I wrote a post at the beginning of December 2016 listing some things I had on my wishlist. That list became a reality in the last two weeks or so. The items I ended up getting weren’t the same ones I wrote about. And I didn’t get several things that I really wanted. Priorities I guess. Let’s take a look at what plans my purchases have enabled me to go forward with.
One of the biggest things that I wanted to do was film more local tournaments. I’ve already filmed the one in my hometown and released those videos. They took a little longer since I was learning how to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. Stepping up to using Premiere Pro was something I had planned to do as part of getting my own filming equipment.
Getting my own video camera was important to me. After borrowing a friend’s Canon Vixia HF G20 to film the tournaments that I’ve done so far, it was priority number one. I researched several cameras among the Canon and Sony lineups and settled with getting the Canon Vixia HF R800. It had the larger sensor of the ones I was looking at, and it actually fueled another purchase because of one feature it and the HF G20 lacked.
Neither video camera provided power to an external mic. It took my tweeting to the official Canon Twitter account to find that out for sure since I didn’t have one on hand before I filmed on March 25th. This means that my purchase of the Rode VideoMicro was semi for naught as it is an unpowered microphone. It works with my Samsung Galaxy S5 no problem with the TRRS patch cable that was a separate purchase. It captures great audio, which I’ve tested a lot by using my phone to film myself throwing around the courses near my work.
Even before I got the Rode mic, I had been searching all over YouTube looking at microphone reviews. One video that stood out was one by Sean Cannell on the Think Media TV channel. Another video that looked at budget mics for under $60 on the DSLR Video Shooter channel helped to cement my decision to buy the Takstar SGC-598. It sounded really good on the videos that I watched. As Jamie Thomas said in his interview, quality audio is sometimes missing from disc golf videos. That was one thing which I thought to be important as well, so I wasn’t going to skimp out on good audio.
While just as important as the camera and mic, the following items are not quite on the same level in terms of needing to research on what to buy. Memory cards, Batteries, camera mounts, and other accessories are needed as well. While memory cards are a dime a dozen when you look at that section of any retailer, you need a certain speed class when recording higher data rate video. Batteries can get expensive when you purchase several of them, and even more so if you get your brand’s batteries.
Looking at batteries online, I was surprised to notice the difference in the batteries for the camera I now own and the one I had borrowed. The HF G20 uses a BP-800 series battery while the HF R800 uses a BP-700 series. The batteries themselves don’t look much different in terms of physical size. What matters is the actual connector each battery series uses. They look similar, with the same pinout, but the BP-800 series connector is the entire width of the battery, whilst the BP-700 series isn’t as wide. Which means you can’t use the same battery between the two lines of camcorders. The pack I purchased included 2 3200mAh batteries and a charger made by Kastar.
On the memory card front, the choices were numerous. I chose to look for a 32GB card since the price of those were mostly at $20 or less. High-speed cards of UHS Class 1 were recommended for my camera, so taking a look at the spread that Newegg offered, I could have played pin the cursor on the link. I went with a Samsung Evo 32GB UHS-1 micro SDHC card. I have another 32GB card already, and it’ll hold about 2 hours of video, which is more than enough for a round of disc golf.
Already having a monopod that I purchased last year, I thought I was set for filming this year once I got my video camera. After filming the Weapons of Grass Destruction New Albany stop, I felt that the monopod I have is a little light weight for a lot of use. I wanted to get something that might offer a better platform for stability. In comes Ian of CCDG. He had told me about the shoulder rig he uses to film with.
Made by Neewer, and available on Amazon and Newegg, it is a simple shoulder rig. I ended up getting a clone of it that is made by Revo and is available from B&H Photo Video. I haven’t yet tried it out while filming, but I hope to get at least a little time with it before it’s go time in Emporia.
That’s it for now. With just one week of work left before heading to Emporia for the Glass Blown Open, I’ll be trying to get things tidied up at home before the trip. Work will do fine without me for a few days. I’m looking forward to moving ahead with filming more local tournaments. There are some pretty good players in my area that don’t get any exposure. Maybe a bright light will shine on a few of them after I catch them on video and put it on Youtube.