Aaron uses AA and AAA batteries a lot for his wireless microphones, camera flashes, flashlights, and field charging his equipment. Aaron tried several chargers before he found one that works quite well – the Powerex …
Powerex Maha MH-C801D Review
Aaron uses AA and AAA batteries a lot for his wireless microphones, camera flashes, flashlights, and field charging his equipment. Aaron tried several chargers before he found one that works quite well – the Powerex Maha MH-C801D charger. It charges 8 individual batteries. No pairs needed. It has several other modes like refresh and soft charge. When you need to charge lots of AA and AAA batteries, this might be a winner for you.
The Sony RX100 VA is one of the best portable pocket cameras on the market. It’s great for Vlogging and adventure filming, too. Aaron took it on his expedition to Antarctica and filmed his entire documentary for 3 months with this…
Sony RX100 VA Review
The Sony RX100 VA is one of the best portable pocket cameras on the market. It’s great for Vlogging and adventure filming, too. Aaron took it on his expedition to Antarctica and filmed his entire documentary for 3 months with this camera. The camera shoots in 1080p and does amazingly well for a small camera. The flip screen is a nice addition. Aaron has filmed several shows with it and used the camera on multiple continents and countries with this camera. People rave about it. Aaron does an unboxing and talks about the overview of the camera in this video and why he chose it over the RX100 VI for his purposes.
Aaron also talks about his tricks of how he uses 2-device recording to get GREAT AUDIO while using the RX100.
Aaron reviews the Zoom H5 recorder and demonstrates its fundamental abilities. This is a great field recorder. It has nearly everything an audio engineer would like in a tiny inexpensive package. If you are getting into audio recording …
Zoom H5 review
Aaron reviews the Zoom H5 recorder and demonstrates its fundamental abilities. This is a great field recorder. It has nearly everything an audio engineer would like in a tiny inexpensive package. If you are getting into audio recording but don’t want to spend a huge amount of money, try this field recorder and see what it can do for you. This video has recordings from the Zoom H5, Sennheiser e935 dynamic microphone, and Audio-Technica 875R shotgun microphones.
When you are considering security cameras for your come, there are a huge number of choices. In fact, there are so many that people overload and give up. Consider the Blink cameras from Amazon. They work pretty well and are completely wireless. They’r…
When you are considering security cameras for your come, there are a huge number of choices. In fact, there are so many that people overload and give up. Consider the Blink cameras from Amazon. They work pretty well and are completely wireless. They’re controlled by an app from your smartphone, so you can check on your home from anywhere in the world. Note that they are a consumer system, so they’re not safety-critical, nor do they connect with an alarm company. Watch Aaron’s review to see if they might work for you.
What flashlight do you choose? There are 1000’s of options. Aaron has used the Fenix PD35TAC. It has multiple modes, so it can be a little complicated to use compared to a Surefire. Which flashlight should you choose? Watch this video and make the dec…
What flashlight do you choose? There are 1000’s of options. Aaron has used the Fenix PD35TAC. It has multiple modes, so it can be a little complicated to use compared to a Surefire. Which flashlight should you choose? Watch this video and make the decision for yourself.
The Motorola MS350 radio is likely the best regular family radio system (FRS) on the market. Aaron has used this radio in the desert and on Denali to communicate with his teams and listen to weather updates. The rechargeable battery and ability to swa…
The Motorola MS350 radio is likely the best regular family radio system (FRS) on the market. Aaron has used this radio in the desert and on Denali to communicate with his teams and listen to weather updates. The rechargeable battery and ability to swap for AA batteries is a huge lifesaver. Also, the radio is quite water resistant – it can handle dunking. Other less expensive splash-proof versions like the MR350 or MT350 are less expensive options. They have a theoretical 35 mile range.
Review of the POWERFULLY BRILLIANT Triton Fethead Phantom Preamp
The Triton Fethead Phantom Preamp is nothing less than a game changer for people who use microphones to record audio. Have you ever had to turn the gain up so there was hiss? It’s happen…
Review of the POWERFULLY BRILLIANT Triton Fethead Phantom Preamp
The Triton Fethead Phantom Preamp is nothing less than a game changer for people who use microphones to record audio. Have you ever had to turn the gain up so there was hiss? It’s happened to all of us. The Fethead Phantom completely solves that problem. I couldn’t believe how well it worked for me. Watch the video to hear real recordings.
The Fethead gives you gain without any hiss. I don’t know how they did it but I don’t care. Watch and learn!
Check out the video and see what you think. Thank you for watching and please support & subscribe!
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Aaron Linsdau is a polar explorer and motivational speaker. He is the second only American to ski alone from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, setting a world record for surviving the longest expedition ever for that trip. Aaron is an Amazon best-selling author, is an expert at overcoming adversity and minimizing risk, and loves improving the lives of others.
Recording voice overs isn’t as simple as it seems. I’ve been working on getting the audio set for Antarctic Tears: The Movie, and it’s been a long haul getting audio correct. As all still cameras now have video capability, learning better audio to present your video and still work is worthwhile. The Nikon D800 records amazing film, as well as the Canon 5Diii. Photographer journalists are now virtually expected to produce good video as well as compelling stills.
Apple would have you believe you can just hook your ear buds into the computer, click the Record Voice Over in Final Cut Pro X and everything will be good. Only if you want room noise, the dog next door barking, and lots of static hiss to ruin your otherwise good film.
How about the built in microphone on your Macbook Retina? Only if you want to record fan noise, your keyboard strokes and who knows what else.
No, you have to go to some effort to get good audio and a great deal of effort to get excellent audio. People spend a lot of money on it! How do you make a basic voice over that sounds decent?
Buy a great mic
Buy an awesome audio recorder
Build a sound booth [you’re an audio engineer, right?]
10k later, you’ll be set for your first audio book. Maybe.
Hop in your car/truck, get a few blankets, and make a recording.
Don’t believe it? Here are 2 audio samples of what you’ll get if you chose
A bad recording location: Wood floors, cathedral ceiling, lots of windows. This was recorded directly into a Zoom H4n into the stereo mics
You can hear the room echo. It’s terrible and makes the voice over difficult to hear.
Now, listen to this audio recorded on a Audio Technica AT2035 connected to the Zoom H4n in mono mode (mono input mode makes it possible to use a single microphone and record on both stereo tracks).
You can hear the voice, it’s clear and there’s no high or low frequency echo. Would this be better if it were recorded on a Schoeps CMC641G microphone? Sure! But you’ll be set back $2000 or more just for the microphone.
It shoots very nice UHD (not truly 4k) video. There is some noise in the image but that’s to be expected for this price point.
For the body size and handling, it’s really a nice camera for the right person. I can’t use it for my general shooting for several reasons but if I want a stealthy UHD camera, this one just might fit the bill. At a price below $900, I was stunned just how good it actually was.
The IQ (image quality) of the camera for a still is pretty good, though it’s not a higher end Nikon or Canon. Don’t be fooled. In dark areas at low ISO it’s easy to see the noise. A huge zoom lens just won’t have the resolution for stills. For most, they’ll be amazed. But if you’re discerning, you’ll be only “okay” with the shadow performance.
If you click on the image on the right, you can see a small sized sample of the full image. The red box shows the 1:1 sample area of the image on the moose hide. For as good as the image looks in full screen, when you get down to the nitty gritty, you’ll see it’s “okay”. I didn’t have time to do a MTR test or anything, but those don’t translate well into “what does it actually look like” terms.
But for video quality you get a very nice image. I was pretty amazed to see it on an iMac display, even though the image was interpolated. It was just clearer than I’ve seen HD. Really, it looked like HD played on a 120Hz TV display. That was the look. The video samples were shot at 60FPS, so perhaps that helped. It really looked like the real thing. I didn’t expect it to be that much better than HD. But if you stack up a 3-chip HD camera with better dynamic range against a limited range, small sensor like this, you might be pressed to tell the difference. Again in the shadows there will be noise. The again, what do you expect for a small form factor single chip camera?
The aperture goes from about f/3 to ONLY f/8. That’s really miserable for photography. Nature of small sensor cameras. Even though the specs claim f/2.8 to f/11, in the shooting I was testing it with, it only really gave me f/3 to f/8 to work with. That’s a tough one, especially in full daylight shooting.
That zoom and optical stabilizer is awesome. I’d love to have something that goes from 25mm to 400mm and does a real good job on my D800. If I did, I could dump a bunch of other lenses. But I’d need it to be f/2.8 and have it go to f/22. Oh well, I can dream.
We had a snow shot with moose and it worked pretty well. But the snow on the mountains was blown out in the video with zebras set to 95%. Again, it’s not a D800 but it’ll blow away your little basic point and shoot. But I think my Sony RX-100 probably still beats it for dynamic range.
The electronic viewfinder – not bad for a video camera, okay for landscape shooting but poor for sports/action/moving things. When you pan/tilt, you get an image jitter. The swim is very small but the smearing in the image will irritate you if you shoot an optical DSLR. EVF (electronic view finders) aren’t there yet. I worked at a digital night vision company where we went to great efforts to have zero swim, jitter or anything else and this isn’t even close. Then again, those systems were $60,000 and this is $900. You get what you pay for.
The info in the viewfinder for a video camera is very nice. It fits the bill of shooting things where a video camera would get you into trouble. For the price, the image quality is pretty amazing. Is there better dynamic range and such out there? Yes, The GH4 and upwards. But for what this is going for, it really makes UHD accessible.
The switch to go from zoom to MF – not a fan. 2 rings are more expensive, though. There’s the zoom rocker on the shutter release. Eh, it’s under a finger, so it feels like a little point and shoot zoom for the video camera it’s designed for.
The fully manual video camera mode – thank goodness! Not allowing me to control Auto-ISO ruins other camcorders/DSLRs. Locking down exposure is critical if you want professional-looking images.
The different programmable function buttons are nice for getting what you want. Some of the switch modes like focus control are appreciated. They’re not in ergonomic places like my D800 at all. There are buttons which are appreciated on a video camera but the layout leaves lots to be desired. Like all things, it’s something you get used to.
The autofocus – amazingly fast. I’m not sure what they put in there but it must be a hybrid phase/contrast focus system because it matches my Nikon D800 focus speed quite easily. However, when you need to control focus points, that’s where it falls apart.
You’ll need lots more storage to use UHD on this camera. Your puny little 320GB drive will be gone in no time shooting with this. Think 2TB drives minimum. Why do I say this? I’m editing my film, Antarctic Tears, which is a feature length film. And it eats up 228GB of my SSD drive. And that’s shot in HD. This camera has almost 4x the resolution. Even a 500GB SSD won’t even come close to supporting a feature length film. 4k/UHD video is what HD was to our computers 10 years ago. Be ready to spend a LOT of money if you want to really work with this.
Major video shooting issue: This thing has no earphone out. That is one major failing. Why in the world they left this out is beyond me. Perhaps Panasonic is trying to push you into a higher end camera. You might be able to use the AV out and cobble something together. Who knows w/o that cable.
If you don’t have ears on your video camera, you’ll realize only after the shot is over what went wrong. I can pipe audio through my ZoomH4n and listen there, as I can use that as my XLR input, but still. No, this doesn’t have XLR. Of course not.
ND filters for video – buy one. You’ll need one. Or two. For a 3-stop ND, I use this Hoya filter.
The batteries seem to konk out pretty quick, but we were shooting at 10 degrees F with wind chill. Buy more batteries.
Thank you to Sava Malachowski of Sava Film and Open Range Films for the sample images and video. He had excellent footage to sample and work with in tough conditions, shooting in a Wyoming winter with dark animals and bright snow. There’s not much tougher.
During the Snow King Pond Skim contest, my Nikon 50mm f1.8 received a thorough soaking. My D800 stood up to the water perfectly, except that a little bit of water was in the microphone port, so the sound was muffled.
The skier who did the soaking was quite skilled, as he was able to drown myself, the people standing around me, and the two babies sleeping a few feet behind me. At least they were sleeping before they received a face full of 40 degree water. We were standing in the splash zone, so it was fair that we were wet. It was something you have to accept while standing there.
I searched around to find the best technique for drying out the lens quickly and effectively. Most people said to put the lens in a Zip Lock bag with some rice and wait a few weeks. As I need this lens, I need something a little bit quicker. So I thought to put the lens in a bag and leave it in the sun. That sounded great, but a winter storm hit yesterday, so I couldn’t do anything but watch snow fall.
So, I figured out to use a candle warmer, a mug, some rice, and the lens. The candle warmer gets too hot and would melt the lens. That’s bad. And I needed a desiccant to draw the water out with. With a mug acting as a heat conductor, and the rice acting as an insulator, I found a way to very quickly suck huge amounts of water out of the lens. The one trick was to leave the lens face down rather than F mount side down. I didn’t want water drawing through the body of the lens.
After 2 days, the water that was sloshing around inside of the lens is gone. Now there are only a couple of water spots inside of the front element. Not too bad for a complete drenching. This technique saved me from having to purchase a new lens. All I have to do is figure out how to remove the lens front mount and clean the front element. That’ll be another blog posting once I figure out how to do it properly.