Skip to main content

Audio/Visual Gear for 2011

A huge part of my traveling is sharing my experiences with friends and while I enjoy my writing, nothing beats photos and videos for simple, pure sharing.

IMG_4632Over the last two years I have slowly tweaked the hardware, software, and technologies I use for this, always trying to find a balance between cost, usability, and quality. In July I took a couple major steps, adding a DSLR and a high definition audio recorder to address what I felt were major gaps in the video of my ContourHD (audio and low-light performance).

As I prepare for my next adventure, I’m taking the knowledge gained over the last year and changing things up again. First of all, the Zoom H2 is out – the audio quality was amazing, but it is simply too big, too bulky and (most importantly) too much of a hassle to use. I am currently looking for a smaller, much simpler device that I can activate with the touch of a button/slider through a jacket pocket. I plan to equip this two small external microphones including a shotgun mic (for interactions with people) and a small lavalier microphone for narration.

In addition, I am going to modify my ContourHD to add a microphone jack to also take advantage of these microphones at times, and with the ability to plug them into my T2i DSLR I should have a complete easy-to-use audio solution which won’t always require excessive post-production. The real goal here is clear audio in high-wind conditions and interview style situations with minimal effort.

IMG_3012The next big change is a new point-and-shoot camera. My Panasonic DMC-LZ10 survived some seriously brutal environments until finally giving up the ghost on the middle of the Alaska Highway due to excessive water and dirt exposure. This led to one of the biggest regrets of my trip, a nearly month long drought of video and photos as I struggled with the waterproof casing on my ContourHD and an unwillingness to risk my DSLR in extreme weather.

After a lot of research and consideration, I’ve ordered a Panasonic Lumix FT2 rugged point and shoot. It’s a bit of a risk, and a lot of money to spend instead of buying another el-cheapo point and shoot (the dollars could have gone towards a telephoto lense with better optics for my T2i). Hopefully it’ll pay off and I’ll be able to share some great photos and videos in extreme weather conditions over the coming year – after all, if I’m stranded in a blizzard in southern Argentina, I want you guys to see what it’s like, right?

Now I just need to nail down some mic’s and a decent simple to use personal recorder… 


Popular posts from this blog

Days 94-98: The Struggle for Beauty

In which Pete nearly loses Red and gives up once again, before crossing an ice field to spend the night with the Bolivian army at Laguna Colorada and returning to Uyuni for supplies.

Jury Duty: Not Like TV (or: Longest Post EVER)

Prepare yourself for by far the longest blog post ever – if you’re at all curious about real life jury duty or enjoy all those cop & lawyer shows then give it a go - this recount of the trial and details given for evidence will blow your mind, make you think twice about the effectiveness of our police officers and the impartiality of our juries… Shortly before leaving on my trip in January, I was summoned for DC Grand Jury Duty .  I was able to have it rescheduled to begin on June 7 and made it back to the US only a few days before it was due to start.  After thinking about it I really felt that I would not be comfortable spending 27 days of 8:30AM to 5PM in an “office” for $30 a day, especially with the changes to the economy going on right now – I’d rather enjoy that time. Upon arriving at the courtroom for Grand Jury Duty, I quickly noted that there were over 40 people in the room, considerably more than the number required for the Grand Jury.  Once we were checked in, the c

Days 61-62: The Little Engine that Could… Not?

In which Pete returns to Ruta 40 with a shiny new front wheel, struggles against mysterious engine problems, has an argument with a police officer in the dark, and survives a desert of prickly thorns only to get a flat at Walmart. Day 61 Begin: Santa Rosa, Las Pampas, Argentina @ 10:30AM End: Unknown Location, Ruta 143, Las Pampas, Argentina @ 6:15PM Distance: estimated 350km (218mi), no odometer and GPS datalogger failed I was pretty stoked this morning. Red was shiny and clean, his new front wheel was incredibly stable, swapping out the fat and loud MT40 in back for a normal road tire made him more quiet and docile, and all that ash and gunk was cleaned out of the intake system. The temperature was so warm (upper 50’sF) that I felt free and agile wearing less layers than normal and the wind was blowing straight south while I would be traveling mostly westward – incredible luck that I wouldn’t be traveling straight into the wind the entire day.