[RNLD] RE: Archivist Question re: Video - Handycam or Zoom Q3HD

John Mansfield jbmansfield at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 11 05:45:58 UTC 2014

For a handycam, I would recommend Panasonic HDC-SD900 ... or a similar
successor model, assuming it has been replaced.

It records at 44.1khz, and I use it with a Sennheiser shotgun microphone,
producing what I consider to be excellent sound quality. On the other hand,
for recording careful phonetic samples I use Zoom and Marantz audio
recorders with different mics.
(One limitation is the input jacks are minijack, not XLR. But I still find
the sound quality fine.)

The Panasonic handycam also has a wide-angle lens.

On 11 March 2014 16:26, Bill Forshaw <w.forshaw at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I've been using a similar model to Margaret the Sony HXRNX30P
> http://pro.sony.com.au/product/hxr-nx30p
> I have been using this in conjunction with two lavalier sennheiser mics to
> record young children who move about a lot. The audio records at 16 bit
> 44.1khz, which is below standard. This camera also has a special little
> lens that adjusts to aid stability when being used without a tripod. I have
> been been very satisfied with the quality of recordings this has been
> producing.
> This type of setup however seems to be a step up from what you are talking
> about.
> Using two recording devices obviously complicates the recording process
> but it is manageable.I have made recordings in the past with a handycam and
> the zoomH4N and the quality has been quite good. Just don't forget to make
> a 'clap' sync point. Although if you are lucky enough to be using some
> decent video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro this will sync
> media files based on audio from the zoom and handycam in a flash. Once you
> figure out how to do it of course.
> In terms of buying handycams I would just be careful about which consumer
> grade handycam you buy. You'll want to consider things such as durability
> and in particular how wide is the lens. The wider the better. For some
> handycams you are able to buy wide angle conversion lenses and these work
> great although are often quite costly. Also be wary of what FULL HD means,
> this is just a marketing term.
> Cheers,
> Bill Forshaw
> On 11 March 2014 13:33, Margaret Carew <margaret.carew at batchelor.edu.au>wrote:
>> Hi
>> Just for interest's sake, here is the camera that we use (Sony HXRNX70P)
>> http://pro.sony.com.au/product/hxr-nx70p
>> We paid $2909AUD (exgst) as part of a kit (in late 2012). The lavalier
>> mic system was $504AUD (ex gst) - and all the bits, tripod, case, SD cards
>> etc do add up.
>> The camera is dust proof, wind proof and doesn't over heat! Great in low
>> light. The solution to handling motion is a good tripod and control over
>> shutter speed.
>> Cheers
>> Margaret Carew
>> Project Linguist
>> Desert Peoples Centre, Alice Springs
>> Research, Teaching and Learning Division
>> Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
>> tel: 08 8951 8344 | fax: 08 8951 8311
>> email: margaret.carew at batchelor.edu.au  | www.batchelor.edu.au
>> This email and any files transmitted with it are solely intended for the
>> use of the addressee(s) and may contain information that is confidential
>> and privileged. If you receive this email in error, please advise us by
>> return email immediately. Please also disregard the contents of the email,
>> delete it and destroy any copies immediately.
>> ________________________________________
>> From: Hiram Ring [hiram1 at e.ntu.edu.sg]
>> Sent: Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:36
>> To: Margaret Carew
>> Cc: Nicholas Reid; Stephen Morey; r-n-l-d at unimelb.edu.au
>> Subject: Archivist Question re: Video - Handycam or Zoom Q3HD
>> Unfortunately for archivists the problem with a lot of these camcorders
>> is that they record in a 'lossy' format, at a bitrate less than 16 bit 44.1
>> khz. The Canon HD100 camcorder that Nick Reid uses records at Dolby Digital
>> 2ch (AC-3 2ch) - the bitrate is 320 kbps, much lower than the CD-quality
>> standard. Margaret's Sony camcorder sounds like it's probably better (after
>> spending 5,500 aud it should be). This is what Stephen's Zoom Q3HD is
>> designed to overcome. As a company that has made one of the best solid
>> state recorders around, the audio of the Q3HD recorder can be up to 24bit
>> 96khz, which is well above the CD-quality standard. And it doesn't break
>> the budget.
>>  Stephen, are you finding that the video doesn't handle movement very
>> well? Are you asking whether anyone knows of a good full-function video
>> camera that records sound at least at 16 bit 44.1 khz and handles fast
>> motion? I think the ones that do that tend to be rather expensive (Sony's
>> HDR-SR12 is $1,300 or so). I'd recommend just using a tripod for all your
>> video work with the Q3HD, and try not to move it around very much. It still
>> might not help if people are moving quickly in a dance or something, but
>> the audio will be fine. Alternatively, get a handycam for cultural events
>> and record audio with the Q3HD, which can be synced up later.
>> I think this brings up an interesting point, though. I like the use of
>> lavalier/shotgun microphones with HD handycams because you don't have to
>> sync the audio later and you get very clear recordings. Which begs the
>> question of archivists:
>> Which of the two options is better?
>> 1. A CD-quality recording with lots of background noise and quiet speech.
>> 2. A les-than-CD-quality recording with minimal background noise and
>> clear speech.
>> Ideally these wouldn't be your only options, but unfortunately we don't
>> live in an ideal world.
>> My two cents.
>> Hiram
>> _______________
>> Hiram Ring
>> PhD Student, Grammatical Description and Documentation
>> Nanyang Technological University
>> http://linguistics.hss.ntu.edu.sg
>> CONFIDENTIALITY: This email is intended solely for the person(s) named
>> and may be confidential and/or privileged. If you are not the intended
>> recipient, please delete it, notify us and do not copy, use, or disclose
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>> Towards A Sustainable Earth: Print Only When Necessary
>> On Mar 11, 2014, at 6:28 AM, Margaret Carew wrote:
>> > I agree with nick about wireless lavalier mics. I use a sennheiser set
>> with a Sony camera and am very happy with the results.
>> > I also have an on camera shotgun mic and use this to record to one
>> channel via the cameras xlr adapter. The UHF receiver mounts on top of that
>> and plugs into the other channel, making it a neat setup. The result is a
>> mix of close in speaker and ambient sound, and levels can be adjusted later
>> if need be. Another reason for doing this is insurance- the on camera
>> shotgun also records speech very well within a close range just in case the
>> UHF unit fails. Sometimes there's interference with a lab mic when it's
>> worn on the body (such as a hand or clothing brushing the mic) and in this
>> case we can replace that with the shotgun audio.  For multiple speakers
>> I've also mounted the lab mic on a mini tripod on occasions and this works
>> pretty well.  This whole unit cost about 5,500aud but included a tripod and
>> some other accessories (can send model numbers if that's useful).
>> >
>> > I carry a small edirolr09 around with me which records as good audio
>> through its built in mics as any of the zooms etc. I often have this
>> rolling as well for extra backup and sync that audio in separately when
>> editing, for extra ambient sound.
>> >
>> > The main issue with the wireless mic setup is battery life. I've given
>> up on rechargeables and buy the best lithium batteries for the base units.
>> >
>> > Cheers Margaret
>> >
>> > On 11/03/2014, at 7:33 AM, "Nicholas Reid" <nreid at une.edu.au<mailto:
>> nreid at une.edu.au>> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hi Stephen,
>> >
>> > I've gone the camcorder route and can say I'm very happy with the
>> results I'm getting. I mostly pair wireless Sennheiser lav mics with a
>> Canon HD100 camcorder, and I've been as impressed by the sound recording as
>> I am by the image quality. I've used shotgun, boom and other mics, but have
>> to say that for narrative I'm a huge fan of good quality lavs for their
>> ability to foreground a voice and background everything else. I've had
>> situations where someone's been telling a story, and some interference has
>> occurred (rain on a roof, a truck pulling up close by, etc) and I assumed
>> the recording was ruined, but on playback discovered that what was loud to
>> my ears barely registers with the lav mics. Quality is so good this way
>> that I've felt no need to make independent audio recordings. Camcorders
>> usually also offer a good range of video output ratios (16:9, 4:3, etc) to
>> suit different needs. My camcorder+wireless lav setup cost close to AUD$2K,
>> no doubt a lot more expensive than the Zoom, but worth every cent in my
>> opinion.
>> >
>> > cheers
>> >
>> > Nick
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On 9 Mar 2014, at 7:07 pm, Stephen Morey <S.Morey at latrobe.edu.au
>> <mailto:S.Morey at latrobe.edu.au>> wrote:
>> >
>> > Dear RNLD list,
>> >
>> > I am at present in North East India, where members of the language
>> communities are busy making recordings. Up to now we have preferred to use
>> the Zoom Q3HD for video, rather than buying a commercial Handycam, because
>> the sound is supposed to be much better. However the picture doesn't seem
>> to be, and the shape of the Zoom is not necessarily the best for taking
>> video of events (though fine if you set it on a stand for video of a story!)
>> >
>> > So I am wondering what people on the list think about the option of
>> purchasing a handycam of similar cost to the Zoom Q3HD and making a
>> simultaneous audio recording on the Zoom H4n? Or is there a better option
>> available?
>> >
>> > Best
>> >
>> > Stephen
>> >
>> > Stephen Morey
>> > Australian Research Council Future Fellow
>> > Centre for Research on Language Diversity
>> > La Trobe University
>> > Website:
>> http://www.latrobe.edu.au/humanities/about/staff/profile?uname=SMorey<
>> http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt/StaffPages/morey.htm>
>> >
>> > Language data website: http://sealang.net/assam
>> > Dictionary websites: http://sealang.net/ahom;
>> http://sealang.net/singpho; http://sealang.net/phake
>> >
>> > Linguistic data archived at::
>> > DoBeS:  http://www.mpi.nl/DoBeS and follow a link to projects, then
>> Tangsa, Tai and Singpho in North East India
>> > ELAR: http://elar.soas.ac.uk<http://elar.soas.ac.uk/>
>> > PARADISEC:  http://www.paradisec.org.au<http://www.paradisec.org.au/>
>> >
>> > North East Indian Linguistics Society: http://sealang.net/neils
>> >
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