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


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Old July 12th, 2007, 12:18 AM   #1
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Camera at the beach?

Hey everyone, I finally placed an order for my HC7 after about a month of waiting. This summer I am going down to North Carolina to vacation at the beach and I am debating whether I should bring this camera or not. I live in upstate New York, away from any beach-like conditions, and it is not nearly as hot as it is down in NC. Basically, I'm worried that the different weather conditions (salt/humidity) in NC will mess up the camera. I only ask this because my friends PS2 stopped working when we returned from the beach. Obviously I'm not going to leave the camera in a hot car all afternoon, but I guess that I'm just worried that the large amount of salt in the air will screw up the camera when I return back to NY.

I really dont know if this is a legitimate concern, but I really dont want anything to happen to the camera a month after I get it.

Any advice/info appreciated.

Thanks,

Simon
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Old July 12th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #2
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I took my Sony FX1 on a Jet boat ride around the Isles of Scilly (in the UK) - couldn't avoid getting some salt spray on the camera and in the lens but I got some fabulous pictures of the coastline, basking seals etc. I wiped the camera down with a damp cloth to remove the salt and it was fine.

That was 2 years ago and its still working.

Its sand you must avoid, especially the wind-blown kind. I took a video camera into the Saudi desert many years ago - the focus ring still grinds when you turn it.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #3
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I second Tony's opinion: salt is not the real issue, sand is. I always take a camera or two with me on the beach (both still and video) and careful cleaning brings them back to normal. I don't think your friend's camera went bad just because of that!

Keep it in a zipped plastic bag when not in use, don't use it when the wind is blowing fine sand and don't go too close to the water - you'll be just fine using common sense.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:35 AM   #4
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Ditto the advice above - especially the sand. If you want to shoot on the beach, you can get glorified plastic bags with lens ports to protect your camcorder. Such bags are manufactured by Ewa-Marine.

Failing that, if you do shoot on the beach without protection, only do so on a calm day and pay very, very close attention to what you touch - it's all too easy to get sand on your hands and then touch the controls of the camcorder. I know this from experience many years ago on a beach in Zanzibar. Some local children where fascinated with the camcorder that was on a tripod, so they started touching it and I let them look through the view finder. Got some enjoyable footage but, the next day, things weren't quite right. Fortunately, I had some jeweller's screwdrivers with me and was able to open the camcorder and clean out a couple of rogue grains.

BTW - which beach are you going to? I'm rather spoilt as my mother-in-law has an apartment right on Atlantic Beach (Morehead City/Beaufort) and it's only three hours from home. I'm off down there on Saturday for a week of diving, along with my video equipment.

John.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #5
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Sounds like a glorious summer - I'll be on Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) with family and friends for eight days starting this Sunday!

Yoohoo!
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Old July 12th, 2007, 09:46 AM   #6
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A screw on ND filter is all I use and I have shot about 30 tapes at the beach. I always change tapes back in the car after blowing off the exterior of the cam with compressed air (but not on the lens).

Regards,
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Old July 12th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice... You all have definetly made me feel more at-ease.

Our family is going to Ocean Isle beach... It's small, and about 45mins north of Myrtle. I can't wait!

Thanks guys,

Simon
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Old July 13th, 2007, 07:25 AM   #8
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I recently used my HC7 on Bermuda's beaches without a problem. I was careful about the wind, and made sure I always used my body to block the wind for sand and wind noise reasons. I also kept taping to a minimum and stored the camera in a zippered case when not in use.

When I returned home, I ejected the tape and lightly used a can of compressed air in and around the camera, just in case.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 08:24 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Jasany View Post

When I returned home, I ejected the tape and lightly used a can of compressed air in and around the camera, just in case.
Never, is this a very good idea. Compressed air and cameras virtually never mix. The lens is especially vulnerable, but you can also blow debris into the rollers, head, or other mechanics on the camera. Use a good squeeze bulb (not the cheapo that comes in the 4.99 cleaning kits), use a vacuum, use a damp rag or electrostatic wipe. Recently did some location scouting on several beaches, both in/out of water, and electrostatic wipes were all that was needed.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
Never, is this a very good idea. Compressed air and cameras virtually never mix. The lens is especially vulnerable, but you can also blow debris into the rollers, head, or other mechanics on the camera. Use a good squeeze bulb (not the cheapo that comes in the 4.99 cleaning kits), use a vacuum, use a damp rag or electrostatic wipe. Recently did some location scouting on several beaches, both in/out of water, and electrostatic wipes were all that was needed.
Thanks DSE. Good thing I did it very lightly and quickly, and I won't be using compressed air again.
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