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Author Topic: camera suggestions  (Read 5215 times)
pleader
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« on: June 22, 2015, 10:18:21 AM »

Looking for suggestions re: the best portable cameras for recording rounds. Need to spend the funds before end of fiscal year on June 30th. Thanx in advance !
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CouldaBeenaContenda
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Posts: 73


« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 10:44:14 AM »

I can't recommend any particular hardware, but I have to tell you, I have been exasperated in my efforts to make out the audio on any of the recently posted youtube streamed elimination rounds.  I have done a lot of professional audio engineering over the years but I stopped familiarizing myself with commercial audio products over a decade ago, so I have no idea what contribution each of the multiple steps of conversion in the chain from the recording microphone to my computer's low fidelity speakers makes to the cumulative degradation.  In theory, once the initial microphone output is digitized, then as long as all of the bits are passed along, there should be no quality loss along the way, but I don't know how "stingy" the bandwidth allocation may be such that there may necessarily be some data compression/restoration loss.

The audio on the 2014 NDT final round was probably the best I've heard on youtube, so you might want to find out what equipment was used there, but they may have benefited from being in an acoustically friendly room.  At the very least, you will get better audio from a discrete microphone mounted on or directly in front of the podium.

Are there any portable, sound deadening, backdrop/backstops?  That might help audio quality more than microphone selection.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 04:43:38 PM by CouldaBeenaContenda » Logged

Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
CouldaBeenaContenda
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2015, 12:34:12 AM »

Someone posting under the screen name: ConsultVerminSupreme, with a history of 250 posts at cross-ex.com , is highly recommending this microphone for recording debate audio.  It costs $49, through Amazon.com, with free shipping:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Snowball-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B006DIA77E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431475403&sr=8-1&keywords=blue+snowball

Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid
by Blue Microphones



This model is wired to a 1/8" mini-jack.  A USB model is available for $66.61.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 02:20:13 AM by CouldaBeenaContenda » Logged

Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
mniermann
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Posts: 6


« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 01:33:39 PM »

A friend of mine with exceptional camera knowledge suggests this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JH8T3S?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01&tag=techqueries-20

UPDATE: apparently this was the camera that was used to stream rounds at the NDT, also friend owns one and literally facebook messaged me asking me to post this for you so they're probably pretty enthusiastic
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 01:36:00 PM by mniermann » Logged
CouldaBeenaContenda
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 11:02:31 PM »

A friend of mine with exceptional camera knowledge suggests this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006JH8T3S?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01&tag=techqueries-20

UPDATE: apparently this was the camera that was used to stream rounds at the NDT, also friend owns one and literally facebook messaged me asking me to post this for you so they're probably pretty enthusiastic

The product linked above is Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920.  Here is the manufacturer's product page: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/hd-pro-webcam-c920?crid=34




According to a user forum, it incorporates dual microphones and they have fairly good customer reviews, but I did find this contrarian customer comment on the manufacturer's website

Q: Can you use just the microphone to record audio?

A: The C920 control panel links both the webcam and the microphone together. I don't see any way to only record the microphone. What I've found is that with the webcam placed to get a good picture I was not happy with what the microphone recorded. So my take is that the microphone is not the C920's strong point. I use a separate USB Condenser Microphone instead. The C920 control panel allows you to select the microphone you want.
- Robert A. Chambers answered on November 5, 2013


While I am inclined to give credence to that user's assessment of the audio quality he experienced, I am less inclined to reach his conclusion that the "microphone is not the C920's strong point", but rather, that his disappointing audio is more likely due to the fact that the best positioning for the camera and for the microphone in his, and in "our", applications are not one in the same.  For my money I'd buy this camera for $70 and the snowball mike with the USB output for another $66.


They picture the camera perched atop a nifty tripod, but I can't tell from the literature I read whether it comes with the camera or must be purchased separately:




As recently as a decade and a half ago, when I was still installing commercial surveillance equipment, I used to sell a color camera for $800 and a lens for $200 but they were clearly inferior to the chintziest product available today.  The lens had to have a galvonometer-controlled Auto Iris because the dynamic range of background lighting at highrise building entrance lobbies was greater than the electronic Auto Iris range of early CCD visual imaging elements could handle.  And there was no auto-focus.  Every one of us starts out as technological, "leading edge" guys, but we all become "trailing edge" guys before we know it.  When my customers call me now for cameras, it isn't even worth my time to get up to speed on the products, because by the time I did and got back to them, they'd have learned as much as I had and wouldn't need me to be the middleman.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 09:10:16 AM by CouldaBeenaContenda » Logged

Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
nryan
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 09:07:32 AM »

For those interested the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone is a Amazon lightning deal (for prime members) at 12:50 pm Eastern today. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002OO333Q/ref=gb1h_img_c-2_0222_44ec3712?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_s=center-new-2&pf_rd_r=0J0ZNTHE8EC5X3ZPE7KX&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=2136020222
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CouldaBeenaContenda
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Posts: 73


« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 09:18:16 AM »

For those interested the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone is a Amazon lightning deal (for prime members) at 12:50 pm Eastern today. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002OO333Q/ref=gb1h_img_c-2_0222_44ec3712?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_s=center-new-2&pf_rd_r=0J0ZNTHE8EC5X3ZPE7KX&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=2136020222

Does anything make that offering particularly desirable?  I see a current Amazon listing for sixteen dollars less ($52.89) here: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Snowball-Microphone-Textured/dp/B000EOPQ7E/ref=pd_sim_267_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=1YYMABZ73FXBH8YZ15QC
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 09:25:34 AM by CouldaBeenaContenda » Logged

Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
nryan
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Posts: 215


WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2015, 09:27:20 AM »

For those interested the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone is a Amazon lightning deal (for prime members) at 12:50 pm Eastern today. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002OO333Q/ref=gb1h_img_c-2_0222_44ec3712?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_t=701&pf_rd_s=center-new-2&pf_rd_r=0J0ZNTHE8EC5X3ZPE7KX&pf_rd_i=20&pf_rd_p=2136020222

Does anything make that offering particularly desirable?  I see a current Amazon listing for sixteen dollars less ($52.89) here: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Snowball-Microphone-Textured/dp/B000EOPQ7E/ref=pd_sim_267_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=1YYMABZ73FXBH8YZ15QC

Its the same link just different product under the link. I just wanted to give a heads up about it being a lighting deal, which probably means it will go less than that (but can't confirm).
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CouldaBeenaContenda
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Posts: 73


« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2015, 09:30:01 AM »

I still shop at Sears and Roebuck.  Trouble is they don't have goldfish, like JJ Newberry's did.
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Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
CouldaBeenaContenda
Jr. Member
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Posts: 73


« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2015, 11:57:45 AM »

Get it while it's hot!  I don't know how Amazon's Lightning deals work, but the price in nryan's linked listing is now down to $49.
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Dover (New Hampshire) High School debate team, 1967-1970
Dover High School Debate Coach, 1970-1971
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1970 (when we still spoke like human beings)
University of New Hampshire debate team, 1980-1981 (and when we didn't)
UNH assistant debate coach, 1980-1981
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