Why do school media departments buy poor video camcorders?

By | May 14, 2011

I've been helping three schools in the Leeds area record interviews for a Leeds Council project.  The schools have enthusiastic and able ICT teachers and the children are engaged with the project.  Among the interviewees are some high profile political figures including Peter Hain MP. The process of researching, preparing and conducting these intyerviews is a superb learning experience.

One of the schools is even equipped with nine Final Cut edit workstations so you'd think that they were well placed to capitalise on this opportunity.  But there's just one problem – there's been little or no investment in decent video cameras that can capture sound via an external microphone.

So if you are a school wanting to go out and conduct video interviews can I recommend a video camera with an external microphone input and a microphone on a long lead.  Google these suggestions:

Sony XR550V Hard Disk Drive camcorder

JVC Memory Camcorder GZ-HM1SEK

Canon LEGRIA FS200

For higher end semi-professional, The Sony HVE AE1 is probably too expensive.

Microphones Audio Technica   The high quality boundary mic is an interesting option for table interviews.

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