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Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
#3060623 09/01/20 02:12 PM
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Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.

We're really missing gigging, and many of our 'extended family' of fans have been asking us to record performances and put them on YouTube.

So we're thinking about setting up, putting a stationary camera on a tripod, and recording some live performances.

The camera would be stationary as we have no one to run it, especially in COVID times, and if possible I'd like to take a balanced output of my PA and feed that into the camera directly. If not I suppose an external mic might be a good option unless the camera itself has a good mic.

Since we are unemployed, I don't want to break the bank on this, but want decent quality.


Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
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Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060625 09/01/20 02:22 PM
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If you're trying to get good video with audio input for not too much $$, does anyone in the band have a reasonably new iPhone? The cameras on the last few versions have been excellent, and you could connect any USB class-compliant audio interface to input a balanced PA feed. Most digital cameras that accept an audio in would require some sort of adapter or mounted audio box to get XLR to the 1/8th inch inputs anyway. I'm not an Android guy but I'm sure they've been doing their best to keep up with Apple as well.


Samuel B. Lupowitz
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Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060631 09/01/20 02:43 PM
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The latest greatest IPhone does well. The Canon M50 is a YouTube favorite but has a 30 minute record limit which would be aggravating if recording a full set. The Sony A6400 is also a YouTube standard. You will need an external microphone to get good sound.


This post edited for speling.
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060634 09/01/20 02:53 PM
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With a duo and assuming an interior space that is not huge, a Zoom camera is well equipped for audio and video. The one in the first link is around $220.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Q2n4K--zoom-q2n-4k-handy-video-recorder-with-xy-microphone

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...-with-interchangeable-mic-capsule-system

Tripods are best purchased used, a decent tripod will last forever. I've got a Gitzo I scored on craigslist for $30. I sold a Manfrotto I found at Goodwill for $12, that was a great tripod but I don't need 2.


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Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060641 09/01/20 03:12 PM
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You can’t go wrong with Reds, but they can certainly hurt your checkbook. I also have a Zoom Q2 which is great to take along to gigs. The wide angle lens captures everyone on stage and both the audio and video quality are very good by Youtube standards.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060694 09/01/20 07:14 PM
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What Kuru said. Zoom Q2n-4k, love mine.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060907 09/02/20 07:57 PM
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Thanks y'all.

The Zoom Q2n looks good.

I thought about a phone but I don't like the either tall or wide aspect ratio - either too tall or too wide. Besides, my android has seen it's better days wink

We'll probably set up in a white carport, as our cottage is too small to set up next to each other. I expect white to cause an exposure problem, so we plan on buying some inexpensive drapes to put behind us. Any color suggestions? We're thinking gray or perhaps beige.

It'll be an adventure, as I've never done anything like this before. Hopefully it will be a shallow learning curve, as I have a lot of other projects on my plate right now.

Thanks again,
Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060908 09/02/20 08:00 PM
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Phones for the most part are a disaster sound-wise. The auto gain circuit screws up music.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3060914 09/02/20 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Thanks y'all.

The Zoom Q2n looks good.

I thought about a phone but I don't like the either tall or wide aspect ratio - either too tall or too wide. Besides, my android has seen it's better days wink

We'll probably set up in a white carport, as our cottage is too small to set up next to each other. I expect white to cause an exposure problem, so we plan on buying some inexpensive drapes to put behind us. Any color suggestions? We're thinking gray or perhaps beige.

It'll be an adventure, as I've never done anything like this before. Hopefully it will be a shallow learning curve, as I have a lot of other projects on my plate right now.

Thanks again,
Notes

A good call on the white causing underexposure of you and your wife. Consider downloading the manual and seeing if the Zoom has exposure compensation. You will want to be able to overexpose, probably a couple of stops will do it.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
dboomer #3061059 09/03/20 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
The Zoom Q2n looks good.

I thought about a phone but I don't like the either tall or wide aspect ratio - either too tall or too wide.
Just know that the wide aspect ratio of the phone is pretty standard -- any camera you get will have that same width and proportion, whether it's filming in 4k, 1080p, or "vintage" 720p. The exception, of course, if you're deliberately going for that old-school 4:3 TV aspect ratio, a la Vulfpeck.

Filming the "tall" way is illegal. wink
Originally Posted by dboomer
Phones for the most part are a disaster sound-wise. The auto gain circuit screws up music.
Can't speak to Android, but iOS is capable when it comes to recording and reproducing audio, as long as the settings are right. Unless you're talking about using the onboard mic -- then yes, it's usually a disaster.


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061075 09/03/20 09:52 PM
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Consider checking out OBS, which is open-source video streaming and editing software. I believe it will allow you to set the video size to whatever you want, e.g., square for Instagram, 16:9 for YouTube, etc.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061105 09/04/20 03:02 AM
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One thing to consider Notes since you have a good phone already is set that up as a second camera across from the other one like maybe a close up on Lelani to give the vid a more professional look. You don't care about audio on the phone because you're getting it from the main camera. Look at how much fun you'll have editing two cameras into one vid...

Bob


Hammond SK1, Mojo 61, Kurzweil PC3, Korg Pa3x, Roland FA06, Band in a Box, Real Band, Studio One, too much stuff...
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061134 09/04/20 01:14 PM
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Thanks y'all.

If I go with phone for second camera, it looks like OBS might be a good tool.

I have a very old copy of Sony Vegas, from Windows 7 days. I've never even installed it on Win 10, I might give it a try and compare, but OBS being much newer is probably going to be better.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061542 09/07/20 01:06 PM
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Thanks y'all for the help. I decided to go with the Zoom Q2n-4K and see what happens.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061547 09/07/20 02:04 PM
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A second camera is important. If your video shows only the view from a single camera, it gets boring. So even if the second camera does not have as good a video quality as the first, switching views to this second camera and then back will make a huge difference.

Re "if possible I'd like to take a balanced output of my PA and feed that into the camera directly":
If you are going to use two cameras, then you are entering the world of video editing.
There are many programs you can buy for either a Mac or PC which do this, and they include a way to sync from multiple sources by syncing the audio for you.
You would then choose which audio source to use for putting on the video that you render.
And you can use the video editing software to choose where to switch the view from one camera to the other.

Make sure the lighting is good. If it is, it will be easy to crop the view, if needed, and still have the video image look good.

And get the background right. It is amazing how easy it is to have stuff in the background which seems fine during ordinary life, but which becomes a visual distraction when you share a video.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061555 09/07/20 03:50 PM
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You’ll need to get the lens shade to avoid artifacts. Also mic stand adaptor is brilliant.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061613 09/07/20 11:44 PM
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I have tripods to mount on, and I'm going to do some testing when it arrives.

When I notice things that need attention (and I'm sure I will) I'll address them.

There will be a learning curve.

I'm going to try one-camera, and yes, I know I'm not going to get a zillion followers that way, but my fans are asking, and that seems to be the logical first baby step.

I wonder if there is some video editing software that will allow me to zoom in to faces or crop sections of the video instead of running multiple cameras.

I also need to spend a lot of time working on Band-in-a-Box aftermarket style e-disks and fake e-disks, because without gigging, that is the only future money I have. It takes a long time and uncountable hours to write software and make it good enough to put my name on it. I have 20 country styles done and I'm working on a collection of 20 rock styles. I also have a couple of fake e-disks in various states from almost finished to just started.

And I'm still learning new tunes for my duo, I'm working on getting a backing track up for "Tennessee Whiskey" by Chris Stapleton. It reminds me of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind."

I also found my roof needs work. Last time it cost $3,000, and since we recently spent $18,000 on plumbing, I'm going to do it myself. The roofer is going to show me what I need to do. It's a poly-foam roof, and the woodpeckers have put a couple of holes in the foam. After that gets fixed I need to clean, prime and put an elastomeric coating on it.

The joys of living in an older home.

All in all, I'd rather be gigging. 10 years ago I contracted the work out to my roofer.

But thanks to COVID, gigging is still out.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061617 09/08/20 12:52 AM
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I have used Corel Videostudio under Windows 7, and now under Windows 10. My choice of computer type was made solely on that I'm a Windows user, not any technical merits. I chose Corel Videostudio back in 2016 because it was cheap. It works, but it is also quirky. There are probably better choices out there. Perhaps someone else who has used some of the other packages can offer some useful reviews or suggestions.

The idea to crop the view for certain time periods of the video is a good one.
You can make a cropped view of what your single camera captured, and treat it like a second virtual camera in your video editing software, and then indicate in your video editing software when to switch between the wide and zoomed views.

I am posting a link to one of my first videos, not because it's great, but because I think it illustrates the struggle to figure things out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-k4JN-KkZU
The letterboxing was either an accident, or caused because some footage came from a really old and crappy camcorder (which had 4:3 aspect ratio) far from the stage.
We only had one decent camera, an iPhone 5s. You can see I alternate between full wide view and a zoomed view from it.
There is all kinds of clutter on stage messing up the view.
The mini-stand for a lyric sheet for our lead vocalist (the woman) was moved down after this gig.
The good camera was too close, and its angle doomed us to have several band members be partially blocked by mic stands.

We got incredibly lucky on the lighting - the venue was very well lit.
Because of this and because the one good camera was so close, we did not have lighting issues when using zoomed in footage.
This also meant we were lucky that the front of each band member was just as well lit as our backdrop.
We were also lucky that the backdrop was dark.

My number one suggestion for making sure the video quality still looks good for a zoomed in view is to fix all lighting issues.
Get good lighting on the front of everyone, make sure there are no lights (or windows) in the backdrop, and ensure that the backdrop is dark.

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061626 09/08/20 02:30 AM
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Here’s a little demo video I did using the Q2n for both audio and video. Probably a little overuse of the “Ken Burns effect” to compensate for the single camera shoot.

https://youtu.be/uDytNwScJTA

Re: Recommendation please: A good camera for live performance.
Notes_Norton #3061652 09/08/20 02:02 PM
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Thanks harmonizer & dboomer.

Instructive videos.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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