Best camera for a live speaking event/conference

jamiep0tter

Commendable
Jun 14, 2016
2
0
1,510
0
Hey guys,

My boss is hosting a live speaking event/conference that's going to be running from 9-5. The speaking parts are the only bits that need to be filmed, and the longest anyone will be on stage for is 1 hour 45 mins. Basically, he wants the event to be filmed but he wants a big 'professional' looking camera. I'm incredibly new to more professional type cameras and have only ever used DSLRs. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations of the type of camera that I should be using, or possibly a camera that you could recommend I look into? I've done a bit of research and think something with a dual SD card slot is going to be the best, purely for the fact i'm going to need space for a lot of continuous recording.

Any help or any recommendations will be hugely appreciated!

Thanks :)
 

bjornl

Estimable
Mar 16, 2016
399
0
3,060
156
A high-end cam-corder or a Panasonic GH series camera is what you need. The only digital cameras capable of recording more than 30 minutes (it is based on minutes not file size) are the GH1 GH2 GH3 and GH4 from Panasonic. You do not need dual SD cards you just need a couple of large high quality ones. I prefer Sandisk, they are a little more expensive than generics but I really hate losing data because a SD card craps out.

I record events (and other things). The longest I have recorded an event for was just under 6 hours. This fit easily on a 64gb SD card with room to spare. Here is Sandisks numbers for their SD cards:
http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8407/~/number-of-hours-of-hi-def-video-that-can-be-stored-on-a-sandisk-memory-device


I tried a couple of high end cam-corders (do not recall the models, but you can go to B&H and look at the $1000-3000 models and the ones I tried where in that group). I also rented a GH4 (because it was the newest GH camera). After using it for a bit, I decided I did not want or care about 4k video. It takes so much longer to process, and so much more disk space. If you do any sort of processing at all you will quickly end up with 3-4 times the original file size in intermediary files and 4k files are 4x larger than 1080p. And, because they really suck the live out of most PCs typical processing time is well over the 4x factor the file size would indicate. So next I tried a gh3 and bought it. It has a pretty decent bit rate available (compares reasonably well to even high end Pro solutions). You can add all sorts of options to it. B&H have a pretty nice write up.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/hands-review/shooting-video-panasonic-gh3
For audio I tried a Røde mic but the results were "not good". Way to much ambient noise such as noises from the audience also the fidelity just was good either (slightly tinny sound). Since these events were run though a sound board I next used a cheap FM transmitter I plugged in to the sound board and used a FM radio with a line out which I plugged in to the mic-input This was good for a while but then we started getting occasional noise pollution in the quieter moments. Someting in the environment changed, I think it was actually the HVAC unit. So then I went to a very long XLR audio cable which I ran to where the camera is mounted. I used an XLR to headphone jack(3.5mm) converter at the end to plug it in to the camera. The XLR cable is well shielded and the resulting sound is flawless. To mount the camera I use a heavy but small piece of plywood with a hole drilled through it and a heavy duty tripod ball-head mounted to the top. I can more easily re-position this than our tripod (which was typically in the way and being jostled).
If you want a little better XLR adapter, the Beachtek DXA‑2T is supposed to be pretty good and not too expensive. But the basic converter I got from amazon seems to work just as well. Or you can get a separate audio recorder and merge them later.
In-doors is darker than you think, so using a prime will result in much better images than a zoom lens; however when we need higher ISO videos the results from the GH4 and GH3 were both quite good. Better than you would expect given the still image noise.

If you anticipate going high end, the gh4 might be a easier route. It has the DMW-YAGH unit which looked like a DSLR battery grip which allows for direct XLR audio without another adapter.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1028546-REG/panasonic_dmc_gh4_yagh_lumix_yagh_interface_unit.html

However, for most uses the gh3 will be just as good and far cheaper to buy.
 

kanewolf

Splendid
Moderator
A DSLR can be a good choice for videography. The lenses are high quality. The sensor is large and with the size of SD cards now, you should be able to put many hours on a card -- I would recommend separate cards for each presentation.

The quality of the tripod and audio are probably as important as the camera body. Rent a quality video tripod, a quality lens -- f2 protrait maybe, or a f2.8 medium zoom. and get a good audio feed in.
 

jamiep0tter

Commendable
Jun 14, 2016
2
0
1,510
0


The only problem I have with the DSLRs we have, they can only record up to 4GB of footage at a time, then it stops recording! So ideally we need something that can continuously record until the card is full!
 

bjornl

Estimable
Mar 16, 2016
399
0
3,060
156
A high-end cam-corder or a Panasonic GH series camera is what you need. The only digital cameras capable of recording more than 30 minutes (it is based on minutes not file size) are the GH1 GH2 GH3 and GH4 from Panasonic. You do not need dual SD cards you just need a couple of large high quality ones. I prefer Sandisk, they are a little more expensive than generics but I really hate losing data because a SD card craps out.

I record events (and other things). The longest I have recorded an event for was just under 6 hours. This fit easily on a 64gb SD card with room to spare. Here is Sandisks numbers for their SD cards:
http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/8407/~/number-of-hours-of-hi-def-video-that-can-be-stored-on-a-sandisk-memory-device


I tried a couple of high end cam-corders (do not recall the models, but you can go to B&H and look at the $1000-3000 models and the ones I tried where in that group). I also rented a GH4 (because it was the newest GH camera). After using it for a bit, I decided I did not want or care about 4k video. It takes so much longer to process, and so much more disk space. If you do any sort of processing at all you will quickly end up with 3-4 times the original file size in intermediary files and 4k files are 4x larger than 1080p. And, because they really suck the live out of most PCs typical processing time is well over the 4x factor the file size would indicate. So next I tried a gh3 and bought it. It has a pretty decent bit rate available (compares reasonably well to even high end Pro solutions). You can add all sorts of options to it. B&H have a pretty nice write up.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/hands-review/shooting-video-panasonic-gh3
For audio I tried a Røde mic but the results were "not good". Way to much ambient noise such as noises from the audience also the fidelity just was good either (slightly tinny sound). Since these events were run though a sound board I next used a cheap FM transmitter I plugged in to the sound board and used a FM radio with a line out which I plugged in to the mic-input This was good for a while but then we started getting occasional noise pollution in the quieter moments. Someting in the environment changed, I think it was actually the HVAC unit. So then I went to a very long XLR audio cable which I ran to where the camera is mounted. I used an XLR to headphone jack(3.5mm) converter at the end to plug it in to the camera. The XLR cable is well shielded and the resulting sound is flawless. To mount the camera I use a heavy but small piece of plywood with a hole drilled through it and a heavy duty tripod ball-head mounted to the top. I can more easily re-position this than our tripod (which was typically in the way and being jostled).
If you want a little better XLR adapter, the Beachtek DXA‑2T is supposed to be pretty good and not too expensive. But the basic converter I got from amazon seems to work just as well. Or you can get a separate audio recorder and merge them later.
In-doors is darker than you think, so using a prime will result in much better images than a zoom lens; however when we need higher ISO videos the results from the GH4 and GH3 were both quite good. Better than you would expect given the still image noise.

If you anticipate going high end, the gh4 might be a easier route. It has the DMW-YAGH unit which looked like a DSLR battery grip which allows for direct XLR audio without another adapter.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1028546-REG/panasonic_dmc_gh4_yagh_lumix_yagh_interface_unit.html

However, for most uses the gh3 will be just as good and far cheaper to buy.
 
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