The Best Action Camera: Spring 2014 Edition

Wearable cameras have become extremely popular especially for capturing action.   There are a lot of options  for these types of cameras out there and more are becoming available all the time. In the broader category of wearable cameras we are now seeing things like Google Glass. There’s a lot of uses for these types of portable video cameras. I’ve  seen a lot of–cam footage on YouTube lately especially from other parts of the world. There’s lots of interesting video captured from cameras mounted on people’s cars and vehicles showing crashes and near misses etc.  Some of this might fall into the category of citizen journalism.  You also see a lot of this type of video captured by law enforcement. Some of this has been used in court to protect officers and in some cases the citizens. But still the most popular video is capturing extreme sports sports. It’s become a big part of entertainment for us on the Internet. I  specifically love the GoPro videos with their amazing footage time with epic soundtracks. It’ll be interesting to see as these technologies get less expensive and more acceptable to see how people use them. I’ve tried a few of these but I own a GoPro I just love it. It’s been a great way to capture our family adventures. I love all the accessories and options for mounting the GoPro for me this is what makes it stand out.

Here is a video produced by my boys Evan and Alec of some of our adventures.

Here’s the link that inspired this post, a great recap of the options for wearable mountable action cameras.

The Best Action Camera: Spring 2014 Edition.

Wearable action cam serves up 4K video at 25fps

panasonicThis is pretty amazing 4k video wearable cam.  I love my GoPro its a fantastic and fun camera. Although I have to admit I really haven’t seen it much since I got it I brought it home and my boys have been using it ever since. They have done a ton of projects with it I really don’t mind because they’ve done a fantastic job of documenting our adventures.  It’s amazing how much fun you can have with a mountable camera. We’ve purchased all sorts of attachments and mounts and that’s part of the fun. Check out this video that Evan made about some of our four-wheel-drive adventures.  I think our next purchase will be a drone I’ve been looking at them they’re fairly inexpensive.

 

 

Here is the article on the 4k wearable video camera

Panasonic’s HX-A500 wearable action cam serves up 4K video at 25fps.

Lyrics of the Week – Your My Best Friend

your-best-friend

Queen – You’re My Best Friend

Ooo. you make me live
whatever this world can give to me
It’s you, you’re all I see
Ooo, you make me live now honey
Ooo, you make me live

You’re the best friend
that I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend

Ooo, you make me live

I’ve been wandering round
But I still come back to you
In rain or shine
You’ve stood by me girl
I’m happy, happy at home
You’re my best friend.

You’re the first one
When things turn out bad
You know I’ll never be lonely
You’re my only one
And I love
The things that you do
You’re my best friend

Ooo, you make me live.

I’m happy, happy at home
You’re my best friend
You’re my best friend
Ooo, you make me live
You, you’re my best friend.

LUUV Camera Stabilizer for GoPro and Smartphones

LuuvIf you follow my blog you know that I’ve done a lot of vblogging or interviews on my iPhone. It has a great quality video  and I have a nice Fostex add-on for capturing good quality audio you can read more about that in the blog I did here My Road Kit for Rapid Video.  One of the things I talked about in some of my blogging and in sessions that I do at conferences is using a tripod. People don’t have much tolerance for shaky cameras you see a lot of it out there but it really brings down the quality of your video. We are pretty tolerant these days because of YouTube and not expecting broadcast quality video even for professional use. You need to have good quality audio and a decent image. I put a lot of emphasis on framing my subject correctly.  I definitely considered that it might be viewed via a mobile device so I frame accordingly. But one thing that really bothers people is a shaky image tripods can fix this but even better especially if you need to kind of run and gun.  You will need something that stabilizes your image my new Canon XA10 has image stabilization built-in  and it works pretty good.  I was pretty jazzed about this image stabilizer below. And think it is a pretty good solution. It doesn’t take much to stabilize a camera it’s really just to counterbalance. But there are a lot out there and some are extremely expensive this seems like a good value and a pretty good solution.  Even though there demonstrating this with action it would work well for covering events or doing interviews and such.

LUUV Camera Stabilizer for GoPro and Smartphones :: Gadgetify.com.

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7 things small business should read before making a video

Found this article this morning and I will have to agree, so I thought I would share. Video is so powerful and much more feasible today than even ten years ago. Costs have come way down and it is much easier to distribute or share with your audience. I believe in the power of video. Especially for learning. It can act as stand-a-lone or part of an eLearning, it can be shared in classroom training to break up the the day and improve engagement. Video can also be extremely powerful when combined with mobile.  We have seen the rise of video though social media and its power with portals like Youtube. Video can be interactive as well. For example watch a video and make a choice based on what the video showed you.  I have helped many organizations take the first steps into adding video into their learning and development. It can be easier than you think, especially with a little  help and some mojo 🙂

7 things small business should read before making a video- San Diego Video Production Company.

Self Directed Learning on The Fly

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

I have been a Fly Fisherman for several years now. I hesitate to say I am self taught but you could say my learning was self directed. I used a combination of informal, social, short format content and good research or reference. Now I know this method is not something all that special or even new. I do believe that there are a lot more resources available to us today that make this method much easier. I would like to offer my approach and technique as an example of how someone can learn any new skill. These techniques will work for professional development within an organization as well as for personal interest skills development. The keys for success are first identifying the skills you want to learn, set some goals and structure to keep you on track and to assure you are moving forward.

I recently discovered that I had a Hernia and needed to have surgery. Ouch! I pause for a short pity party. 😉 The main point here is that I knew I would have some down time. This is something I am normally not too good at. I knew I needed to plan something to do so I would not go stir crazy or even worse drive my family crazy. I was looking at several days of very minimal activity then light activity as I could handle but no working out for about a month. Basically I would be putzing around the house days for weeks. That said, I am not a big TV person. I do like movies but I usually can’t even make it through most movies without having to go to the kitchen or something. I am just not great at passive entertainment, I need to be doing something. I decided that this would be a good time to start learning to tie my own flies.

Where to start? Where else? For me most things start with a Google search. Research is the most important step in self directed learning. You know the old saying you don’t know what you don’t know. You need to build a foundation of understanding so you can put together plan. Fist I would need to know what equipment is needed. I found several Fly Tying kits. By looking at the kits I knew what the basic tools I would need. Further research on YouTube would give me some reviews on the tools and how to use them. There where lots of places to buy online but I decided that finding someone at local Fly Fishing shop to help me make the right purchases would be more valuable than saving a few dollars.

I jumped in the Jeep and headed down to my favorite local fly show Pacific Fly Fishers. I asked owner Michael Bennett help me pick out the basic tools I needed to get started. I then asked him to help me choose two of the most common flies that would work well for the areas I like to fish and the materials I would need to tie them.

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My next step was to get my brain around some of the basic techniques so I went on a YouTube marathon. There are many videos on how to use the tools and the various techniques to uses them. I then picked some common flies I have used and watched those videos. I must have watched dozens of them before I tried any myself. I also had been given a book several years back call Beginner’s Guide to Fly-tying and I also spent a great deal of time piling through it.

Ok I was ready to take the plunge. I decided it was time to tye my first fly. I choose the Black Wooly Bugger. It is a fly I have fished many a times so I was excited to have an endless supply. The YouTube video below walked be through the steps to tying the fly and because I had spent so much time researching and studying other videos it was a breeze. I have since then tied several of the same flies and each time I tie it the fly looks better.

In summery I think this is the new model for learning. Even formal education can borrow form this approach. Especially when you consider the flipped classroom. The amount of information and instructional content that is available to us these days I unbelievable. There are so many things I have turned to YouTube videos to learn how to do. From fixing something around the house, installing a part on my Jeep or learning a new software. Now just don’t take my word for it. If you are like most people there is something that you have always wanted to know how to do. Go ahead, do it! Take advantage of the resources available to you and learn that new skill.

Steps:

  • Research
  • Talk to people who have the skill
  • Understand and get the tools needed
  • Review demonstrations
  • Follow step by step videos/instructions
  • Repeat or practice, practice, practice
  • Get feedback and test

iPhone Gear for Photography

More cool photography and video gear for the iPhone. I have been talking about this for some time. I am a big fan of using the iPhone for rapid video. I have done many thought leader interviews using my iPhone video cam. Here is a blog I did on my road kit.

Check out this cool gear for the iPhone. Link below

https://deals.cultofmac.com/sales/the-ultimate-iphone-photographer-s-lens-kit

My Latest Video Camera – The Canon XA10

canon-xa10I thought I would share my latest video camera with all of you. I am extremely pleased with it. If you follow me you probably know that much of my work the past few years has either been shot on my iPhone rigging or on my Cannon DSLR setup for my higher end stuff. I recently started working on a project for Washington wineries. I am working on this project through Entirenet and Winerywise™.

The project consists of a series of short YouTube style videos on safety for small and medium sized wineries. I needed a camera that would be good for run and gun style shooting. We have completed one multi-day, multi-location shoot so far and are planning more. The DSLR just cannot handle this type of shooting so well. One main limitation is not designed for long shots. the censor will over heat and the camera will shut down. That is keeping the camera rolling for extended periods of time. For a lot of the videos I shoot this is not problem. There is also the fact that the DSLR is awkward to carry while shooting. It works great if you have a bunch of expensive rigging or sitting on a tripod. But for full days of shooting and moving from location to location that just would not work for me.

So where to start? I start the same place I always start YouTube. You can find reviews on almost everything you are interested in there as you probably already know. It’s pretty much my go to for any research. One key is to watch as many video as you can not just the ones put out there by the manufacture itself. I watch a ton doing this research. Here is a good one on the XA10. It is a great feature walk through.

There are so many great cameras available these days that researching proved to be a bit difficult. My feature list was pretty simple, I wanted full HD video camera with SD card memory. The XA10 has 64gb on-board memory and two SD card slots.  With that I can shoot all day without switching out SD cards. I also wanted good built-in audio support with jacks for external microphones. One feature that I did not really look for but was an unexpected benefit of the Canon XA10 was the image stabilization. This really came in handy for me and worked great when filming on location at the wineries in Eastern Washington. Then there was price. I did not have a budget for a 5 thousand dollar video camera. The XA10 came in under $2000.00. I think it goes without saying that I wanted to have a quality image too. The XA10 has a great lens and censor so it produces fantastic images.

I am not saying this is the best video camera out there but I do believe it is one of the best for the money. Under $2000.00 for a professional camera is a great deal. You would have had to spend about 5k only a few years back to get this level of camera in my opinion.

Here is a short video I put together from some of the footage taken in Eastern Washington at the wineries. Its pretty much straight out of the camera. A rough/test edit put to Carlos Santana’s Primavera. Carlos is a guest winemaker at Mumm Napa. The video is inspired by one particular winery who was play Santana as they crushed the grapes. It was kind of a spiritual experience for me.  Enjoy!

 

~jeff

Teaching the ASTD Certificate Course New York

Here is a night time shot of the Statue of Liberty from the building the class was in. I was surprised at the result.

Here is a night time shot of the Statue of Liberty from the building the class was in. I was surprised at the result.

This December I had the privilege of teaching the ASTD Certificate Course in New York city. I really enjoyed this for many reasons. First off I really enjoy sharing me expertise and experience with others. It is very rewarding sharing what you are good at with others so that they can learn new skills and grow. It’s not a one sided deal I learn a lot each time I get in front of a group of people too. The class is a two day class and covers audio and video production. If you are interested in taking the class check out the ASTD website for additional information.