I’ve been busy as of late with work, Gracie’s first birthday (happy birthday again baby girl) and a mess of other stuff so I really haven’t had too much spare time to smoke enough to do a fair review of anything. As I get back on track I thought I’d publish something that I’ve put off for months now. I’m constantly asked lots of questions about how I produce my video reviews, what type of camera, software, etc,. Walt and I use similar hardware and I’m pretty sure our work flow is pretty close to being the same.
So here is what I use and how I use it:
Canon Digital Rebel XTi -> The XTi is a few years old and is what I use to capture my still pictures. Brian uses the newer XSi model and Walt uses a similar spec Nikon. I’m not very educated on all the features or even with basic photography skills so the camera is normally set to its full automatic setting. I’ve managed to add a few upgrades along the way. I replaced the kit lens with a Sigma 18-200m f/3.5-6.3 DC AF OS lens and a few months ago upgraded the built-in flash with a Canon Speedlite 580 EX II. Like I said, more camera than I know what to do with but if I ever have the time to learn some basics, I’ll be set to go.
Canon Vixia HV30 -> The work horse behind my reviews. My cohort Walt as well as Stogie Review alum Justin, from Las VegASH TV, both use the HV30. The HV30 uses miniDV HD cassettes which can get expensive after awhile. There are cheaper alternatives but recording to tape has the least amount of compression over other types of media which I think accounts for the quality of our videos. The HV30 has seen a couple upgrades as well. I’ve added a Canon DM50 directional shotgun microphone that uses the HV30’s accessory shoe as well as a Canon WD-H43 wide angle lens. Both items, along with my Manfrotto tripod, come in handy when covering events like IPCPR. When I’m doing my reviews in my backyard or recording an interview I put away the shotgun microphone and reach for my Audio Technica ATR-3350 lapel microphone plugged into a AZDEN CAM-3 mini audio mixer. I do use the manual settings on my HV30 to record in HDV30 or CINE MODE and the best feature too look for on a camcorder is for an external microphone jack.
15″ Macbook Pro -> Running OS X 10.6 with Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM…yada yada yada…between iPhoto 09 and iMovie 09 is what I use for processing photos and creating videos. I don’t do any extra editing in iPhoto. With iMovie once I’ve completed piecing together my video I export a “medium” sized movie to create a .m4v file. Once the video is created I use VisualHub (a program that is no longer available sadly) to convert the .m4v to a .flv. I then use AudioHub (same deal as VisualHub) to extract the audio from my .m4v to a .mp3.
blip.tv Pro – I could use the features found in blip.tv to do all the conversions but I feel I get better results when I do the conversions offline. Anyway, once all the conversions are done, I upload the .m4v (iTunes), .flv (embedded) and the .mp3 files and I call it a night.
This gives a pretty good outline of what I use and how I use it. If there is something more specific you’d like to know, leave a comment.