Direct to camera recording

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Direct to camera recording

Hi everybody, 


I have a video problem and could use a hand solving it. But first, sorry if this has been asked before (I couldnt find this question in here before I posted this). 


I want to record 1080 (ideally higher) videos where it's me talking to the camera so the students can have some face time with me. I have a 1080p logitech webcam, and it's just awful for picking up good lighting. I look permanently (and dangerously) sunburnt. And when I add good lighting I look like a ghost. Plus all the pixels look "fuzzy" in the records. That's fine for floating head videos imo but not direct-to-camera videos. 


I have a DSLR EOS t6s camera with a kit lens. Photos are amazing! Video.. not so much. A 1080p video requires manual focusing and I can rarely focus on myself in the preview screen accurately. Turns out looking at a 2.5"x1.5" screen from 5ft away is hard to see. I tried focusing on an object where I would stand and it looks crisp in the preview but the actual video is pretty blurry. I want it to look crisp. 


I've learned I want an infinity focus lens but I'm skeptical to spend even more on this camera and possibly have it not work the way I want.. And this camera only goes up to 1080p. To top it off, I'm pretty camera-stupid. 


I'd REALLY like a camera that has infinity focus so I dont have to mess with anything that can shoot in 1440 or 2k (or higher), but ideally isn't like $2000 (I saw someone mention a Panasonic 4K GH5 in another thread and that's a bit pricy for the average teacher I think..)


Audio is less important as I have a lav and a blue yeti already.. and that could be saved for another thread.


Are there any suggestions for a high quality camera that I can just turn on and start recording

4 Replies

Hi @KalobTaulien , did you find a camera that best fits your needs already? I'm bumping your post so other instructors can share their experiences with the equipment they use.

I think I found a few solutions. I don't know if they are good solutions or not. Honestly, it's been pretty hard getting an answer for this from anybody.

I got a new lens and that seems to be working, but it's still not as amazing as I'd like. But it's good enough if I'm being honest. It's much better than a webcam.

And have been looking at go-pros, which I might trial one of these weeks but I'm hoping to not spend money on a go-pro as I won't use it for its intended purposes.


Some people in other forums have suggested cameras between $700-$2000, which is absolutely absurd in my opinion. 


I love the idea of using a phone and smart phones have great cameras. But syncing a large video to a laptop (Android to a Mac) isnt always easy (and in my case the Pixel series and my MacBook simply don't work together). And syncing audio afterwards can be a bit tricky if recording from an outside source, other than the phone. (Plus lav mics for Android dont seem to have very good reviews, and everything "good" is for iPhones). 

There are many cameras that will do the job. I am using a Nikon Z6 and I have been surprised how well it focuses automatically. It has excellent facial and eye recognition and set to continuous focus it stays right on my face. I previously used a Fuji XH1 and a Nikon D810 but they needed to be set to manual fixed focus because the auto focus would hunt. I don't know anything about the Canon so I can't comment. I am not saying this is the case, but often people do not know their own camera very well in terms of what settings work and how they work. If I were you, before buying another camera I would make sure I have tried the different auto focus and manual focus settings. 

Something that could be a problem is depth of field. I assume you understand that if your lens is set to f.2.8, for example, you have a very narrow depth of field and this makes if very hard for the camera to focus on anything moving. I always make sure my f.stop is at least 5.6, preferably more. But that is a matter of having adequate light as well as a good lens. 


Random thoughts that might be useful.



Lawrence M. Miller

I am Using a Canon EOS Rebel that pretty much does the job 

But why shouldn't you go for mobile recording that's a pretty nice way to get started and id it goes well you can spend more at the end of the day on new and budgeted equipments too.


All the best being an Instructor 

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Audio and video solutions
Figure out how to create the best audio and visual set-up for your price point and skill level. This is a great place to chat about different mics, green screens, video editing software, and more.