WIP: Alaska Video / Camcorder Review

circle.jpgIt’s tough keeping a blog going when you are busy with projects and one of those projects takes you up one of the loneliest highways— the Dalton Highway, up to Prudhoe Bay / Deadhorse, Alaska, where the oil is pumped for the Alaska Pipeline.

I was re-shooting an episode of IEBA’s Alaska outdoor adventure series, Wilderness Adventures Off The Beaten Path and shooting it in HD. That’s full HD, not HDV.  But using two different high-end consumer camcorders and writing about it for Event DV magazine. 

pipe.jpgThe article is finished and submitted.

I don’t yet have a publish date, but you’ll see it reflected here when it goes live. I’ll also have some video samples and stills to accompany the story.  

Both camcorders had some strengths:

Canon- beautiful color and removable media.

JVC- superior image stabilization, copious included media.

Both had some weaknesses: 

Canon- image stabilizer interfered at times, ruining shots. 

JVC- autofocus would hunt for focus when the point of interest was blatantly obvious.

And consumer camcorders in general have issues:

Very little inertial mass makes for far less steady handheld shots.

Tiny batteries that offer little over an hour of record time and you have to use the camcorder to charge the battery.

When you stop shooting, and want to do something else, like have dinner, you still have to carry the camcorders with you because you can’t just take the media out to avoid theft.

Be sure to keep your eye out for the full article. I go into depth about how well each camcorder worked, the choice of the specific formats I used on each camcorder, and what operational problems I encountered along 800 miles of desolate highway.

I’m also working on a companion piece that illustrates how, aside from the tripod & monopod, everything I brought fit into one briefcase-sized case. And I brought a LOT of accessories. 

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