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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old April 19th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vandas
My final pedantic note: if you can afford a second camera, I promise you you will want to use a SMALLER camera more than the FX1 on the kind of trip you're describing. Cheers, TOM.
I just wanted to echo Tom's thought and others on the smaller camera. ALL of his ideas are right on target. I've spent time in Kenya and done a lot of backpacking in California's Sierra Nevadas (Yosemite, Sequoia, Tahoe). Hauling an FX1 up to above 12,000ft in Sequoia's tablelands would be so hard especially when you're carrying all your own gear, and you'll be going to something near 20,000ft, but you may have the benefit of sherpas/porters. If I had an HC1 or A1U, I would pack that in a flash over the FX1, along with some treking poles that double as monopods. Everything would be much smaller with the HC1 and it would not stand out nearly as much, plus it weighs much less. You could sleep with the camcorder and batteries in your bag to prevent freezing/theft. You could use a ziplock bag to deal with moisture. DSE tapes plastic shopping bags around his camera to deal with dust/rain - great idea for backpacking since it's light! Someone also mentioned leaving the laptop at home and I would agree with that too. Also agree with the silicon moisture packs. Just take the minimum that you need for this sort of trip. You're doing all this as a one-man operation and that means you want to go as lean/light as you can - light boots, light pack, light gear, light camera. Since you're 19, that will help you a lot with stamina. If you're not doing regular day-hikes once a week, start. What's the smaller mountain? Hopefully not Mt. Kenya since it's harder than Kili (sounds like you're staying in Tanzania however). Enjoy the time!

Last edited by Shawn Redford; April 19th, 2006 at 02:52 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 08:36 AM   #17
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For cold weather shooting which here were I work we do allot, "more than I would like" be ready for a few situations you may have. First, we run the Z1's and down to -20 degrees they work fine. You will probably however notice your LCD screen a little strobby but the footage going to tape is fine. Next and very important is to get a whole box of hot hands. These serve two purposes,(1) you need to be able to keep your hands from freezing,get a thin pair of gloves and cut the finger tips of the thumb and index finger off the gloves and put a hot hand in each glove. Try to run a camera with a heavy pair of gloves on it sucks.(2) Get a 2foot by 2 foot piece of thick wool place your batteries on the wool with two hot hands and wrap them all together and put in your work bag, now you have no worries about your batteries getting to cold. And if you yourself get cold put a hot hand in your baseball cap right on the top of your head its as good as a whiskey shot on a cold day. Hope this helps and oh yea dont be affraid to try different types of food over there you'll be supprised, good stuff.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 08:52 AM   #18
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Hi there

I agree with all the above... cold is a killer for batteries, so take several use one of the techniques above, or simply keep the batteries in your pocket close to your body heat until you need...also have several..more thanyou'd need in a normal temps....

Cold hands is probably the most uncomfortable bit, as parts of the camera are metallic and you soon can't feel your fingers and it it hard work adjusting the somewhat fiddly controls...any type of hand warmer is useful or shooting mittens that allow you to get your fingers out..Kodak gave us some at the Winter Olympics once and they worked fine...Problem is in really low temps you soon lose all feeling in your finger tips which makes camera operation slow and uncomfortable...or even impossible.

I've used the FX1 well below zero and it was fine....

Dust is probably your worst enemy.. as it gets in everywhere... Guys using the PD150's during the Iraq conflict had cameras completley wrapped up to help avoid desert dust and sand... this will get on the CCD's and give you horrible dust problems... we could spot out in photoshop for stills but in video this is one hell of a job..

Finally having been victim just last week of theft of my cameras... don't let them out of your site in these countries... or anywhere come to that...A westerner walking round with a camera that costs more than many people will see in years is just asking for trouble...

good luck

Gareth
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:12 AM   #19
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One more thing concerning traveling abroad especially in a third world nation. I know your trip is going to be an expensive undertaking but trust me in a third world nation cash goes a long way in getting you out of a bind. One of the biggest things I've done traveling abroad is have every pocket in my jeans with a single $10 bill in each pocket. If you feel your being selected out of a crowd and being asked a bunch of questions honestly that single $10 bill can make the questionong end and you can be on your way. Also you will then have 3 more pockets with a single $10 bill in each one for your next 3 questioning encounters. Hopefully by the time your pockets are empty your at your final destination. Wouldnt mention this if I didnt think it could happen, hopefully it doesnt but be prepaired. Enjoy and keep focus.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins
Dust is probably your worst enemy.. as it gets in everywhere... Guys using the PD150's during the Iraq conflict had cameras completley wrapped up to help avoid desert dust and sand... this will get on the CCD's and give you horrible dust problems... we could spot out in photoshop for stills but in video this is one hell of a job..
Here's one solution that was used in Iraq - it's probably a great solution, but it's bulky and heavy for climbing Kili:
http://epiccam.com/index.php?option=...d=53&Itemid=82
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