Most of my DSLR cameras take good 1080p video. But in the past, still camera video quality was poor so I actually have many video cameras.
The was the first consumer grade HD camcorder. So, of course I went out and bought it and still have it! This camera has long been retired. It used Mini-DV tapes. Only shoots SD or 1080i. And has many problems by nowadays standards. The only time we have used it in the past few years was for some of the live webcast shoots. UStream Producer, the software we used, worked best with firewire based cameras. This old baby was pulled out of retirement because it was the only camera we had with firewire.
Another oldie. When SD card based HD camcorders came out, I purchased this one because of its balance between small size and video quality. It is a 3CCD based system, has a decent 10x lens, and recording of 5.1 audio. Not bad for its day! I still use it at times when I want to mount a camera with a zoomable lens in an unattended location. GoPros can’t zoom, and I don’t want my DSLRs out of my sight. i use this on my follow-me system for instance.
Sony HDR-TD10 3D Camera
This is one of the first 3D camcorders, so of course I have it. Again from my creative side, I was looking for something new to create some excitement for the first WooFDRiver on Tour season. I thought the 3D effect would give viewers a feel for how it is to ride shotgun with the WooFDriver. There were some technical challenges to overcome in both editing (No 3D software for OSX), and in formatting properly for posting to YouTube. In order to work efficiently, I purchased a high-end (in its day) 3D HD display to hook up to a PC and run Sony Vegas. In the end, the videos came out awesome and can still be found on YouTube, if you have a 3D display or TV.
This is the next generation of Sony 3D camcorder after the TD10. I bought it mostly because it was significantly smaller. It’s zoom in 3D mode was slightly improved to 12X from the 10X of the TD10. Having a second 3D camera also gave us the opportunity to have a second pit crew shooting 3D. Because of it’s small size and slight imporvement in electronics, this was our goto camera for 3D. If we only had one cameraman, this is what we used. As a result, mot of our plublished 3D videos were shot with this camera.
Here is an example 3D video shot with these cameras. You can watch it without YouTube setup for 3D and see how the background process works for 3D. Or if you have 3D glasses, just go into YouTube’s settings and set it up for what you have and see us WooFDrive in 3D!
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This is the latest and greatest of our Video camera line up. We originally discovered this camera when searching for the best camcorder with night vision/infrared capabilities. In our research process, we checked what the pros used, and read-up on The Ghost Hunters production notes. They said this camera was best, hands down. We have come to the same conclusion! It works wonders in infrared mode during our Midnight Musher series. But this camera has a lot more going for it. Despite it’s small, almost palm size, it is a true pro camera. The detachable handle has XLR audio inputs with manual volume controls. It has many other pro features, like native 24p, 8-blade iris, and tons of manual controls for shutter speed, iris and exposure. It has a decent 10x lens, but that is the one thing that separates it from true pro cameras. It is a worthy sacrifice to me to give up interchangeable lenses so that the camera stays small. We use it in all kinds of crazy situations and portability is critical.
To see more of what we do with this camera, check out our Night Gear section of this website.
On many of our super special outings, we often use higher end equipment owned by WooFDriver pit crew. These are brought in because of their special abilities, or just because they are superior to what we have in our arsenal.
For webcasting in darker environments, the old Sony camcorder just did not cut it. We needed the best firewire SD camera available for night-time use. That is the DVX100b, arguably the best and latest SD camcorder before the big HD switch a few years ago. And one of our pit crew, The Burningman, just happened to have one. This camera performed as best as we could hope during our night run of the National Mall in Washington DC.
For many of our WooFDriver on Tour videos and for most of the WooFHouse series, we wanted better than consumer grade video because they were extra special adventures. Baby Castro, another crew member, just happened to own two HVX200. The next generation of the DVX100, this HD camera was, in it’s day, the top in its class. It used P2 recording media that allowed for much faster recording to storage, and hence allowing for higher quality, less compressed video. The lens is pro grade, and well as it’s controls. It was nice doing video shoots with two HVX200s because the cuts from one camera to the next were clean since they were the same model of camera.