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Everything posted by PharmerPhil

  1. The CX110 is the same as the CX150, except it doesn't have internal memory--just the memory card. It will work fine for your needs.
  2. I have what I feel is a great system for my personal Mac. But before PC people stop reading, I would really like to find something similar for our PC at the DZ and hope I get suggestions; particularly for automated back-up/cloning software. My MacPro has two primary drives, a system/apps drive, and an assets drive (we have a similar set-up in our PC). Connected via Firewire 800 is an eternal drive dock for 3-1/2" SATA drives. I have two 2TB back-up drives that I rotate in this dock (on- and off-site back-ups*). Each has two partitions, one partition for each primary drive. I keep one drive plugged in and one in a safe-deposit box, and every couple of weeks I rotate them out. BTW, I had an SATA/USB 2.0 version of this dock before, but the Firewire is not only fast, but allows for hot swaps so I don't have to reboot my computer to swap out my backups. They also now make these with USB 3.0 which should be fast and hot-swappable too. For software, I use SuperDuper! from Shirt Pocket. Unlike traditional back-up software, this completely clones my hard drives. If I ever get a hard drive crash, I don't have to reload or restore anything. I simply swap out the drives and I'm up and running right back where I was at my last back-up. The software does scheduled back-ups without prompting, and they are "smart" back-ups (i.e., it only updates what has changed since the last time). Currently, I have mine set to back up each drive twice a week late at night (I never shut my computer off), but you could set it to back up every day or more. I would love to find something like this in the PC world. I'm sure it exists, but I don't know where. But if we have a hard drive crash, I really don't want to reload any software or re-build anything. I just want to be able to swap the drive(s) and go. Any suggestions? * Any good backup strategy should include off-site back-ups. If your editing trailer/room/house burns down, you don't want it taking your one and only backup too.
  3. The stills the video cameras produce are poor quality, and the DSLRs can't take stills while shooting video. So far...
  4. I usually use Downloadhelper, which is a free plug-in for firefox (MAc or PC). Or I used to just use Safari when it was my browser of choice and that one thing was much simpler. For Safari, when you are on the site, click on "activity" under the "Window" pull-down menu. Look for the biggest file that is downloading (usually a "*.flv" file), and double click it to save it to your downloads folder.
  5. One of our Instructors just duck-taped one to the side of our Otter last month, and a couple of years ago we mounted a Panasonic HVX200 on a bracket to the strut of another Otter. We turned 6-7 loads before we could un-mount it. I'm quite sure the FAA wasn't involved... I'd not only ask the pilot, but the plane owner too (if the pilot can't speak for him/her).
  6. FWIW, I always use auto-focus for everything except freefall. I spot focus to something 5-6 feet away in the plane after my in-flight interview, and turn back to auto-focus as soon as I land. Climbs to altitude are usually slow circles. So I try to do my in-plane interviews when the light is more favorable for the student, and I try to avoid having a window right behind my subject (although that can be hard in some planes, including the one in your shots). I really preferred the auto-exposure compensation in my old HC-5, where I could manually dial in a given degree of compensation. Although I imagine you could set manual exposure for your in-plane stuff (as long as you remember to turn it off before exiting).
  7. And at a mere 12+ pounds (sans lens?), it should be a no-brainer for skydiving work...
  8. That's not weird at all, that is just marketing. Remember "digital ready?"
  9. 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.
  10. Don't know who's seen this video of a GoPro pulling a reserve handle on exit: parachute reserve activation by a "GoPro" action cam This isn't GoPro specific, but points to the danger of any inside camera in a door jamb exit.
  11. I find the kit lens too long for close-in flying. I had and liked the Canon 15mm and it was fine, but when mine went South recently, I bought a Tamron 10-24mm, and so far I LOVE it! It doesn't have the annoying fish-eye effect, it allows me to fly very close when set wide, yet it allows me to zoom in for landing shots or ground and plane portraits. It is a little longer than the 15mm, but it is still light, and it allows for a front UV/Skylight filter for protection (the Canon and Sigma 15mm lenses don't allow for this). The only thing I don't know yet is how it will hold up over time (I have never owned a Tamron lens before). But did I mention I love it so far?
  12. (I hope you know I was being facetious.)
  13. I can't read the text, but I love slides 19, 22 and 31. Apparently the GoPro has a fill flash built in?
  14. I agree. This is the setting I use for freefall. I set it back to auto focus for ground and plane shots. Auto focus can ruin ff footage if you get drops on your lens, or if you have dust/crud on your front element and the Sunlight hitting the same (i.e., flying into the Sun on exit). The camera will try to focus on the drops or the crud, and you will get unusable footage. Plus sometimes auto focus can hunt if you aren't really close and/or centered.
  15. Rear-entry (Vapor Wes Pro), because it provides the most real estate for various equipment, and allows a more compact (i.e., more snag-resistant) sight assembly. Everything on top, because it is easier on my neck. I did damage to my neck prior to this using front-mounted stills. My DSLR can be mounted horizontal or vertical, but 99% of the time it is horizontal. No boxes. I think they are silly in many ways, particularly for top-mounted cameras. They make otherwise small cameras unnecessarily large, and keep you from easily accessing various camera settings. Just don't bash your head/helmet/cameras against doors/ceilings/other jumpers—but this is good advice either way. FWIW, I have gone sans box for almost a decade and thousands of jumps, and have never damaged a camera or lens jumping. No cutaway. My EPs do include jettisoning the helmet (one-button release). I expect to get flamed for this. So be it.
  16. I believe class 4 is minimum spec for CX series, and DSLRs shooting video usually state a minimum of class 6. I have several Transcend class 10 cards including 32G SD and CF. They are cheaper than most, and I haven't had a problem... yet.
  17. We just bought 2,000 DVDs, CD-ROMs, and dual-disk cases for $1.40 from a local company (picked it up in NH, so no shipping or tax). DVDs and CD-ROMs were silk-screened (3-color). Outer wrap was 4-color printing and assembled. Cases were white (which added 5 or 10 cents I think)
  18. 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.
  19. Too true. I wonder when the tripod mount will go away. Seriously, how often do average consumers use tripods?
  20. I assume people are so used to seeing both, that they don't really care and don't even have a preference. FWIW, until this year I was the only videographer at my DZ delivering 16:9; the others delivered 4:3. We never heard a single complaint or even a question about it one way or the other.
  21. 35mm isn't necessarily fisheye, nor is 15mm necessarily fisheye. It depends on how you design the lens. Re-read what I wrote above, and/or go back to school...