A graduate student organization at my school holds occasional lectures that we've decided to start videotaping. They tend to be about an hour long, give or take a bit. So far, I've been using my Canon 7D, Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 tripod legs, and Manfrotto 322RC2 joystick head. But this has several problems:
- My largest CF cards are 16GB, which can hold approximately 45 minutes of HD video. This is not quite enough.
- Even if I drop the quality of the recording to SD, at around the 1 hour mark, the temperature warning shows up.
- I can't use Magic Lantern on a 7D, so I have to record the video in 12 minute segments and stitch it together later.
- All of this equipment is mine. The organization would like its own equipment.
So I'm looking into suitable recording equipment with the following requirements:
1. We need a camera, tripod, memory card, mic (optional).
2. I don't know the budget, but I expect it will be low. Maybe $300 total?
3. It needs to record in HD, and 1080p is better than 720p. (The higher resolution makes a big difference reading writing on a blackboard.)
4. The camera needs to be able to get a fairly wide angle. (I've been using mainly 17-28mm on my 7D, which has a 35mm equivalent of 27-45mm.)
5. I would expect any camera specifically meant for recording video will not have the 12 minute restriction of my Canon 7D, but I suppose I should mention that I don't want to have to record in segments. Ideally, the camera should record until space runs out.
I think I may be asking for the impossible with this low of a budget. In the short term, I can just continue using my own tripod if a suitable camera (with memory card) can be found for the right price. But so far, I haven't seen a cheap enough camera that satisfies these requirements. I've been looking at the following:
Canon VIXIA HF R20
: widest angle is only 41mm, which is not very wide. (But my guess is this is something I'll have to give up on.) A little over budget at $335. And that's before memory cards.
: widest angle of 37mm is a bit better. This camera (before memory cards) comes in under $300.
: widest angle of 30mm is great, but this is also the most expensive option at about $350.
As far as I can tell, the difference between the Canon VIXIA HF R20 and the HF R200 is 8GB of internal storage space. Any Canon camcorder lower in price than the HF R20 appears to lose HD. And the HDR-CX110 appears to be the bottom of Sony's HD barrel as well.
Does anybody have any recommendations on this tight of a budget? I'm sort of expecting that camera+memory cards will already use up $300, but I'd also welcome tripod recommendations. Finally, if there is a case for (slightly) increasing the budget, I'm happy to see recommendations that are just a little bit outside of the budget.
Thanks in advance.