Birding in BC Community

Which DV recorder for birding?
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Author:  BirdingBC [ Mar 17 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Which DV recorder for birding?

Years ago I had a Sony Camcorder that I used to capture some birding video and bird sounds when out in the field. I've considering shooting some video again and wondering what would be a good setup in today's market.

What I am looking for is a unit that is not expensive (have limited budget so something on the lower end would be what I can afford). Unit captures in Digital Video at HD quality and captured format is easy to work with, get off the camera, edit, and upload to something like YouTube. For sound quality, I am looking for a unit that has good sound capture qualities and if possible, captures in stereo. Not sure what other features I am looking for.

Any recommendations?

Author:  Neil V [ Mar 17 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which DV recorder for birding?

The video capabilities of some of the point and shoot cameras are quite capable these days, have you considered that?

Inexpensive is relative, how much are you looking at spending...roughly?

Author:  cbaarch [ Mar 17 8:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which DV recorder for birding?

If you already have a DSLR with video some notes:
one of the lenses i got from London Drugs for a DSLR came with a shotgun microphone similar to this one
they often go on sale. I never used mine since I never got into video; I think I got rid of it when we moved last year but will have a look if it go stuck in a box.

also for video the SD cards with 80MB/s often go on sale - the 32GB is cheap this week

Author:  BirdingBC [ Mar 18 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which DV recorder for birding?

I was thinking my starting budget is $500. What I enjoyed in the past was being able to take some video/soundscape recordings while out in the field and use them latter from some AV project. It was the sound that made the videos work...things like the dawn chorus that goes with the video of a warbler. I am not really interested in capturing the still image, but much more interested in capturing a 8-20sec clip. Living photos.

Author:  northvanrob [ Mar 19 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Which DV recorder for birding?

Chris Dale who is woodfibrebirder uses a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS for his fantastic videos.

It's got an HD quality and built in image stabilization.

It's not for sale anymore but the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS sells with tax around

$597.77 in BC

Also it's a bridge camera so you get 1000mm lens.

Author:  woodfibrebirder [ Mar 19 3:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which DV recorder for birding?

Yes I do use a Canon Powershot SX50 with is a good general usage bridge camera that takes fairly good video and has the 35 mm camera equivalent of 1200mm optical zoom. My wife likes her SX50 as well for her close-up wildflower shots. The camera does not have a very big sensor so is not the greatest in low light and is not as crisp as a regular 35mm camera but I like it for being a general all in one camera for scenery, close-up flower photography, acceptable video recording and is good for getting that proof of bird identification of a far off unusual sighting for e-Bird. The audio is OK but is subject to wind noise across the pick-up unless you cover it with a muffler of some sort ( like a soft cloth) and the camera does not have a jack for an external microphone. For most of my audio I use a ZOOM H4n digital recorder then synchronize the two audios in iMovie then eliminate the camera audio. Sometimes I dig out my old small parabolic microphone that plugs into the ZOOM recorder to get a cleaner sound but then you start messing with too much equipment.

I really like the convenience of my all around camera but I am sure there are newer cameras out there that have external inputs for a mike that would take better photos.
Cheers, Chris Dale, Squamish

Here are a couple of test videos I did a while back ( after listening to Test#1 I think I will dig out the parabolic again )
Test #1

Test #2

Author:  BirdingBC [ Mar 19 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Which DV recorder for birding?

Thanks guys, I am going to look into the setup Dale is using. Might be what I am looking for and though I was hung up on the Camcorder, maybe a proper camera is a better way to go. It's been a long time since I owned a real camera. Last one was a Canon AE-1 and I was doing my own B&W developing.

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