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Railfan Technology > Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?


Date: 03/03/19 18:14
Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: Floridarailfan

I currently use my Nikon Coolpix S9900 with a tripod and like the results, but wonder what other rail fans are using.  I also bought a bracket that will let me use my iPhone with a tripod, but haven,t used it yet.  I have an older Canon ZR 950 cam corder but it doesn’t look like camcorders get used much anymore, and transferring video from the Coolpix to my computer is pretty easy.

Thanks!

Peter Welch



Date: 03/03/19 19:26
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: RailFanAZ

I currently use a Canon VIXIA HF R700. It is a small camera and records up to 1080p.  Picture Quality and Sound is pretty good. Very good on battery usage.

Christina
RailFanning UP & BNSF, AZ
RailFanAZ.com



Date: 03/04/19 06:10
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: exhaustED

I use a camcorder - Canon Legria HF G40... think Goneon66 also uses one of these. Full HD, very nice... about to be replaced by a G50 which will be 4k. If you'd like my G40 I'm open to offers as I think I might be going for the G50... ;-)



Date: 03/04/19 07:05
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: LiveWire2

What is "reasonably priced" to you? Some people think nothing of spending $3,000 on a camera that will see six years of use because they spent way more than $500 a year on film and/or tapes in days past.



Date: 03/05/19 11:11
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: video7105

IMHO, using a DSLR camera as your video camera is the best.  You have control of your Speed, Aperature and ISO.  I shoot mine at 500/sec, F8 and leave the ISO on Auto.  The video is crystal clear and any screen shots I take off the video is razor sharp.  DSLR camera come in a variety of price points, so choose what you can afford.  The only other thing would be to buy an external microphone for your audio.

Or you can spend 5K on a setup like mine.  Pictures attached. The Bridge is a screen capture from the video

Dave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/19 11:13 by video7105.








Date: 03/05/19 11:55
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: exhaustED

Not much point shouting about the ability to control your ISO and then leaving ISO on auto! A good camcorder also gives you control of shutter speed and aperture. Do you really think the OP is looking to get a setup like yours?! 



Date: 03/06/19 03:43
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: cchan006

Floridarailfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>  I have an older Canon ZR 950 cam corder but it doesn’t look like
> camcorders get used much anymore, and transferring
> video from the Coolpix to my computer is pretty easy.

You ZR950 has a faster lens (f=2.0-5.2) compared to your S9900 point & shoot (f=3.7-6.4). 

Buying a camcorder is probably the most cost effective way to get a faster lens. I still use a 6 year old JVC camcorder (f=1.8-6.3), and I paid $100 when Fry's Electronics was having a major inventory clearance. RailfanAZ's Vixia HF R700 has f=1.8-4.5.

Digital SLR users pay considerable money to upgrade to faster lenses, so that's why I'm emphasizing maximum aperture.

If you still have a computer with IEEE1394 (FireWire), you can still put your ZR 950 to good use, even if it only shoots DVD quality (480p). It's got CCD sensors (global shutter) so no distortion from rolling shutter, which you can't avoid from all modern consumer-level cameras using CMOS sensors.

Shop around for camcorders in the $200-$300 range, especially if your intent is to share video on TO and YouTube. 1080p is plenty good for that.



Date: 03/06/19 12:43
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: RFandPFan

Modern camcorders have come a long way.  I use a Panasonic HC-V770K Full HD Camcorder.  If shooting in highest resolution like I do, you will get clear, detailed video.  Image stabilization is good, turn off digital zoom and make sure you have at least 20X optical zoom for railfanning.

Just remember that digital video files are large.  I use 8TB external hard drives for archiving and back-up.  I shoot a lot of video and have been pleased with this camera.  There are many similar makes/models, so you may want to shop around.  If you want some ideas, feel free to check out my videos on YouTube channel "Georgia Rail Videos".  I use Windows Live Movie Maker to put the clips together and caption the video.  Nothing fancy, but is easy to use.

I hope this helps.



Date: 03/07/19 02:42
Re: Best reasonably priced camera for rail fan video?
Author: RHicks




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