We have a new camera!

We have a new camera!

First of all, once again I feel it necessary to renew my pledge to update this site regularly. My profound apologies, but at least it gives me a New Year’s Resolution.

So let me start the year by talking about our new camera, which, because I make money from my YouTube videos, my wife suggested we splash out on. The old camera was a cheap (but pretty good, all things considered) MiniDV camera bought on the assumption that we were going to make a few shaky holiday videos for our own amusement, little knowing that it would develop into a money-making hobby.

It’s a Panasonic HDC-SD707, which is at the upper range of the amateur market.

It’s a pretty darned good camera for the price, and one of the very few within our budget that features a viewfinder and an external microphone socket. It has its drawbacks, but in this price range, you expect that. The worst thing is the cooling fan, which is noisy enough to be picked up by the internal microphones when switched to surround sound, but who needs surround sound when all the microphones are clustered in one place, and when I get an external microphone, who will care?

The disadvantages are heavily outweighed by the advantages, not least of which is a fantastic optical image stabiliser. A much larger lens means the camera performs so much better in low light, meaning I may not have to wrestle with studio-type lighting. And best of all, I get to upload high definition videos in 1080p quality.

I have one or two other things to buy (top of the list is a microphone pre-amplifier, which I will use to improve the sound quality of commentary tracks and voiceovers), and then, it seems, the sky’s the limit. I have a hunch that the reason my previous experiments with greenscreening failed is not so much the lighting as the camera.

Looking a bit further ahead, my plan is to revisit some of the places I visited for my “Day Out In” series and make new travelogue videos in glorious HD.

This should be an interesting year for me, YouTube-wise, and there may be a few changes ahead. I hope I can summon up the stamina required to make this pay off. Wish me luck!