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I have a Kodak Easyshare z950 camera. Previously I only used it to take some pictures while traveling. Now I want to seriously work with video. Not that seriously as in TV studio, but still I want to produce high quality videos.

It shoots HD720p which is pretty good. While I'm outside it looks well, but if I shoot inside, the footage I produce is grainy with lots of background noise.

I think if I installed some proper illumination it would be fine. The problem is my budget is very limited something around $50-$100. How do you get the most lighting with least amount of money? I thought about just buying the most powerful light bulbs in the store and using some aluminum foil as a reflectors. Any better ideas?

I also thought about waiting for spring and when it's at least 10°C I could shoot outside. Problem then would be the sound, because wind blows into the mic. Should I build some hard cardboard walls or something?

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2 Answers

Regarding the part about your built in mic and wind noise/pops:

Cut a piece of high quality foam to the size of the mic opening on your camera, and use tiny strips of velcro to attach. I did this for an expensive Sony Camcorder, it works great, cuts the wind down and muffles pops. I actually bought a real foam mic windscreen (for less than $10) and cut it to fit on my camera top.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The difference in brightness outdoors compared with indoors is much greater than you'd think due to the way your brain compresses the dynamic range. If you've ever been on a location shoot that's been properly lit for video you'd see the difference - it hurts your eyes!

I'm afraid the point here is that you're not going to recreate outdoor lighting for that price range. You are better off trying to rearrange your shooting to make the most of natural light.

If you really need to shoot indoors, getting some work lights and using hard, direct (undiffused) lighting will give you the biggest bang for buck. It's a distinctive look that can work well.

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Thanks for the answer.I will shoot outside if I fail to get some cool cheap gear for shooting inside.Any ideas how to get clear sound outside.Usually wind screws everything up ? –  Tomas Feb 5 '12 at 18:45
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