Archive for October 8th, 2008

Categorized accessory guide for HV20/30

Casual shooting
* A steady tripod, specifically with a fluid head ($80)
* A few rubber bands (info, $0.01)
* A spacious camera bag ($10)
* Enough tapes ($20)
* An ND4 (0.6) filter ($20, outdoors only)
* A petal hood ($15,, outdoors only)
* A gray card (for indoors shooting, $5)
* Optional: A bigger, extra, battery ($40)

Special Interest (macro)
All of the above, plus:
* Tiffen 2x, 3x, 4x close-up kit lenses ($30)

All of the above, plus:
* A Canon or Raynox telephoto lens (make sure it’s specific to HD, $200)
* A polarizer filter ($35)
* A UV filter ($20)
* An HD wide angle lens (e.g. Canon WD-H43, the Raynox 7000Pro, $200)
* A white balance gray card (usage, $5)
* A shotgun microphone with windscreen support (e.g. Canon DM-50, $150)
* A lavalier microphone (e.g. the Audio-Technica ATR-35S, $40)
* Extension cord for the lavalier mic ($15)
* Tiffen Universal Dolly (to be used only on thick carpet, $50)
* A shoulder bracket (e.g. B&H sells one for $45)
* A reflector (e.g. the Westcott 5-in-1 Reflector Kit, $100)
* A focus wheel (DIY, or from Irvb, $40)
* A lens cleanser, blower, and brush ($20)
* A rectangle hood ($20,
* A lens hood ($20)
* [Optional] The Tiffen HDTV-FX3 filter (low-contrast movie look, $200)

Music videos
All of the above, plus:
* A steadycam (e.g. $170 Hauge MMC, or a DIY $15 one)
* 1000W Smith Victor KT1000 continuous lights (e.g. from Adorama, $130)
* A portable CD player for lip-syncing ($70)
* A clap, to synchronize the audio with the sped-up lipsyncing in post processing ($10)
* A 35mm adapter (e.g. TwoNeilHD, or JAG35Pro, with a 5m GG, achromat & condenser)
* Bogen / Manfrotto 293 Lens Support with Quick Release ($70)
* Actual 35mm lenses (price varies)
* Lens hoods for the various 35mm lenses (price varies)
* An external monitor: the Sony DVP-FX820 (NTSC) or DVP-FX870 (PAL) ($180)
* A female-to-female RCA adapter to connect the external monitor ($8)
* A DIY monitor holder (instructions, $7)
* A second, cheaper, tripod to hold the monitor and the monitor holder ($20)
* External monitor Hoodman H900, for when shooting in sunlight ($100)

[Alternatively, you can mount the monitor and monitor holder on the main tripod itself like this, above the camera (instead of on a separate tripod), but you will need the Shrig Rig ($125) for that, instead of the suggested ‘Manfrotto lens support’.]

Short films
All of the above, plus:
* Rode Stereo Videomic ($250)
* Rode Boompole ($120)
* Rode Dead Kitten windscreen ($30)
* A second person holding the boom mic (beg someone)
* Good 3.5mm headphones, to evaluate audio during shooting ($60)
* Tiffen Steady Stick, or this trick, to be used as a small crane ($100)
* A smooth dolly (e.g. a DIY one, or the Glidetrack, $170)
* Car charging kit for external camera, mic, monitor ($70)
* A power strip for battery charging on location ($10)
* A folding director’s chair for the shots not requiring camera movement ($10)

Full featured films
You don’t use an HV20/30 in that case, silly. 😉

In any case, you always need a good plan. Plan ahead your shots by sketching, and leaving notes on a notepad about camera movement and composition.

Security and everything else

When all my data are moved to our new Vista PC (which will only be used for video/graphics and not for daily casual usage), I will be in the process of re-formatting my current P4 3Ghz PC and use it again as my daily computer. However, I am not sure if I want to go with Windows XP or Ubuntu Linux. Windows XP behaves and performs better than Linux (at least, I like it better), but the vast malware list for Windows is a problem. I use two anti-spyware, one anti-virus, and NoScript on my browser, but I still don’t feel safe. While Windows is full of malware, it also has a lot of anti-malware apps available for it — updating their DB daily. Linux only has one anti-malware solution, and it doesn’t update very often. Saying that no one tries to exploit the kernel or the browser on Linux is naive. So what do I do? Come face to face and fight the malware, or go to a platform with fewer malware but no tools in case you need them?

Tough call. Especially because even if Linux sounds like a slightly better choice, Windows XP wins in desktop performance and application support (I need a speedy Flash, and Flash under Linux sucks donkey balls).