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Old October 2nd, 2014, 03:40 PM   #1
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Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

I'm just a very small-time amateur in video, well into retirement. After some 8mm cine earlier, I started video in 2006, with a lot of my initial learning at pana3ccdusers.com. Video has gone a long way since then but I'm still using my original Pana NV-GS300 and a slightly newer NV-GS500. DVInfo has always seemed too big a pond for this little fish to swim in but active SD tape users are becoming rare, some of the ancient arts might be lost, and I have come here hoping that there are still some members with tape experience to share if/when I get stuck. I haven't got much to offer in return but if there is anything I can usefully contribute that would be good.

Ninety percent of my video is of family, local interest and holiday travel. Apart from that, I have covered a funeral service for a friend (in dire emergency, with the GS300 straight out of its box) and have shot at two family weddings, looking for the candid personal shots that the official photographers wouldn't recognise. A five-minute business promo video for my son was a token pay-back for years of his IT tech support, but was one heck of a video lesson for me. Overall, my main interests are as an aspiring artist, if you like, rather than a technician.

My reluctance to go HD has given me a reputation in another place as a Dinosaur and it might come as a bit of a surprise to some to find that Granpa has actually and at last accepted their invitation to join them here . A wave, especially, to Dave Baker, Chris Harding and Barry from Tenerife, although more than a few other names are familiar too.
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 01:51 AM   #2
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

Hi Brian,

Just returning your wave, it's good to see you posting here!

Dave
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 03:40 AM   #3
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

Hi Brian,

Welcome to the forum from another UK member over near The Wash :-)

There are plenty of big and small fish swimming here, so you certainly won't be out of place. I also grew up with 8mm cine and moved on to big clunky tape based camera and recorder separates right at the start of the 80s. I moved through many formats, from VHS, U-matic, Hi8, mini dv and on to flash memory.

I still have several Panasonic NV-GS cameras which work fine, but are now stored in a box somewhere. Their reliability compared with other makes I had owned, made me stick with Panasonic right up to now, still with no reliability problems. My main work is with weddings, schools and small corporate and I also include photography in those areas.

I would certainly consider getting a modern flash memory camera rather than continuing with your tape based ones as there are so many advantages. There are of course major leaps forward in lenses, sensors and micro electronics that give you higher quality and more stable shots. Doing away with tape also means longer battery life, lighter weight, more compact size and none of that real time downloading of the footage. There is also the advantage of selectable record quality settings, and the ability to reuse the memory cards over and over with no picture degradation. Memory is also very cheap.

Anyway, enough rambling and look forward to your posts here,

Roger
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Old October 3rd, 2014, 02:20 PM   #4
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

Greetings Brian, from what is still a northerly part of the UK.

Don't bin your cameras just yet just because they are tape based and standard def.

I still do tape, though for some productions I can go direct to hard drive, and could acquire via HDMI or HD SDI if I chose. My last effort, destined for DVD, was shot on SD 16:9 with one camera on tape acquisition and the other recording to a Firestore HD recorder. My cameras are 5 and 4 years old now, and if I had 5K+ to burn, I might replace them with 50 Mbps capable card based cameras - but I can't afford it. Having become used to using Canon XHxx gear, I wouldn't wish to go downmarket and lose the degree of manual control that I have become used to. For the sake of better low light performance it is not worth upgrading for me - yet. I am quite happy with the 20x lens on my XH-G1s and its battery life, though I can't speak for your cameras.

There is still a place for good SD video - read the wedding forums to see how hard it can be to shift HD products to clients.
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Old October 4th, 2014, 04:06 AM   #5
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

Welcome from another northerner based in Durham but currently in residence at Glasgow Pacific Quay!
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Old October 4th, 2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

OT I know, (sorry Brian) but fancy a pint some time this week, Gary, since you are up here?
Say hello to Sinclair G for me if he's at the Quay and not doing the River City shifts.
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Old October 7th, 2014, 08:45 AM   #7
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

Thanks for the welcome - and for the wave!

There's not really any likelihood now of me moving into the realms of HD, despite its attractions. If and when there's a contribution to the 'Hardware Fund' my priority might well be towards classic miniDV. I'd love to get hold of a Pana NV-GS400 and try to get to grips with its manual control side - good ones (apparently so) still come up on UK eBay now and then and should have some life in them yet.

(I hope Gary and Colin did get together over a pint...)
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Old October 17th, 2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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Re: Hello from the English Chiltern Hills

welcome, greetings from SoCal!
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