The Camera Setup

So this is out-dated.  I was waiting for No Comment #2 to come out before updating it and will soon as I didn't want to do so before having some representative video out there.

My camera setup for the videos isn't terribly advanced, but I've had a couple questions about it so this is the resulting FAQ page!

My main camera is a Canon Vixia HFS100 high-definition video camera that uses SD cards for storage.  The SDs were wonderful in Perú on a recent vacation as they take very very little room.

The "dead cat" is an optional directional microphone on the mini advanced shoe attachment up top (Canon DM-100).  This seems to deaden the echo naturally rather than through postprocessing.  It also is reputed to cut wind noise, though I try not to cut wind on camera ;)

There's a Polaroid wide-angle lens adapter on the front.  Talk about the best $14 I ever spent.  Wonderful clarity, no fun-house effects, and works very well.

When I first started recording videos for early Festool reviews, I didn't have the wide-angle adapter or the directional microphone; besides me lookin' shell-shocked on those videos, the picture and audio suffered.  These two options would set you back about $135 combined.

Lighting is an important issue.  My shop has 10 T-8 bulbs in the main section with "daylight" bulbs.  Very nice and clear, though some people reportedly don't like that 'hot' a light.  Since it is all cast from above and is over benches, I tend to always be back-lit in the videos.  The camera can compensate for that a bit as can opening the garage door during daylight.  Usually I don't record that way as apparently there's a race track in front of my house.

I got these two clip-on trouble lights with incandescent bulbs (hoard them while you can get them!).  I can usually clip them somewhere in the shop to add frontal lighting.  Downward shots on benches are always done with these as well to kill extra shadows.
When I ordered the wide-angle adapter, there was a deal on a tall tripod. This thing goes to 7'!  Very stable.  There's a stupid plastic crank to raise the central column that was broken on arrival, but now that I use it this way, adjustments are faster and less annoying than with a crank.  If you get one, hacksaw it off ;)

The MFT review videos used an overhead cam.  I originally used one of my high-def webcams, but they don't produce consistent frame rates so editing them is horribly slow due to frame interpolation on the fly.  You can export it then re-import it, but that's really slow, too.  Better to have a real video camera for it.

Before this Canon digicam, I had a Sony TRV-50 DVC Handycam that recorded to 8mm tape digitally.  It is standard def, but perfect for overhead shots. Here you see it mounted on a 90º board with a 1/4"-20 screw and clamped to a board on the garage rails.  Perfect shot over the MFT :)  It also has a wide angle lens on it.  But, damn, where'd I lose the remote!?

An interesting note about that Sony... it has built-in night-vision.  I used to film in nighclubs a lot of my salsa dance team's performances so I also have an IR flood for it.  Maybe for Halloween I'll do a scary night-vision shop tour.

The webcam I used to use when I thought streaming was cool is a Logitech 910C webcam.  It is high-def and very clear if you have the bandwidth.  I previously used a Logitech 900Pro webcam; also very nice and clear, but not high-def.  With both webcams, should I decide to start streaming on a project, I'll flip them both on so you can see the mistakes from both angles!
Best part about the webcam, very easy to put on top of the CT-22's boomarm.  Always near the action and always a clear view.

Stills are from a Canon EOS 40D almost permanently attached to a tabletop Canon tripod.

I edit on a 27" iMac using iMovie '11.  I also have Final Cut Express, but haven't had a chance to fully learn it.  FCE gives you a lot more control and iMovie, but so far, iMovie does everything I want very quickly and without much compromise.