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Side by Side: Video Cameras

Video is everywhere, and it's an easy addition to a station's online presence

Video is everywhere, and it’s an easy addition to a station’s online presence. Taking video at remotes and concerts, or video of an artist interview is common, but radio shows can also create added video feature content on the street as well.

Pretty much any modern phone can take video, so why get a dedicated video camera? Just like a dedicated audio recorder, the unitasker is designed for the function and it does it very well. The main advantage is the improved optics. Video cameras offer many other functions, and can accommodate a variety of lighting conditions. Cameras also have a tripod or stand mount, which is very helpful.

For our rundown we looked at models targeted for pro audio use or are designed to be more robust. Chances are, this equipment will be in the hands of those why may not be the most responsible, so rugged performance is important.

Alesis Videotrack

This camera has a pair of condenser microphones for better quality recordings. It records directly to the included 2GB SD card, and it will accept a card up to 16GB. The camera connects to a computer via USB, and includes PC software to manage videos. It records at 640 x 480 resolution in MP4 format. It’s powered by an internal, replaceable, rechargeable battery. A composite video output allows monitoring or playback to a TV or computer screen. It can also take still images.

Canon Vixia mini

This compact camcorder has a fisheye lens (160� movies/170� photos) that (according to the manufacturer) offers a unique and creative perspective. It offers a wide mode and close-up mode, which can be toggled via the LCD screen. It captures 1080 video in MP4 format and can take 12Mp photos. Storage is handled by a removable microSD memory card. Built-in Wi-fi simplifies video sharing and allows for live streaming. It features a tiltable 2.7″ capacitive touch panel LCD, adjustable integrated stand, tripod socket and built-in stereo mic. Available in black or white.

Panasonic HX-WA03

This pistol-style camera is waterproof, freeze proof and dustproof, which is ideal for less careful users. It records up to 1080p video to its built-in 65MB memory, but it also accepts an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card. An active image stabilizer avoids camera shake, and the focus can be set to auto or manual. It records to MP4 H.264 format. It has a built-in stereo mic for audio pick up. 16MP still photos can be captured as well. It is available in white with blue or black with orange.

Sony HDR-GW77V/B

This waterproof, dustproof and shockproof camera has image stabilization, various lighting modes, face detection, auto focus, and several on-board features to aid in shooting. The pistol-grip style case has a flip-out monitor that can be adjusted to any viewing angle. It captures video up to 1080p resolution as MP4 (MPEG-2 for SD), and it can also take still shots up to 20MP. It records to Sony Memory Stick Micro and MicroSD/SDHC cards. Connections include USB, mini HDMI and external power.

Samsung HMX-W300

Waterproof , shockproof and dustproof, this 1080p HD recorder might be rugged enough to stand up to the most careless users. The built-in USB connector is used to charge the camera and transfer files to a computer. Files are stored on a microSD card. There is also an HDMI connection to playback directly from the recorder. It can capture up to 5.5MP still images as well, and sports a tripod thread mount. Available in black, red and orange.

Zoom Q3HD

Recording both HD video and HD audio (24-bit/96kHz), the Q3HD takes Zoom’s audio technology and combines it with 1080p video. This point-and-shoot features both full HD 1080p at 30fps and 720p at 30 or 60fps. A 4x digital zoom and a larger, redesigned aperture is paired with three lighting settings. The Q3HD uses the same microphone capsules as Zoom’s H4n recorder, configured in a wide 120-degree X/Y pattern, for stereo recordings of unsurpassed quality and depth. Setting audio levels is easy using the onboard level meters and mic gain switch with auto gain control.

November 2013

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