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Camcorder for inventory video

Discussion in 'Off Topic & Everything Else' started by Matt DoCampo, Sep 17, 2009.

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  1. Matt DoCampo

    Matt DoCampo
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    We are in the process of acquiring a video camera, tripod with wheels and editing software for shooting video of our inventory. Is anyone producing their video inhouse and if so, what camcorder are you using? Would you recommend it?

    The video will be posted to our website, AutoTrader, YouTube and integrated into our eBay listings.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. CAORYAN

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    It depends on your budget. Camera range from $200 to $50,000. I have a Cannon HD HG10 (I love it). I am a fan of the hard drive option. You don't really need a mic for shooting inventory unless you will be doing a walk around. If you will need to do speaking into the camera I highly recommend a directional mic.

    I bought mine from B&H Photo Video | Digital Cameras, Camcorders.

    The best editing software you can get that will be easy enough for you to use is Final Cut Pro Apple - Final Cut Studio - Final Cut Pro 7.

    I am not a big fan of DV videos. I wouldn't mess with them. Bad experiences. Stick with HD, Digital, Hard drive, and final cut pro.

    Some may suggest Adobe Premier but it will crash on you if you try to add text. It has always had that problem as long as I have used it.

    Don't go cheap on the tripod!!!

    Camera: 500 to 1500 as long as you are close up
    Final Cut Pro: 1000
    Tripod: 1200 to 2000 (plan a smooth surface like in the service shop)

    I would also buy lights and curtains to go all the way around the car. Just me!
     
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  4. JohnScott

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    Equipment can get expensive, here is a great DIY track dolly for your tripod. Ive actually seen one of these in action at a hot import nights car show. He had it set up using a more flexible black tubing for the track so that you could go all the way around the car.


    Its really a simple assembly.
     
    #3 JohnScott, Sep 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2014
  5. Jeff Kershner

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    You can get away with this at a fairly reasonable price.

    Here are a few videos we have done in-house. I'll try and get our video guru Ryan in here to talk about the equipment and software..

    Here are a few video we have done...







    Of course we use these video for "Video Distribution"



    Even for a larger dealer group with many resources..it's not easy to keep up with videos of decent quality.
     
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    #4 Jeff Kershner, Sep 17, 2009
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  6. CAORYAN

    CAORYAN
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    To make sense of the embed code

    New 2010 Mazda Mazda3 Video Test Drive Maryland - Video

    http://www.youtube.com/v/CakG3z7rE8Y&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x2b405b&color2=0x6b8ab6

    2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 Video | Maryland Mercedes Dealer on Vimeo

    Yo Kersh the embed code is great if you want folks to embed your videos on their website lol. You probably do!

    I am a HUGE vimeo fan. However they can and do take your videos off if you use them for commercial. So don't count on them.

    There are companies that can do this for you. If you make it part of the process it will work. After the car comes out of clean up it goes straight to get new photo's and video done on it.
     
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  7. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Yeah...there is a plugin I need for the forums for embedded video to work. I'm getting this taken care of ASAP. One would think this would be a norm !!??

    Thanks for cleaning this up for me. You're quick to the draw..I just posted this.. LOL.
     
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  8. Mitch Gallant

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    We use a Sony Handycam (check out the help thread i put up a while back) with a built in hard drive and only upgraded because the Flip had less then great audio. The dolly idea seems like a good plan but we certainly aren't taking it to that level.... yet. I seem to have the opinion that customers want the footage to be pretty raw and that you can get great results on a very small budget. We make sure to cover the basics... no background noise (sales pages are a piss off!) get to where the lighting is decent and have a good background, maybe even some kind of vinyl sign of your dealer logo and the like.

    For editing I haven't seen the need (yet) to go beyond the basic iMovie or Windows Movie Maker which are free and allow you produce some cool stuff. Without going on to much, my opinion is your videos will only be as good as the characters within them, focus on the people and product rather then the equipment. (you probably are anyways)
     
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  9. Ryan Ricig

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    I agree with Mitch, if you are shooting simple inventory video the most important thing is creating a simple, reproducible workflow that gives your customers the best look at/explanation of each vehicle. No single piece of equipment or software can make or break that for you.

    And as long as you put the right amount of time into setting that workflow up, it can be done well on a relatively small budget.

    A few ideas:

    As far as a camcorder, just figure out what your price range is and check out reviews, but the Sonys and Canons are great in the "Pro-sumer" range, if you can find one that shoots Progressive scan footage (as opposed to interlaced). Progessive is best for web.

    For HD cameras, I think HDV is still quite a bit more manageable than AVCHD (which most hard-disk and flash memory cameras use) but again if you plan your workflow properly, either one will work.

    If you don't want to do live guided walk-arounds, you could avoid any mic/sound issues by buying an inexpensive USB mic and doing voice-overs after you record your footage.

    Software wise the free options (iMovie, WMM) will work for most situations, and the Pro products (Premiere, Avid, Final Cut) are great if you've got the time and money, but don't rule out in-between products like Pinnacle Studio Ultimate (which handles that pesky AVCHD) and Adobe Premiere Elements. If you aren't trying to dazzle with effects, these certainly provide the necessary tools to get the job done and are very affordable.
     
    #8 Ryan Ricig, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009

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