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Topic # 191020 20-Jan-2016 12:02
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We have a situation at work where we record student presentations.

 

These can run anything up to 2 hours per presentation.

 

From time to time the video presentations need to be sent to someone else for review - we usually have to copy these to USB sticks and courier them.

 

At the moment we use several Canon Legria video cameras. They are easy enough to use, but as they are all full HD cameras (it seems no one sells low quality video cameras anymore), the video files are very large (say 5GB for a couple of hours).

 

There are less and less video cams on the market (I guess mobile phones are eating that part of the market) and the image quality keeps increasing resulting in even larger files.

 

Ideally I would like some sort of video camera that can be:

 

  • Used for indoor recording
  • Placed on a tripod
  • Not generate such vast files (HEVC would be great if any cameras can actually record in that format)
  • SD quality would be fine (<720p)
  • Easy to use (filming and copying files from camera)

Does anyone have any ideas?





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  Reply # 1475307 20-Jan-2016 12:32
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Thoughts:

 

  • Can't you reduce the quality to 720p or less on those cameras?
  • Handbrake can reduce resolution and convert to whatever encoding you want, but that takes time and effort. Not much effort, but potentially a lot of time.




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  Reply # 1475309 20-Jan-2016 12:37
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Nope - Long Play mode still creates really big files (for up to 2 hours recording admittedly).

 

There dont seem to be any SD cameras on the market anymore - everything is at least HD these days.

 

The videos are being used by instructors - Its not practical to get them to transcode the files unfortunately.

 

 

 

I realise I am asking for something that is going somewhat against technology trends - but figured maybe there was a simple solution .... maybe....





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  Reply # 1475311 20-Jan-2016 12:39
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A quick google suggests some models have many resolutions. What model do you use?





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  Reply # 1475317 20-Jan-2016 12:52
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If you are looking at older cameras for recording that long watch for the thing that europe ruined with regards to recording length at half an hour on many of them.





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  Reply # 1475320 20-Jan-2016 12:56
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Have several models (HFR36 sitting in front of me right now) - the lowest seem to go down to about 4Mbps in LP mode. Pretty much the same for all of the models we have. With the camera set to that - cant change it from FullHD its around 2GB per 45 minutes of recording

 

 

 

What current models have you found that will let you configure them? 





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  Reply # 1475440 20-Jan-2016 14:43
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Just did a random google, closed the tabs now. Had a look at the manual for that model, not very configurable. So I guess you find devices that compress well, or you compress after recording.





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  Reply # 1475441 20-Jan-2016 14:44
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What about a gopro or sjcam type camera. They have 480p options on them. that at 30fps should be pretty small.




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  Reply # 1475504 20-Jan-2016 15:56
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richms: What about a gopro or sjcam type camera. They have 480p options on them. that at 30fps should be pretty small.

They hide them well, but I did find a gopro that does 480p - will have a rummage on their side and so am as well. Thanks.




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  Reply # 1475521 20-Jan-2016 16:19
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No zoom on gopro.

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  Reply # 1475523 20-Jan-2016 16:20
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Actual gopro means you are paying for a brand and all the social stuff they bring along with a camera.

 

Is external mic important to you? They all seem to use the USB socket for that so you cant charge and have the mic at the same time.





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  Reply # 1475553 20-Jan-2016 16:47
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A 'reasonable' inbuilt mic would be ok - has to pick up spoken dialog.

 

The current camera gets set up and pointed at the 'scene' and you press start - no editing or movement required.

 

Not sure what the field of view would be like with a gopro - might have to find a bricks and mortar shop and have a look.

 

 

 

The SJcam has digital zoom (which might be ok - and is a whole heap cheaper - I found one on trademe for $180 - almost worth just buying to have a play.

 

 

 

Really appreciate your ideas.





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  Reply # 1477604 24-Jan-2016 00:45
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Sounds like you just need to find a cheap camcorder that lets you downgrade the setting. I just had a look at my DSLR and it lets me shoot 25 fps at "SD" 640 x 480, LOL. Never knew it but there you go.

 

As mics go on camera they're always crap, particularly in an environment where someone's speaking a distance aways. Only way to get decent audio is a separate mic close to the speaker. And decent audio would be the more important factor in any 'presentation' I'd warrant.


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  Reply # 1477611 24-Jan-2016 01:17
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How about a Raspberry Pi with the Pi Camera, an external USB mic and a button + small LCD display to record / stop? Can then control the resolution and even send it over the network somewhere. Is a cheapish solution and there are plenty of camera packages available for the Pi to make it happen.

Mount it all on a tripod with even a USB Battery and you're done.






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  Reply # 1477630 24-Jan-2016 08:02
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That's actually a possibility. Have been looking at the details I can find on the gopro and sjcam. While they have some lower resolution settings they seem to do crazy things like go to 60 or 120fps when at that rate -so would chew up data like crazy. Actually decided something like my old note 2 would be perfect as it let's me go down to 640 x 480. But it seems those low settings are dropping off phones now. Maybe DIY is worth a look. I am actually quite amazed at the missing low resolution part of the market...




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  Reply # 1477631 24-Jan-2016 08:24
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Action cams have field of view options, so you can get a normal one without the fish eye distortion.

If it's a product demo etc then you should have decent sound. Sound is quite important for a good useable result, and on camera sound is typically crap to just ok.

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