Using A1U for long, long walk documentary at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 25th, 2006, 02:44 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Using A1U for long, long walk documentary

Hey guys. I just bought an A1U, largely on the advice of this board. I'll be using it to document a journey I'm taking this year. I'm walking from Madrid, Spain to Kiev, Ukraine and making a film of it. (Much more info on my website at http://www.madridtokiev.com).

The A1U is, I believe, the perfect camera for my project. Captures HDV, takes XLR input, and perhaps best of all, is extremely small and discrete.

I'll be checking this board often as I learn how to use this machine in the next month before I leave. In the meantime, can anyone offer tips about traveling with the A1U or using it in documentary situations?

Best,
Lee
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Illinois
Posts: 888
take a bunch of tapes and batteries.
Bob Zimmerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2006, 04:24 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
...and probably a wide-angle converter. Mini tripod too. And some foot ointment.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Got the tapes, batteries, wide-angle converter and foot ointment. Haven't settled on a tripod yet. I need one that is decent and very lightweight. Under $100 too. Any recommendations?

Lee
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 532
If you get something like the spiderbrace you could carry it on your shoulder for probably an infinite amount of time.
Evan C. King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Clermont, FL.
Posts: 941
How about a monopod?
Laurence Kingston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 118
not quite a camera tool, but a gps device? the only sub $100 tripods that are even worth considering are the velbons.
__________________
Letus35 Flip on HC1
FCP5 w/ Intel Mac Mini and Powerbook Ti G4
R.P. Cuenco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 03:32 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
How about one of those really versatile and very small tripods that clamp onto trees, doors, cars, and even stand up on tables? I've got one shown here ~
http://www.fortvir.net/gallery/tom-s...um/Mini_tripod
and in surrounding pictures.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #9
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Oldenburg, Germany
Posts: 23
Nice project. I have just seen your site.
But if you are going to shoot in different countries in Europe, you will need a lot of adapters to be able to recharge your batteries. Almost any country in Europe have 220 v, but with diferent plugs.
Good luck.
Vincent Sanchis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 01:46 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston
How about a monopod?
I'd actually never even seen one. Looks like most of them are made to be held while you shoot, although some have small legs you attach at bottom. Could one of the latter support my camera as I stood in front of the lens and spoke into it? Seems like a large gust of wind would knock one down. I do like the lightness and compactness of them.

Lee
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
How about one of those really versatile and very small tripods that clamp onto trees, doors, cars, and even stand up on tables? I've got one shown here ~
http://www.fortvir.net/gallery/tom-s...um/Mini_tripod
and in surrounding pictures.

tom.
Who makes that thing and where could I look at more info?
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Sanchis
Nice project. I have just seen your site.
But if you are going to shoot in different countries in Europe, you will need a lot of adapters to be able to recharge your batteries. Almost any country in Europe have 220 v, but with diferent plugs.
Good luck.

They've got universal plug adaptors, for instance: http://traveloasis.com/plugadapters6.html

I'll carry one, but I may also have a small solar panel with me to trickle-charge my batteries as I walk.

Lee
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 01:54 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by R.P. Cuenco
not quite a camera tool, but a gps device? the only sub $100 tripods that are even worth considering are the velbons.
Ever used a Slik brand tripod? Someone recommended this model to me: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
Lee Kazimir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 26th, 2006, 06:51 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 844
Hi Lee

I am travelling too (though not 100% on foot)!

my recommensations :
- I bought a cheap Slik tripod in Australia. Had to be light, compact. It is.
I cannot remember the name of it (it's in another country at the moment) but it was about 60dollars (US dollars). It has served me well.
Take a look at Sprint mini :
http://www.thkphoto.com/products/slik/slik-ss3.html
or Compact XL :
http://www.thkphoto.com/products/slik/slik-cts-02.html


- GPS : YES 100% definitely. I use Garmin etrex Vista all the time. You can enter in your destination for the day and it tells you how far away you are, you estimated time of arrival, your current piosition, speed, max. speed, avg. speed, time moving, time stationary, distance and direction to ANY town, electronic compass, even an altimeter (height in meters or feet or any unit). Also gives sunrise and sunset times for any location, anywhere. useful to know how mcuh daylight you got left til you get to your destination.
So pretty much everything. Will run about 12-20hours on 2 AA batteries.
On batteries: best AA you can get is Enregizer Lithium AA's. They cost about 3x as much as Duracell Alkaline but last forever. (well about 5x as long as duracell alkaline).
http://www.garmin.com/products/etrexVista/index.jsp

- MONOPOD = YES definitely. you'll get much steadier footage using this. I would consider it mandatory and WELDED to your camera unless your using a tripod. I have a cheap monopod that has served me very well. Plus you can use it as a weapon if things get bad. (i haven't needed to but i've encountered crocodiles, v.agressive vultures and eagles, and other rather territorial animals..).

DUCT TAPE: staple of any traveller. YOu can fix anythin with it (almost) and you can even stop blisters with it.

SOCKS: boring i know, but get double-skin socks. inner layer sticks to foot, outer layer sticks to shoe, 2 socks rub, NOT your skin. stops blisters. You will see. Shoes i will personally recommend Asics Gel Kayano or Nike Air. They're both tough, light, breathable, flexible.
http://www.1000mile.co.uk/1000milesocks.htm

WIDE-ANGLE LENS: absolutely 100%. Recommend one of two Sony 0.7x WA : VCL-HG0737X (i have it) or VCL-HG0737Y (similar but bigger, heavier, and black)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search


External mic : yes 100% get one. Something like a Sony HGZ1 should do. It is (i *think*) reversible so you can switch it 180degrees and so it's pointing at you, not the scenery in front, if you need (you will) to do narration while you're shooting. Sound for narration will be crap unless you get a shotgun mic that you can point back towards yourself, or get a wired lavalier mic for this.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
I just checked and it doesn't look like HGZ1 reverses. My HSM1 mic (v similar to HGZ1) does.
I also got Rode Videomic which is superb - that will be fine on your A1 as if you take XLR module off it bolts straight on. excellent sound quality too. It's my default mic. Get a Rode Deadcat windshield for this is you get it as it's v sensitive and you'll get windnoise unless you have a windshield.

PLUG ADAPTORS: is easy. A1 i think will charge from 110V or 220-240V. One adaptor should be fine for your whole trip. not a problem.

TAPES & BATTERIES: take lots. i have 3 batteries for my cam and that should give me about 3.5hours min. shooting a day and that's always been enough. Take a Sony cleaning tape cos thats a showstopper if your cam (probably WHEN your cam..) insists it needs heads cleaning.

Backpack is obviously critical. i like macpac. I have Macpac Genesis. very tough, water resistant, well-made, good reputation, intelligent design.
Take as little as you can. You will hate it if your pack is stupidly heavy. uby stuff along the way, chuck stuff along the way.
http://www.macpac.co.nz/

Knife: Buy a really good multi-tool / knife. I have Leatherman Charge Ti. It's not cheap but i use it literally almost every day. Fixing things, cutting things, mending stuff. amazing what you can do with a very good penknife or multi-tool. Leatherman Wave are almost as good and cheaper than Charge Ti.
http://www.leatherman.com/
http://www.leatherman.com/products/t...Ti/default.asp

ok thats it for now.

recommend you go on a test trip for maybe a week fully-kitted out. The lessons you will learn in that week will make your longer trip much more enjoyable and a better experience.

rgds
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2006, 02:48 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Hi Lee - I got that 'clamp to anything' tripod in a blister pack in the photographic shop down town, Jessops here in the UK. Very useful little tool. It even clamped my second (unmanned) VX2000 to the gym's wall bars for a shoot last month.

tom.
Tom Hardwick 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 > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:40 PM.


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