video cameras

Low-End Camera Kit

Canon FS-100 Flash memory camcorder 

1. Canon FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder ~ $250

SanDisk 8gb class 6 SDHC memory card

2. SanDisk 8gb Class 6 SDHC Memory Card (Class 6 or higher required) ~ $50

Canon CG-800 charger 

3. Canon CG-800 Charger ~ $70

Canon BP-819 extended battery 

4. Canon BP-819 Extended Battery ~ $80

Canon gadget bag 10eg 

5. Canon Gadget Bag 10EG ~ $65

Hosa Stereo XLR to mini cable 

6. Hosa Stereo XLR Female to 3.5mm Mini Male ~ $10

Peavey PVM22 cardioid dynamic hand mic 

7. Peavey PVM22 Cardioid Handheld Microphone ~ $115

Sony MDR-E828LP earbuds 

8. Sony MDR-E828LP Earbuds ~ $10

Total: approximately $650 

Who is this low-end kit for?

The low-end kit is a great option for reporters/print journalists wanting to take the dive into capturing video with their stories. Newsrooms wanting an option to cover breaking news stories with video will find this kit very accommodating. The Canon FS-100 records directly to a memory cards and makes it easy and fast to get video online with little editing.

What is the general use?

This low end kit will capture fairly good quality video footage directly to a memory card. There is no logging involved in bringing the footage over to a computer, and in some circumstances (breaking news, etc.) the RAW video can be posted directly to the Web with no editing. The setup is not as involved as the kits above and is probably not the best solution for polished documentary-style features.

The size of this camera also makes it a great option for overseas video capture or for mobile journalists who have to file from the field. 

What are the options?

The memory card included in this kit will hold about two hours of footage, which can easily be doubled with a 16gb memory card for a little bit more money. Memory prices are dropping fast and this may be a good option. It is important to purchase an SDHC memory card rated at class 6 or higher.

This is a standard definition camera (SD). For the video on the Web, standard definition is almost always good enough, but as technology gets better and users start to demand more high-definition video (HDV), the Canon HF-10/100 becomes a viable alternative. Under current conditions, going HD becomes very problematic, especially with storage issues. Approximately one minute of HD footage equates to one gigabyte of storage needed for every video.

What is left out of this kit?

We chose not to include a tripod in this kit to keep the cost down, but a suitable tripod would be necessary for sit-down interviews or for shooting any fixed objects.  Shakiness could be a major problem with this camera, especially due to its small size. A tripod is recommended if longer video projects become a regular fixture for the news organization's Web site.