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    Pepperell, MA
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  1. PharmerPhil

    Historically "accurate" camera helmet.

    Yes, you can see pics of paratroopers with first aid pouches tied to their helmets. I haven't seen one with two yet, but I wouldn't be surprised.
  2. Tried to find a camera helmet thread, but didn't see it. Anyway, I haven't posted here for many years, but I had to put together a new camera helmet for use on the 75th anniversary of D-day jumps in Normandy in a couple of weeks. You have no idea how hard it is to find a real, WWII-era GoPro.
  3. PharmerPhil

    VAPOR MID Skysystem Someone using it???

    I have a large head (some would say a fat head): 7-5/8. I use a SkySystems Vapor Wes Pro, and it fits great!
  4. PharmerPhil

    using CX100 footage with FinalCut

    FCS 6 and 7 don't edit these .mts files natively, but converts them to a more robust format on ingest. (FCX says it does, but I haven't used it). To use them with FCS, you have to keep the original hierarchy of the files from the card (either use the original card, or copy its entire contents to a drive). Then simply use "Log and Transfer." This converts them to another format, usually Pro-Res. If you only have individual clips on a drive, and not the original card/folder, use MPEG Streamclip to convert them to another format first. This is a great utility to own for all sorts off file conversions (Mac or Windows), so get it anyway, it's free.
  5. PharmerPhil

    Why separate camera for stills and video?

    The stills the video cameras produce are poor quality, and the DSLRs can't take stills while shooting video. So far...
  6. The best protection is keeping it off the Internet, and not allowing it to be used for anything except video editing (i.e., no e-mail web browsing, gaming, etc.). If you have a clean system and keep it quarantined, you shouldn't have a need for anti-virus.
  7. PharmerPhil

    Ooops! How did I do this?

    Thanks for posting this. I'm sure it was scary. I don't know your helmet, but one other take away may be to make sure your sight is a close to your head and as snag-proof as practical. In my experience, free-fly style helmets, where you have to "back" your head into the helmet, don't give you as much of an option for this as dedicated flat-top style helmets like the SkySystems' Wes Pro, or the BH Flat-top Pro where you enter the helmet face-first. But again, I don't know if this was the case with your helmet.
  8. PharmerPhil

    Carbon Fiber Helmet/X-Shut Mounting

    If I were you, and I didn't know how to do this, I would find someone else with experience to do it for me. Seriously, if you've never done something like this before, it isn't wise to try it for the first time on your prized helmet without even a trial run on a scrap piece of something. However if it were I, I would remove the helmet liner, tape the area to be cut with blue painter's tape, draw a very accurate circle in exactly the right place (double checking both sides of the helmet for clearance, and the circle for accuracy), and use a hand-held air-grinder with a tapered carbide tip to cut the circle (I guess one could use a Dremel tool, but I like the speed and horsepower of an air grinder). On the first pass, cut at least an 1/8-inch smaller than your circle, and then do a second pass to bring it right to the line. You could alternatively use a high-quality saber-saw (I like Bosch) with a very fine blade, but I would still stay a little shy of the line and clean it up with a die-grinder or half-moon files. Either way, consider how you will hold your helmet still during this operation. I have done a lot of things like this, and I prefer to sit and hold the helmet between my knees, brace my elbows on my knees, and hold the grinder securely with both hands. Eye, and ear protection and a high-quality dust mask are recommended (a real cartridge mask, not a cheap, medical, ear loop face mask). Yes, most people recommend covering the exposed CF with nail polish on the theory that these tiny particles could get in to your electronics and wreak havoc. In practice though, I have never seen this actually happen. But better safe than sorry... Good luck!
  9. PharmerPhil

    wide angle lens for the sony cx series cams

    Keep in mind that different cameras have different fields of view before you even put a wide-angle lens on them. I find my CX150 to be much narrower than any of my previous jump cameras (HC-5, HVR-A1U, TRV-38, TRV-900, PC-1). I would look at the image before simply picking a number that a manufacturer states. The Raynox .32 on my CX150 produces a narrower image than my Raynox .50 on my HC-5. I personally wish I could find something a little wider that was still zoomable (although some don't use the zoom function). For a lens summary, check out this link from Hypoxic: BTW, I believe the CX series all have a 30mm thread, and most of these lenses require a 30-37mm adapter.
  10. PharmerPhil

    Wes Vapor Pro - Side Extensions

    I think that is really there just in case you need to mount/protect something super-wide. Mine is trimmed to the sides and back (as are most I have seen), but overhangs the front a little. The side screws are button screws and very snag-proof. In short, if you don't need the additional support on the sides, I would trim it flush and not worry about anything snagging.
  11. PharmerPhil

    Handicam Wind Noise

    On my helmet-mounted cameras (top-mount, no box), I use a piece of "pick-n-pluck," open-cell foam from a Pelican case. I try to use as big a piece as I can without having to compress it much, and I make sure it is right up against the microphone grille. It makes a dramatic decrease in wind noise (think of windscreens for hand-held vocal microphones). I often talk to my tandem student after my canopy opens (congratulate them, etc.). Without this foam, the audio is often unusable. Here is a picture of the foam on a Sony HC-5. the CX doesn't give you as much space, but there is still room for it.
  12. Well the colors and the dynamic range don't look close. The Canon has actual gray shades in the jump suits rather than just crushed blacks, and the greens in the background are very different. Plus look at the lack of detail in the far jumper's rig on the CX frame. The CX looks like it has its sharpening cranked way up, but both images look very soft. I'm curious what the shutter speed and aperture on the Canon were set to.
  13. PharmerPhil

    itunes music vanish?

    Just a thought... There is an option in your preferences to "Copy files to iTunes Folder when adding to library." Without that, it just references the file location and any change to the original source location may result in lost files.
  14. I'm not sure there is a "best overall" lens. One of the nice things about the Raynox 3035 is that it is about the widest lenses you can get and still be able to zoom through most of its range. IMHO, this is very important for tandems, but not so much for big-ways. Unfortunately, it still isn't that wide when mounted on a CX110/150. But when you said "long," that doesn't sound right. I can't imagine ever needing to zoom in with this lens for big ways. I just wish I could zoom out even more.
  15. PharmerPhil

    camera jackets

    It depends on your rig. But for many rigs, clipping them to the hip rings can lead to rapid, dangerous wear on the webbing on your hip rings, and a less than easy quick disconnect if needed. I had to get all new lower leg straps after not too many jumps with the RSL ring connected to the hip ring. I would recommend using dedicated rings, or having them sewn on to your rig. I know Javelin will do this as a standard feature, but a qualified rigger can make this mod as well.