Pocket camcorders and Vegas?

richard-amirault wrote on 9/27/2010, 11:19 AM
I'm sick of the lousy video I'm getting from my point-and-shoot digital still camera. I would not mind the resolution, but the damn thing streaks like crazy with many scenes. This is what I'm talking about:

I'm sort of leaning towards the Kodak PlaySport (Zx3), but I have no idea of the compatability of the video files from the camera with Vegas.

Which pocket units should I stay away from, and which have folks have had good luck with?


musicvid10 wrote on 9/27/2010, 11:25 AM
Here is my most complete information on pocket camcorders updated through last winter.

Zx3 (Playsport) files are the same as Zi8. The audio sync problem is fixed in VMS 10, so we can expect it will be fixed in VP 10.

nedski wrote on 9/27/2010, 2:13 PM

For this video I used a Sony SR7 for the center view, a Kodak Zi8 for the left view and a Zx3 for the right view. I used the MTS file straight from the Sony and the MOV's files straight from the Kodaks. I don't do any conversion to intermediate formats such as Sony MXF or Cineform.

I hang the Kodaks from the ceiling so the image is upside-down. I simply use the pan-crop tool to make the right side up on the timeline.

As you can see I don't bother with any post color correction. I manually white balance the Sony with the projection screen. The Kodaks have only have auto white balance.

I find the Kodaks acceptable when used with adequate lighting and they are NOT hand-held! ;-)


PS. I've been trying to duplicate my editing methodology with FCP 6. It takes a lot more time and steps. The Vegas workflow is much quicker for me.YMMV

PPS. I looked at a portion of your video, those red vertical artifacts are nasty!

PPPS. I use Vegas 9.0e 64 on Vista 64 SP2.
john_dennis wrote on 9/27/2010, 4:46 PM
You should be ready to dump a camera that streaks like that. Some point and shoot cameras were (hopefully are) a little better, however. Here is a segment I shot with a Canon G9. The video is running faster than real time to get the action done in ten minutes.

I wish I could tell you the current model, the G11, was much better and recorded in HD, but no one was more surprised than I was to learn that Canon lowered the resolution to 640x480 from the 1024x768 on the G9. The G9 video is easily edited in Vegas.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/27/2010, 5:00 PM
Laurence has that Canon SX1 IS and I think he takes it to bed with him.
You might ask him about it.
kkolbo wrote on 9/27/2010, 5:37 PM

For bouncing around home stuff, I have a pair of Kodak Zi8's (Target $149 each) and Sony Bloggie (New Egg $179), and a couple of GoPro HD Heros.

I like the Zi8 because I can add a hand held mic to it for interviews. I keep it handy in case I pass a news story. Yes they will broadcast its output after I finish it in Vegas.

The Bloggie is what I carry on vacation. I like the fact that it has an optical x5 zoom.

As long as you have the current version of Vegas and a non-dinosaur computer, I have not had any trouble with the output files.
Laurence wrote on 9/27/2010, 6:59 PM
Laurence has that Canon SX1 IS and I think he takes it to bed with him.

Yep! I still love the SX1 IS. I also have the Playsport (and a Zi8). Love them as well.

The Playsport is just too much fun. You can pop it in your swim trunks pocket and go to the beach or a water park and get pretty great looking stills and video. Not pro quality, but definitely great for home video for family and friends.

The SX1 IS can be used outdoors in a pro production though. I absolutely LOVE that camera. Indoors the the footage suffers pretty markedly because of the small sensor size, but outdoors with plenty of light: look out! Keep in mind that I bought it refurbished for $399 and I have no trouble mixing footage with it from my $6000 plus HVR-Z7U! It does raw mode stills to with aperature priority. Just a wonderful camera.
musicvid10 wrote on 9/27/2010, 7:35 PM
I like the Zi8 because I can add a hand held mic to it for interviews.

Since audio is such a big part of my life I'm going to wait until the price comes down to $99 and buy the Zi8. Playsport looks fantastic for the rest of my lifestyle but for those serious moments like small recitals having top-notch audio on camera is a deciding factor for me. My H4 + Pluraleyes is an alternative, but means an extra step when I am trying to turn out several DVDs between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon.
Laurence wrote on 9/27/2010, 7:52 PM
The audio on the Zi8 is surprisingly good. It is stereo, has Sony type DC bias power, and you can set the level manually with a pretty decent VU meter. There are some fantastic powered mics that can be used with this camera at microphonemadness.com.

Specifically these ones:

kkolbo wrote on 9/27/2010, 8:12 PM

serious moments like small recitals having top-notch audio on camera is a deciding factor for me.

I don't know if I would use it for a music recital. I use it with a cheap hand held for news soundbites. I have not tried interfacing it with anything really good.

musicvid10 wrote on 9/27/2010, 8:57 PM
Laurence, I'm already a customer of microphonemadness. Pretty pleased, except my only complaint is their elements just don't handle high transient SPLs like countryman or mke series. Very warm and natural though, and the price is right considering the talent broke five connectors and one element during our last regional premiere (don't ask how).

For serious recitals I prefer an SM81 (eq tamed in post) or even a PCC or SM57, sometimes with the H4 in back to pick up the room and audience. I've also used the H4 as the primary mic on a Yamaha Grand, with very good results.

Keith, these student recitals have been pretty low-tech video. Shot on mini-DV in the past, so even a Zi8 will be an improvement going to DVD. When we do bigger shows, we always rent (last one was a pair of EX1s -- sweet!).
Aje wrote on 9/28/2010, 1:07 AM
I´m interested of the Zi8 as a D cam and wonder how Vegas 9e
would handle 720 60p on a 720 50p timeline (ABC cams are 720 50p).
Aje in PAL-land