A quick update

The Question continues to try and track down those missing blog posts...

I haven’t been updating as much recently – usually due to not being near a computer that is available, but I have managed to extend Habitual Film’s filming equipment. Hopefully I’ll be ready to showcase things in the near future.

But anyway, keep reading to see what I bought and why.

Pro Tools 9 - an amazing step up!

So first off, I finally got what I’ve wanted for a while – Pro Tools 9. Pro Tools 9 is an industry giant in the music creation world. Not just that but it has a much wider audio suite than that already in AVID. It’s also got capabilities to import video from software like AVID (including markers) for you to be able to preview stuff before the sound mix is finalised. It’s a pretty decent investment – you can use it without midi keyboards or other hardware inputs (though I’d imagine it would make it more difficult to use).

So, for less than £400 (I know this sounds a lot, but its software used by professionals), it’s really good value. I’ve already had a lot of fun exploring some of the virtual instruments. And boom – Which is a drum machine is awesome. You could literally click away randomly and so long as you’ve put enough beats in, the results will sound good. It’s almost drums for dummies (and me being a complete dummy with music, it can be very handy!)

But that’s not all we got this month!

So, about two weeks before I got paid, I decided “You know what would be good – being able to do a multi-camera shoot”. So that’s what I’ve done – but on a severe budget.

I've had a little play around with it - it'll be good for teaching people how to use a camcorder!

I purchased (from Argos’ eBay outlet) three digital video cameras. My criteria for the video camera was such –

It had to be Li-ion based batteries. I specifically chose this so that the running cost would be low/nothing. I don’t want to have to keep re-buying batteries – and I also wanted to make sure we would be able to charge them while filming as well!

It had to be able to fit on a tripod. Since most multi-camera shoots are designed for static cameras (and to be fair, it’s difficult enough choreographing actors sometimes, so you don’t want to have to do that with the crew as well), I went for a traditional style design (rather than one of those vertical designs).

It had to be under £60. Since budget is a factor, I made sure that I wasn’t going to be breaking the bank.

HD was optional. As such, we ended up with SD cameras. But that’s still fine – it’ll recording medium will last longer anyway.

Recording media had to be either SD card or HDD. It’s easier and cheaper to acquire SD cards than other format cards, tapes or min-DVD’s. Plus a format where I could re-use the card or HDD is a massive bonus – storing video on external hard drives is very cost effective and generally more robust.

It doesn’t have to have all the features. We’ll still use the HG10 for most of our filmmaking (and hopefully in the coming months, possibly upgrade to a DSLR that takes video as well). So anything that can a, record video decently and b, can teach people the basics of camera operations is all that’s needed really.

So there we are. Every piece of equipment can help you, and with more cameras, we should be able to do more projects quicker – since we’re not limited by equipment shortage.

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