Video or Still Camera for Trip?

#1 Jun 4th, 2009, 21:09
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  • gvdv is offline
#1
Hi,
I'm wondering/debating about whether or not to take my video camera or my still camera on my trip to India, and wonder what advice people have.

I know from experience that I haven't used my video camera as much as I thought I would when I bought it, but I have used it for memorable trips abroad, and am glad that I did. I also know it has to be a choice about whether or not to take one camera or the other, because I won't be taking both.

The video camera is not bulky, but it's not tiny, either, so it requires a separate, small bag.

Here are my options, as I see them:
1. Take the video camera only
2. Stock up on SD cards for the still (digital) camera so that I could take pieces of video; obviously, though, the emphasis would be on still photos if I were using this camera, and the video quality would not be great.
3. Buy a new, smaller, video camera. If I went this route, I'd probably be looking at a hard drive based camera, rather than a mini DV (which is the technology that my existing video camera uses). I do, however, have doubts about the robustness of these devices (drop it, and it could be history), and the capacity of the hard drive, as I'd probably be tempted to shoot a lot more if the camera was more portable, and if I didn't have to carry separate storage media (i.e., mini DV tapes) around.

What do you think?
#2 Jun 5th, 2009, 23:09
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#2
Anyone have any opinions?
#3 Jun 5th, 2009, 23:12
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#3
I look at photos way more than videos after a trip. So, if I am only limited to one choice, I would choose a camera. When I go to India in August this year, I plan to bring both. But that's because my gf is coming with me, and she'll be using the video cam.

If you are not using a SLR (which I am), most of the camera can take (not-as-good) videos anyway.
#4 Jun 5th, 2009, 23:15
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#4
Yes, I have an opinion but it is my opinion. I'm a still camera person, I would always take a still camera, even if hundreds of others recommended a video camera. A video person will always take a video camera. It really only depends on what you want to do and what you want to carry. I wonder if it helps if you know what OTHERS prefer...
#5 Jun 5th, 2009, 23:48
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#5
After shooting thousands of still photos in India since 1982, I finally (in 2006) left the still camera at home and brought a nice camcorder. I agree with poster above, I certainly look at the stills much more than video . . . but . . . I find that a video camera captures more of what India is (for me) than still photos - the motion, the sounds . . . I took the footage I shot in Varanasi last time, put it together with my bansuri guru's music and posted something on youtube (see Sun Standing Still: A Memoir of the Imagination)

Sounds like you've got 'em both . . . take 'em both.
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#6 Jun 6th, 2009, 00:22
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#6
I'd buy a bigger bag and take both.

I took a DSLR, a digicam, a DV camcorder, monopod, lenses and never felt like carrying them was a weight or a chore. I was really glad to have taken all of that equipment when it meant I could capture this shot or that video.

I would agree that it's more likely that you and your friends will view the stills more than video but I love video for capturing certain moments.
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#7 Jun 6th, 2009, 03:10
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#7
With questions like this, I always wonder... what kind of souvenirs do YOU want to have? It's your trip. Only you know what you really want from it.

Last time (2005) I just used my digital camera for still photos, but this time (in two months) I think I'm going to use it for little videos that I can share with my friends online, talking to them about what I'm doing and seeing.

Thinking back on the last trip, I wish I'd taken more pictures of interesting people I met, but then again, it seemed when I got out the camera people got into the "I Am Getting My Photo Taken" pose--stood up straight, looked directly at the camera, etc. I wonder if brief videos of people will get more views of them relaxing and being themselves. I guess I'll see.
#8 Jun 6th, 2009, 04:18
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#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanTragic View Post I'd buy a bigger bag and take both.

I took a DSLR, a digicam, a DV camcorder, monopod, lenses and never felt like carrying them was a weight or a chore. I was really glad to have taken all of that equipment when it meant I could capture this shot or that video.

I would agree that it's more likely that you and your friends will view the stills more than video but I love video for capturing certain moments.
That sounds dangerous to bring so much on one person. Are you or do you look Indian? As a first time traveler to India, I don't feel that comfortable carrying that much expensive things on one person.

Lots of things to carry -> clumsy -> easy target
#9 Jun 6th, 2009, 04:54
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#9
Our last trip in 2006 I took our then brand new camcorder and a very good Canon Elph Powershot 770IS. I took lots of great pics and small videos on the camera and only occasionally used the camcorder. I didn't find it convenient. And I rarely look at them now.

Now I have a newer Canon Elph Powershot 880 IS (gave the other one to my husband--it's still an outstanding camera) and I will not bring the camcorder again. I also have a tiny Flip video camera. It's fun but doesn't replace the camcorder or either digital camera for quality.

I see people using the newer smaller video cameras all the time and they look really nice, being so small.

But I am very happy with my new Digital camera & the small videos it makes are perfect.
#10 Jun 6th, 2009, 05:06
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#10
For what it's worth. I took both last time, because I'm doing a degree in Communications, in film and tv. The video was okay but very hard to set up the tripod without a lot of people "helping". Without the tripod, I got some okay shots resting the camera on things, but a lot of footage was a bit BLAIR WITCH, shaky and annoying. Like filming in the cold at gunpoint.
The stills speak for themselves, always a good idea. I have an old still cam,
but 9 megapix, and the vid is a tiny dv cam thing, fits in my hand.
9 megapix in a photo is a lot of detail.
I took 20 dv tapes. But sometimes you don't want to film, you miss the action.
#11 Jun 6th, 2009, 07:01
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#11
I hold a Canon 20D SLR camera and a Sony HDR-XR500v camcorder. So, even if I want, it's too clumsy and inconvenient to keep watch of both. (Weight doesn't bother me.) But if you just have a regular point & shoot camera, just bring both. It's really not that heavy!
#12 Jun 6th, 2009, 07:04
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanTragic View Post I'd buy a bigger bag and take both.

I took a DSLR, a digicam, a DV camcorder, monopod, lenses and never felt like carrying them was a weight or a chore. I was really glad to have taken all of that equipment when it meant I could capture this shot or that video.

I would agree that it's more likely that you and your friends will view the stills more than video but I love video for capturing certain moments.
I find that a bit scary to carry so much large/expensive stuff around. Like I said, if my gf ain't coming with me, I would never bring both. What kind of bag did you use? And do you look like a foreigner in India?
#13 Jun 6th, 2009, 09:06
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#13
avonord, it's probably more a question of the hassle of carrying the equipment than the risk of theft. You don't have to worry much more than you would in Toronto; of course, in Toronto you wouldn't leave it on a cafe table unsupervised while you went to the washroom, and you'd want to make sure you had a firm grip on your bags when you're walking, but other than that there isn't a reason to be paranoid.

I do not look at all Indian, and I did not get targeted for crime at all. If you are a tourist, almost all the Indians you meet will hope that you enjoy yourself in their country, hope that you leave with fond memories, hope that you say good things to your friends about India, and hope that you come back someday.

Still, get travel insurance if you're bringing something really expensive. Because things do fall from speeding autorickshaws, cameras do get splashed with Ganges mud, and monkeys will grab things from people whether or not they look like Indians.
#14 Jun 6th, 2009, 09:25
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#14
That's good to know. Thanks, thirdreel
#15 Jun 6th, 2009, 09:26
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  • Hal is offline
#15
Monkey insurance is a good idea. Had one knock my camera out of my hands in Hampi.
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