church video equipment

Getting to know my KODAK PLAYTOUCH

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I'm in no way a pro when it comes to video, but it is very important in how I use Social Media.  I need an easy way to quickly create simple videos that communicate a message without being distracting because of poor audio or video quality.

For a couple of years I leaned on my Flip Cam and iPhone camera.  The problem that I had with these great cameras was the audio quality with the built in mic.  I've needed a camera with a mic input as it's too time consuming to sync up the audio afterwards.

Most cameras with a mic input cost $500+ primarily because of the video quality, but I don't need $500+ video quality.  Not too long ago I heard about the Kodak Playtouch  at the low price of under $100 having 1080p HD video quality, the simplicity of the Flip, and a MIC INPUT!

About a week ago I saw a refurbished Playtouch available on http://1saleaday.com for about $30, so I jumped at the opportunity to snag one at such a low price.  I just got it in and wanted to update you all on my first impressions:

1) I love the size and feel!  It's incredibly small to bepacked with so many options like the flip out USB arm, mic input, AV out, SD card slot, and HDMI out.

2) I'm a big fan of the touch screen and impressed with the many options from video resolution, mic gain, video effects, simple share options, etc.

3) The one negative that I do see initially is the battery life.  While this does not effect my use much, it does seem to have a fairly low battery life if you're recording football games or shooting longer videos.

Have you used a KODAK PLAYTOUCH before?

Do you have any advice on how to make the most of this little camera?

If you not a PLAYTOUCH, what camera do you primarily use and why?

Video Production Studio for $500 or Less!

I'm not a videographer, producer, or have many skills when it comes to the technical side of video.  I do however rely heavily on video content for the ministry that I lead.  I believe that most ministries can benefit from the use of video, but fear both the cost and technical know how to utilize this technology. With CBC Online our primary worship services are recorded and edited with high end industry standard equipment.  Beyond these services though, we needed  the ability to create short videos to communicate with our community via video on Facebook and YouTube.

I originally used my iPhone4, webcam, and an HD Flip Cam to create this content.  After about 20 or so videos with this equipment that I already owned and a growing ministry I felt it was time for an upgrade, so we built a studio in my office.

I set a budget of $500 and got started.  Here's what I bought:

  • Camera- $150:  Fujifilm FinPix F660 EXR Digital Camera- this camera is not the best, but for the budget this point and shoot camera was a big upgrade in quality at an affordable cost.  I purchased this camera from 1SaleADay.com.
  • Audio- $40: Wired Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condensor Mircrophones- better audio was our greatest need and at a very low cost we bought 2 of these wired mics from Amazon and a splitter plugging directly into the computer microphone input.
  • Lights- $300: I bought used lights and backdrops from Craigslist with 2 umbrella lights, 2 softboxes, a black backdrop, green screen, and all of the stands to go with them.   Honestly, you can get a new set from Amazon for less than $250 very similar to this.
  • Software- FREE- we use iMovie and it does even more than we need it to.  It's free with any Mac and very easy to use.

Want to see what we ended up with?  Take a look at this video we recently recorded in my office with John Valenzuela:

 

 

What do you think?  Can this work for your ministry or organization?

What tools are you using for video?  Any tricks or tips that you can share?