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Which camera to buy for indoor home tutorials ?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by marc73, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. marc73

    marc73 New Member

    I need to film indoor tutorials.

    The room has large windows letting in daylight.

    the teacher will be in an armchair speaking.

    2 to 3 metres distance between camera and subject.

    It is mostly fixed at this distance. No zooming or anything.

    I have 3-point lighting, so the next step is to choose a camera.

    I am hoping for professional quality. (not a point-and-shoot camera).

    Is there any advantage of getting a DSLR (with video) or a standard Video Camera ?

    Are there any cameras which you would recommend for this?

    I'm really hoping for a professional quality.

    Budget: $400 to $1,500

    I appreciate any help ;)

  2. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine is using a Sony A7S for indoor video with some success. It has low pixel count for full-frame (12.3mp) which means large pixels, and therefore very good low light performance (high ISO) and it can deliver up to 4k video. However, unless you can find a second-hand one, it is going to stretch your budget too far.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Speaking from a stand point of complete ignorance.

    I should think a camera designed for video would be better than a DSLR that is video capable but I have no idea how the camcorder market has evolved these last 15 years.

    You need to look at recording times. When video was first added to DSLRs (Canon 5D ii I think) recording time was very short. This might have been partly for tax reasons as import duties on video equipment were higher than for stills purposes and also for technical reasons as early video capable sensors developed a lot of heat. People used them because I understand that film makers don’t use long sequences, they stitch short ones together. The 5Dii was welcomed because cinema/broadcast quality cameras are breathtakingly expensive (check out Canon’s cinema range).

    Panasonic has tended to specialise in purposing their m4/3 mirrorless cameras for their video capability. I’d look there if you want a still camera capable of video. It also check out cameras designed for vlogging. It sounds as if no-one will be behind the camera so unattended or remote operation capability will be key, as well as run time and autofocus. A few million You-tube videos proves there is equipment out there that will do what you want.

    ‘Professional’ quality comes more from attention to detail than the equipment itself. A low cost camera (that does what you want) on a good tripod will give better results than an expensive camera on a poor support. If the room is in a house by a road with heavy traffic then a 40 tonne truck passing will muck things up nicely.

    If the teacher is alone, talking direct to camera, it is a special skill that few can do. The “performance” is likely to have more impact that recording quality. No point in having technically perfect video if the person is unwatchable. If you plan to edit then build editing time into your plans. I don’t know how long it takes to edit a watchable video but it could take a while and impose minimum constraints on computer equipment.
  4. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Which country are you in? Budget is quoted in dollars which suggests USA. A lot of the specifics of video is governed by the tax system in force locally, it might be best to get specific advice locally.

    Sorry if I sound negative.
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I am not sure your thoughts about shooting parameters are very realistic.

    You. Might do the first shoots in a fixed static location, but that will change. If only because for people to keep watching and to keep their interest. You will need to add movement and change of scene.. to create a more dynamic movie.

    DSLR's are not ideal for video they need far too many compromises to make them work at all. Mirrorless cameras are far nearer the mark.
    Of course video Cameras are designed for the job, and can shoot for far longer with out overheating.

    Hopefully someone will come along soon. That has far more hands on experience.
    Most of us here are essentially stills photographers, who probably only dabble in Video. and are coming at it almost certainly from the wrong direction.
  6. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    It might be best to clearly define 'I'm really hoping for a professional quality'.

    For example, 1080x1920 'HD', or the more recent '4K'? This is relevant because what you need depends on how the results will be viewed, and on what size display. If only on a small screen or PC monitor, 1080x1920 is probably more than good enough (and only a few years ago was 'state of the art'). Make this decision before looking at any hardware, lest you spend far more than necessary.

    Some 'mirrorless' cameras reviewed in AP have been noted for their good video quality, so looking at some reviews might help.
    From the AP website:


    Again on the AP website, I found a link to this from 2017:


    Don't forget to sit or stand reasonably still when recording the tutorials - hyperactive presenters jumping about is a real turn-off unless the intended audience are pre-school.

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