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Old June 30th, 2008, 04:02 AM   #1
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capturing quality audio to a consumer camcorder?

I have a doco coming up in Asia and need to film as a "tourist". I am very much hoping to get this film broadcast.

The other option is getting a press visa but it's hugely expensive and would involve employing locals and guides etc and ruin the project as well as my bank balance.

I own a Canon XHA1 but am told it will look too professional and that i will draw attention to myself and possibly get my film confiscated or worse.

There are some fantastic small tourist cameras about that capture great pictures (i'm leaning towards the Canon HV20 at the moment), but what to do about audio?
I'm told that options like the standalone Zoom and Edirol hard disk recorders are also considered "professional" and could get me in trouble. Of course i would add high quality narration at the editing stage, but it would be nice to get a camera with decent audio from an onboard mic.

What to do?




I used to have a Sony PDX10 which had XLRs and could pass as a tourist camera, but if i wanted to get the latest Sony HDV A1 version i'd really have to sell my Canon which i'd rather not do.

BTW, is there going to be a mini version of the Sony EX1?
Dom Stevenson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornsay Durham UK
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Hi Dom what are you after for the audio? is it just stereo FX or do you need in-vision presentation as well?

A small extra mic such as the rode video mic or the sennheiser equivalent will be better than the camera mic but as you say its a difficult one as you dont want to draw attention to yourself with added bits on the camera.

One other alternative is if you have a friend with you get them to carry a small disk recorder in their pocket with a small stereo mic such as this: fitted to a bag strap etc.
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Gary Nattrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #3
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I have shot with XH-A1 in China/Tibet and Tanzania as a tourist and with Sony TRV900 and Beachtek/Sennheiser ME66 either in deadcat or full zeppelin also in China/Tibet and Nepal without any problems. I had also a set of Sony wireless mics with me. So XH-A1 at least without any extra attachments shoud pass the border without problems, you just happen to be an enthusiastic hobbyist who likes to shoot HDV.

If there are other people travelling with you one of them could pose as a audio hobbyist collecting sounds, nice mic and a recorder like H4.
Petri Kaipiainen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses.

Petri, glad to see your post as i'm also planning a trip to China at some point and it's good to know an A1 is considered an acceptable "tourist" Camera.

My trip is to the Middle East, i wrote Asia by mistake. I'm going alone as a one man band. I still feel the A1 would be fine but i'm told otherwise by my contact who is extremely knowledgeable and has known people to get thrown out and their rushes confiscated, though to be fair they were making mischief by pestering people to say disparaging things about the govt.

I'd like to have an HV20 as a backup camera anyway, so that's another factor for me.

The Sony mic looks interesting Gary, and disk recorder. Do you mean mini disk? any budget models you recommend?

I think i need to do a bit more research. I'd prefer to take my A1, but i have seen some fantastic footage out of the HV20, and it really makes the shooter look like just another tourist.
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