Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Camera Family Tree

In the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of research on camcorders in preparation for the Un-Road Trip. With all the traveling I have planned, I need to make sure I have a reliable and portable camera that's up to documenting journey. After about six years with my trusty Canon ZR45, I decided it was time to retire the ol' dame. I've been through a lot with that camcorder; dozens of segments for my old NYU TV show, weeks at the Sundance film festival, and even a trip through Eastern Europe with my dad. But it's not the spring chicken it used to be- relative to new cameras, the ZR45 is pretty heavy, it uses tapes, and the headphone jack hasn't worked for a few years. So after reading some reviews, I decided on the Canon Vixia HF100. First off, it's adorably compact and is about the size of a soda can. On, someone uploaded this uncomfortable photo to really emphasize how small it is...

The camera's in his right pocket, in case you weren't sure. It also records in HD, and instead of recording onto tapes, it stores the video on memory cards, (which are a lot more convenient and storable when on the road). I've started playing around with it, and I think we're going to be good friends. But now that I have the camera, I've started to get excited about all the accessories. I could get a shotgun mic or a wide angle lens. Or a tele-converter lens- which I'm not exactly sure about, (but it says it increases the focal length by a factor of 1.5). And then there are the filter sets, and even a shoulder strap! I'll probably have to spring for another battery at least. I should probably just get Canon to sponsor the trip. Anyone have any connections?

With camera accessories on my mind, I headed over to Glazer's Camera in Seattle for some browsing. I got a new tripod- a Cullman 52013- which is the lightest tripod I've ever picked up, and it can even fold down small enough to fit comfortably in my backpack. It was the display unit and the last one they had left so they gave me a great deal. I also bought an adorable black and red camera bag, because I figured the HF100 deserved a home of its own. It's made by M Rock, is shockingly rigid for being so light, and it's even adventurously named the "Rocky Mountain." And yes, I'm being overly descriptive in hopes that they sponsor the trip.
And that's probably enough spending for now, since I don't currently have a job and am yet to secure funding for this project. I think I better to go dance for nickels on the corner. In a week's time, I may have enough for another battery.

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