Using video recorders for birds

To: Rosemary Royle <>
Subject: Using video recorders for birds
From: David Stowe <>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 11:34:58 +1000
HI Rosemary,
Sorry if you have been inundated with advice on this but i would like to echo 
others sentiments that the current crop of DSLRs are the way to go for sure. 
The quality of the output is way better than anything else.
For the money you can't beat a Canon 60D. It has some features for video that 
make it better than many of the other models.
Advantages FOR VIDEO over the 7D for example are:
a: cheaper
b: it has a flip out screen - an underrated tool for videography.
c: the ability to manually control audio input levels from an external 
microphone. If you started to get even semi serious for video then an external 
mic is going to be a must. I bought an Azden one from B&H for well under $100 
that is way better than the inbuilt mic which picks up your hand movement, 
images stabiliser etc. 
Even my 1DmkIV though doesn't have the ability to manually set the input level. 
As far as i am aware the 60D and the 5D mkII are the only ones with this 

The advantage over a 5D mkII are again its cheaper, the flip out screen, plus 
the 1.6X crop factor which will be perfect for birding to get more effective 
reach out of your lens.

Hope that helps :)
Dave Stowe

On 11/05/2011, at 5:53 PM, Rosemary Royle wrote:

Hi Birding-Aussers,

Just wanted to see if anyone out there can offer any thoughts.

We are planning a visit to PNG in the future and felt that in order to properly 
record the activities of all those Birds of Paradise which we would hopefully 
see, then some kind of moving image would be more effective than stills. 

Peter, my other half, is quite taken with the idea. He is an experienced bird 
photographer but has never dabbled with "movies" before. It seems that modern 
camcorders (e.g. Panasonic TM900) have really decent zooms and can produce good 
quality material in low light - both essential conditions of bird photography. 

Have any of you tried it?? Was it successful?? Any tip and hints??


Rosemary Royle, Wales, UK


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