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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old June 7th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #1
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My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Hiya folks,

I'm taking off in a few months to travel and shoot travel style docs for the web and DVD and whatever other opportunities might arise. After a year of planning I've finally got my gear together and was wondering if one or two of you wouldn't mind taking a look at it to see if there's anything missing or if you have any suggestions. The style of video will be off the beaten path, hiking, camping, kayaking and general all round backpacker type of travel. I travel in a 1973 VW bus and will be doing all of my post production work from the bus while on the road. Anyway, here's the list of what I've put together. All input is, of course, welcome. Thanks in advance.

Video Equipment
Canon HF-S200 with 2 X 32 GB cards
Raynox 58mm 0.7x SUPER WIDE ANGLE LENS with Tiffen 82mm UV PROTECTOR FILTER.
Samson AIRLINE MICRO CAMERA WIRELESS SYSTEM (Wireless Mic)
Canon DM-100 DIRECTIONAL STEREO MICROPHONE
Kata E-702 CAMERA RAIN COVER
Sennheiser HD280-PRO Headphones

Camera Equipment (secondary video camera as well as stills)
Canon T1i
18-55mm IS (Kit Lens)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4 (Wide Angle Lens)
Filter Kits

Other Gear
GoPro Hero for underwater and watersports
Monopod and tripod
Dell i3 Laptop with 8 GBs RAM/eSata port for external drives.
Second monitor still to be purchased.
10 inch Android tablet for reviewing photos/video in the field.

Most importantly I have an incredibly strong desire not to spend another winter in Winnipeg Manitoba freezing my tata's off.

Scott
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Scott,

Have you got a Sherpa, to help you carry all of it? (Just kidding!)

Seriously though, this may be stating the obvious, but I hope you've got plenty of batteries and some means to charge them when you're out in the wild!
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the feedback and yes, I'll have 3 batteries per and a charging station in my sherpa.

Here's the sherpa:

http://www.wanderglobe.com/gallery2/d/36-2/11.jpg
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Nice!

Now *that* is what I call a cactus!
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Old June 7th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #5
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

My two favorite Canadian travel documentaries were made with far less and only themselves as Sherpas.... Being Caribou and Finding Farley (in that order).

Necessary Journeys :: Films
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Old June 7th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #6
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Nice. Thanks for the link. Hadn't heard of either of these and in typical, Canadian commie tradition...they're online for free. Will be watching them later. :) If Farley is referring to Farley Mowatt then I can't wait. One of my favourite authors.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Yes. It is Farley Mowatt.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Just finished watching it. While I think Canada is a beautiful country and I've been from Newfoundland to BC numerous times, you would not catch me paddling a canoe in the Yukon with those bloody flies. That's just crazy.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 12:00 PM   #9
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

The only thing I would add to the gear is a telephoto lens for the T1i.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 01:21 PM   #10
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

I was looking at that too. For the time being the budget is kind of tapped but as I work my way further south into areas with more wildlife like Belize, Guatemala and Costa Rica, a telephoto will be a must. It was a toss up between that and a wide angle with the wide angle winning out just because the first part of my trip is through the US where's there's so much scenery.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:56 PM   #11
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Hi Scott,

A couple of things really jumped out at me.

1. Are you sure the Samson wireless system and the Canon DM-100 are going to be enough to get the kind of sound that would make it worthwhile. Have you thought about getting an older Zoom H4 to capture ambient sound? Even without additional mics going into it, it probably would serve you better than the DM-100. They're a bit of a pain to use compared to the newer ones, but they're not so bad with a little practice.

2. You might be suprised about how little use a telephoto is in Central America. While I've only been to Costa Rica twice, I've spent a lot of time in the Amazon rainforest and know the jungle well. The density of the jungle foliage makes it hard to shoot very far. Also, the jungle is a relatively dark place and, unless you have an expensive telephoto (f/2.8), you're probably not going to be as happy as you think.

3. The Raynox wide angle is a pretty good choice. I've several of their lenses with my HV20/HV40's and have been pleased with the results -- at least for my purposes.

4. What is the purpose of the 2nd monitor? If you are talking about a small monitor to use while shooting, you have to have some kind of rig to mount it along withe microphone(s). I'm not sure I would take use one for the kind of shooting it sounds like you'll be doing. You could use that money for other needed items.

5. Make sure you take polarizing filters. They make a big difference with getting rid of reflections off leaves and water when shooting in the jungle.

6. Do you have chargers that run off the van's cigarette lighter? You can also use an adapter that gives you one or two regular electrical outlets from a cigarette lighter plug.

7. If you are going during winter, I think that may be the rainy season in Central America. You might want to check on that because I understand it rains A LOT.

8. Most important, I'm really jealous! Whatever happens, you're going to have quite an adventure. I'd love to keep up with you travels if you decide to blog about it somewhere. (I'm sure others would, too.) You're gong to be suprised how the internet is available in some of the most remote places.

I hope everything goes well and you have a great trip.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #12
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

I just thought of one more thing that could make it really nice -- a small slider. (I use a Kessler Pocket Dolly Traveler, but they cost about $650 USD now!) I've learned that slow movements from a slider can make a huge improvement in many, many situations in giving simple shots a much more professional, cinematic look.

Studio 4 (indiSYSTEM - Home) makes a 24" mini slider that is cheap ($99 USD). I can't tell you how good it is, but I'm sure there are reviews as well as other options.

(I just bought a follow focus system from them and I saw the slider on their website. When researching my purchase, I heard a lot of folks talk about the quality of their products. The customer service I got was exceptional, too. I emailed them late yesterday about shipment. Got an evening email from Tim there who said it would go out 2nd day instead of ground so it would be here by the weekend. Then, at 6:30 this morning, Tim sent me the tracking number!)
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Old June 8th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #13
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Hey Phil,

Thanks for the lengthy and well thought out response to my post. It's much appreciated. I'll respond to each below:

1) I'm hoping the mics will be enough to get me started. I'd like more toys but being a bit of a novice I'll have to tinker, post and get feedback from people who really know what they're doing.

2) Good point on the telephoto. While it seems to be on the top of everyones list it wasn't on mine. I really wanted some good, inexpensive lenses for portraits and scenery. There's also the issue of space to lug this stuff around.

3) It was a toss up between that one and the Canon with more positive reviews directed towards the Raynox. I'm glad that so far I've made a decent choice.

4) The second monitor is for editing in the bus. My laptop is only a 15 inch screen so I like to keep other software or audio open on the laptops monitor while editing footage on something larger with better colours.

5) I've got a few polarizing filters and will add one to the video gear as well.

6) My VW has (will have) 2 auxiliary batteries that will charge off of shore power, solar and/or a generator. Under the seat I have the recharging center for all the toys. :)

7) If things go well the plan is to shoot 1 DVD per country with Mexico being 2 DVD's. (Baja Cali and the north and another for the South) That being said I could be down there through many seasons. I've been in Belize and Guatemala during rainy season and actually find it refreshing. The rain hits hard in the afternoon but it rarely seems to be a continuous downpour.

8) I'm really excited. I've been freezing my you know whats off here in Winnipeg for 3 years now and won't do another winter of this. I've also been working the 9 to 5 in IT and if you've seen Office Space then you've seen my life. If you ever get bored and want to tag along then I'm always open to sharing the road with other travelers. I run a tight budget of around $200 per person per week, a little more when it's just me. I have no interest in anything touristy and the main reason for the shoots is to show people that there's more to places like Mexico than Cancun and Cabo.

My website is Scott and Dante's U.S. and Latin American Travels. It has some footage and photos from previous trips. I can be reached through the contact page there as well. If you're along my initial route then I'll buy the first pint. :)

Cheers,

Scott
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Old June 13th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #14
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Scott, if you are using the GoPro for underwater filming you need to have the flat lens that fixes the underwater focusing problem. Otherwise it will be fuzzy and out of focus when underwater. I just ordered a flat lens from Pursuit Diving, costs $43:
underwater cameras
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Old June 14th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #15
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Re: My Gear List. Am I missing anything?

Excellent recommendation Bill. Much appreciated. I'm not sure how much underwater I'll be shooting but it never hurts to be prepared, especially for only 40 bones. Thanks a lot. I'll grab one of them.
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