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What Camera/Camcorder do you use? - Model Railway Videos - Other Areas. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2015 06:12 pm
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wahiba
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 There is topic asking this question on the photo forum so I thought I would ask here along with my observations.

My first model rail videos were all taken with an analogue hi-8 camera. a decent Canon and reasonable images for the time. I had it from pre-PC editing days into the early days of computer editing. An All in Wonder Pro Card as far as I remember, TV included. As well as direct videos of model railways I also used it for transferring 8mm film using an A4 white card as the screen and the camera along beside the projector. Not the greatest quality, but better than nothing.

Early digital cameras all took movies as well as stills. Pretty coarse. 160 x 120 and 320 x 240 come to mind. Even so a video I took on an early Fuji 320 x 240 of Manchester Trams has been well watched.

Follow on cameras all took 640 x 480. Not bad, more on a par with the analogue camcorder. So I then went digital with a DV camcorder that is 720 x 576 and 16:9 like current TVs. A Canon again but about half the price I paid for the analogue.

This is a proper camcorder as it has an eye piece view finder.

I really felt ought to o HD and bought a small Kodak from Morgan. Size of a small phone and takes 720p HD. Very handy and image is not bad but lack of a zoom makes it less useful close up. In reality the image is not really much better than the Canon DV tape machine.

I looked around at all the camcorders for HD and none had an eyepiece viewfinder, well none I could afford. However I wanted to try the HD 1080 route so bought a budget Toshiba. while it was pretty cheap it actually as an input for a separate microphone, along with the eyepiece something else missing on more expensive machines. Not a bad camera but it is used less than the old Canon DV.C

Recently taking an interest in the Camcorder scene again I found some interesting changes. Now most cameras also take 1080HD and some SLRs take 4K HD which is what they use to project in cinemas these days. Latest Panasonic camera at a reasonable price takes pictures, HD and as well as a screen has an eye piece viewer. As cameras now double up as camcorder budget end camcorders seem to be falling off, although 4K HD camcorders are falling in price.

Trouble with 4K is the need to have a computer capable of editing at that resolution. My PC are OK with 720p but struggle with 1080. Another reason to stick with my trusty Canon DV for time being, even if transfer has to be in real time from tape in the camera.

It would be interesting to learn how others get on. There seems to be a multitude of methods at most model shows, from phones to super camcorders.



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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2015 06:39 pm
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wahiba
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Links to three examples.

Manchester Trams Fuji A320 small digital 320x240

https://youtu.be/ZGoCCLveC8w


Timpdon sheds at model rail show taken with Canon Hi-8

https://youtu.be/bq1jf9mQcM4



Abbey Light Railway 8mm transfer using Canon analogue

https://youtu.be/9sa3M4csXqw



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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2015 10:03 pm
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Dorsetmike
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I only started video last year, initially with a Panasonic TZ35 which does a reasonable job, although I found the controls were not well suited to my hands, I spent a few evenings reading reviews and specifications and decided on a JVC. I also found that my PC was not up to editing video, a 7 year old Gateway with dual core pentium running XP, so I decided to upgrade, the loss of XP support was an additional reason, I now have a Quad core AMD with 8G RAM and 2T drive, running Win 7 pro 64 bit. I can now edit and upload more than one vid an evening.



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 Posted: Thu May 7th, 2015 10:26 pm
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Silver foxx
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over the yrs I have had various ones,-an Iloca 6a 35mm german job,samsung af zoom 1050 again 35mm bril camera, a sony handicam digital, a kodak easyshare c 613 digital,and an olympus fe 5000, still have them all but mostly use the olympus and handycam these days
:thumbs;-):cool:



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2015 03:02 am
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gormo
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My first video camera was a Panasonic which used the small VHS tapes and was purchased in 1991. The quality was good for the time but looks pretty ordinary now.

My second video camera was a Samsung which used digital tapes and that appeared in 2005. It was cheap and cheerful. The images were an improvement over the first, yet still not what I would call great.

Both of the above cameras are dead now for one reason or another, basically mechanical I fear and they have gone the way of all things redundant.

When I first started filming model railways, I was using my still camera. It`s a compact Canon Powershot A1000 IS. Great camera for stills, but video is very much a second thought. The video is quite severely affected by fluorescent light , so my videos had a flickering effect.

Here`s a sample....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjlxSLsJlCQ

Editing was done on an old dinosaur of a computer running XP until I realized it was easier to upload to YouTube and edit the files on there.

After becoming dissatisfied with the quality of my videos, I purchased a Sony Handycam HDR-PJ240E. This one will do full HD @ 16:9 and stills as well. There is no eye piece, just a little rotating screen. It also has a built in projector which is great if you`re away from home.

To match the camera, I`ve upgraded to an Acer Aspire laptop. AMD Quad Core processor.750Gig HD 4Gb RAM etc. Video editing is done with either Windows Movie Maker or the YouTube editor. Even though I have full HD, my train videos are uploaded in MP4 format because the HD file sizes are enormous by comparison.

Here`s a sample....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RygONBpVUQ.

The camera I have now has extremely good quality and yet it was purchased for about a quarter of the price of the original camera......How things have changed.

:cheers  Gormo



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 Posted: Fri May 8th, 2015 04:07 pm
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Petermac
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My first video camera was an Olympus VHS camera with a separate portable VHS recorder/player.  A shoulder mounted (semi-pro) camera, it was fantastic but did need a lot of light.  One advantage was you had a separate recorder that doubled as a VHS player.

I then bought a similar "separates" Sony Betacam system - mainly because I wanted the tape player for another use - I always reckoned Betacam was a better system than VHS but, like the Phillips 2000 system, it died because they refused to enter the rental market.

I still have both those systems and they both still work although Betacam tapes are no longer available "over the counter".

Then, years later, I bought a Sony Handycam that takes a DVD disc.  Regarding picture quality, it's no better than the earlier ones although it requires only about 10% of the light !!!  It will also fill a disc in around 30 minutes as against 3 or 4 hours for the tape cassettes.  That I still use occasionally.

The video function on either of 2 my digital cameras is also used and is quite good.  I also have a GoPro Sport camera (ideal for filming the TV from my armchair :roll:) and it produces great pictures but is slow to react to changes in light levels and, as there's no viewfinder, you have no idea what you're actually taking .................

They are all still in my posession, in fact, I don't actually think I've ever sold a camera although I have bought more than my fair share of them in the past - mainly either medium format (645 and 67) or 35mm SLR's.  Nowadays, I tend to just take "happy snaps" rather than serious photographs because I'm a film Luddite at heart - and black and white film at that. :oops::thumbs



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