Monday, October 23, 2006

HVX200 Gear Update; D2H Shoot: Crumbling Apartments

Suddenly, everything shifts, like a stack of wood on the back of a speeding truck.

In reverse.

I was told to abandon getting the Nikon D200's, by Dudley. Get the D2Hs and the D2Xs (nevermind about the pain I started feeling in my back yesterday!) I had made a plan to stay away from the more expensive cameras in order to completely outfit the HVX200. I don't need 8 frames/second. Or the audio recording function (it IS a GREAT feature). Or the alleged more sturdy build others claim that the "pro" bodies have. Or the larger body size. Or the -- well, you get the picture.

I planned on shooting with the D200 and attached body grip to shoot anything from the homeless to the Ravens. Some are worried that the D200 doesn't carry the FPS speed (5/sec) as the D2Hs (8 fps), but I used to shoot with a durable Nikon FM. And a Nikon EM. And, in the "early days," a Sears 500MX with a 42mm screw-mount, plus a Soligor 90-230mm 2-touch manual-focus zoom lens (hey, folks, it was all I could afford at the time)! Ah, back in the day....

While the price of the D200 was reasonable, getting two instead of the D2Hs/D2Xs combination would have led to alot of professional pocket change, and enough to equip this HVX200 with:

An Azden 200ULT wireless mic system ($750);
Redrock Micro M2 system for Nikon "primes" (using a lens adapter with ground glass that allows the mounting of any lens for different perspectives, $1030);
Audio-Technica stereo shotgun mic ($599);
Varizoom PZFI controller and Spiderbrace shoulder harness ($365);


A MacBook Pro, for editing high def video ($2,000);
Firestore FS-100, 100gb recording drive ($1,800);

and other things like a fluid head tripod. I hadn't even though about a light, actually.

Add that together and you aren't talking about a small expense. I had hoped that the savings from the smaller Nikon cameras would help, but they want the bigger still digital bodies.

I think of it like it's my own money, and I don't mind "cutting corners" with proven gear. So I spent the day writing up the whole list (it feels like Christmas!) and gave it to Dave, who queried about some of the gear, like the 35mm lens adapter. My reasoning? Buying a 2X converter and a wide angle converter would cost about the same amount of money, but wouldn't give the most versatile results.

Woops. I just remembered that I hadn't requested an external 7" HD monitor. Oh, well...

I understand that the ordering will commence soon, but I'll see how long it will take for any of this gear to arrive. I do know that the wireless system and drive recorder may be top priority. Wow. I just realized that by the time all this is put together, I'd be carrying perhaps a 14-pound camera....
I'll live through the pain.

A Little Spot News

Just when I finished the print-outs, Chuck asked me to run to Pikesville and cover the evac of an apartment building. Most (but not all) of the people were gone, and workers got busy unloading several flatbed trucks with supplies to shore up part of the building. It seems that some of the metal support columns had corroded, and one may have buckled beneath the weight of the building, which stood above a drive-through.


One woman retrieving her belongings seemed more upset about waiting, she said, for several years for a green card when she moved locally from Iran. Her body language seemed just a little different than those of locals, I felt, as she gestured skyward while asking someone how long it would take to stabilize the structure. Capturing that moment made me feel that I had an image that said everything about the event, beyond any of the physical damage that could be seen and I returned to tone and submit the image.

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