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Camera, Microphone and Tripod Recommendations


I am a childbirth educator who will be making short instructional videos for the web demonstrating different techniques such as using a birth ball, etc.

I am also expecting my last child and we want to videotape the birth, meaning we need a good hands-free option.

I need suggestions for a camera, microphone, and tripod to accomplish these tasks, at a reasonable cost.

I have a Macbook Pro and can use iMovie, iMovieHD or iDVD to edit (hopefully).

Any suggestions you could provide would be most appreciated.

Comments for
Camera, Microphone and Tripod Recommendations

The Kodak Zi8 is super easy to use, produces high quality HD video, has a mic output and costs less than $180.

It is easily four times better quality than the HD Flip, and it stores and saves in QuickTime H.264 format.

It'll record in 1080P at 30fps and 720P at 60 fps, so you can actually record fast moving objects, like sports. It also has pretty good image stabilization built in.

It has an SD card slot, so you can add a 32-gigabyte card in this thing and record about six hours of full high-definition video.

It's small, fits in the pocket and it takes 5 megapixel still images as well.

It has a removable re-chargable battery (Lithium ion) which lasts about an hour and a half. I wish it lasted longer, but buying some additional spare batteries is a must for all camcorders.

The camera comes with an HDMI cable, so you can plug it into a high definition TV. And the quality is fantastic! The Kodak Zi8 easily matches any sub-$500 HD camera in terms of video quality.

Across the top, it has a macro switch, which means, you can get this super close and it focuses quite nicely. Great when you want to shoot stuff in detail.

The Kodak Zi8 is easily 4X better quality than the Flip Mino HD. The image stabilization is pretty decent. Exceptional performance in good lighting and the LCD screen is very nice quality and size.

Drawbacks? Sure, there are a few.

You cannot use it as a webcam, the battery only lasts about an hour and a half and the zoom is a bit jerky.

I can't recommend it highly enough, in my opinion nothing comes close in the price range and I love the small size and external microphone input.

Overall Rating: I give it 4.5 out of 5 (It's almost perfect). I strongly recommend you get one of these cameras - they really are fantastic!

For mics, I recommend the RadioShack or the Sony ECM-CS10 lavalier microphones, which will both cost you about $40-$50 each.

I recommend the Azden WMS-Pro and the Audio_Technica ATR288W wireless microphone systems. Both will cost you around $130-$170 each.

I recommend the Rode VideoMic 'shotgun' directional mic, which costs around $150.

All the microphones I recommended do a great job, but your final choice will really depend on what type of shooting you will most often be doing (Ideally, you will have several different microphones for different situations).

Any tripod designed for a camcorder will work fine for you. Expect to pay $50-$200.


Pete :-)

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