The QiRanger Adventures

Travel Videos: The Camera

with 10 comments

The Canon HFS11

Back in the US, there’s a little thing taking place this weekend called VidCon. It’s a conference, unlike any other YouTube gathering in the past, because it isn’t a gathering. It’s a professional development conference designed to help YouTubers make it big online. While I’m not big by any means, I do get a lot of questions regarding how I make my travel videos. So I thought I’d begin a new weekly series explaining the process.

The first in the series, as you can no doubt tell by the title, is about cameras.

I think of of the pitfalls people get into when they decide to make travel blogs or travel videos, is that they go out and spend a lot of money on a camera. I cannot more strongly disagree with that line of thinking. Sure, the better the camera, the more features and better the images will be. However, that doesn’t translate to having better content.

Really spend the time getting to know your camera. Changing the white balance, shooting settings, and other features may take time to learn, but in the long run, can make a huge difference in the product you produce. I’ve shot videos with my Canon HFS11 and my point-and-shoot camera. Both produce great videos. Only invest in a high-end camera when you want to take your production “to the next level.” That means, you want to be semi-pro. If you’re shooting videos to chronicle your trip, there’s no need for a $1500 camera. A regular camera will do.

Probably one of the most important thing to keep in mind when selecting a camera to shoot with is the filming rate. HD is all the rage these days, but isn’t a necessity. Choose a resolution that’s at least 640×480 and at least 30 frames per second (fps). This is key, since less than 30fps makes things a little hard to see when you’re moving the camera around. (Note: PAL is 25fps and Cinema is 24fps.)

If you do buy a regular camcorder, you may want to invest in a wide angle lens down the road. While these new HD cameras are great, sometimes shooting up close is quite difficult. for example, even with my long arms, it’s tough getting my face in-frame without a wide angle lens adapter.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to address them. I will not comment on brand recommendations, however. Most cameras will do the trick for everyday travel videos, and if you have specific questions about a model you’re interested in, I’m sure you this has the answer you’re looking for! That being said, if you have specific questions about the Canon HFS11, I’d be happy to discuss my experiences with it.

Next Week: Music


Written by Steve Miller

July 10, 2010 at 7:33 am

10 Responses

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  1. Awesome! As a new vlogger I’m quite looking forward to reading your further insights into the art of video making! Thanks :).

    My older digital camera is all I currently have for video, and it’s really holding me back as the video quality is rather poor. When I get money in Korea I think it’ll be worth the investment to get a camcorder. I’m thinking of getting the new slim model Sanyo Xacti, which I think will suit my needs quite nicely, and Xactis are reasonably affordable.


    July 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

    • Xactis are great little cameras. The only thing I didn’t like about my older one, what that because it’s a pistol, you can’t set it down anywhere and have it take a group photo. You always have to use a tripod.


      July 11, 2010 at 8:56 am

  2. Nice post.

    You should break out your camera and make a few videos on July 24th.


    July 11, 2010 at 10:08 am

    • Unfortunately, I’ll be traveling that day and won’t be able to upload the footage by the deadline!


      July 11, 2010 at 10:10 am

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