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Old February 26th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: san diego, california
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Field setup for travelling abroad

I'm off to China for a few months and picking up a GL2 before I go. Looking to assemble as tight and light of a gear setup as possible, i.e. tripod, lens(es), filters, lighting, audio accessories, . . . , that would allow for shooting under various indoor/outdoor conditions. Could anyone give me the rundown on a very efficient and travel friendly setup and don't-leave-home-withouts?

Brian at Zotz is being very helpful, but thought I could get some input from you all - for instance, he recommended the Libec M20 tripod, which has great specs, but could I find one that weighs less than the Libec's 7 lbs.?

Any helpful advice will be appreciated!

Thank you,
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Old February 26th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #2
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Hi Brian, welcome to DV Info. I moved your thread to the open DV forum because you're looking for help (information) that is not specific to your camera. In the future you may want to split your questions up in to the appropriate forums. You might also want to familiarize yourself with our search function. Many of the questions you're asking have been asked in the past and quick answers can be found. You can use the link to the search page in my signature or use the button in the upper right corner of this window. Again, welcome and thanks for posting.
Jeff Donald
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Old February 26th, 2004, 08:48 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Brian, I do a lot of travel videography with my VX2000. I carry a Bogen 3444D carbon fiber tripod with a Bogen 3160 video head (I used to use a Manfrotto 700RC2, but gave it up because it didn't work with an elbow bracket I use for my still camera). Total weight is under 5 pounds. Your GL2 is close to the size and weight of my VX2000. I find that the 3444D is strong and stiff, and sets up and breaks down very quickly.

Here's some odd stuff I carry which has proven useful:

1. A rubber bottle cap remover -- this is a textured circle of rubber which is perfect for removing stuck threaded filters and adds no weight or mass to the kit.

2. Microfiber cloths. I can't have too many of these. I stuff them in my pockets, in my backpack, etc. When I travel it's impossible to avoid getting shmutz on lenses and filters, and it's too easy to give in to temptation to use the nearest piece of paper or fabric that's handy.

3. Adorama monopod. I rarely use it as a camera steadying device. However, it makes a great handle for the camera when I use it with the Ewa rain cover (see below), and it's particularly good for boom shots -- stick the camera on, fully extend it, angle the LCD down and I can get nice boom shots over the heads of any crowd. I keep a small head (non-video, non-fluid) on it, so I can angle the camera however I need. I've used it this way for shots off the sides of boats, trams, etc. It's only $99, it's light and comes with its own carrying case.

4. Ewa Marine rain cover. I'm sure they have one for the GL2. It has an optical glass port at the front which attaches with a simple compression fitting to the lens. The cover is transparent, has snaps at the bottom, and can be used hand-held or with a tripod. I've used it in pouring rain storms -- it offers complete protection to the camera by folding the bottom over, and makes it possible to shoot in any weather condition. Don't forget the microfiber cloths, though, 'cause you'll need to wipe rain drops off the front port. I find this kind of cover much more useful for travel work than rain capes that are open to the elements.

5. Sony dual 20-watt lamp. Your mileage may vary, but this light is very small and light, and can be just the thing to provide a highlight or fill where you need it.

6. Sharp MT-15 MD recorder and stereo lapel mike. I use this for recording ambient sound and itinerant musicians. I can't recall the brand of the lapel mike -- it's from a British outfit, but has great specs and can provide decent stereo separation. The MD recorder is a little bigger than a pack of cigarettes, weighs slight more, and gives me high-quality digital recording with a minimum of fuss.

Where in China are you going? I've been quite a few times -- it's an amazing country.
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Old February 27th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for some great equipment recommendations and tips!

Will be a couple hours outside of Beijing in a rural area with ample time to explore . . .
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