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I guess I am not going to be hip anymore as it seems every hip YouTube creator is using a DSLR.  But screw being hip, I want to have fun making videos!

After spending two years using both a Canon 80D dslr and Panasonic camcorder, I have decided to use only a Camcorder for future exploring videos. I think this was @braindead0's original suggestion a while back when we were talking cameras, but I was set on using a DSLR.

After using both the DSLR and the Camcorder, the camcorder is just so much easier for so many reasons. Of course it's not good in low light, but I use high powered lights when exploring. 

Here are a few of the reasons I have decided to start using a camcorder full time:

First, it's so much more convenient. The camcorder is compact and ready to use at any time.

I was looking at the Sony RX100 and comparable canon G7 cameras, but they all lack external audio, so I am going with something I can plug in great audio. In addition, the Canon preamps are pure garbage, but not surprising when you consider the DSLR is made for photos, not videos. I think audio is one of the most important aspects of video creation. Nobody will watch to a video with awful audio.

So what makes the camcorder so convenient?

First, you cannot compete with the built in image stabilization of a camcorder. No messing around with gimbals, stabilizers, etc. Just turn it on and hit the record button. I can't tell you how many shots I have missed fiddling around with the DSLR and gimbal. 

Second, it's super compact and all you gotta do it turn it on to start recording. 

There are some things I do like about the DSLR, and the main thing is the wide angle lens. It makes getting an establishing shot much easier, and you can see more of the area when exploring.

I will also miss the low light performance of the larger image sensor, but like I said, I always pack a ton of light for those low light situations. Changeable lens's is something I thought I would need, but to be honest, I never change my lens on my Canon. 

I have been using both a DSLR and Camcorder in my videos, and nobody seems to even notice ... so I am spending so much time getting my DSLR set up and missing shots when I could have just been using a camcorder the entire time. 

I hope some day they will produce an affordable full frame video camcorder for those low light situations, but until then, I am going to be sticking to my new Panasonic. 

Anyone else out there still use a camcorder? 

 

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The image stabilization is for us a huge factor, DSLR's take some great video when on a tripod..  I don't typically shoot video when exploring, due to space constraints on the bike I've got a point and shoot that's dust and water proof... easy to carry in jacket pocket.

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To be honest I have noticed some of your newer vids seem to pan faster and not be as smooth as some of your previous vids. I'm guessing these are the camcorder shots as opposed to the DSLR on a steady cam? Probably more to do with the fact that the bulk of the DSLR setup forces slower movement and the smaller cams are easier to get excited about where your at and just whip it around sometimes. Some of the coolest places I've been too I think I've just been more excited about what I was seeing and didn't even take the time to pop my phone into the action/selfie stick to grab a little bit more control that offers. I find the extra little bulk and length of an action stick helps control panning, stabilize your movements a little bit. The stick allows you to extend it and raise the cam up to places you can't get to, stick under things, get different angles, and often I'll use it to place the camera in VERY dangerous situations I would not be able to otherwise like right next to a rattlesnake or over an unstable mine shaft. 

Personal I would never attempt to bring a DSLR to more then half the places I end up taking vids at and if I had tried it may of even been something that dissuaded me from going as I couldn't bring a setup like that or be afraid of dropping it. So I think the switch to a more simple and portable setup is probably the right move for explores.

That said my current setup is pretty sad. I'm using my S6 phone which has a lot going against it. No EIS. No SD card slot. And most annoying of all the USB jack has stopped working so I have to charge and transfer everything wirelessly. The net result is I never have enough memory or battery to take all the footage I'd like and end up rushing a lot of stuff. Did that the other day. I have my Gopro Hero3+ as a backup but it's really not good for explores. The new gopros are good enough and have features that would be useful in explore vids but with the old one every time I switch all I'm doing is getting worse color and light collection in too wide of an angle. I've been wanting to upgrade my phone but also recently considering if maybe a camcorder would be better.  

Sound I'm still trying to figure out... so far I have found out how to get decent sound some of the time. But get crackling sometimes that sounds like maybe a poor connection but notice it in wind??? 

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I haven't used the new camcorder in a video yet, still sitting on my desk. All the videos have still been the Canon 80D and my old camcorder that I rarely used until just recently. What you've noticed in terms of panning is probably the new camera person who is still learning how to shoot video, but I'll remind them to slow down when panning. 

I scoffed at the idea of using a camcorder, and @braindead0 tried to steer me in the right direction, but everyone else was using a DSLR or mirror less camera. For my own type of videos, @braindead0 was 100% right, it's far more practical. I guess I had to learn the hard way. 

I have missed so many shots with the 80D, having to set it up on some type of stabilization before every use takes far too much time. 

This new camcorder is very small and light, you can easily carry it anywhere. Since it's designed for video, it has great video features and even better image stabilization. I can't wait to actually use it. 

The 80D will be used in my home studio, which we plan on making a lot more videos in our home studio. I just got some bass traps and acoustical foam for the walls I gotta install, and tomorrow the studio lighting arrives. Going to be a lot of fun, so much new content to make. 

Audio is far more important than video though. People will watch a video with great quality audio, but poor quality video, but nobody will watch if your audio is poor, no matter how great the video is. A shotgun mic is perfect for exploring, something like the Rode shotgun mic with dead cat is great if you're close to the microphone. It's also light weight and sits right on your camera. Lately I have been using a wireless lapel microphone system, but I am still figuring out how to get it to sound like I want. But for more than one person, you need something better than a shotgun microphone. 

On 12/16/2018 at 7:35 PM, braindead0 said:

The image stabilization is for us a huge factor, DSLR's take some great video when on a tripod..  I don't typically shoot video when exploring, due to space constraints on the bike I've got a point and shoot that's dust and water proof... easy to carry in jacket pocket.

The Sony action Camera would be the perfect camera for you. Very pocket-able, or you can just wear it on your helmet. 

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9 hours ago, Bob said:

The Sony action Camera would be the perfect camera for you. Very pocket-able, or you can just wear it on your helmet

Not so much.  Anything worth seeing, I'm getting off the bike.  I've got a couple of action cameras, never really found much use for them.   The places I explore don't move, so I don't see the need for video 😉

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15 hours ago, Bob said:

I haven't used the new camcorder in a video yet, still sitting on my desk. All the videos have still been the Canon 80D and my old camcorder that I rarely used until just recently. What you've noticed in terms of panning is probably the new camera person who is still learning how to shoot video, but I'll remind them to slow down when panning. 

I scoffed at the idea of using a camcorder, and @braindead0 tried to steer me in the right direction, but everyone else was using a DSLR or mirror less camera. For my own type of videos, @braindead0 was 100% right, it's far more practical. I guess I had to learn the hard way. 

I have missed so many shots with the 80D, having to set it up on some type of stabilization before every use takes far too much time. 

This new camcorder is very small and light, you can easily carry it anywhere. Since it's designed for video, it has great video features and even better image stabilization. I can't wait to actually use it. 

The 80D will be used in my home studio, which we plan on making a lot more videos in our home studio. I just got some bass traps and acoustical foam for the walls I gotta install, and tomorrow the studio lighting arrives. Going to be a lot of fun, so much new content to make. 

Audio is far more important than video though. People will watch a video with great quality audio, but poor quality video, but nobody will watch if your audio is poor, no matter how great the video is. A shotgun mic is perfect for exploring, something like the Rode shotgun mic with dead cat is great if you're close to the microphone. It's also light weight and sits right on your camera. Lately I have been using a wireless lapel microphone system, but I am still figuring out how to get it to sound like I want. But for more than one person, you need something better than a shotgun microphone. 

The Sony action Camera would be the perfect camera for you. Very pocket-able, or you can just wear it on your helmet. 

I am still trying to figure audio out somewhat. With my gopro I first used it with that stupid case which I learned unless it was in the water you should never use it as it muffles audio and amplifies any contact sound from holding it or brushing up against things. So then I used the cam in a skeleton case which improved audio a ton but wasn't great and still picked up a lot of wind noise. I then added a Movo GM100  with a foam wind cover this improved the sound a little more, decreased wind noise more.  But for some reason I will get crackling sounds on occasion. It occurs most often during heavy wind gusts but also have gotten it hard mounted inside the truck going fast down a dirt road.  I'm not sure if it is something from wind or a connection issue and if it is a connection issue where the problem may be. Camera, adapter, or mic?  

The panning and camera work absolutely takes a lot of practice. It takes time just using the gear, reviewing what it looks like, etc to find out the different little nuances of how everything works. Finding out what setups work and which don't. 

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