'Cuz I sometimes think differently than others (and I tend to lose stuff). So if there's any other odd socks out there, let's get together ...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Panasonic HS900 video camera

I've been borrowing a friend's HS700 video camera (see my March 5 post) on and off for the past year and a half and I liked it so much I decided to buy one myself.  The updated version is called the HS900 and it's got pretty much the same set of features, with a few improvements.  I was able to buy it at B&H Photo Video for $695 (it came out a year ago for more than twice that!) and it's really sweet.  Read my review at their website.  To summarize: great wide angle lens, excellent HD video image, good low light performance, improved image stabilization, and a 220 GB hard drive to store 30+ hours of footage.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great price on a Benq MS510 video projector

I picked up this projector at Staples for only $275!  I used it at a couple of bullriding events this weekend (slow motion replays up on the big screen).  It worked great (2700 lumens was quite bright enough) and is already half paid off from the rental fees.  It's "only" 800x600 (SVGA) resolution, but just fine for what I need.  The bulb is rated for 6000 hours and is available online for about $200.  Next projection project?  Hmm, maybe I'll set up a white sheet in my living room window and put up some scary video on Halloween evening!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great little DVD recorder

I've been helping the local Swan Valley Stampeders hockey team (MJHL) get their video equipment set up and they've bought this cool little DVD recorder, the Sony VRD-MC6.  Just plug in a video source with the red, white & yellow RCA jacks (or insert a memory card from your camcorder), insert a blank DVD and press the red button.  Very handy.  If you want a similar unit that also acts as a DVD player, then move up to the MC10 model.  The MC6 has a small colour display to show that video is actually going into the unit, but there is no headphone jack, so you have to take other measures to ensure the red & white cables are both working and that the audio signal is the right level.  Small enough to fit in a parka pocket - it will see a lot of action at the hockey games this year!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New video camera

As you may know, I am on the local Access TV committee and show a lot of videos on the local cable channel, WCGTV.  They just supplied us with a new camera (Panasonic AG-HMC80P) that I have used for wide angle shots.  It's a great high definition camera, and looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Check out this review from the Videomaker.com site.  It's a bit bulky, but the out-weigh its size.  So whether sitting on a tripod or on the shoulder, it's got just about everything you need (great viewfinder, XLR inputs, etc.).  I wish the low-light performance was better (too grainy, etc.), and I wish you could get more than 99 minutes of HD footage on a 16 GB SD card, but it's a good all-round package in my view.

Did I mention the Blu-ray videos look fantastic?  Too bad more people aren't buying them.  As I've said before, I want to be able to put a disk case in someone's hand after a wedding or dance recital.  Not a tiny SD card ("Here it is ... don't lose it!") or a big file for their computer ("Make sure you have it backed up on at least 2 hard drives, and keep buying new hard drives about every 3 years for as long as you want to watch this video!").

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blu-rays on the way

Okay, so I decided to try and author some Blu-ray disks.  I got this package from the Video Guys website and I'm going to use it to make some HD disks of a couple of skating carnivals I taped a few days ago.  While my 3-year-old iMac renders slow, the HD videos do look awesome.  There is also some very good software on the Roxio Toast disk (Fotomagico, Sonicfire Pro 5, and Soundsoap, among others) which will solve some of my problems, I'm sure.  If all goes well with the skating carnivals, I will be making Blu-rays of the local dance school's recital, coming up next week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Back-up Plans Are Good ...

I videotaped a skating carnival this evening (okay, there was no tape involved - more of that later). But I forgot the cable that attaches the wireless mic receiver to the camera. Fortunately, I had Plan B to fall back on. I simply put my iPod Touch in the M.C.'s pocket with a bit of the headphone cable with the mic sticking out. Then I hit the record button in the Voice Memo app and it worked quite well. I'll sync it later in the computer.

I borrowed a video camera from a friend to record the show and it's really good: a Panasonic HS700 with 240 GB hard drive. Great wide angle lens, excellent image, good low light capability.  Read my review here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My new website

Finally, after a VERY long time, I once again have a website for my video production business (Swan Valley Video Services).  I was able to purchase RapidWeaver software for only $29 which is what I used to make the website.  Quite easy to use, though I have yet to figure out how to fine tune the way text shows up.  And it only costs $4.95 a month at Canadian Web Hosting

Want a good laugh?  Check out the old website I started ... in 2002?!!!