Best camera for videos...

Okay, not directly unicycle related, but I am wanting to make a decent movie for UNICON next year, and also a few other little ones for the web. I wish I had a camera now, I could have made a ‘sick’ video of my road trip!

At the mo ive just got a stills camera. It does take movies, but not well.

I want something I can take alot of footage on, and it will be good quality, hopefully around the £200 - £250 mark if possible?

Also, my good computer is okay, but not sure how well it would manage video editing. I’d probably need some new software too, and more space on the computer. I know I could get an external hard drive, but what about RAM (if thats right?)

Any help would be much appreciated, cheers!


Panasonic PV-GS320
It’s 3CCD which allows for superior color quality. You wont be disappointed. I use this, haven’t made a movie with it yet; so does my friend Ryan Henning, who does have a movie out. I know Spencer Hochberg and maybe some others use this as well.

If you want computer advice (here in the unicycle forum), you have to at least tell us what you’ve got at the moment.

For a camera I’d recommend something that shoots full-resolution video, not one that compresses everything onto a memory card. Mini-DV still seems to be the best media at the moment. Then you have to decide if you want to go with HD.

Will this Unicon video be just for you, or will you sell copies? After thirteen Unicons, we still don’t have a good, “watchable” Unicon video that people can buy. In Japan they did some wonderful videos of all the Freestyle performances, but that’s far from watchable, much better for reference. It takes up a stack of DVDs!

Thanks guys. John, I dont know off the top of my head. Ill check when I get home.

So Mini DV is the way forward? I dont think it will need to be HD, although it would be good, it might be overkill for what I need it for.

I just want to make a video for the unicon video competition. I will also make a video of UNICON I think, as the roadtrip should be awesome, let alone the actual convention :slight_smile:

Could you explain how DV works? How do I get it onto my computer? and is it easily edited?


With mini-dv, you get footage onto your computer either through a firewire cable, or on some of the more modern ones, through a USB2 cable.

You plug that into the camera, and then the software (premiere or whatever you use), lets you play stuff off the tape onto the computer.

If you have a modern computer, that supports USB2, then you may be able to just plug it into a USB port. If not, your computer either needs to have a firewire/IEEE1394 port, or you need to buy a card to bung in your computer with one on. If you happen to have a mac, you have the port anyway.

I’ve played with a Sony HD camcorder, and they are amazing, the image quality is just incredible, each frame is surprisingly close in quality to a still photo. I think they are way out of your price range though.


Digital Video will record onto mini DV tapes. You will then, unless using a mini dv deck(kinda like a vcr), use fire wire to transfer the footage from the tape to your computer. If you arnt looking at spending a ton or illegaly getting software you will be using either imovie(mac), or window movie maker,(PC)(I think thats what its called). Both of those programs are free and come already installed and any recent computer. As far as wether your setup will be effeciant for editing… I agree with John, we will need to know your What you are using now. If yer computer is more than 2 years old, you may need some upgrades as to not drive yourself insane with rendering times.

As for sofware, Final Cut/Avid/Vegas are pretty much the standard In the DV industry… tho there is a fairly large learning curve to using those programs.

You will defenetly want to lookin into a Extrenal HD, tho at about 50 cents a GIGbyte they are pretty affordable.


Yes I forgot this one, adobe premiere is finaly become a decent program, tho still fairly dry without having the whole adobe package.

I just have to say, that the picture quality with this camera may be “outstanding” compaired to SDV, but sonys cameras a pure garbage compaired to a cannon or pannasonic. Its a much better investment going with a consumer panny than a prosumer sony… atleast when you factor in price piont. The only good thing about sony is with the right camera you can fit the “death lens”. Just my opinion… and a few others, but whatever flips your boat. :roll_eyes:

I have the Pv-GS300 and absolutely love the quality, not even comparable those stupid mini-DVDs.

I’m not 100% sure but I think that 3ccd cameras pick up low light levels better than just huge single ccd cameras.

Holy crap – it’s new information for me! I don’t remember hearing about that one coming on the market. I wonder why it was never listed at UDC US?

Any reviews? Is it any good? At 270 minutes’ running time, I wouldn’t call it watchable in whole, but that’s the beauty of a DVD, being able to skip to the interesting stuff. Hopefully. I remember seeing some of the Freestyle video footage from that boom camera; it was pretty bad. The boom was moving all over the place for no apparent reason and the movement was not smooth.

what about something like this

or if you could give me some pointers out of some of these on PriceRunner, so I can compare them.

Thanks very much guys!
As for the computer, its about 6months old. Fairly decent Dell I think. Im no computer nut. What size external hard drive would be sufficent?


Oh, how about

Seems like a low amount of pixles?


Thanks for the report! So I’ll return to my original assertion:

“We still don’t have a good, “watchable” Unicon video.”

Watchable means someone who wasn’t there would actually sit through it. That’s really all I require, though I’d like it to be geared toward a non-unicycling audience that wasn’t there, so they’ll know what they’re looking at. The only video like that I’ve ever seen was called Unicycle, and it was made in 1980-81. It’s a little outdated now.

All the convention videos here ended up like the Unicon one; in the end they really only work as reference, and for the people who were there.

Coming from someone saying this thread wasn’t in the right forum, you sure like to thread jack without much help whatsoever eh? Atleast pretend to be usefull.


I have that camera. It seems to do a good job for me.

I don’t think your RAM is gona make much difference, RAM just allows you to run more programs simultaneously without your computer crashing. Obviously it would help to have a good amount of it, however if you’re going to film a lot the extra hard drive space is what you’re looking for. Off the top of my head, 400gb is around £80, which is a really good deal.

In all, I think you just need a good reliable computer thats well maintained.

Hop it helps :stuck_out_tongue:

you want cool, then you need a ‘gorilla pod’ made by cannon, it is a tripod with flexible legs, it can stand up, easily stand on slopeing ground, and can wrap around trees or poles, very cool although i havent got a link and i dont have fast internet so i am not going to go looking for a link, just try looking at the cannon website.

not exactly what you asked, but a good camera holding device makes your filming soooo much easier

Actually I doubled the ram on my computer and it cut the encoding time in (almost) half.

Well that would usually be the processing speed but… have it your way!

Hey i’m just saying what worked for me.

Maybe the extra ram unlocked the true performance of the processor.

The more ram the easy it it is for the processor to do it thing.
Tho when you compress a video your coputer is doing multipul things at once, hence Ram helping this happen faster.

Also I would like to add: You will want a fairly good harddrive, dont go with cheapiest you can find. Make sure it is rated for high speed transfers and video. I am very very pleaces with my LACIE. PLus I dont think you will nedd 400bg of space. I think its something like one hour of raw DV is about 13 gigs(might be less). If you have the money go with a 500, hell get a terrabyte(spelling?)… but a 120-250 will do you just fine for a start… they are only getting cheaper and cheaper and you can piggy back most external hadrives.