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Hi to all, I am a new member and new to creating walkaround videos. Would anyone be willing to share their advice and direction on the best camera to use for shooting walkaround videos. How about video editing software?

Thanks for your help,

Carolyn Steffen

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Aj, Ken, James - thanks for your advice.

Ken, I'll lol with you, I realize what it takes to make these videos and I greatly respect the time and trial-and-error involved in producing a great product. I appreciate all of you sharing your wealth of information with someone new.

Wireless mic, or no wireless mic? If you're filming outdoors I've noticed wind and background noise are an issue. The dealers I'll be working with are on very noisy corners as I'm sure you are too. While it appears night or evening filming works best, noise will still be an issue. 

Camera software is often lousy . . . thanks Aj for that tip. Has anyone ever used PowerDirector? Doesn't look like it's used much for car videos. I'll look into Avid. 

Thanks again. This is a whole new world! I'll continue exploring!

Carolyn

Ok........ Sooooooooooooooo you want cut a clip but it`s rainy & windy right?????

 

I think you need to take a look at this to learn how I combat the elements. Watch closely and really think about how & where this is being shot;


Carolyn, I've been a fan of Ken Beam's since he was taking pictures and writing comments at Bernardsville VW (before anyone used video). He's a great guy to emulate.

My all time walk-around king however, is Bernard Majeau from eBags - yep, a luggage guy. Watch how he hits on features AND benefits (something missing from a few of the videos on this post)

Any small "flip" type camera that shoots in 1080p and 16:9 aspect ratio, works great.  They are easier to maneuver in and around the vehicle and it's components.  Make sure you pick one that has an auto focus feature and SD card capability.  That pretty much wraps up the ideal camera for walkarounds.  I use this one:

...for videos like this one that has received over one million views in just over a year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJtyTw47HwI&list=UUZZp1AePPs_7cf...

There are many more facets to shooting videos.  Just make sure you are targeting one or all three of the  most important areas which are:  1. Informative  2. Educational  or 3. Entertaining (pretty much just captivating at the very least).  When I created my videos, I ignored the automotive consultants pushing this style or that style, this length or that length.  My results were astonishingly higher.  I encourage you to raise the bar with more trial and error.

Good luck!

Jason Manning

Thanks to all you guys for taking time to respond with advice. You're all a wealth of information, and I appreciate your help. I will do some experimenting to see what works well for me and for the dealers I'll be working with. Aside from cameras and software there's the critical issue of whether anyone "appears" in the video or whether we use a voice over . . . if anyone participates, do they get a piece of the sale. All sticky questions to be weeded out as well. 

I am anxious to move out of the study phase and into practice. Again, many thanks for your advice and links to your work. There are some great videos out there, you guys are masters.

Carolyn

Carolyn, 

There are some great new DSLR Cameras that hit the market that have improved video capability and even mic jacks so you can use a Sennheiser or Sony wireless mic set: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/talkingtech/story/2012-06-13...

One of the benefits of using a higher end camera instead of just a point and shoot is that you can use a U/V filter or Lens Flower Hood if shooting conditions call for it.  And of course they just provide superior optics, chips, stabilization and overall performance.  All the cameras mentioned in the article will do the job, but Sony cameras as a rule encode in MP4 which cuts down substantially on file sizes which is a consideration when moving and ultimately uploading your videos.  Another plus is that you can use the same camera for stills and video.  Here is an example of Video and Stills that were captured with the same Sony camera: http://www.iwantamini.com/VehicleDetails/new-2012-MINI-Cooper_Hardt...

The IOS platform is very convenient and depending on your environment, it can be ideal.  However, you are limited when it comes to mitigating lens-flare and artifacts when lighting is too bright.  Apparently Apple is looking at possible solutions: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/06/14/apple_interested_in_s...  I wouldn't hold my breath on this one as aesthetics are so important to the brand and this is anathema to the folks from Cupertino and their customers. 

Thanks Tom. Great information. I like the Mini video - the camera person's hat looks cool. I have been using a borrowed Sony camera and it's doing a great job . . . I'm sure it will be even better when I get more experience. 

Thanks again! Carolyn

Everyone does get better in time.  One thing I say to our DIY customers and our partner Lot Service subscribers is that aside from some pioneers like Ken and others, is that they are setting the standard and they need to find what works best for their enterprise, workforce skill set, time constraints, physical environment, brand and ultimately the video viewers.  Below are two examples of people doing new things.  The one from Sunrise is a HD video captured with a camcorder and the second from Cavender is one where they are using a tablet with our software, wireless mics and an automatic music feature.  That's Rick Cavender himself in the video.  Both those stores are just starting out so you will see marked improvement as the progress. 

http://www.sunrisevolkswagen.com/VehicleDetails/certified-2009-Volk...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvaEEunK0E4&feature=plcp

 

 

 

Hi again Tom, as I look at more videos I see dealers establish their own "identity" - whether they walk around the car, pan the camera, use music in the background, drive the car . . . lots of options. Part of the process is discovering what works best for you, like you said. 

Thank you for sharing the videos . . . I enjoy seeing what other creative minds are doing. 

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