Monday, June 19, 2006

The HVX200 Arrived Today!

My day off, and I had to go to work to drop pictures and video clips of a shark fishing tournament and a story about Crisfield. The time that I told my father that I'd be there had already passed, and I scrambled to get everything in for the editors. Jeff soon walked in the office, followed by Lloyd, who carried an oversized cardboard box, with a black drawing of the Panasonic HVX200. There it was! But I had no time to inspect the contents, since I was fighting to get out of the office.

Finally, I had accomplished everything, so I packed my laptop and shuffled for the nearest exit. "Woah, hold on!" yelled Dudley, who emerged from his office, demanding that I open the box. He called out Bob, and they were deaf to my plea to run to east Baltimore to purchase a chicken and get home for dinner with Dad.... they wanted me to just open the darn box! Using the key to my truck (which I plan on replacing with a Civic, which will instantly save me $2,000 per year in gasoline), we opened the box and then an inner box (something to prolong the anticipation!) to get at the equipment beneath the styrofoam packaging and protective pouch.

I was unimpressed. The camera, well .... looked like the pictures. The only difference was that there was no attached microphone with the foam wind buffer; only the built-in mic in front of the handle was available. Each editor took turns holding the camera and commenting on the balance and weight as I watched the minutes tick away. When they were satisfied, I put the gear back in the boxes and returned to my truck to drive to Highlandtown to get a whole chicken at Chicken Rico.

Yes, it's a plug; the chicken's the best I can remember! I love my dark meat, but Chicken Rico (Peruvian style chicken baked in a coal-and-wood-fired rotisserie) is so friggin' yummy!I don't even eat beans, but theirs has a flavor that's great. Anyway, I grabbed a whole chicken meal with beans and plantains and sped home, getting more hungry with each mile I drove. My mind wasn't at all on cameras, since I hadn't eaten all day!

After a fine dinner, I dug through the box for the manual, shaking my head. Earlier, I told Dudley that I may wind up thinking that I made a mistake in getting the gear. After Bob had said that the camera felt too heavy for continuous hand-held shots, I had told them that I may some day wind up in traction with braces for my back, shoulders, neck, and arms! And the buttons, the buttons! You know, I felt for a moment like this was gonna be a monumental task to learn how to use the HVX200.

I stuck the 2- 4GB P2 cards into the slots behind the camera and played with the controls for video formats, moving between the high definition and basic capture resolutions. Most of the files that I shot were in slow motion, since that was a big reason I chose the camera. I only shot 2 gigs of video, just enough to check out the files the next day, on a Macintosh G5 computer at work.

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