Videocamera recommendations for documenting long art lessons? Storage?
February 23, 2016 10:21 AM   Subscribe

So I'm going on a 3 week trip to Japan to study metalworking with an artist, and I want to videotape my lessons, which will be 3-8 hours a day for much of that time. What's a good camera for this sort of purpose? Also how do I best handle the storage issue of recording that much video? I'll have my laptop with me, though I'm not sure about the quality of the internet connection.

I don't need 4k resolution, I don't need 120fps, but I do need something that's super reliable that I can keep charged every day without running into issues (so probably looking for a replaceable battery and external charger). Image stabilization is probably a good thing, too - most of the time will be on a tripod but there will be times where I want to pick up the camera to get a closer look.

In terms of storage: Goals are that the videos are all reliably stored at the end of this trip and there's basically no risk of me losing any of them. So I'm thinking some combination of external HDs and internet backups, though again, I'm not sure about the internet quality over where I'm staying
posted by sirion to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
External HDs are cheap. If you have your laptop with you, buy something between 2 TB and 5 TB (depending on how much actual recording time you're going to need. Do the math and find an hours figure).

If you're using a common consumer video camera, it'll be shooting AVCHD, which is fairly efficient on space. These are really cheap by now. But, you say you're recording 3-8 hours a day? Are you going to be running the camera off of a wall outlet or keeping it on battery?

Because depending on how much you want to change batteries or deal with that, the answer is going to change. The cheap consumer camcorders have fewer options for batteries.

Since you have given very few specifics, my answer so far is, "Whatever fits within the budget you didn't give us". You seem to be undemanding enough that any recent model smartphone with a tripod adapter would work if the studio has enough lighting. So, I'm just going to give you this round-up. Maybe it'll be useful to you. But it sounds so far like any camcorder at $200 plus will satisfy, assuming you don't feel like you need 3+ hours on a single battery charge.
posted by Strudel at 11:04 AM on February 23, 2016

Response by poster: 3+ hours on a charge would be super - what's it take to do that?
posted by sirion at 1:00 PM on February 23, 2016

Just make sure you've bought a camera - or additional battery - specified to last that long (read reviews). I don't have a specific recommendation since I'm not really buying camcorders in that bracket. Higher end cameras usually come with 3+ hour batteries, or give you the option to buy varying capacity batteries. There will undoubtedly be options all over the price range. If a battery life is quoted for the camera, find out what its capacity is in mAh (millamp hours) and do the math to see what you need to have.
posted by Strudel at 10:27 AM on February 24, 2016

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