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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old February 5th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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Backpacking w/ the HV20/30/40!!

Hello folks,
I plan to go on a number of solo trips to the mountainous/wilderness regions of the US and would appreciate if anyone can give me some advice as far the HV accessories/equipment I'll be needing for this type of adventure. Here's what i have on the list of photo/video equipment so far:

*HV40 (w/ essentials, i.e. extra batteries, tapes, filters)
Canon WD-H43 lens
Rode Mic
Lens and LCD hood
Jag35 mm adapter or Twoneil (don't know which one to take)
*Canon DSLR w/ 18-55mm lens (incl. essentials - batteries, memory, filters)
100-400 telephoto, 100mm macro, & 17-40mm wide angle
*a VELBON 7000 tripod (for both cameras)

I'd like to hear about other specific accessories i should consider. Rain cover? Photo/video backpack? I am more concerned about how I will be packing this stuff as the primary hiking backpack is already stuffed w/ my mountain gear. Is there a bag that will be able to hold my photo/video equipment or at least most of it? Please any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old February 5th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Hi Andre,

Having essentially that same set up (twoneil) I'd say leave the 35mm adapter home and possibly carry a slider with your tripod. The IndiSLIDER mini would be perfect and would add a lot to the final product. Changing lenses in the field is asking for trouble in terms of keeping dust off the focusing element in the adapter.
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Old February 5th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #3
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Joel-
ah yes, the indieSlider is a great add-on. I'll have to buy it pronto! As far as the adapter is concerned, you're absolutely right. I clearly overlooked the dust issue.
Thank you very much for your advice!

But how am i packing all this? Any suggestions on backpacks?
Folks? Thanks again!! :D
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Old February 11th, 2010, 08:51 AM   #4
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anybody? :/
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Old February 11th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #5
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Hi Andre..............

As you're in NY, I'd suggest a trip down/ up to B&H and check out some of this stuff:

Backpacks & Daypacks

Tho' I do have a reservation.

As you've already got one full backpack, I can't see how you make a second work unless you have the ability to dump the living one and just shoulder the tech one when you head for the hills.

I think a better idea of the type of terrain, life style and duration you are expecting would help.

I've done a great deal of the planet shouldering a huge backpack, with all the tech gear in a seperate Lowe camera bag.

It was do-able, just, but what a pain in the proverbial, and I certainly never attempted to go "off road" with anything other than the tech bag, and even that was serious hard work in the mountains.

A couple of issues with your gear selection.

A H43? What on earth for, unless you have a thing for barrel distortion?

Given the extensive range of glass listed for the stills camera, is there any merit in ditching the HV40 all together and going 5D MK II or similar?

It at least gets rid of the duplication of batteries, media, chargers, filters etc.

Without knowing how much of that list is already bought and paid for it's a bit hard to make any more specific recommendations.


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Old February 11th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input, Chris.

Well, I was planning on wearing the bag for the camera equipment across my chest, while the hiking backpack obviously on my back. I know, it seems like ill collapse after a few minutes in the wilderness. But the fact is, i've climbed Mount Washington (6,000+ feet) with almost 80lbs of backpacking gear without any serious problem. This was a week-long backcountry trip however, which won't be the case this time. I'll be heading to the Adirondacks for a weekend-long 20-mile hike to Mount Marcy (5000+ feet) and will be carrying only about 30lbs of backpacking gear.

The link was very helpful. i'll have to go sometime this month to B&H to actually try the backpacks out. I'm pretty interested in the smaller-sized pack from Nat Geo...

As far as ditching the HV40, well, i think it's out of the question. I really want to use video to capture my adventure aside from just taking photos. The 5D MK II would probably be the best thing for me but I don't have that kind of $$$ right now. I've actually been looking at the 7D, but i'm a little skeptical about the video quality of a DSLR in spite of the fact that they give you that "35mm film look". Do you think the 7D would be a sound investment and the best replacement for the HV40 in my case?

Thanks again!

by the way, the barrel distortion is not that noticeable. ;)
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Old February 11th, 2010, 11:46 PM   #7
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Guess we'll have to disagree..............

about that barrel distortion, on my HV 20 it's absolutely yuck!

Usefull in tight corners, but yuck, nevertheless.

Glad you put the expedition into perspective, a weekend is a bit different to an 18 month trawl through the whole of Asia, which is what I did.

Do I think a move to a VDSLR is right for you?

"No Contest", as that's not my place to say, but you do have/ or are considering, a whole bunch of SLR glass.

Seems a shame not to put it to good use for video if it can be done, but it's barely something that has impinged on my radar, being a dedicated Canon XH A1 owner and not at all ready to follow the herd into the stampede for barely usable VDSLR's at this point in time.

{Barely usable = the whole heap of problems listed here on DVinfo when atempting to use a Duck as a Cow. Just MPO}

For the journey you have outlined and the extent, given the weights quoted, I can't see any problems.

I think that if you can find a suitable bag, waterproofing and have allowed for adequate charged batteries (not too many power points in the mountains) you should be good to go.

I still can't see the point of that H43 tho', the next mountain over isn't exactly 3 feet away and it's as heavy as a lead brick!


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Old February 12th, 2010, 03:02 AM   #8
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The WD-H43 i use on my HV30 is fine,minimal barrel distortion admited but for wide country views its great.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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As Martyn pointed out, the H43 will capture great shots of the vast chain of mountains, and from a low-angled perspective w/ camera tilted upwards, I'll be able to capture the sheer dominance and powerful beauty of tall trees. I'll also be needing the wide angle to film inside my rather small, claustrophobic tent as I'll be doing some commentary in front of the lens before hitting the sack each night.

I understand that it's a bit clumsy on the camera but I've grown to accept it and love it. :)

as far as making a leap to VDSLR, ill have to do some research; perhaps i shall start with the truckload of information on the 7D sub-forum.
Thanks again, buddy.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #10
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The LowePro Apex 120AW takes the HV30, spare battery,spare tape, head cleaning tape, filters, and a TL-H43 with a little room to spare.

It can be carried on a waist belt and has a fitted "rainproof" cover. Given refuge inside a backpack, it is proof against New Zealand west coast rain.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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Old February 13th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #12
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Unless you already own one, I wouldn't suggest you the Canon H43 WA adapter. I have one and didn't use it much. It is a quality piece of glass but it's very heavy, doesn't have a filter thread and is NOT wide enough. For that stunning wide angle shot you need a wider lens (kinda 0,5 factor) and if the weather is sunny, you need a polarizer.

Also, I'm very experienced stills photographer and I think you have too much overlapping in your lens choices. I would suggest a 10-20 for wide angle, 18-200 (or like) for general purpose and if you have to, take also the 100-400 but beware of UV pollution and the haze in the high altitudes... The macro lens - what for?

Sorry didn't mean to discourage you, I just think you can optimize your gear better. Good luck with your trip!
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Old February 15th, 2010, 12:38 AM   #13
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Senad makes a good point..............

about the lenses.

The H43 isn't that wide (tho' better than nothing) and the SLR glass is missing a very important bottom end, namely the Canon 10 - 22 mm, which is really where the wide angle comes into its own.

This may well make the case for a move to VDSLR almost inarguable, as there's no way on Earth such a lens range can be sorted for a video camera.

I mentioned previously my 18 month trip through Asia.

On board I had 2 Canon A1 SLR's (35mm film, in case there are some out there that don't know it), a 20 - 35 f2.8, a 35 - 70 f3.5, a 70 - 210 f something and a 85 mm f1.8 fixed.

The 20 - 35 stayed glued to one camera and took the lions share of the photo's, the other unit alternated between the 85 mm (second most used) and the 70 - 210 for the rest.

That 20 - 35 lens is pure magic (yes, I still have it, as I do the camera's, shame they're going to end up in a museum!) practically zero barrel distortion or pincushioning and one of Canon's best efforts (and cost both an arm and a leg).

For landscape or architectural shots there was nothing to beat it, and interiors were an absolute breeze.

Would I pit it against the H43? Get real, it makes the H43 look like a plastic toy.

The only weapon in the current Canon line up that comes close (and I have not used it, so cannot comment on it's effectiveness) is the 10 - 22 mm.

Now, if you want REAL landscapes, that's the lens.

The 85 mm fixed was so bright I could get shots unimaginable with almost any other lens, without "being in their face", which is why it was such a popular portrait lens, still got it, still as good as ever.

Just a thought.


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Old February 15th, 2010, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Craven View Post
The LowePro Apex 120AW takes the HV30, spare battery,spare tape, head cleaning tape, filters, and a TL-H43 with a little room to spare.

It can be carried on a waist belt and has a fitted "rainproof" cover. Given refuge inside a backpack, it is proof against New Zealand west coast rain.
This would be excellent but i was looking for something that would hold both the HV40 and my DSLR along w/ the various lenses i mentioned above. However, i might have to leave some things behind if I want a bag that can be carried across my chest or around my waist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
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ha ha thanks but no thanks! btw, your "nature flix" are awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senad Svraka View Post
Unless you already own one, I wouldn't suggest you the Canon H43 WA adapter. I have one and didn't use it much. It is a quality piece of glass but it's very heavy, doesn't have a filter thread and is NOT wide enough. For that stunning wide angle shot you need a wider lens (kinda 0,5 factor) and if the weather is sunny, you need a polarizer.

Also, I'm very experienced stills photographer and I think you have too much overlapping in your lens choices. I would suggest a 10-20 for wide angle, 18-200 (or like) for general purpose and if you have to, take also the 100-400 but beware of UV pollution and the haze in the high altitudes... The macro lens - what for?

Sorry didn't mean to discourage you, I just think you can optimize your gear better. Good luck with your trip!
Right, I understand the H43 does not offer the 'stunning wide angle shots' that are easily found in dslr lenses, but it is probably the best and only solution to going wide with the HV series camcorders. I can't see a better way besides dumping the HV40 altogether and buying a VDSLR like the 7D or 5D MKII. As I told Chris Soucy, I'll be needing the the camera and adapter to shoot my commentary while in my tiny tent.

As far as my choice of lenses is concerned, you are certainly right. I noticed they're overlapping. I just included practically every lens i own (w/ the exception of a 70-200mm) so as not to neglect any. i'm the type of guy who strives to find great use in all my stuff. I hate having to leave things behind but i clearly see where you're coming from. It would be pretty pointless to be carrying a 18-55mm if you have have 17-40mm or vice versa. I also noticed you mentioned a 10-20mm wide angle and 18-200mm. This is an ultra wide angle and super zoom wide angle respectively! Are you referring to the ones by Sigma or..? And I'm just curious, being that you are a very experienced stills photographer, which 3 (or more) lenses would you bring in my scenario? A super wide angle is absolutely essential. Perhaps a 18-200mm would be another one??

By the way, I like to have a variety of shots in my albums, so a macro shot of a beautiful insect or the patterns of a leaf will complete it. The simple little things that Nature offers us should never go unnoticed. ;)

Senad, you have not discouraged me in any way. On the contrary, you were quite helpful. Thank you!
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Old February 15th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #15
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Chris -
Thanks for sharing the lenses of your choice on your 18-month Asian excursion! You are absolutely right about the H43 compared to the lenses for a DSLR or film camera - a plastic toy? Ha! Of course! I would never argue this. I just wanted to make the bestuse out of the HV40 rather than dishing out a load of cash for another video camera. However, I am still giving your suggestion to go VDSLR all the way some thought. My only concerns are the audio and memory issues for the 7d. I hear i would need a separate microphone setup for best audio quality and more than a handful of memory cards to shoot video, as 8gb can only take 12 minutes of footage! That doesn't sound like the ideal thing to jump to in my case. I want to be filming a great portion of my entire hike up the mountains...:\ I'm still looking around though. THANKS! :D
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