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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old January 20th, 2004, 01:17 PM   #1
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Handling a dvcam, salt air and overtightening lenses

I had a Doh! moment while installing the UV filter on my 1st cam, a DV852 with an optical stabilizer, and so I'm curious about how rugged or delicate this machinery is.

<you may get a grin here>
I initially attempted to remove the lens hood by turning counterclockwise as seen from the back (viewfinder towards me). After checking posts here and a brief chat with B&H I determined that 1. the frontmost part is the lens hood and must be r+r'd to install the filter 2. it may take a bit of force. So I tried it again, gradually ramping up the force. I got a plastic sort of sound and about 1/4" rotation, but no loosening. Tried clockwise, thinking that this was tightening I took care about the amount of torque and got the same thing.
Was I twisting the lens inside the cam body? Nothing looked broken.
After a few of these along with that creak/turn, I looked at the threads from the front. Um, maybe the designer was oriented this way also... so I turned the lens away (so my hands, lint falling off clothes etc would not get into the new lens) and turned it _clockwise as seen from the back, a bit more firmly. Of course, the hood now spun off easily. No harm done, I hope.
This makes me think: Most consumer electronics can handle a few mishaps. My laptop and film camera for example will survive a short drop and some dust. The cam could be the exception - this machine has many small, precise moving parts and maybe optical peices in precise alignment. I live by the ocean <after a lifetime of wanting to be here> and want to film the surf which crashes into the shore here. So I'm in salt air with some grit tossed up by the wind. I'm also calibrating my hands toward 'grunch' with each visit to weight room.
I don't have a case yet, and was going to take it unpadded to class today... I now think that's too casual. Is there a set of realistic guidlines for handling this thing in common situations? I want to focus on capturing video not fiddling with equipment, but also want to respect the tool and not trash it.

I'm getting some great tips from this board
Laurence Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2004, 09:00 PM   #2
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Laurence, that reminds me of this guy I know who bought a used DVL9500 from e-bay. He didn't have a charger for his battery, so I met him at my local coffee shop with a spare battery, so that he could try it out. When I got there, he told me that he couldn't get the lens cap off, but managed to remove it with a screwdriver (and all the rest of the plastic around the lens). I told him that the lens cap does not remove. It's a built-in iris cap which automatically opens up when you power-up the cam. I still have nightmares about that destroyed DVL9500, and now, I'm sure, I'll have another one about your PV-DV852 helter-skelter filter removal techniques.

To protect you cam from salt water/air, wrap it with Saran Wrab or a Zip-Lock bag. Make sure you don't cover up the mic, lens and sensors.

Good luck. :-((
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Old January 21st, 2004, 12:23 AM   #3
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All's well, cancel nightmare!
I did get off the torque train before crunching anything, only some pride was damaged. I'll seek expert advice before any further experiments! I thought the story would be good for a grin or 2, an maybe a caution for another 1st time user.

Do you know of a small case which fits it, just enough for the basics & padded on all 6 sides? A trip to a local camera store found a shelves piled with packs, all too big or sized for still cameras. A big fancy pack will make it less likely that the cam's there when something to film happens.

I'm really suprised at the richness of the color and image from this digital device - and so far I've only played it back through the viewfinder. You really can capture a bit of the world with this machine; it will still be enough cam after I've gained far more skill than I have now and it'll get the right care as long as I own it.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 02:57 AM   #4
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The Lowepro Nova 4 would be good. Or did you want a hard-case? Pelican makes great ones, waterproof too.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 06:15 PM   #5
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Laurence, here is some more info on the homemade splash resistant plastic bag that is similar to what Frank mentioned.

http://www.sonycams.com/forum/showth...p?threadid=560

and

http://www.sonycams.com/forum/showth...=3225#post3225

Its ghetto-fabulous but gets the job done.
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 01:24 PM   #6
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That's a good one, and you can't beat the price.
If I get this right, all I'd need is a dead filter? The fileter screws on in series male threads on it same as male threads on the front of the lens, and I use the same hood I have now (??) It sounds like I should definitely not shoot close to the shore (within 100 ft or so ) until the cam's protected.

btw, is there an article on gettting a clue with video? I want to learn the essentials of creating decent shots, starting with casual situations. A quick search here showed 100's of results, though most on a more professional level than I'm working at. Is there something on basic ways to make enjoyable shots & common errors to avoid? With many things we do an hour of background work leads to a 100% improvement in how well it's done and *how much fun it is*.

- tx

Larry
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Old January 23rd, 2004, 04:01 PM   #7
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You might try http://www.videouniversity.com/. Also, check with your local junior college. They may have something in adult education.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 06:51 PM   #8
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I have used my video cams on boats (with some tropical salt water sea-spray (no problems, just wipe the surface). Of course, the spray is not drenching the cam, merely making droplets on the surface.

I have brought the cam up and down mountains, not snow, though, but very wet and damp and moist, so damp that the humidity lock-up happened.

I have shot in the rain with a piece of old hand-bag 'leather' thrown over, secured with velcro on home made straps.

And when I'm crossing rivers (by foot, not by boat), I put the cam into two layers of ziploc.

Tommy's links are really good ideas. And cheap. But do remember to check the bags every now and then, as folding will cause 'cracks'.
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