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Arctic Scooter Gear: Going all Audio/Visual Geek

After a lot of careful deliberation, I’ve settled on my audio/visual loadout for the Arctic Scooter Adventure.  The complete package weighs approximately 5.5lbs, the bulk of which consists of the new camera and the trusty old tripod.  My goal on this trip is to create increasingly immersive short videos with higher quality production.  As a result, there are a number of new items and upgrades in the loadout this time around…  Read on for a full review of all the equipment I’ll be taking with!

CIMG1919CIMG1918 Canon Rebel T2i Digital SLR
I finally upgraded to a “real” camera – while I’ve been quite happy with the quality of the photos I take with my compact cameras, they didn’t always have the raw visceral impact that can be delivered with superior control over depth of field.

Add the ability to take some of the highest quality video out there and ultimately I expect the T2i to have a massive impact on the quality of the experience I share with you guys.  The only downside is that due to the high cost of lenses I am stuck with the stock 18-55mm kit lens – it’s quite good, but I won’t be getting any closeups of bears with it.

CIMG1933 CIMG1916 ContourHD 720p Bulletcam
This simple and compact bulletcam has been the core of my video for over a year now, filming everything from the salt flats of Bolivia to the Himalayas.  The slider has been repaired and I’ve picked up some sweet new accessories to ramp things up a notch.

The first is a handlebar mount, which will allow me to get solid, steady video from the front of the scooter and other areas without relying on a gorillapod.  The absolute coolest new accessory, however, is a completely waterproof case that will allow me to film in torrential downpours or even underwater.  Who knows what I’ll pull off with this?
CIMG1931 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10
One of the best cameras I’ve ever owned, this AA-powered monster has taken thousands of photos on five different continents in all kinds of situations.  The most important trick is its versatility and size, allowing me to get extreme shots leaning out of vehicles or driving at 40MPH on a bumpy road. 

CIMG1935 CIMG1917 Zoom H2 Handy Recorder
Don’t be fooled by the name – this little device is one of the best audio recorders on the market, recording ultra high quality audio with surround sound separation and fantastic noise cancelling.  By syncing audio from the Zoom H2 with my video in post-production I will be able to remove two of the biggest flaws in my current video experience.

First, I will be able to involve myself in the video more and actually move away from the camera while maintaining dialogue when desired, something I’ve been unable to do while relying on the mic built in to the video camera.

Even more important, however, is the second benefit – with high quality wind protection I will be able include high quality audio with video taken at speed.  In initial tests, the audio picked up at 50MPH was completely crisp and clean with clear vocal pickup and nearly complete isolation of wind noise. 

CIMG1928 Motorola Droid
I can’t always be editing and syncing video or photos – sometimes I’ll need to just shoot a quick clip or simple photo to share.  That’s where my Droid smartphone comes in, hopefully working on Roger’s network in Canada with Verizon’s Canada Roaming plan.

CIMG1926 SLIK Sprint Mini GM
I can’t afford carbon fiber, but I’ve been more than happy with the next best thing.  This SLIK tripod compacts to barely more than a foot long and weighs almost nothing while providing a ton of stability and control.  It was a mainstay of my photography across the US and in South America last year and I expect it’s going to earn its keep up north as well.


Verizon uses Rogers to roam? I thought Rogers switched completely to GSM and Verizon was still using the CDMA networks...?
pete said…
Google indicated that Rogers was the primary 3G roaming provider for Verizon, but I may have been wrong! The coverage map in Canada for Verizon roaming is pretty sparse looking, it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. For an extra $30/mo I better have data sometimes at least!

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