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Cameras and Monitors

Discussion in 'Puppet Building and Performing' started by Mo Frackle, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I want to start getting used to performing a puppet in front of a camera and watching the performance on a monitor. Does anybody know what sort of camera I should get, and what else is needed to properly hook up the camera to a TV. Also, are there any cameras that you can hook up to a laptop and use the laptop as a monitor? Thanks.
  2. davidmartiste

    davidmartiste Member

    You can get any decent HD camera that has both RCA and firewire cables. RCA connects to most TVs and firewire to your computer if you have a firewire input. I'm presently using the Canon HV30 [older model HD]. Most TVs have multiple inputs and, it's just a matter of switching to that input while the camera is connected and you have instant monitor.

    From this post online, in regards to using your laptop as a monitor: Another option is if you have Adobe CS4, it has a program called "On Location". Connect the camera via firewire and use this program for monitoring.
    ...there are some on line programs such as "Monitor Magic" and "Scope Box" that provide the same service, but you will have to pay to get them.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  3. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I agree, any decent HD camera is good. Most cameras come with the cables to connect them to a TV set. You need a camera that can output via whatever format your monitor/TV accepts as input (for HD video that's usually HDMI these days).

    Firewire is nice, but quickly becoming an outdated technology. Firewire was great to have on older cameras that record to tape or an internal hard drive because it allows HD video to transferred faster than you can with the older USB 2.0. I don't keep up on the specs for most newer consumer-grade cameras, but I suspect that most of the ones on the market today support USB 3.0 which is actually faster than firewire (usually cheaper too).

    If the camera records to memory cards you definitely don't need Firewire, just stick the memory card in your computer.

    Remember that whatever you use to transfer your video to a computer (memory cards, USB 3.0, Firewire, etc.) you need to be able to connect that to your computer. Most PCs have USB 2.0/3.0 ports and you can purchase a memory card reader inexpensively if one isn't built in to your machine. Macs usually have USB slots, memory card readers and firewire ports built in.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about using On Location for simple puppetry practice. It's expensive and unnecessary in my opinion.
  4. davidmartiste

    davidmartiste Member

    Ahhh yes, well there's that :). Sadly, I am frequently outdated as funds to purchase new computers and updated cameras are in short supply. So, I guess I should have qualified, if you already have an outdated computer with firewire then, you could possibly buy a cheaper, outdated camera for your practice. No need to bust the bank just for practice eh? ;) Personally, I wouldn't use On Location either as a TV screen, outdated or not, would work just fine. As the article stated "if you have Adobe CS4" which is just making an assumption where you need not make any further investment. Not an expert here, just trying to help. Peace :laugh:
  5. MagicFractal

    MagicFractal Member

    HD cameras are great, but a "webcam" could suffice, tenfold less expensive, and supported by low cost and free graphic software. It will provide a fair impression of your show and can be easily recorded and edited. You can check that option out in any good computer store. If you get the kind that focuses, that's best for close-ups.
    [​IMG]Typical 640 x 480 pixel webcam​

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