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Best camera for concert video?


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Initial post: Sep 18, 2011 7:56:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2011 7:58:25 PM PDT
M. Roulette says:
I currently have a Canon PowerShot SD600. The video quality is acceptable but the audio is always distorted by the bass if I am near the stage. Which digital camera would you recommend I purchase as a replacement for concert video? Something under $350-400 if possible and small in size. Thank you.

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 10:14:52 AM PDT
Off hand... If one's emphasis is for video... One should buy a VIDEO camera. Though in the price range you speak of, one may still pick up motor or handling sounds (My former Optura 20 had the menu select button right next to the left-side microphone, so doing manual exposure overrides or record level settings tending to result in small tick sounds; the Optura 40 moved that button to the back next to the battery pack).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2011 9:13:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2011 9:14:04 PM PDT
® says:
Sound quality isn't digital camera strong suite. Most P&S and DSLR have tiny microphone, but a least on most DSLR there is a mic jack. To record for better sound, a camcorder might be a little better and definitely better image stabilizer for video. My old powershot is like that model and the sound does hiss and crack a lot, but it is video just for fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2011 9:37:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2011 9:45:16 PM PDT
Neo Lee says:
Microphone and amp in cameras are pretty much equally bad.

If you want quality audio, Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder is something you should consider. This thing has quality stereo condenser mics, built-in digital amp and XLR jacks for those studio mics. I own a $900 camcorder and I still use H4n when I want quality audio.

Sample concert videos recorded with H4n on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=h4n+concert&aq=f

My personal fav of recordings with H4n:
http://www.lagerfeuer-musik.de/home.html

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 7:47:12 AM PDT
T. Campbell says:
Jumping on the band-wagon (pardon the pun)... if you want to buy a camera whose primary purpose will be to record video and audio then you'll have much better results with a video camera than you will using a still camera that can sideline as a video camera. I'd also look for a video camera that has an external microphone jack so you're not at the mercy of the manufacturer's built-in mic.

1080HD video uses 1920 x 1080 resolution (less than 2 megapixels) vs. a typical still camera which, anymore, probably has a resolution of 10 megapixels or better. So the still camera is recording 5 times more data than you need, but it's also not intended for long-duration video clips. The sensor will heat up (they are usually not "cooled") and this can create some problems with image "noise" (the amount of "noise" in the video image is proportional to the temperature of the sensor), stuck pixels, etc. Also many newer cameras have a temp sensor and will simply shut down if they detect the sensor is getting too hot. The built-in mics are always awful. The higher end cameras will sometimes have an external mic-in jack so that you can use a higher quality mic, but those cameras are going to be above your $400 price limit.

Video cameras, on the other hand, are optimized for the task and don't have these problems.

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 5:24:36 PM PDT
Auramac says:
At this point, I'd consider the Zoom Q3HD- decent, not great video, but excellent audio.

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 10:58:46 PM PDT
Stacey says:
I love Sony cameras... I've had several of their point and shoots throughout the years and I think they're the best! But after attending tons of concerts, I learned that the ones with stereo mics (HX5V, NEX5) can't handle the bass and noise level of most shows and the audio ends up being too distorted to enjoy at all (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI6NwwryHIU -- go to 1:08).

So I've found that the cameras with mono mics (W290, WX1) are the best for concerts. The sound, video, and photo quality are perfect for what I want to capture at concerts from a point and shoot. Links below..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTR4J7vsL_g -- go to 3:50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGlg5X3HtnQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTbwXZFkIbg

The W290 was my favorite for concerts, but I don't have it anymore and need a replacement. So now I'm going to go with the Sony H70. It's under $200, great features for the price point, and I'm curious to see how the Active Mode works with stabilizing camera shake during videos. I don't think it will disappoint..

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 4:16:49 AM PDT
Sean says:
before I recently bought myself a Video camcorder, I was using my Sony Cybershot W350 as my primary work-horse, day to day HD filming camera (for budget reasons and it could fit in my back pocket when I'm out skateboarding with friends) the footage was shaky without a tripod, but the mic quality actually, in my opinion rivals that of my $600 sony camcorder. A year ago I paid like $350 for my little sony workhorse, so they are within your price range. I'm not saying get the W350...but you may want to look into Sony P&S cameras...they are comparable to your canon but the Audio quality (and file format for that matter) I think are a better.

Posted on Dec 9, 2011 12:11:44 PM PST
Guys, The best experience I have had with video at concerts with a camera is with the Kodak Easy Share. The sound is not distorted. It has very good zoom capabilities as well. Its not pro quality but good enough to post your video's on you tube to share with your friends. I record my wife's band all the time and post them and it works really well. video camera's can't seem to handle the sound of a concert but the camera can. Go figure.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 3:01:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 3:02:46 AM PDT
Stacey,
I've learned the same! I have a youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/keithah where majority of the video is taken with a w290 and great quality. I have a DSC-WX5 now and it's no where near the audio quality. I am about to try out an LX5, or find another used W290. How is the H70?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 4:58:50 PM PDT
Kerri says:
You seem like you were closer to the speakers at the first concert. I see the cameras you like dont even specify a mono mic...howd you know they are better for concerts?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:01:07 PM PDT
By testing them. I've owned a dozen+ P&S's and tried out a ton more. All of them do list a mono mic (vs stereo) as well, so I don't know why you would think that.
http://www.youtube.com/keithah
has 300+ videos I've recorded with P&S's of concerts.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:01:34 PM PDT
Kerri says:
Do you like the H70 best or the W290?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:03:43 PM PDT
I don't have a H70, Stacey does. I would love to try out the H70 (or maybe the H90) since the WX5 I have right now is complete crap. I miss my W290 a ton, which is what the first couple hundred of those videos were recorded with. Was considering a Panny LX5, but not anymore. Definitely the H70 or H90.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:17:27 PM PDT
Kerri says:
oh the comment was for stacy about her seeming closer to the speakers on the first video that couldnt handle the bass. I was just looking at the specs online for the W290 and H70 and saw nothing stated about mono mic. WHile Id like to be able to take video clips, I know it eats up space, and photos are probably more of a priority for me. I found that with my fuljifilm finepix, when I used the flash for pics, the pics actually came out darker with flash...and when I took off the flash, they were lighter but blurry.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 5:19:59 PM PDT
Kerri says:
I was so upset at how horrendous my pics came out. I was pretty close to the stage, yet withthe flash I got dark pics, and without it I got light blurry pics. The video came out clearer then the pics, but I got a bass buzz, this is with a fuji finepix. I dont need top quality on either, just halfway decent quality on pics and then vids. The bass buzz ruins everything for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:20:41 PM PDT
Kerri says:
are you close to the speakers on any of your vids I can look at with your W290?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:22:12 PM PDT
If you look at:
http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&partNumber=DSCH70/R#specifications
You'll see under Recording it states the microphone is 'mono'.

Fuji's aren't very good at low lightning, or have good mics that I have seen.
I personally care less about picture quality and more about audio quality, since this is a live show. From my experience the Sonys have the best low lightning quality and audio quality, as long as you stick with the mono ones.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:25:20 PM PDT
I have videos where I am standing next to them, where I am behind them, where I am practically everywhere. Try the Smokeout ones, I took most of those directly in front, but its outside.
For indoor.. All the Goorin brothers videos I'm literally next to the speakers, but they aren't super loud... not sure which is the best for what you want. I have filmed everywhere and get the best consistent performance out of Sony products for specifically concert venues, mainly outdoors.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 7:46:09 PM PDT
"""
I found that with my fuljifilm finepix, when I used the flash for pics, the pics actually came out darker with flash...and when I took off the flash, they were lighter but blurry.
"""

Is that a built-in flash? If so, you should know that built-in flashes are primarily designed for /daylight/ fill-flash usage -- to lighten up dark shadows under eyebrows, noses, and chins -- in a range of 7-15 feet. Quadrupling the ISO setting will double the effective range of the flash, but lead to higher sensor noise.

Also, if the flash hits anything close to the camera (some fan with an upraised arm), it will choke off the flash to expose said object properly, leading to a dark background.

Without a flash, the camera will open the aperture and reduce shutter speed trying to get a proper exposure -- leading to a shutter speed too slow to stop motion.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 2:30:37 PM PDT
CHeathBAR says:
I have been using a Sony Cybershot W350 for concert videos & the audio is awesome. Way better than my prior 2 Cannons. Be warned I just smoked my beloved Sony Cybershot W350 in a water incident & thought I could just replace it with the latest Sony Cybershot W...(I can't remember if it was W650 or WX50) model - but that was not the case. The "stereo" audio was very distorted - it couldn't handle the base during the concert... so back it went it went after 1 day. (It also had this weird & annoying butterfly like glare floating around in the low light pictures/videos... though I have to admit the overall picture clarity of the low light/concert fog pictures were better than the W350's low light pics(one of the W350's few drawbacks)).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 11:39:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 29, 2012 11:41:30 AM PDT
Stacey says:
Hi Kerry, sorry for the delay, I didn't realize there were replies to this post until I saw your comment on youtube. Like Keith, I only know by trial and error and by owning dozens of point & shoots. The stereo and mono mics make a huge difference.

The specs sometimes don't list mono specifically, but they definitely specify when it is a stereo mic. I was closer to the speakers in the Empire of the Sun video, but I was also pretty close in some others too, and it's much better with mono. Here's one:

http://youtu.be/UhQ1_IdgoDQ -- H70

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 12:03:58 PM PDT
Stacey says:
Hi Keith, I miss my W290 a ton too (my friend lost it), but the H70 isn't bad at all...the H70 performs well, but feels so plastic-y. I miss the metal body of the W290 and there was something about it that I just liked more. I'm still happy with the H70 though as a replacement.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 6:14:49 PM PDT
Kerri says:
your link is no good. Well Ive got to buy something very soon. Problem is every time a few people say a particular camera is great for low light, or concert vids, I go read the reviews and there are tons of people saying that is what it is worst at.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 6:18:23 PM PDT
Kerri says:
You seem to like music similar to me....and live in my area...I wonder if you are going to any of the shows Im trying to tape and if so if we can exchange footage after
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
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Total posts:  749
Initial post:  Sep 18, 2011
Latest post:  Oct 19, 2013

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