Medley to see what this affordable camera can produce combined with good lighting. http://youtu.be/BIBXbDlOyK0 check the settings when you watch this vid, youtube usually starts vids in low quality as a default..

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QUOTE (SixStringSamurai @ Jul 21 2014, 09:31 AM) *
What do you guys use in terms of lighting? I'm only just getting into making more Youtube videos, so I'd love to know how you pros do it.


This post has been edited by Jeroen: Jul 21 2014, 10:03 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 21 2014, 06:32 PM
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P.S. About CHEAP LIGHTS!!!

You can get some nice cheap lights on ebay or amazon that will do the trick smile.gif The bit light in this pic was onlyl $35 with bulb and stand! The small one was $35 and the flex tripod was $15.


Attached Image



QUOTE (Opetholic @ Jul 20 2014, 09:20 AM) *
Hey Guys,

I have a question for the instructors: what kind of gear/camera do you use for recording your HD lessons?

I would like to get some good recording instrument and I need some tips. I am sure this was asked before, you could also point me to a good forum post in the past..

One of the problems I notice while recording with a webcam or a cheap camera is the autofocus. The focus changes as you move or if there is change in the background lighting and so on. How do you deal with focusing and getting crystal clear HD image say of your fretting hand?

Thanks for the advice!



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Opetholic
post Jul 21 2014, 09:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses!!! There are some really good ideas and advice here that I can make use of. I will see what I can do within my budget smile.gif


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Darius Wave
post Jul 22 2014, 09:20 AM
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Most of us choose DSLR (Canon 600D in my case - first cheap Canon with full HD). Also like Jeroen said - lights are 50% of the job.


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 24 2014, 04:32 AM
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NOT ME THOUGH smile.gif As I mentioned in another thread, I returned the DSLR as it didn't work well for me as a one man operation.

My particular unit was a basic canon DSLR and I returned it because...

*No remote control (can't zoom in during chats or when recording bits for demo/lesson/etc.)
*No swing around preview monitor
*No live digital video to computer (I use firewire with my current camera a canon hv20)
*No direct recording to computer (again firewire direct recording to computer via quicktime )
*Cost: Those things are NOT CHEAP no matter which one you pick.

So taken together, it just didn't work for me. But as I always say, TO EACH HIS OWN!!!

Todd






QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jul 22 2014, 04:20 AM) *
Most of us choose DSLR (Canon 600D in my case - first cheap Canon with full HD). Also like Jeroen said - lights are 50% of the job.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jul 24 2014, 04:35 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 25 2014, 02:57 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Jul 20 2014, 02:12 PM) *
Yes - I forgot to reflect on this. iPhone 4 and 5 models have really excellent video camera and with a little bit of effort setting up the lighting and everything, you should be able to record some really cool HD videos. I really love how technology has advanced so that we have a very usable camera all the time with us in our pockets.


Plus smile.gif They shoot in slow motion EXTREMELY well - did a few tests with the 5 model and I was astonished. I have to say that my lessons were done with friends who are DSLR pro users and they did all the cam work while I only had to focus on playing, while they took care of the focus of the cam. Lights are another VERY important matter.

Bogdan's method is very useful and I think you could try to post some short versions here, in respect to the various degrees of focus you obtain, if you wish and we can take it from there. The more you try, the better you become smile.gif


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