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Advice required: Compact Camera for Video? with External mic Input

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Calling all camera buffs :)

Hopefully some of the more experienced members into videography here might be able to help me out.

I'd like to buy a compact camera to shoot video.

Last year I walked the CF and recorded vlogs that I ended up making into a mini movie. I found shooting the video very Therapeutic. As I was walking alone, it almost became my confidant to talk to and my journal. I'm not really a journal 'writer'. It provides great memories looking back on it.

Last year it was all shot on my phone! A Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It actually came out kinda OK. I was surprised. But next time I'd like to shoot much higher quality audio and visual, but can't carry the weight of a DSLR or Pro video camera. As you can appreciate, I would prefer to travel super light. particularly as I have bad feet!

I've been researching for days, trying to find a suitable compact camera, and I'm really stuck. Maybe if I describe the specs and budget, some 'experts' out there could point me in the right direction?

So here are the specs I have come up with on my research. In terms of budget, I could probably go up to $2,000 maybe a bit more.

I'll list the specs under 'needed' and 'nice to have'. And Yes, as has been pointed out below, it's a Big Ask! ;)

Needed
  1. Small and light. think Fuji X30 or Sony RX 100 size
  2. Zoom lens. say 35 mm equivalent of 28mm to 70mm ish.
  3. Fast lens. say f1.8 to 2 ish
  4. Image sensor 1" or bigger. Full format would be nice.
  5. Good in low light
  6. Manual focus settings, as I want to shoot shallow depth of field.
  7. External mic socket. I'll use a lav and small shotgun mic with a dead kitten to cut down wind noise. (big problem last time).
  8. Flip screen, so I can compose/frame selfie shots
  9. Image stabalization
  10. Good audio quality
  11. Shoots at least 1920 x 1080 (my phone does that).
Nice to have
  1. Weather sealing
  2. Head phone socket to monitor audio
  3. WiFi so I can upload to Vimeo/Youtube as I travel (via phone)
  4. 4k
What I've found so far is the Fuji X30 and Olympus XZ-2. Loved the Canon G5X but no external mic input...

I looked at a few Four Thirds cameras. But they're not really pocket cameras.

Any ideas most appreciated.

Rob
 
Last edited:

sdenko

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferada-Santiago (2013), Primitivo (2014), Portugal + Muxia (2015)
october 2016: C. Vasco (de Bayona)
Hi Rob, can’t say that you are not a very demanding person. The only camera, that can fulfill all your requirements (pocketable size, fast lens, FF sensor, weather sailing – except for the zoom) is actually Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II, but for double the money you are keen to spend.

For half the sum you mentioned, you can have the Sony RX 100 MK IV, which will perfectly fulfill your requirements for very high video quality. You can even save much more with other less expensive but equally good cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, etc. As I may presume you are more a Camino addicted walker then a pros videographer, so instead of buying an expensive camera save your money for another trip to Iberian peninsula and enjoy it.

Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hi Rob, can’t say that you are not a very demanding person. The only camera, that can fulfill all your requirements (pocketable size, fast lens, FF sensor, weather sailing – except for the zoom) is actually Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II, but for double the money you are keen to spend.

For half the sum you mentioned, you can have the Sony RX 100 MK IV, which will perfectly fulfill your requirements for very high video quality. You can even save much more with other less expensive but equally good cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, etc. As I may presume you are more a Camino addicted walker then a pros videographer, so instead of buying an expensive camera save your money for another trip to Iberian peninsula and enjoy it.

Buen Camino.

Hi, thanks for the thoughts. Sadly the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II as you say, does not have a zoom, and the Sony RX 100 MK IV seems to have no mic port :(

Yes, I know the specs are a big ask :) It's not just for our next Camino though. It will become the property of 'she who must be obeyed' for other purposes post Camino ;)

Looks like the Fuji X30 at the moment...
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I'm a Canon camera (and printer!) user but for ext. microphone have a look at Nikon Coolpix P7800 or Fujifilm X30, which do, to see if they meet your other criteria.

Yes I'm a Canon lover too. I have an XA20 in my 'studio' at work that we use to create website videos. Very basic use. Just sits facing a green screen! Way too heavy to carry on a Camino though!

Certainly both of these, the Nikon and the Fuji seem to fit the bill. Many thanks. :)

I'm surprised that the big name brands don't really produce good vlogging cameras. The external mic port, zoom and tilting screen are fairly essential.

I was almost tempted to just upgrade my trusty phone and take an external mic for it. But there are things you can't really do with a phone camera... And having an excuse to buy another camera is no bad thing ;)
 

bystander

Veteran Member
Rob, I so agree with what you have said. I have had Canon cameras since the early '70s when I met someone who had been the official photographer for the RAF here. He was setting up a camera shop and I was lusting after a Nikon but he then put me straight!

So at his recommendation I bought, at for me then vast expense, a Canon F1 followed as the years went by an A1 and then (of my "film" cameras my favourite - and I still occasionally use it) a T90 with zoom lens. Various Canon pocketable and DLSRs have followed (expensive habit!) but from which purchases my children have benefitted!

But, like you, I now find that I use my phone camera more and more and my cameras less and less.

In a couple of days, I look forward to seeing what the latest Apple phone has to offer and then, perhaps, digging into my camera/phone addiction fund!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Well, we bought our next 'Camino' camera. It proved impossible to buy a compact with the right specs. Particularly the combination of zoom lens, tilting screen and external mic input. I could have bought an old Fuji X30 online but why buy a 3 year old camera? Maybe a suitable compact will be produced in the next year or two?

So as in all things, it turned into a bit of a compromise.

Yesterday we bought an Olympus EM5 Mark 2. Stunning little camera. I love it. Basically a mini SLR. What sold it for me was a small 'pancake' zoom of 14-42 mm that collapses down when turned off. So the whole thing is a similar size to a compact anyway... The lens is not fast (f3.5) but...

The image stabilisation is amazing. They claim 5 stops benefit and it certainly seems like it.... Now we have to learn how to use it! Bit more complicated that my first SLR, a Canon A1 back in 1975 :oops:

Now I need to source a couple of front pouches for my pack, as the camera is a bit bulky and heavy to just drop in a shirt pocket. Only just... I thought I'll stick the camera on one side and a water bottle on the other.

Oh and a couple of really cool accessories...

The camera comes with a tiny flash, that is powered off the camera, and only weights 48 gms. I think that might slip into the bag....
And, the smallest video light I've seen, from Manfotto, that weighs only 48 gms with the battery (1 x triple A) and puts out 220 lux. Again just enough for a fill or a close up....

Heading out for lunch near the Opera House in Sydney today, so it will have to come along for a bit of practice ;)
 

Thundrla

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Muxia (2014)
Frances (2017)
Finisterre (2017 - 2x)
Portuguese (2018)
Rob - now that your camera is almost a year old, what is your review. My purposes are the same as yours - ie I walked the CF in 2014, and did all my videos and jpgs with iPhone 5s. In Sept 2017 we will do the CF again, and want to do more vlogging, with better quality.

So, 9 months later, is this still the camera you'd buy?
 

jrm

Active Member
I know this camera thread is old, but for anyone else looking, I'd encourage you to look for a Canon EOS-M as well, but a version 1 or 2. It's a small mirrorless camera that has the same sensor as some of their entry level DSLR's. You can mount an external mic to the hotshot and you have an excellent run-and-gun setup. I found mine for really cheep on Craigslist here in he US. The newer versions are much more expensive, but I think you'd have a great solution with the cheaper version 1 or 2.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Latest News on my Camera hunt.

I have given up!

I don't think camera companies are making compact cameras any more with all the features that I need. :oops:

The reason being of course, that this segment of the market has really been taken over by Smart phones. :eek:

So.....Drum Roll...............

Enter the Samsung S8............

I just bought one and have been trying it out for video, and it's amazing.
In fact I'm buying a second one!
I shoot blog interviews at work and this will give me a really portable two camera setup.

So my Camera for Camino 2018 is the Samsung S8.

I'm currently trialling some Camera 'Apps' just to give me more control. Though the App shipped with the phone is not too bad.

Have tried:
FilmicPro
Cinema FV-5 and
Cinema 4K.

Cinema 4k is the favourite so far.
Coupled with the Rode Smart Lav external mic, and the tiny Joby Gorilla tripod, it's a great setup up.

Now I've got 6 months to practice with it. :rolleyes:
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Rob - now that your camera is almost a year old, what is your review. My purposes are the same as yours - ie I walked the CF in 2014, and did all my videos and jpgs with iPhone 5s. In Sept 2017 we will do the CF again, and want to do more vlogging, with better quality.

So, 9 months later, is this still the camera you'd buy?

Sorry I have only just come back to this thread.

I still like the Olympus Mirrorless....... but find my new phone the Samsung S8 is almost as good! It shoots 4k video......
Plus it's small and lightweight.
And water 'resistant'......
So for the Camino, the phone wins.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Hi Rob - interested to know your thoughts on how you will store your videos during the Camino. Will you upload raw and/or edited videos to a cloud storage service? I imagine the videos will be quite large so would fairly quickly jam up the onboard storage.
 

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