I am new to video making and I am seeking a few tips on people with experience on some of the problems I am currently facing.
Are there any tricks to being more inconspicuous when filming people? There are two ways I personally approach in filming people: one is to frame a scene with people already doing things (talking to each other, playing with a dog in a park, etc.), and the other is by setting up a frame and letting people walk into it. The problem with the latter is that often people will look into the camera/frame as they walk by. Sometimes people will stop just before entering the frame and ask me if they are not going to interfere with my filming. I have had people walk into the frame, look into the camera, then turn and look the other way where the camera is pointing, as if to see what I am filming. My camcorder is not that big (I have Xacti), and my tripod is very lightweight and easily folded back in; and still I feel like a lot of people notice me and my equipment. Is this normal when filming people?
One way I think I can get around this is to set up a frame, let the camera roll and just wait while doing something else. That would potentially work, but I think it would be a strain on the batteries that way. Another way is to get a better camcorder. Currently, I have 5x zoom on my camcorder, and it works okay if the subject is about 50 feet away. But I cannot zoom in to the max because the picture gets pixelated, so pretty much ~50 feet is currently my limit. I am looking for ways, perhaps strategically positioning myself, to be as unnoticeable as possible. Any tips?