Any one try the Zoom Q3HD

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Any one try the Zoom Q3HD

Post  Flesh on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:48 pm

I'm think about getting the Zoom Q3HD, but I'd like to know if anyone has any experience using it with Green Screen; at $299 it seems like a good deal; Samson put emphasis on the Audio; I'll be using an External source; but the high quality of recorded Audio is very important; cameras change daily for whats hot and whats not; but I'm ready to get a new camera and just want to know what works well.
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Re: Any one try the Zoom Q3HD

Post  SonicOrbStudios on Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:36 am

I've not had a chance to try it in person but I don't think it's a great product for the price and here's why:
- Fixed focus - Not great for anything really...IMO
- Only digital zoom (4x) which really lowers quality when zooming.
- Cheap Lens - Although the sensor is a larger 1/3" style CMOS, I don't think you'll get anything great in terms of quality due to the optics.

Samson does some great audio products, but they are new to video and I just tend to want to stay away from them for now in that product category.

I would also suggest looking over http://www.camcorderinfo.com for some other suggestions and deep trusted reviews. I know a few people who review for this site and they do an honest and very through review of each product.

Overall, I would just go with a Canon Vixia HF M31 which can be found for $300. It offers far more features and a stereo mini jack mic input so you can attach XLR mics and such with the proper adapter cable.

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-VIxia-HF-M31-Camcorder-Review-37761.htm
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/671647-REG/Canon_4353B001_VIXIA_HF_M31_Dual.html

Hope this helps!

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Cannon

Post  Flesh on Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:56 pm

Good answer and thanks; I already knew about the short comings of the Q3HD, you are right about that; and the cannon is a better choice for video I'm sure; but I live on a fixed income, I'm a disabled gulf war vet, and I have a story to tell the world, and doing it with a low quality camera isn't going to make my job easier. I can afford to get the Q3HD and made up my mind that I can live with its short comings if I can get it to do the job that I need it to do and that is my question; if I had more money I can always buy a better camera, but in two years this cannon camera will be obsolete, the Q3HD was built for sound, even though I'll be using the line inputs and not the built in mic, so I'm bypassing the only good thing this camera does, I just need to know if I can sit in front of this camera and do green screen with it; currently I'm trying to use an old JVC camera or a webcam; neither pick up the light on the green screen very well; grant you my lights are not professional; I have a 8' Green Screen, the one Mark recommended, I tried to make three halogen shop lights work, hot spots, need I say more, then I added four florescent fixtures, each have two 32 watt daylight bulbs; it looks well lite; but with these cameras, its not, even throwing the halogens into the mix didn't improve that much; but did help to eliminate the hot spots. If I can find a retailer that I can make payments for a new camera I can do it; which is why the Q3HD fits, Sweetwater sells it, three payments and I can afford it, now if you know where I can purchase this camera on a payment plan, that would help, otherwise I need to know will the Q3HD do the job, well that is the questions; I know others have made it work; but I'd like to hear from them, what lighting are they using, what tricks did they need to use to make it work, etc.

Knowing a little bit about what people are trying to do, and recommending ways to make it work is helpful; maybe if this camera isn't good enough, I should put off doing this until I can afford a different camera; but that may never happen; reality kicks in; sometimes you have to make due with what you can; but I didn't purchase this yet; like others, I'm going to ask questions, and answers like this, made me glad I did, it confirmed what I already knew; the video isn't all that great; so the music may sound better; and the video, well its not all that important to look crystal clear, lets face it; my ugly mug may look better in a poor quality video camera; but if the Green Screen effects don't work, its not going to make any difference; so its more important to me that the effects work, and the video quality is good enough, and yes if I have more money I can always find a better camera, and like most people, that isn't an option; money is limited, in fact its not really there; so on a limited budget what camera to buy is always the one you can afford, and how you afford it is another question; but my question still remains, if I do purchase this camera, will it do the job I need it to, because if I can do Green Screen with the equipment I have, then I'm happy, if I have to purchase more lights just to make this work then I need to do that; you try to do things cheap and it ends up costing you more down the line.
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Re: Any one try the Zoom Q3HD

Post  SonicOrbStudios on Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:16 pm

Even if you're on a limited budget, I highly suggest trying to find the Canon at a place you can do a payment plan or find a price you can pay for it in full as the optics and sensor are better which will give you a far better key with the green screen and also will eliminate hot spots with most lights.

The Q3HD WILL key out and work, but you may not get a clean edge between you and the screen.
Try putting some diffusers in front of halogen work lights to soften them out some and take out those hot spots. I find fiberglass sheets do well clamped in front of those type lights. Mark goes over this technique in his lighting DVD sold on his website.

If you're not looking for an absolutely convincing key on your green screen, but something that will get close enough, I'm sure the Q3 will do the trick for you.

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Cannon

Post  Flesh on Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:32 pm

Very good point, I'm so glad I asked this question; I would have bought the Q3HD and tried to make it work; but in the long run, it will cost more time in post production from what you are saying.

I'll start looking around for a good deal on a better camera, your point is taken, thanks.
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What to look for

Post  Flesh on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:57 am

What attributes do you look for in a video camera used for Green Screen?

Reason I ask is I'm now looking at other Cannon's, I decided on Cannon based on Reputation and Performance; as well as your Recommendation.

I will purchase this from Amazon, on my Card I just got, so $600 is my limit; so people on a budget and need a payment plan can think about this.

The M31 is only in my budget if I buy Used or Refurbished.

Buying Used or Refurbished is another question; but lets face it; its the luck of the draw; one person may get a camera that's like new; another get one that someone abused; so asking questions will get many different answers; but Used vs Refurbished is a good question; with Refurbished, you know someone looked at it that knows about the workings, and you may have more assurance as to its usability; but still it doesn't guarantee anything.

The M32 is just in my budget new.
It takes SDXC Memory, that's a plus
It comes with 64GB, whereas the M31 comes with 32

The M4x series is the newest in this series, they have touchscreen; which isn't a plus for me; but are the optics better?
The M3x comes with the 15x lens; not that I'll be doing zoom from long distances, so the 10x may do me.

The M40 is just a little over, but I can pay extra to get new, so I can still get it new or used.

The M41 is out of my price range, but brings up a point; it has more memory and a viewfinder; for me not worth the extra; but something to think about; I plan on buying extra memory sticks anyway.

Do you know of other cameras that cost less but will still do as good of a job as these cameras?


Last edited by Flesh on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Update)
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Re: Any one try the Zoom Q3HD

Post  SonicOrbStudios on Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:39 am

The newer products will always do better than the older ones due to technology advances however you also come up in price with the newer items.
The nice thing is that electronics are moving forward quickly and dropping in price as well. Years ago a desktop would run you over 1,000 but today you can get one for $300-400!

I look for the following in a video camera for green screen use:
- Ability to set a custom white balance preset
- Ability to adjust focus, iris, and gain manually
- Something that has optical zoom over digital
- Something that does good in a average lit room with minimal noise.

I did a comparison a while back with my old Sony consumer and a newer Prosumer Sony camcorder. The test was to see how each camera keyed out in the same room with same lighting. You can find a view that video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5J42bqP-kY

It just shows that a better quality camera will make post production easier......although this video was shot nearly 3 years ago and cameras have changed quite a bit from back then. Now you'll see $300 camcorders that shoot just about as good as the Sony FX1 prosumer camera I used in that video!

Camcorders with built in memory are nice but really, I find it easier to just take a card out of the camera and stick it into the computer. It's also nice since I film large events and if I run out of space, the card can be swapped quickly.
Optics don't change a huge amount. You can have a nice Carl Zeiss lens on a camcorder but if the sensor is cheap and small, you'll still get a lot of grain and noise in the image. It's a balance between a lot of things and the best way to really find a good camcorder is to search around and if you can, try them out in person before buying.

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Canon M40

Post  Flesh on Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:21 am

I purchased the Canon M40; just to finish this thread.
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