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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: good medium priced web cam and software


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/349206

banjo1971 - Posted - 12/15/2018:  22:54:15


I'm looking to get a usb web cam other than the one that's already on my laptop which runs the Camera App in Windows 10. I'm getting bad results with the Camera app, sound and video both are bad. So I did try hooking up a good mic to my recording interface, and that sounds awesome, but it clicks and pops in places, and the video is poor, and no matter how many settings I play with, I can't get the Camera app to playback through both speakers from a mono recording. Plus, I'd be interested in getting a camera that allows for split screen so I can capture the left and right hand separately.


Any recommendations?

dr4dpet - Posted - 12/16/2018:  03:54:45


To get split screen video it will probably be easiest to use two cameras. You could do two takes with one camera, but synchronization will probably be easier with two cameras. It could be done with one very high resolution camera and still get good video, but a bit more editing work would be required. Any one of these methods will probably take software other than the Windows Camera App to get the Picture-In-Picture that you are wanting.  (In some apps it is called Key Frame) I made a quick search and didn't come up with any results saying you could do this in Camera App.  I found a reddit post that listed several free software options that may suit you. OpenShot is one of the choices that will do this. It is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I have used it on Linux with video from a GoPro camera. More than a decade ago I did P-i-P editing on Windows using Pinnacle Studio, it may still be available for purchase.  This 'review' has a couple of more options.



A possible source of the pops and clicks could be your lighting. Fluorescent lights have always caused interference, the newer CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs are more troublesome in this apsect. I refer not to flickering but to noise transmitted through electronic gear/microphones. Some go back to incandescents. LED and halogen are both reported to be better than CFL.



I don't have a camera suggestion, mostly because I don't use Windows to know which camera would work with the different versions. You could check to see if you have the latest drivers available for the camera built into you computer. If this seems to be a recent development you may try rolling back to an older driver.

Alegria - Posted - 12/16/2018:  07:04:43


One solution could be to get a cheap second hand SLR camera and a cheap second hand 50mm lens. You could probably get a decent setup for about 300 dollars and get incredibly good video quality. The 50mm lenses usually gets you a lot of quality because they don't contain too much glass and mechanics.

With that setup you would still need an external microphone to attach to the camera though, don't know how much they would be.

banjo1971 - Posted - 12/16/2018:  08:26:29


Thanks for your guys' advice and ideas. I'll look into these

thisoldman - Posted - 12/16/2018:  09:01:18


I like the idea of getting a DSLR camera - a two for one deal. Not all DSLRs (the older or cheaper ones) have a video recording feature, so look carefully. If you go for a stand-alone video camera, brand for the video cam probably isn't a big deal, just make sure there is a place to plug in an external mic, as the onboard mics aren't real good. I've bought a couple of used video cams on ebay in the past 4-5 years, you have to be patient as good "deals" aren't a daily thing. I would think that all consumer level cameras are recording/saving in mp4 or other generic file types, which read by readily available software. My PC computer is a bit old, and I have Movie Maker on board, which is pretty easy to use. A quick search tells me there are some plug-ins you can buy to do PIP.  In addition to being aware of type of light bulb, look for other sources of potential electrical interference in the room you are recording and perhaps in other places in the house (and perhaps recording on battery power rather than plugged in might make a difference).    


Edited by - thisoldman on 12/16/2018 09:06:11

dr4dpet - Posted - 12/16/2018:  17:48:03


quote:

Originally posted by thisoldman

... In addition to being aware of type of light bulb, look for other sources of potential electrical interference in the room you are recording and perhaps in other places in the house (and perhaps recording on battery power rather than plugged in might make a difference).    






Another source could be dimmer switches in the room wiring.

rudy - Posted - 12/18/2018:  19:12:41


quote:

Originally posted by Doug Knecht

I'm looking to get a usb web cam other than the one that's already on my laptop which runs the Camera App in Windows 10. I'm getting bad results with the Camera app, sound and video both are bad. So I did try hooking up a good mic to my recording interface, and that sounds awesome, but it clicks and pops in places, and the video is poor, and no matter how many settings I play with, I can't get the Camera app to playback through both speakers from a mono recording. Plus, I'd be interested in getting a camera that allows for split screen so I can capture the left and right hand separately.





Any recommendations?






I hear mono from one side, but no clicks or pops.



I suspect you're hearing problems from your computer as the file does through the D/A converters back to audible sound.



The only thing I can tell you is that you're going to need at least 1 good HD camera (more if you want a second or third angle), a really good software to do all the split screen and editing stuff (Sony Vegas or equivalent?), a good secondary audio recording method to capture your instrument and your vocal separately, and a up to date computer with a lot of horsepower to do all the editing and rendering with.



There was a really great video that I recently saw where the artist was explaining the exact method and setup that Homespun used to make their videos but I can't remember where I saw it now.  Possibly someone else will remember where it's posted.



You can check the video tips at Fran Guidry's Homebrewedmusic.com website in the meantime, but it sounds like you really want to do something like the Homespun instructional videos.


Edited by - rudy on 12/18/2018 19:14:53

thisoldman - Posted - 12/20/2018:  15:14:32


Been thinking about this a lot. I'm thinking you will need one additional camera, as if you have only one camera you would have to play the song twice (once with the camera on your picking hand, once with the camera on your fretting hand) EXACTLY the same.

There are software products out there that will do the editing, with PIP, for you and the two commercial ones I looked at offered free trials. OpenShot is a free, open source, program, which means it was created by a person or persons who work with the program's evolution over time. If you use it, you could contribute something towards the program's future development. Being open source, there may be bugs in the software, but the good news is that there are usually people working on fixes. There is a youtube video online that shows how to do PIP with OpenShot; it looks pretty simple.

If you want to record the sound separately from your video recordings, you can probably turn down (or maybe even eliminate) the sound in the video recordings in the video editing software, then add the separate audio in. Of course, if you buy a camera with a place to plug in your mic you probably won't have to worry about that. Know that a video cam might produce some extraneous sounds (like when focusing) , so you will need to experiment with mic and camera placements.

You said your audio is pretty good with the (separate) microphone. If it needs tweaking, try the free program Audacity to do some editing.

rudy - Posted - 12/20/2018:  17:55:11


quote:

Originally posted by thisoldman

Been thinking about this a lot. I'm thinking you will need one additional camera, as if you have only one camera you would have to play the song twice (once with the camera on your picking hand, once with the camera on your fretting hand) EXACTLY the same.



There are software products out there that will do the editing, with PIP, for you and the two commercial ones I looked at offered free trials. OpenShot is a free, open source, program, which means it was created by a person or persons who work with the program's evolution over time. If you use it, you could contribute something towards the program's future development. Being open source, there may be bugs in the software, but the good news is that there are usually people working on fixes. There is a youtube video online that shows how to do PIP with OpenShot; it looks pretty simple.



If you want to record the sound separately from your video recordings, you can probably turn down (or maybe even eliminate) the sound in the video recordings in the video editing software, then add the separate audio in. Of course, if you buy a camera with a place to plug in your mic you probably won't have to worry about that. Know that a video cam might produce some extraneous sounds (like when focusing) , so you will need to experiment with mic and camera placements.



You said your audio is pretty good with the (separate) microphone. If it needs tweaking, try the free program Audacity to do some editing.






I know some are using a simple wide shot done in HD and cropping the right and left hand portions as separate framed shots to show what the two hands are doing.  No problem with synchronizing the shots using that method.

thisoldman - Posted - 12/20/2018:  19:00:11


rudy you can tell I WAY overthought this. Cropping would be a simple and elegant solution. I'm wondering what the difference in editing time would be, comparing the 2 options.

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