What is your typical Multi-camera Setup when recording a performance, recital, concert, etc? Well here's a quick look at my most basic gear for three static camera angles. I typically go with (3) Panasonic GH4 cameras as I love the super long battery life, and 4K video recording all day (deliver 1080 but flexible in post for faux zooms and crops).
If i'm doing a 3 camera angle shoot, I find it's easier to match footage when you have the exact same cameras (same color profile, set same exposure, etc).
I also make sure to add a good microphone to each camera as you need really good scratch audio to do a quick sync in post. As a backup I also run timecode on all cameras and match them as close possible for post sync. In the photo you'll see i'll use either a Rode VideoMic Pro or Azden SMX-30.
I also try to use Sandisk 128GB SDXC Cards so I don't have to swap cards during the event, and record each video clip as long as possible. I find it's easier to sync a few long clips in post than a hundred small clips. Once the clips are synced in post, it's easy to cut out all the dead time.
For audio, I make sure to bring a few portable audio recorders (like Zoom H1) and set them up close to Audio Speakers, but i'll bring a Multitrack recorder (like Zoom H6) to plug directly into the sound board. The Zoom H6 offers dual recording in case sound peaks, and worst case scenario I can sometimes grab audio from the cameras (since they are mic'd up).
Finally and totally optional, i've rigged up a dual monitor setup with Camera Motion Research Connex Wireless Video Kits. Super reliable and long range systems. So while i'm operating the main camera, I can get a feed from the two other camera angles and make sure I have a clear visual what everyone is covering. With our wireless headsets, I can direct the other two operators to make sure we cover the entire performance.
So that's a quick look at the core parts of how I tackle these quick Multi-camera angle shoots. Do you have any favorite pieces of gear of tips you'd like to share?
Normally priced at about $100 dollars, the Tascam DR-05 hand held recorder is on sale for just $65 dollars. The Tascam DR-05 does not have XLR inputs, so it's similar to the Zoom H1. It's a bit larger than a Zoom H1 (as seen above), but a great deal if you don't have a recorder today.
Looking for the most simplest way to mount a Rode VideoMic, LED Light, and Zoom H1 to your camera - all at one time? There's nothing more simple than this Triple Hotshoe Accessory Bracket. Under the bracket's mount is a 1/4-20 thread so you can also use this on a lightstand. Great for stacking several small LED lights to a single stand for a larger light source.
Even the basic Vello Triple bracket can run for about $30 bucks (seen here), but right now this other Triple Bracket has recently been reduced in price to about $12 dollars and ships free for Amazon Prime members too check it out (Click Here).
Triple Mount Hot Shoe V Mount Bracket for Video Lights, Microphones or Monitors VBrack3
When it comes to portable recorders with DSLR video, there's two names that are sure to come up - Tascam and Samson (a.k.a Zoom). Here's an interesting new product pointed out to me [Thanks Anthony] that could shake things up for Samson's Zoom H4n product line. The H4n has been a long mainstay when it comes to an affordable 4 track portable recorder with XLR inputs, but Tascam has got something new (and cheaper).
The new Tascam DR-40 is playing in the same recording space offering just about as much features as the Zoom H4n, but the kicker is that it's coming in at about $100 dollars cheaper than the Zoom H4n (found here). Yeah that's quite a bit of savings. No reviews I could pull down just yet since it's a new product. Says it's available for Pre-order via B&H, but there are just a few sellers carrying this new product via eBay (click here).
Zoom is upgrading the H2 with a new H2n. The black finish and retro condenser microphone styling is a big plus for my taste, but it's neither pocketable nor does it have all the features of the H4n.
I'm not sure how something like this would fit the Video Maker's toolbox with all the other Zoom options out there (no XLR inputs), but Zoom has been geared more towards musicians. It might be a handy thing to have for Video makers that record live concerts and provide a better sound than the Zoom H1. Not yet available, but there's some additional information and sexy photos following the link.
:Five built-in mic capsules provide Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90° X/Y stereo, 2-channel and 4-channel recording modes
:Records in WAV up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 up to 320kbps
:Newly designed user interface
:Additional functions include Lo-cut Filter, Compressor/Limiter, Auto Gain, Pre-Rec, Auto-Rec, Tuner, Metronome, Variable Speed Playback, Key Control, A-B Repeat, File :Dividing, Normalize, MP3 Post-Encode, Marker and Surround Mixer
:Data recovery function protects against unexpected recording errors
:Over 20 hours of operation using two standard AA batteries
:Operates on battery, AC or USB bus power
:1.8-inch backlit LCD display with 128 x 64 resolution
:Analog-type Mic Gain wheel
:Built-in reference speaker
:High-speed USB 2.0 card reader function
:1/8-inch Mic/Line Input and Phones/Line Output stereo phone jacks
:Accommodates up to 32GB SDHC memory cards
:Includes Steinberg WaveLab LE 7 editing software, 2GB SD memory card and two AA batteries
:Optional accessory package (APH-2n) includes remote control with extension cable, windscreen, AC adapter (USB type), USB cable, adjustable tripod stand, padded-shell case and a mic clip adapter.
If anyone cares, here's the relative size of the Tascam DR-05 in between the Zoom H1 (left) and Zoom H4n (right). It's priced the same as the Zoom H1 and also lacks any XLR inputs. Although it's a bit larger than the Zoom H1, the Tascam DR-05 is just a better build overall. It has some decent weight to it too, so it doesn't feel very fragile. It's got many more features in the menu which is easy to navigate and obviously sounds great. The tripod mount in the rear has a metal insert (not plastic like H1), and i've had the same alkaline (the ones that came with) batteries in there for over a week now. So it doesn't drain over night like some odd Zoom H1 issues.
It's not as full featured as a Zoom H4n, but for the same price as an H1 it's a solid portable recorder. The Zoom H1 is still much lighter and smaller, and for those who are looking for a recorder to throw in someone's pocket with a LAV mic, it's still the way to go. By the way, if you're looking for an H4n the best deal was on the Manufacturer Refurb items. The first seller sold out, but there's one more seller with a few left. I've updated the link here: http://cheesycam.com/zoom-h4n-factory-refurbished-portable-recorder/
One of the first videos on YouTube regarding the new Tascam DR-05.
Tascam DR-05 Portable Recorder
Zoom H1 Portable Recorder
It's not quite the tiny package the Zoom H1 might be, in fact it looks about as big as the Zoom H4n. The build quality (at least from the videos) looks awesome, and looks to have more a few more features over the Zoom H1. Hopefully i'll have one in my hands soon to do a side by side comparison on build quality and size with the Zoom H1, and then put them through a few audio tests.
Tascam has released a new DR-05 portable audio recorder that's firing back at the Zoom H1. Set up at the same pricing and target audience looking for a tiny portable recording device, this one might be the real game changer. Specs for the new Tascam DR-05 recording bitrate is similar to the Zoom H1, also includes stereo microphones, powered Mic 3.5 line input, headphones out, built in speaker, accepts MicroSD Card media, powered by (2) AA batteries or optional AC adapter.
There's no doubt that Zoom had cornered the market for $99 dollar portable recorders, but there was comments about the Zoom H1 plastic body and battery drain issues. Previously Tascam failed in providing a cost effective portable recorder to follow, as even the DR-03 was pricier than the Zoom H1. The DR-03 was thinner, but lacked mounting options and could only support a limited sized MicroSD card. With the release of this DR-05, this one could take the $99 dollar portable recorder crown. Oh and yes, this new Tascam DR-05 also has a threaded 1/4 x 20 mount (finally).
The Zoom H1 was a sell out for many weeks on it's first release, and from everything i'm seeing, this new Tascam is clearly a Charlie Sheen Winner. Once it arrives, i'll make the decision to move to all Tascam's and sell all Zoom H1's. Check out all the specs through the link below.
Ok, so you got your DSLR and fancy new Rode VideoMic Pro with +20db feature. If you've got AGC on the T2i (without ML) or Canon 7D, then you need a way to disable AGC. Or maybe you don't? Maybe you've got a Canon 5D Mark II or 60D with Manual audio levels - no AGC to worry about. You're still short of a way to monitor the audio levels via headphones.
There's been different ways of trying to get clean audio into your camera, but it normally came at a hefty price. Here's where this new JuicedLink DS214 comes in. Just recently announced as available for purchase for under $145 bucks, this little black box provides all the missing features of running a stereo jacked microphone into your camera. The DS214 provides you with Audio meters, a Low-Noise Preamp, Headphone monitoring, and even AGC Disable if needed (everything that sucks for a DSLR). Ok, yes you can use an MP3 player with constant tone to 'tame' the AGC, but still no way to adjust levels from the Mic, or give a little low-noise preamp boost to the signal. Any way you cut it, this thing was thought out to include all the different 'workarounds'. For the price and convenience, it can't be beat.
This version doesn't have inputs to support XLR Microphones, but there's a swamping new audience using the Rode VideoMic Pro that sure could use something like this. For XLR phantom power you'll want to check out the DT454. Only 1 stereo input? The DS214 also has seperate L/R potentiometers which makes it possible to run a splitter to two different mics and capture mono on each channel.
As of now the new JuicedLink DS214 is only available on the JL site with a bunch of information which I suggest you checkout to see if this will work for you. There's also some different Audio Samples from a variety of possible Audio setups with the Rode Mic + Zoom H4n you can listen to.