Trip To Africa! HELP! - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 1st, 2008, 05:02 PM   #16
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Kraus View Post
I plan on routinely and thoroughly cleaning the equipment every day (especially when we are in more dusty areas). I heard Q-tips work well for the different edges and creases around the body of the camera. I'll obviously need some lens cloths and cleaner.
Any other suggestions for cleaning supplies?

If oyu plan on being in some rough places, and spending any time in the field as compared to a nice cozy hostel or whatnot, you may want to think of a whole sack of those cheap (relatively) underwater "bag" type housings. you can still work most of the controls formt he outside of them, and your cameras will stay clean and shiny and untouched through some pretty tough conditions. Even if they're only the splash bags that are designed for no more than a meter or so of water, do you plan on getting them deeper than that? mud, rain, dust, wind blown debris, all pretty much become inconsequential to anything but your body.

Just a thought. And for the HV30's they shouldn't be too expensive. A whole slew of them would probably be cheaper than a proper protective cover for the cameras.

--Andy P
Andy Pronobis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2008, 05:56 PM   #17
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denton, TX
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Pronobis View Post
If oyu plan on being in some rough places, and spending any time in the field as compared to a nice cozy hostel or whatnot, you may want to think of a whole sack of those cheap (relatively) underwater "bag" type housings.

--Andy P
That sounds like a great idea! Any brands I should search for in particular?
Michael Kraus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2008, 06:27 PM   #18
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
I've been to Africa twice on video projects, to Zanzibar once. Each trip was almost entirely different as far as shooting conditions go. Here's a short distillation of what I experienced.

IMO hiring someone there whom you don't know for a onetime shoot, is too chancy. Too many things can go wrong starting with personalities, and some countries require visas you need to apply for prior.. etc etc.

You guys should shoot it, you'll come across situations you haven't even thought about from your project point of view and you'll have to work fast. Carry loose change as incentives for selected locals to participate.

Also take pencils that you 'click' the kids love 'em. We take 300 for a month.
If you visit schools, present a box. Most schools have a 'show' class of kids, be ready to shoot, you'll get fabulous responses.

Go with DV tape. I'd take 2 x HV20/30 cams and shoot HiDef, even if you have to capture HD > SD later. Take 2 RODE videomics. Get 'em now and practice doing the A cam B cam thing.

Take one basic tripod, but stuff will happen so fast you need to grab it before the moment passes. The HV20 OIS is very stable. Take 3 batteries for each cam, 2 out with you each day and one back at base on the charger.

Work out how much DV tape you think you'll need...then double it. Capetown is the only place you might get more DV tape (at your price) but don't count on getting your brand. In some cities like Joberg and Nairobi you can't walk around downtown.

Out in country dust is a major problem, clouds of talcum powder. We take large plastic garbage bags to put everything in at a moments notice. And be careful unwrapping it.
Change tapes indoors or in the 4WD. Use large blower brushes at night to clean gear along with damp cloths. Run a cleaner tape each night.

Crossing borders is different every time, be prepared for anything including long waits, just keep smiling. DO NOT video the police or military, all cameras safely stowed.

Don't ask 'ordinary' uniforms for permission to video 'em, you just take them out of their routine...confusion. Don't offer money. Carry photo copies at all times of all documents and the address of your embassy in all countries.

They call it the African experience, seeing the big 5 animals affects everyone. Seeing the poor kids makes you want to stop get out and help, and you'll sponsor some through UNICEF. My wife and I and our kids now do. Have a great trip.

Cheers.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2008, 09:38 PM   #19
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Wow, Allan -- what a great post! Highly useful. Many thanks,
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2008, 10:06 PM   #20
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denton, TX
Posts: 232
yeah it's really great to get some feedback about Africa itself from someone who's been there more than once!

thank you Allan! :)
Michael Kraus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2008, 03:07 AM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Thanks. That originally was biros not pencils but each time you gave one, you knew at the end of the ink, that was it, no refills.

So I found some pencils with clicker tops, figured they'd last longer.

When a class of 40 barefoot little kids who each walk about 30kms to school every day...
collectively blow you a goodbye kiss, I defy you to make it back out to the truck before you start crying. I never could.

Cheers.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:03 AM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: cape town South-Africa
Posts: 251
The Ultimate Africa Expierience :

One American Dollar can smooth out hours of waiting - customs etc.

Bribery is not a crime in Africa - It's part of the culture and lifestyle.

as for the dress code - Mandela or Marley T-shirts will do.


Enjoy the trip !
Herman Van Deventer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2008, 12:44 PM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Namibia
Posts: 82
"Bribery is not a crime in Africa - It's part of the culture and lifestyle."


Bribery is a crime here in Namibia and I strongly advise NOT to make use of such practices in our country.
Björn Rehder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:17 PM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denton, TX
Posts: 232
Note to self....no bribing in namibia...

thank you for clarifying Björn :)

I'm REALLY thinking about dumping the idea of "B Cam" and going with better audio mics. However...I also really like the idea of having the insurance of 2 cameras rolling. I would hate to miss something considering that I'm not exactly in Africa all that often.....and small camcorders may be able to go a lot of places that a typical handheld prosumer cam wouldn't.....any feedback on this? I've been getting a lot of different opinions from different people and I think this is really good. I like options and knowing all the pros and cons of each setup.

Anybody have some suggestions for a good shotgun that does well outdoors and maybe a lav mic?
Michael Kraus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:41 PM   #25
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Kraus View Post
....
Anybody have some suggestions for a good shotgun that does well outdoors and maybe a lav mic?

A new kid on the block, the Rode NTG-3, is an excellent sounding mic with a good directivity and sensitivity and its operating principle makes it relatively more immune to problems from heat and humidity than most shotgun mics (a lot of 'guns aren't very happy when the humidity really creeps up). It's ruggedly built to be able to withstand the rigors of a trekking into the backcountry. And like I said, it sounds good to. A little pricey compared to the mic you mentioned before at about $700 but it's closest competitor is the Sennheiser MKH416 at twice the price. You would need to make sure your camera or XLR adapter provides 48v phantom power but that's true of most pro level mics. Guy at DVCreators/DVeStore gives a discount to DVINFO users, drop him a note.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:47 PM   #26
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denton, TX
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
A new kid on the block, the Rode NTG-3, is an excellent sounding mic with a good directivity and sensitivity and its operating principle makes it relatively more immune to problems from heat and humidity than most shotgun mics (a lot of 'guns aren't very happy when the humidity really creeps up). And like I said, it sounds good to. A little pricey compared to the mic you mentioned before at about $700 but it's closest competitor is the Sennheiser MKH416 at twice the price. You would need to make sure your camera or adapter provides 48v phantom power but that's true of most pro level mics. Guy at DVCreators/DVeStore gives a discount to DVINFO users, drop him a note.
That's some great affirmation. I looked this mic up a week or two ago and it seemed like the best bet according to reviews and specs. I think it also comes with a 10 year warranty? I don't know if that is typical or not with shotgun mics but as far as i know that's a pretty solid statement by Rode of faith in their product's quality and durability.
Michael Kraus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 20th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #27
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Yes, the NTG-3 needs 48volts which the HV20/30 can't supply.

I took too much gear (as usual) on my first trips but it included a useful RODE Videomic.

I was just reminded that a mate said....'SO! you're taking the RODE to Zanzibar!'

Cheers.

Apologies to Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, bless 'em.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2008, 02:40 PM   #28
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: KLD, South Africa
Posts: 983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman Van Deventer View Post
The Ultimate Africa Expierience :

One American Dollar can smooth out hours of waiting - customs etc.

Bribery is not a crime in Africa - It's part of the culture and lifestyle.
I don't agree with this, bribery is definitely a crime and not a show of good character.

You'll enjoy Africa, just use common sense and stay out of areas that look dodgy. I would also advice miniDV tapes over tapeless. Can pick up miniDV tapes at almost any supermarket and they are much harder to break. However if you plan well tapeless should work too, depending on where you are in Africa you'll get almost everything here that you get in the States.

My advice for a kit:

You need at least one professional camera for your shoot, you are wasting your time with a consumer camera.

> Canon XHA1 $3300 (A)
You want 20x Optics! Wild life is not going to come to you. I shoot with these cameras and they are a joy to work with! You cant go wrong plus the stereo mic on this camera is also wonderful.

> Canon HV30 $700 (B)
Purely a back-up and play around camera however will mix perfectly into the XHA1.

> Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 $550
You will always need a Lav mic.

> Node NTG-2 Shotgun $270
You really! don't need a NTG-3 its complete overkill! Meant for pro's that want want want, the NTG-2 sounds great!

> Rycote Sofie Wild protection for Rode NTG-2 $110
You want this.

> Bogen / Manfrotto 501HDV Tripod $390
This tripod has a fluid head, is easy to carry along on hiking trip, compact and made for Africa.

Total: $5390

That gives you $1610 to buy long life batteries at least 3 that should last you 4 days, UV filters, polarisers, bags and I would also suggest an external audio recorder like the Zoom H4 ($299), you are going to hear lions rawr and all types of sounds that you want to record and mix in later. Lastly get a SLR photo camera like the Canon 450D with a zoom lens. Lots of beautiful photos waiting to be taken. I almost forgot you will need on camera lighting too!

Hiring a local professional to film your trip is also a great idea and will give you a better overview of your trip. There are many videographer I know that would love to embark on such a trip.

Last edited by Nicholas de Kock; October 21st, 2008 at 03:27 PM.
Nicholas de Kock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2008, 03:55 PM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Denton, TX
Posts: 232
It's possible that a lot of what we shoot will end up on the web. In that case (and if we decide not to go tapeless), should I go for a camcorder that can shoot in progressive such as the fx1000?
Michael Kraus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2008, 04:19 PM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: KLD, South Africa
Posts: 983
Progressive is not a requirement, your editing software will render it out perfectly for the web. Progressive just looks better on a 40" LCD TV.
Nicholas de Kock is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:59 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network