Knowing that the best audio recorders do not also record video, and the best camcorders have weak audio, who has combined a good camcorder with a high-end audio recorder? Some of the camcorders are equipped with audio inputs, so does anyone have experiences to share from mixing these technologies? Is Timecode an issue?
The new Q3HD overcomes the issue with the video in the original. Check out http://www.homebrewedmusic.com where I've done some comparisons of the Q3HD with the Kodak Zi8 and the iPhone 4.
The Q is lacking in low light performance, but this is very common (I'd say universal) in lower cost video cams. The audio quality of the Q is better than anything I've tried - it's one of the few cameras under $2500 with an unprocessed audio input - no auto level control, no bandwidth limiting.
But even with that benefit, you face the same problem that arises doing acoustic guitar recording with any camera mounted microphone - framing distance. The camera needs to be three or four feet (or more) from the subject for proper framing, while the mic needs to be 8-18 inches away, especially in a normal living space. So I used my Zoom H2 as a "powered mic" and connected the headphone output to the line in jack on the Q3HD. This gets the mic close to the player while allowing the camera room to frame the shot.
You've given me an idea about using the Zi8 and my Tascam DR-1 (which makes amazing live acoustic recordings) as the 'powered mic'. I had planned on recording some video lessons and dubbing the DR-1 tracks onto the video later. I'll just run the DR-1 line out into the Zi8 while recording and see how the quality comes out on the video. I'll also have a 24-bit audio recording if I need to fix anything 'in the mix'.
Thanks very much.
A true line out signal will be a bit hot for the Zi8 input, which is a mic level input. On the H2, the headphone and line outs are the same, so there's an output level control.
And of course, there's the input sensitivity on the Zi8 that might help as well. I've done some comparisons of various mics into the Zi8, including using the H2 as a powered mic for that camera.
I appreciate the advice -- you've given me a lot of ideas to work with and I'll be trying things out ove the next few days.
Your rundown on the mics is great and much appreciated.
This is an idea I see implemented a lot, but if you're serious about the audio side of the equation, a camera mounted mic will often be in the wrong location for good audio. The camera needs to be way over there to frame the shot, while the mic needs to be way over here to hear the guitar.