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I would like to videotape my professors' lectures much like others record the audio from the lectures. Of course I don't want to be a nuisance for my other classmates, so I'm wondering what my best bet would be for recording decent video from a small profile camera. I'm considering buying a friend's "old" iphone 4s but I have no idea how it would cope resolution-wise, lens-angle-wise (I suspect I will need a wide-angle lens converter) battery-wise and memory-wise. The total run time will be at most two continuous hours and then I will transfer it to my netbook and recharge the iphone for the next lecture. Any ideas/suggestions/other camera suggestions?

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Since your camera will have a fixed position and you will be filming under stable lighting conditions, you don't need a fancy camera. An iPhone will do fine, the results will be satisfactory. Since a lecture isn't really about beautiful pictures anyway, I wouldn't put to much thought into it.

However, if you want to invest some money in a fair camera, I would probably go for a Sony Camcorder, e.g. the Sony HDR-CX330. Those offer a good compromise between usability, recording quality and price.

However, what is really important is the micro. If you use the micro of the camera, the audio will completely suck, no matter which camera you chose. Make sure to get a decent micro, rather than an expansive camera!

And of course, although you are probably aware of that: You need to ask your professor for permission ;)

  • Sounds reasonable, but do you think the battery will be able to last for 2 hours continuous recording (and will the resulting file be able to be that big)? – kostikas2002 Sep 14 '14 at 17:23
  • In my experience, the battery of these Camcorders usually last about 3 to 3,5 hours of straight recording, 2 hours should be no problem. The file size is another matter. You should get an SD card with at least 16 GB free space. I have never continously recorded over such a long time. The camera might split the recorded file at some point, or, in the worst case, stop the recording. In any case, you should sit next to the camera and check it from time to time and restart the recording if needed. Also, doing a testrun of long-time recording would be a good idea. – MoritzLost Sep 14 '14 at 18:00

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