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Old Sep 27, 2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Default Suggest me camcorder with mic input?

hey my budget is about $450 and i want to spent it for good camcorder but need to have mic input? What is your recommendation?
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Old Sep 29, 2012, 6:33 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard, and enjoy the site.... hoping one of the memvers will jump in to offer a good choice.
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Old Oct 6, 2012, 5:53 PM   #3
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I can't remember, but fishy should know. There are also many cheap name brand cameras now with. However, look at Sanyo, Samsung, I forget, but think they might have had a model each, but the quality I don't know. However, there was a camera brand that sported recorder like stereo microphones, they too sound seriously, I forget the brand, maybe Fishy remembers.
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Old Nov 4, 2012, 8:26 AM   #4
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Thanks Wayne till op rejoins. maybe he can offer some more info of what he got?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 6:05 PM   #5
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Sorry to be late on this.

OK if we're talking about pocket HD camcorders typified by the Flip-type - then the only one that I thought was worthwhile - was the Kodak Zi8 - sadly no longer made and Kodak has gone bust - if there are any around may be premium priced.

However even if the external microphone are "better" than the built-in mono - the sound quality is limited by the audio format/compression used:
It is lossy AAC at 128kbps.
from a MediaInfo Lite of a Kodak Zi8 video file:
Quote:
Audio
ID : 2
Format : AAC
Format/Info : Advanced Audio Codec
Format profile : LC
Codec ID : 40
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 128 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Title : Ambarella AAC / Ambarella AAC
128k in the ubiquitous MP3 is only just acceptable - good but not truly HiFi - kind of good FM quality - and although it is AAC and at 48kHz I cannot see the audio quality being that much better - as it is the bitrate that determines the lossiness of the audio quality.

So even if one attaches the "bestest" mics in the world the quality is limited by the recording format of the Zi8.

Another thought has only recently occurred to me -
caveat: it does require more post-production work -
BUT it is to record the audio completely separately from the video then over-dub and sync the audio recording to the video.
This is how good quality videos and actually movies are made.

There are some reasonably priced portable digital recorders around - that record in PCM (or WAV files) - this is very important - as it is non-lossy uncompressed audio like on CDs - a lot of these portable recorders can record better than CD quality (which is 16-bits 44.1kHz).

These recorders are not that expensive - one can see many dSLR movie makers have them mounted on their cameras to record high quality audio separately.

The "affordable" top rated recorder is the Zoom H4n - low priced at about $240 shipped - this might be considered a bit rich for most of us - well, it is for me.

There are alternatives that can record at 24-bit/48kHz PCM/WAV - Zoom H2n, Zoom H1 - and their rivals the Tascams DR-05, DR-07MkII

- and on the very affordable scale the Tascam/Teac VR-10 - can actually be found for under $30 shipped (Amazon) - slightly more versatile is the Tascam/Teac VR-20 - though I had seen it as low as $39 - it is closer to $46 now.

Any of these will blow away the built-in recordings from any of the pocket camcorders. But it requires one to over-dub and sync the audio to the video.

However there may be a great advantage to recording audio separately -

(1) we still have the audio from the video recording - so that will give quick review/preview to assess at least video quality.

(2) allows us freedom of movement with the camcorder without worries about sound stage or balance - eg: on a music concert - one can get all sorts of angles - and if the audio recorder is positioned somewhere well and safe - there's be no worries about disturbing the sound or imbalance if for example one was right by any particular instrument - like the bass amp....

Hope that at least give some ideas.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 8:25 AM   #6
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