Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Puppies Play in Toronto!

I picked up one of those Flip Video Ultra flash-memory based cameras for our trip last week to the North by Northeast music conference and for what it is - a bone-simple, zero-feature, P&S unit that is less than $150; IOW a toy - it's surprisingly capable. (NY Times video review here.) Low-light images aren't too noisy, the mike doesn't turn into distorted mush when hit with rock band volumes, it boots in about 4 seconds, and it's so light, I carried it in my cargo shorts pocket all weekend in case something cool popped up like a bunch of puppies in a park we saw.

Cute, eh? For those interested in the editing, all of these shots came from a single shot that ran just under three minutes. The dogs were just running all over and I grabbed action as I saw it. The black dog that bookends the clip was sitting there unbothered by the commotion of the other pups and having a camera held inches from its nose. Wild.

What I love most about the Flip is that there's no waiting for tape to ingest in real time. I'd get in from the club, drag-and-drop the 3ivx AVI files to my laptop and I'm chopping away in less than five minutes. I hope that [Panasonic] P2 et al solid-state/HD-based catch on faster and cheaper soon because the interminable process of loading tape is the reason why I've got boxes of unedited footage; I just don't have the patience to hassle with it. I want to get to work, not mine the ore for a couple of days. Yeah, it's lame, but it's not like I've got an assistant editor to do it for me. :(

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