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Cheap Camera with Short Lens?


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#1 Jim Keller

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:28 PM

For a project I'm currently doing specs on for a client, we're looking for an HD camera (preferably 720p) that will give us that extremely short-lens effect of a web cam, which we can build into part of our set. (Yes, it's safe to read that as "disposable.") The image quality doesn't need to be great for our purposes, but most of the consumer cameras out there can't get wide enough. (Of course, using diopter is an option, but I like to keep it simple.) Something tapeless would be ideal (including an actual web cam), but we can also handle an HDV workflow.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:14 PM

How much of the show will be shot on this camera? If it's not too much, I'd just go with a webcam. It would stand out as being what it is. Too much stuff at that quality level could get irritating, though.

Rather than diopters, which are for close focus mainly, the other way to go is a wide angle adapter. They're sort of like those thru the door peephole viewers on steroids. The quality's not great, but could be ideal for this job.




-- J.S.
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#3 Jim Keller

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 11:04 AM

How much of the show will be shot on this camera? If it's not too much, I'd just go with a webcam. It would stand out as being what it is. Too much stuff at that quality level could get irritating, though.


Unfortunately, the answer is "all of it." Think "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" without the traditional narrative footage, only the "blog" footage. The main reason I'm hesitant to go with an actual webcam isn't the quality of the optics (though I always prefer to start with better quality and filter it to look cheap rather than being stuck with the lousy quality), it's that everyone involved in the project is Mac-based, and Apple still hasn't figured out that people might want to record video at more than 640x480 resolution...
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 05:24 PM

Have a look at these wide angle adapter examples:

http://www.andromeda.../wideangle.html



-- J.S.
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