Video Futures and Futures Planning
Equipment Recommendations: Long term video commitment
You may want something completely different.
Computer Editing System Cost: $1,000-$3000
Apple (Mac) computers are designed for video editing. To have one dedicated to the purpose is ideal. Most medium to high quality PCs are now at least friendly to uses of video. Although general purpose PCs cost much less than $1,000 these days, these and older models may not have a suitable video card, input-output connectors, or a fast enough hard drive to give blissful editing experiences. As noted, we currently recommend simple (cheap) software, e.g., Corel VideoStudio for PC, rather than the Microsoft MovieMaker that may be a preinstallation option.
For a ‘turnkey’ editing system (dedicated computer), the highly rated Sell XPS 16 Notebook (2009 model) is available for c. $1500. It has 16" very high quality screen, and a tiny but efficient camera built into its lid.
Can copy from tapes or computer, without “authoring.” Allows chapter stops and a few other organizational features. Computer editing usually allows output directly to DVD or CD, and can include different international formats (e.g., NTSC, PAL, SECAM).
Additional Monitor, Dell S2209W Full HD Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor: $240
This LCD type currently is preferred over CRT or Plasma technology, on the balance of quality and price. It has a 22” wide screen, with high definition compatibility—an affordable luxury if you’re doing lots of editing.
Upmarket Camcorders, 3-chip, e.g., Sony HDR FX7 MiniDV: $1900
You may consider a better camera if you also want to create documentaries, teaching videos, etc. The 3-chip models give noticeably superior color and detail. The HDR FX7 has all the consumer features (auto focus etc), as options to some professional standards. The tapeless Sony HDR-SR12 has a 120GB hard drive, which will store about 15 hours HQ video.
Lighting and Audio Equipment, and Reference Books will be discussed in a later edition.
Video Magazine Subscription
We heartily recommend Videomaker for self modelers or anyone interested in using video as a hobby or a supplementary skill in their work. It’s available for as little as $12/yr (12 issues), including technical reviews of new equipment and summary articles about technique and production. Electronic version of the magazine is available at http://www.videomaker.com .
Watch www.creating-futures.org for revisions, and new recommendations.