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Camcorder & Skywatching Questions

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posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 07:23 PM
Hi fellow ATS members.
I've recently begun to contribute in the Aliens/UFO section of ATS. I have also lost count of the amount of times someone has said 'oh not another bad photograph/video'
so i'm taking the journey as its meant. I intend to skywatch, I intend to take photographs and videos. In the hope (not certainty) that I might catch something remarkable.

I feel that if we have experimental craft by the military, or extra terrestrial visitations.. or even anamolous phenomena in the night sky, I want to be catching it.

I'm in a very bad area of Manchester, United Kingdom, alot of the time the weather is bad, raining and/or overcast, but we do have some clear skies and on these occassions I'd like to have something ready, be prepared for any eventuality.
I read a quote somewhere that whilst we relook old cases like roswell, rendlesham we might be missing out on the here and now 'potential evidence'.

So whats the purpose for this thread? I want your help / opinion in deciding which camcorder to get, which camera to have and which binoculars to use. I want some kind of equipment recommendation for capturing airborn objects.

At the moment I have a set of binoculars they arent very good and are quite old, and the only camera i do have is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W35, it's ok for taking macro pictures (close ups) but I want some advice on the best equipment to use.

Many thanks and i appreciate anyone who responds with some advice.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 09:07 PM
Great idea for a thread. I cannot recommend specific models of cameras or optics but I can help you with technical questions about them. I design a lot of imaging equipment and have taken a keen interest in imaging systems as related to UFO hunting.

Perhaps you could give us an idea of your budget. Researching reviews will always lead you toward Swarovski and Zeiss binoculars but the price might just bowl you over.

Also an idea of your technical abilities would be useful to us. A lot of great equipment is created or modified rather than bought off the shelf and I have a lot of great ideas that you might want to try.

Also check out this thread to get some ideas.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 09:16 PM
I read a post once, on one of the many UFO threads on ATS. Can I recall which one? No. Is that relevant to what I am going to say next, No!

It was regarding the starburst effect involving zoomed in shots of UFOs. The poster appeared to be quite knowledgeable on the subject of photography. He/She stated that the main reason this starburst effect occurs is that people primarily use auto focus whilst filming or photographing. Somehow auto focus causes this effect to occur. I can't begin to cite the technical term for what he/she used, but you may want to explore this a bit further.

Who knows, maybe that person, or the like will happen upon this thread and give you the technical gist of what I just tried to convey!

Goog Luck, looking forward!

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 09:16 PM
Here's something to consider.

The larger the primary lens on a camera, binocular, or scope, the better the low light capability will be and the better the resolution will be off the get go. The disadvantage is heavier, bulkier and more expensive. You'll have to choose a compromise that suites you but I tend to get the impression that the devices with the larger optics were more likely designed by geeks that were serious about quality and performance and pushed the department heads to allow them to build a product that would likely have a lower profit margin.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 09:27 PM
reply to post by UberL33t

Yea, I like cameras that have lots of manual adjustments that can help you tweak things for oddball situations like sticking it into the end of a telescope. Most cameras now will still do full auto if all the manual adjusting annoys you.

posted on Mar, 31 2010 @ 09:37 PM
Speaking of low light situations I've walked into stores that sell loads of different camcorders and compared how they do in low light by covering the lens with a folded up piece of paper. You quickly find out which ones can handle the lowest light levels by comparing how bright the displayed image is and how much noise (static in the image) is displayed. Low light capability is VERY important for UFO hunting and cameras very considerably.

posted on Apr, 1 2010 @ 12:08 AM
reply to post by dainoyfb

Oh that's awesome. Thank you for your responses!
I just fave'd your thread.

I intend to be a skywatcher every opportunity that I get, with me living in Manchester, UK the weather here is overcast alot, so i'm not sure how much clear sky we'll get. The main thing is that I want to be prepared if i do see something.

I checked out your setup, it is really really impressive. I hope that I would have something similar.

I noticed in your thread you have a Canon Camcorder that 'performs well in low light levels' You said it's a Cannon Elura 85 which used ones cost $80-$100 on ebay. Would this be a camcorder you'd recommend or did you do it as a temporary setup to see you by until you could afford something else?

I'm going to be bluntly honest with you (best way). I'm really stumbling into the dark in terms of technology goes. But i do understand the basics and i'm really eager to learn. I realise that by logic thinking, if i want to film something close up in the dark, it better be waay better than what i'm using. My sony cybershot is great for action figure macro pictures and can even take good video during the day, but come night time its absolutely useless.

That's why I started this thread, because I'd need recommendations like your own to get me started.

My mission is simple. I want a setup whereby I can spot things in the nightsky, be able to have the equipment to record them and then hopefully process them onto laptop or pc? Upload them to a video place like youtube or maybe even here?

I read on the thread you posted there was a skywatch program, is that still going? Maybe we could use the frappr map and everyone could pin their location or something, we could then report in any weekly findings, maybe if we had enough of us we could have 1 person at least in each country to begin with?

posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 08:08 AM
I have a progress report update and hopefully later on after some watching i'll have some videos to show you.

At the moment the results aren't so great. Please keep in mind the camera I am using is old. I'm not sure how old but I will do some research into the model and see when it was made etc.

I'd also propose that I post up some specifications for it, this way i hope people can advise me on what kind of specifications i should be looking out for in a future purchase.

The current cam I am using is on loan from my father, who stopped using it 2 years ago. It still takes casette and I had to get a video capture device (vidbox) and software so that I could record direct to laptop if I caught anything.

At this moment in time, I'd like to concentrate primarily on the specifications and how I can make a good camcorder purchase in the next few weeks.
I already am now aware I definately need one if I am to capture UFO in low light levels. This camera obviously isnt up to the job. The camera performs really quite remarkably during the daytime. So maybe in the mean time between me actually getting a camera, my skywatch footage should be concentrated on clear skies during the day rather than night time footage.

I will do some research on the make and model and will soon be posting up a couple of short clips. You will be able to see the high level of distortion being picked up. We tried to take footage of the moon and a couple of stars.

Another big problem with this camera is AUTO Focus! Maybe through the age of the camera etc it has very limited capability during night time shots. It's a shame because the x22 optical zoom feature is actually rather good.
The Auto Focus has immense trouble in deciding which object it should be focusing on, coupled this problem with the fact that if your filming a star (which constantly changes its illuminosity) the star never really settles in the image.

I'll post back later with some serious questions about the way forward for me and my skywatch station as well as some research about the camera I am using.

In friendship

posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by Superiorraw

I've responded to your U2U.

As for the Elura 85, it was purchased for another project that required an imager that performed well in low light and had high optical zoom at short distances (to find cracks in the walls of large vessels). Cost was also a factor and I couldn't find anything that would beat it for the price (around $600 new). That was about 3-4 years ago so there is likely better choices out there now. I am quite pleased with it though.

Another feature I like about the Elura 85 is that it has an external input. As you get hooking up more video/audio devices in the field it is really handy to have equipment that doubles as a small portable recording and display device so that you can easily test equipment and record other devices at the same time that your main recording system is running something else.

Another reason I chose the Elura 85 is that the external video output can be cleared of any overlay data on the image. This is good if you ever plan to use the camera strictly as an imaging device and port the output to a laptop,remote location recorder, large monitor, transmitter etc.

Be aware that the "night shot" function on the Elura 85 works by vastly increasing the exposure time rather than removing the near infrared filter like most camcorders do. This has the advantage of preserving the color data but has the disadvantage of a noisier image and significant motion blur. I prefer this method but some may not.

I haven't followed the skywatch program at all and know nothing about it.

posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 05:26 PM
Thank you very much for spending the time to explain that and of course taking time out to respond to my U2U message.
The skywatch Project I have setup can be found here:

I'm awaiting video processing on my youtube channel. As I have some tech questions I want to fire at you guys in the community, I hope that some of you will chime in with your thoughts and help me to attain the best equipment so that my skywatch station will bring back really positive results.

I'll be posting up some youtube links hopefully within the next hour or so as well as reporting my sightings/findings on the skywatch website (link also available from my signature).

Thanks again for your interest, help and advice, it is very much appreciated.

posted on Apr, 2 2010 @ 06:43 PM
One of the biggest issues that typical UFO footage has is that most of the time there is no way to tell how far away the filmed object is. There are numerous threads which go on seemingly for hundreds of posts with debate about the object being a bug close to the camera or a hypersonic craft miles away. I have to stress again here how valuable it would be and how easy it is to build a stereoscopic recording system that would completely eliminate this argument and considerably increase the amount of data the footage produces.

How is this done?

1) Two cameras need to be mounted together and pointed in approximately the same direction. It is most important that they are mounted solidly so the direction they point in comparison to each other cannot change during filming. They do not need to be aligned perfectly so long as a reference scene (distant buildings for instance) at some point is included in the footage. The further apart the cameras are mounted the better. The cameras could be the same such as two camcorders or they could be one narrow view device such as a camcorder and a wide angle device such as a webcam with the NIR filter removed and ported to a laptop. Almost any camera combination will have advantages and disadvantages.

2) It does not really matter what two recording devices are used to capture the footage. They can be the same or different (for example the camcorders internal recorder and a laptop or DVR for the second imaging device) but the footage has to be synchronized. The easiest accurate way to do this is to have two low power leds, (one placed in view of each camera) both tied to the same flashing circuit. This can also be done through the audio with a tone burst circuit or simply by playing music from the same source into both cameras but there can be some issues with guaranteeing the audio track is synchronized with the image. My favorite way to do this is to use the pulsing LED method but include a unique flash sequence for each pulse/burst. This allows a faster pulse rate and if the pulse circuit is of a stable design it produces a second reference to confirm the frame rate of the footage. A circuit to do this uses only a few inexpensive components and if somebody is actually putting together a system like this I am happy to post the instructions, part suppliers etc.

If I have only one recommendation about what constitutes an ideal system it is that it incorporates stereoscopic imaging. How many pieces of footage have we discarded because there was no way to prove how far away the object was?

posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 09:09 PM
Absolutely mate!

I agree, it still ties in also with the problem I have right now and that is simply to do with recording data accurately and making sure that its of good quality. There always seems to be a huge debate about the quality of footage as well, which is really where I am having issues.

Now that I actually have some footage. I also have some specifications and questions as well. I hope either yourself, or someone reading here this thread can help me build a good system.

Please keep in mind, that at the time of setting up (in the height of my enthusiasm) I just wanted something, to record and i figured something was better than nothing. So the current cam was only going to be a temp solution until I knew what video cam to get.

Ok. First up. I uploaded footage to my YT account, no audio as I muted the clips.

Firstly a few things, the camcorder struggles to focus on the subject in the centre of the image, the object that appears at 0:28 is an aircraft. I didnt try and focus on this, but still thought it was ok to leave it on to show the difference in the two objects.
At 1:20 we switch to a different point in the sky, you can see then for the next minute or so that it struggles with auto focus, to focus on the subject. as it comes in and out of view.
The weather was slightly cloudy, with a few patches of clear sky in between it enabled me to test out and pick out objects in the sky, what was frustrating was that using zoom worked, it seemed the further out i was the clearer the image, which gives me a problem if i see something i want to get closer to. :-(
At around 3:59 I pan over to the flight path of incoming aircraft in my local area, just to get a close up of incoming aeroplanes. I got quite close to one, but just as I was bringing it into view at 4:06 it disappears behind the houses :-p
At 4:20 I get fixed to another point in the sky. This one is a bit clearer, although not much.
At 5:36 we decided to film the moon, it was really low in the sky at this point which was frustrating as a band of clouds had passed across it and it continued to stay in this trail, allowing very little clear time to film it. I still thought it would be cool to include in the video. Ignore the first section of footage where the date is 01/01/2000 the date and time was reset by accident this is corrected at 5:51.

I decided to get some sleep, as I hadn't slept for 25 hours and was tired. I got back up again later in the afternoon and shot this footage in daytime.

Theres nothing spectacular about either pieces of footage. What I have learnt is that the video camera I have is adaptable to daytime skywatching and that is it. It struggles so much during night time its not funny. The daytime footage just shows a section of sky at the back of the house, with the clouds passing by. it's only on for 1 minute or so.

Now for some specifications on the model I am using.
Make: Hitachi
Model: VM E360E
8mm Video Camera / Recorder

Video Recorder
Format: 8mm
Signal: PAL Colour & CCVIR Monochrome Signals 625 Lines.

Required Illumination: 0.3 lx
Camera Device: 1/4" C.C.D
Lens F1.6-3.8 22:1 Power Zoom with auto focus and iris functions
Lens diameter: 46mm

I can't find the year of manufacture on the net for it, but either way now that I have 2 pieces of footage at differing times of the day/night.

I do have some questions about my future skywatch station. I want a new recording camera, when you say that I should look for one with low light level capability, what kind of tech specs should I be looking at?
Is there something in the specifications I can particularly look at to greatly enhance my view. My initial enthusiasm hasnt been dampened at all, infact if anything seeing this footage and getting setup has made me determined to capture something, its just when I do i want it to be infocus :-)

posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 11:21 PM
reply to post by Superiorraw

Your YouTube links need some tweaking. I cannot view them.
The minimum light sensitivity of an imaging system (including camcorders) is measured in "lux". lux loosely translates to the photon density (amount of light hitting the sensors at any given time). The lower the lux number the the less light is required to make a noticeable change from black in a pixel output value. For instance a camera rated at 1.2 lux is less sensitive than a camera rated at 0.6 lux.

Unfortunately, looking at the lux rating alone is not enough to be sure you are getting the camera that is going to do the best job in the dark. My Cannon Elura 85 does quite well but it is rated at a mediocre 1.8 lux. Cannon now makes mid range camcorders that are rated down to 0.2 lux (such as the VIXIA HV40) which is significantly more sensitive and I would like to see how they compare. How the camera performs at night will depend on what settings the camera was rated at (night mode, NIR switched, etc) and this may not be specified so you will have to do some research. This rating may also refer to just the sensors capabilities or it may refer to the cameras sensitivity due to the particular combination of lens and sensor. It depends on how forthright the manufacture wants to be and sometimes on which version of rating makes the camera look more impressive. This is synonymous with the way cheap audio amplifiers are rated. If a good manufacturer rates the output at 200 watts it means continuous, RMS (a way of averaging the peaks and valleys) and it means across the usable bandwidth of the amp. When a cheap manufacturer says its rated at 200 watts they mean that they forced 200 watts peak to peak out of it at 1khz for 1 second and it didn't blow up.

So... the only real way you are going to see how a particular camera performs is to do the legwork. I like to start with online reviews and then go down to the stores and try the ones that didn't have horrible feedback. Most stores here in Canada give you a two week no questions asked trial period and I suggest finding stores that offer something similar.

edit for typo

[edit on 3-4-2010 by dainoyfb]

posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 11:35 PM
Another way to increase the light sensitivity of any camera is to replace the primary lens with a larger one. The extreme way to do this is to mount the camera on a telescope. The rough rule of thumb is doubling the diameter quadruples the light input. Keep in mind that increasing the magnification reduces the light input. Some telescopes for instance have such a large minimum magnification that using them will actually reduce the image brightness. So stick with lens combinations that produce minimal magnification. Also the design of the lens will determine the light throughput and you will find that inexpensive, poorly designed lenses will have poor light throughput despite their physical aperture.

Edit to ad info.

[edit on 3-4-2010 by dainoyfb]

posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 11:39 AM
I was going to edit my post to fix the Youtube links but for some reason it wont let me edit it?

Anyways. I hope these links work. They do show the comparitive difference between night time footage and daytime. Because of my videocameras limited capability in shooting at night, I think for the time being I will have to observe/record most of my footage captures for during the day.

Night Time Footage

Day Time Footage

One of the reasons I decided to seek tech advice and help is that I dont want to spend £150-£200 on a videocamera to be in the same situation I'm in now.

Your advice and help so far has been really useful. Thanks :-)

posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 01:55 AM
Good heavens! There's a lot of stuff above to go through...

Superiorraw, may I firstly congratulate you on a *brilliant* approach to the topic. If ooonnnlllyyy we had more like you - maybe youtube wouldn't be such a vast collection of absolute garbage.

I'm going to have go back over all that has been posted above, and see what I can add/subtract/argue about..

A few random thoughts...

Stereoscopic Rig?
I dunno about this. It's a nice idea, but the range of usefulness will be quite limited. I'd have to do the maths, and it would depend on focal lengths/sensor sizes, but frankly I think you could spend your money far better elsewhere.

What's your budget?
Ideally, a full-frame, HD video-capable DSLR with a couple of decent lenses would rock (eg Canon 5D MkII, 500mm tele) ... but it would also cripple most people's budget (inc. mine).

The bigger the sensor, the better.
Avoid small sensor cameras. There *are* some pretty competent 'bridge cameras' out there like the Panasonic FZ35 or maybe the upcoming Fuji HS10 (impressive spec's, but image quality may be questionable). But DSLR's, either APC, or full-frame, rule the roost for image quality.

Brand. BRAND. Hitachi is good, Panasonic and JVC maybe a little better, then Sony, Canon better again, imo. As stated, testing the low-light performance is worthwhile, and NightShot (ie IR capability) is very useful. Bear in mind that you may need ND filters to tone down the brightness and reduce 'bloom'- this surprises some folks..

Tripod. TRIPOD!!!!!
Get the best, heaviest, biggest tripod you can afford - go to a specialist photography store and tell them what you want to do. Cheap tripods are USELESS.

Digital zoom is rubbish and should be turned off. Optical zoom gives you genuine reach, but make sure the lens is a quality item (see brand above).

Manual everything.
(I think I got quoted above
.) Yes, fuzziness and bokeh shapes are common problems from video-/photo-graphers without a clue. MANUAL focus. RE-focus after any zoom adjustment. Test out the camera's manual focus - some are worse than useless.
Also adjusting exposure to best show the background, and the object of interest, at differing brightness levels is very important.

Anyway, that's just a start - I'll be back later.. Q's and vigorous debate welcome!

posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 02:31 AM

Originally posted by Superiorraw
I was going to edit my post to fix the Youtube links but for some reason it wont let me edit it?

Anyways. I hope these links work. They do show the comparitive difference between night time footage and daytime. Because of my videocameras limited capability in shooting at night, I think for the time being I will have to observe/record most of my footage captures for during the day.

Night Time Footage

Day Time Footage

One of the reasons I decided to seek tech advice and help is that I dont want to spend £150-£200 on a videocamera to be in the same situation I'm in now.

Your advice and help so far has been really useful. Thanks :-)

Coupla quick observations...

The night time footage shows the autofocus problem well - the poor camera is desperately hunting for more than a couple of pixels to find contrasty edges. Needs to be manually focused (practice on streetlights..), and remember to refocus after zooming, even a tiny amount. The moon shots are way overexposed - you need a daylight exposure setting for that. Also, did you have digital zoom on? - the close up images have that horrid false edge effect and pixelly appearance - all false detail. False detail is NOT good, and has led many an avid researcher down the path to deceiving themselves and others..!

The day time footage shows a little sharpening/haloing also (that light edge against dark objects) - can you tone that effect down in the menus, maybe? That 'halo' is added by the camera, and again because it isn't real detail you don't want it, especially when filming something small. It could also be the quality of your connection to the PC - how are you connecting the camera? (Ah, I see it's an 8mm video, so I might be expecting too much resolution.. - that's pretty good for 8mm).

By the look of the images, the camera has a nice lens - the contrast is high, and the bokeh effect when the star/planes went out of focus indicates a nice roundish aperture and 'good glass' as we self-proclaimed camera expurts say...

There are a couple of stationary spots on the daytime video - does it have a couple of dead/weak pixels perhaps, or is this shot thru a window?

By the way, dainoyfb's advice has been excellent - he probably knows heaps more about the current state of play in video cameras than I - I'm more of a still camera guy (but I *do* like to get involved in technique discussions).... I still would argue against the stereo rig. Once an object is more than a few hundred yards/metres away you won't get much accurate info. And bugs, birds and bats, imo, are easy to eliminate.

Buy a better camera with the money you save, I reckon!

[edit on 7-4-2010 by CHRLZ]

posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 05:12 AM
Thread hog!! (me..) As for binoculars, my advice may be a little controversial...

First, a question - how old are you? I'm not trying to be rude, but younger folks (up to about 30ish) have pupils that can open wider... In which case you would benefit (a little) from binoculars with a low zoom vs aperture ratio, eg 7x50's, as they will give a brighter image. All things equal, 7x50's will be slightly brighter than 10x50's, for a young'un.

BTW - in the term "7x50", the first number (7x) is the magnification. 50(mm) is the size of the front element. In general terms the larger the front element, the more light gathering... but the higher the magnification, the dimmer the image..

As an older dude, there's not much benefit for me, so something around 10x50's are my ideal. Unless you are planning to tripod mount your binoc's, I suggest you don't go much farther than 10x - too hard to handhold.

'Zoom' binoculars (ie adjustable magnification), are very unlikely to be both good and affordable - I suggest you avoid them completely. Don't get the little portable binoc's either (unless just for your car glovebox). Low light gathering ability, awkward to hold.

*DO* test out the binoc's at the store. Make sure you adjust the diopter thingy (if you don't know what this is, ask) then try them inside the shop and outside. Look for a nice sharp contrasty image in both eyes, with no 'Chromatic Aberration' (CA - blue/green/yellow haloes)). CA will be most obvious on contrasty bits near the outside edges of the field of view. The focus action should be nice and smooth, and not too 'touchy'. With both near and far images, your eyes should easily 'snap' the objects together into a nice 3D view as they come into focus. If you find the images tend to separate, it is probably poorly aligned.

Ask the store if they will accept an exchange, as some binoc's may test quite well on earthly objects, but then give horrible star images. Stars are difficult things to capture well, being a tiny point and all. If there are any problems with the optics, stars will show them!

Here's the controversial bit. Try some high-quality binoc's first (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Celestron, Fujinon, Leica), to see what a really good image looks like - you might need to try a telescope store. But then try the cheapies (Tasco, Nolte, Bushnell,) and see if you can find a gem amongst them. Drive the shopkeeper crazy.. (Often sports stores will have a good range - try to catch them when not busy..) Sometimes the cheaper manufacturers just happen to create a pair that is exceptionally well aligned and works extremely well, saving you lots of money...

FWIW, I have a (very cheap) set of Nolte 10x50's. The (same model) set I tried before the one I bought wasn't good, but these - very, very nice. I'm *not* recommending that particular model, just the pair I got..

OK, I'll shut up now.

[edit on 7-4-2010 by CHRLZ]

[edit on 7-4-2010 by CHRLZ]

posted on Apr, 7 2010 @ 07:04 AM

who'd of known that i would of started such a big discussion. I'm just plugging my enthusiasm into this. At the current state of play my budget, i'll be honest, I'm unsure about. I have quite a fair bit of stuff to sell on ebay yet, so for the time being what i have setup as a skywatch station is only temporary while I do the research.

I'd like to go ahead and thank both Chrlz and dainoyfb for the advice and contributions. I hope my youtube channel and skywatch project does take off at some stage. I understand that people will be reluctant to spend so much time for so little reward, but i do think that the benefits in the end will be much worth it.

Let me start with the laptop. (also i intend to post up a shot later with the setup i have) again it's not great but i felt at the stage of my enthusiasm on friday i wanted to be fully operational,. and 'something' is better than nothing at all, in knowing 'where i'm at' i can then spend time upgrading properly.
I had so many problems converting those video files it wasnt funny at all, considering the software and the laptop told me i had 7h 19 minutes recording time, I only wanted simple 1-2 minute bursts as examples. Saving project files is fine, but for some strange reason everything went disastrously wrong using WMM to save as a video.

You may ask why I didnt upload direct from the software to my channel. Well, the software and the vidbox captures everything how i want it, direct from video camera to the laptop. It's just when i click on upload to Youtube it has me picking out background themes
and special effects?? I did take a good look round but it wouldn't let me upload the file directly as a raw file/footage without the special background, be it meadows or rainbow across a sky. I'll try and get a screen capture of this to explain it better, basically i didnt want to put this on my channel and have people think i was 'a clown' (as already stated theres enough of those on YT)!

My best shot would be to transfer the files to Windows Movie Maker, and just put them together as a daytime movie and night time movie. Then save the movie file and upload them to youtube. I kept getting all sorts of errors on WMM as well, it was a nightmare. Apparently the videocapture software saved them in an unrecognised file format from the one that WMM couldnt identify,. so then I had to upload to a file converter online, and convert the media over to a file such as Windows Media Video so that I could use them on the WMM software.
Firstly I now need to check the videocapture software and see if i can record direct from videocamera to laptop into a different file format so that i dont have to use a file converter.
Secondly does anyone know of a better video software program that doesnt have so many errors?

Another error I got using WMM was 'movie couldn't finish saving, unable to locate original source files' it also said i might be out of memory for the save, however having checked this, I realised i had more than enough save space.

I will be back later to review the comments about the videocamera, at some stage once i get past the £150-£200 mark on the ebay sales I should be able to start seriously researching my options. I will definately shop around and definately take into account all that has been offered up so far. I firmly believe that if the technology is available to me as a civilian, theres no reason why I cant have a good skywatch station set up at home.

In friendship

posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:58 AM

Originally posted by Superiorraw
I'd like to go ahead and thank both Chrlz and dainoyfb for the advice and contributions.

No wurries, mate!

I hope my youtube channel and skywatch project does take off at some stage.

So do I - keep us posted.

I understand that people will be reluctant to spend so much time for so little reward..

Well, I can only speak for myself - but my reward comes from discussing a topic I really enjoy with others who are both equally and genuinely enthused. By that I mean they want to learn how to do things well, and how to recognise all the 'explainables'... Ever notice how few astronomers post ufo videos or images? Some will *claim* they are, but it only takes a few basic questions to show they haven't a clue. I shall not name names, but I can point at a couple of recent threads...

I had so many problems converting those video files..

I can empathise. If you do buy a decent digital videocam, you will hopefully get something half-decent bundled with it, like Ulead Videostudio SE (if it's still around). That, plus WMM does most of what I want (but my needs are very modest).

FWIW, I have a few vid's on YT showing what can (and shouldn't!) be done with VERY modest equipment, and debunking a few silly alienufo/nibiru/planetx claims. Eg, here's Jupiter from a while back:
using a cheap Samsung MiniDVD cam, with an added tele-extender lens. (I don't normally recommend such lenses, but this one is a good'un...)

Secondly does anyone know of a better video software program that doesnt have so many errors?

I'm not the best one to ask - I just use WMM (v5.1) and that old copy of VideoStudio SE (v9.0). Has enough stuff for my needs but like I said, I'm not into 'pretty' videos. Keep em nice and simple, and avoid intrusive background music if you want to be taken seriously, I reckon.

Another error I got using WMM was 'movie couldn't finish saving, unable to locate original source files'

Make sure all your source files are on your hard drive, not on the camera's media. Also, you may be running out of RAM, not hard disk space. How much have you got and what OS? For XP I'd suggest 2Gb minimum for this sort of stuff.

Are we wearing you out yet??

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