DV Recording

I've got a really cool toy to play with this weekend. It's a Canon GL2 in what I think is basically the most awesome configuration ever. It's got an MA-300 Microphone adapter, and two dynamic mics (One lav and one hand held), plus the appropriate (long enough) XLR cables.

I am going to use it on Sunday to film a pilot episode of a talk show for UTV62.

Until then, I've got Camera+1 sitting here in my room, so I've decided to do a few things with it.

The first thing I shot with it here in the dorm was actually a screen capture of the old Toshiba laptop (aka TWL) booting IBM OS/2 Warp 3 and loading one of the IBM Works applications. The screen cap worked fairly well and it made me realize exactly how slow that old laptop is.

After screen capping the Toshiba, I decided I'd try a different method just for fun. The GL2 has an S-Video input and when the camera is in VCR mode, it can do analogue input for recording to the DV tape, or for recording straight to computer. So I got out my trusty new S-Video cable and the PowerBook G3, and did a few OS X screen captures in the camera's VCR mode. This was definitely interesting because it was essentially a perfect example of Mac OS X's failings in a low-resolution setting. The default size for everything is basically awful when outputting at 720x480.

Bored with screen capturing, I performed what I think is the most important and interesting of the tests - a direct comparison between the DV and Video8 formats, and of course the Sony HandyCam I've got and the Canon GL2.

For the comparison, I set both cameras up at about the same height on tripods, each in a different enough location so that I could look back and forth to make it seem more like a legitimate multi-cam shoot. I then got the dynamic hand held mic and the Canon Mic Adapter. I decided I wanted a direct comparison of the audio as well as the video quality, so I actually took the headphone output of the GL2 and attached it to the Microphone input of the HandyCam. I pressed record on both cameras, sat down and just talked about the setup for a few moments.

Doing such a shoot is definitely interesting, I am certainly happy to have a comparison done, and I can't wait until Monday when I can start to capture the tapes to hard disc. I'll have to capture at the comm building, and then bring the footage back to my iMac on the iPod or something.

At any rate... I certainly can't wait to do the actual talk show shoot, but I am concerned because I received a phone call today (after the EM checkout desk closed) saying that for the show, three cameras and a minimum of three microphones (two lav if possible) will be needed, so I hope the now-wimpy one camera, one lav and one hand-held will be acceptable.

If we were allowed to shoot S-VHS, I'd run out and buy another S-VHS tape and shoot with two or three of the big 3-chip S-VHS cams, but I don't think NAULive has enough tripods for that, unfortunately.

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