Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Big Screen Debut!

I took the new camcorder out for a spin last night (well, it could be more accurately described as a loop) to work on getting it positioned in the plane, and of course, to re-test the microphone that I had so much trouble with ("trouble" being defined as "forgot to turn power switch on) the first time I tried it.

As far as placing it in the plane, I finally ended up simply using the same tripod and hand grip mount that I use for the still camera. You'll see me moving it around to look in different directions. It worked well enough, but you will also see that it does nothing to dampen the vibrations of the plane. Hand held might actually be smoother, but I can't do that and fly too.

The microphone worked, as you'll note when you here me get my taxi clearance. Those will be, sadly, the last spoken words you will hear. While I was taxiing out, I somehow managed to pull the microphone out of the ear cup on my headset. The microphone is very small, roughly the size of a small watermelon seed. Not the hard, black seeds; the small white ones that you accidentally eat. So small that when it pulled out of the ear cup, I never felt it go. My titanic struggle with providing audio continues.

A shame, really, because there was a lot of interesting talk with the control tower concerning the three deer that were grazing at the side of the taxiway. Oh, and you missed out on my real-time critique of the landing. Probably to the good, that.

The video looks pretty good, but it's not as good as it could be. I shot it in full, glorious 17mbps HD, but had to push it through the video abattoir that is Microsoft Windows Movie Maker. That knocked it down in resolution enough to fit within Vimeo's 500MB size limit. It's still pretty good. Note that you will have to click on the video, then click on the little button that counter-intuitively says 'HD Off' to see it in full resolution.

So, without further delay, here it is:


  1. Before HD I never realized how dirty the windshield is! Very cool, Dave. Looking forward to more videos. You'll have to come up to Lima and get some ground-to-air shots with fly by's.

  2. Yep, the windshield is dirty and due for cleaning.

    I used to clean it after every flight, but I started getting worried about scratching and/or crazing it. I only do it every fifth flight these days.