Video Futures and Futures Planning

Equipment Recommendations: What equipment you can’t live without

Camcorder consider Sony HDR-HC 9 or Canon Vixia HV30, probable cost: $650 -850

Must have high quality picture and sound. Important features for the self modeler include: line out or firewire jacks; headphone & microphone jacks; image stabilizer; manual iris or back light control; auto & manual focus; viewfinder eyepiece for shooting outdoors; tripod connection, and not bottom-loading tapes. Any such camcorder is good! Be careful that less expensive MiniDV camcorders generally do not have headphone and microphone jacks.

These days we recommend the Mini DV (tape) format because prices are coming down and it offers high quality output significant editing advantages. Hi-8 and even S-VHS-C are still good (and much cheaper) optionsóbut increasingly they donít have simple but important features such as microphone or headphone jacks. Used camcorder recommendation: Panasonic PV Ė GS35 MiniDV.

DVD of any major brand (Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, etc) or Video Cassette Recorder about: $75

Provided it has the following features: good quality picture and sound, line in jacks (preferably on the front), line out jacks, efficient pause control, and flying erase heads. Check Consumer Reports for minimal repair reputations (currently Panasonic scores best). Avoid the cheap, 2-head machines of any brand. Currently, we recommend VHS format for the self model tape product only because it is very to be more convenient for viewing purposes. If your client/trainee/student has preferred access to something else, then you will need to be flexible. DVD is more popular today. The future will see more digital formats, including Web streaming.

Note of DVDs. DVDs are inexpensive and DVD players are ubiquitous to include this option. If you edit on computer (recommended), itís easy to cut a DVD. Just note, the DVD may have compatibility problems on DVD players (+R, -R, etc.), though should be fine on another computer. If you do crash editing, you will need a VCR to hook up to your camcorder.

TV / Monitor any medium quality, 19"- 35" about: $300 - $500

Features for self modelers include sufficient size and quality for rewarding viewing and line in jacks, preferably on the front. If you edit on a computer, a TV-style monitor is not necessary; but see Section 3 for Additional Monitors.

Patch Cords: 1 video and 1 or 2 audio RCA type $7, and/or firewire: $20

Other patch cords (S-video, component video) may be applicable, but not essentialócheck your equipment manual or vendor. Essential: enough patch cords of the right type, for the equipment you use. Almost certainly what comes with the camera, DVD, etc. will be insufficient. And the industry is notorious for its confusing array of connectors. In particular, there are two types of firewire connector, 4- and 6-pin.

Videotapes DV, any name brand, 5 pack, around: $30
VHS medium grade, any name brand, 5 pack: $10

If applicable, Hi8 or S-VHS-C metal particle, donít get metal evaporated type; 4 pack: $12 Features to consider are medium quality tape and robust transport/packagingóand what not to get. We recommend standard length tapes from established electronic or photo equipment manufacturers. We recommend against extended length tapes (they are thinner) and against store brands or any brand you donít recognize.

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