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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Travel Gear - The Christmas List

The conclusion to our European trip report will be posted tomorrow, in the meantime, here are some goodies we use that make our travel easier and more enjoyable.  They also make great Christmas presents.  The text links will take you to vendor sites.


VIDEO GOODIES-

The Flip UltraHD Camcorder is probably the hottest item for many people this year, with good reason. With 2 hours of recording time, no tapes or disks, extremely easy to use, this camcorder does some remarkable things at a great price. Great high definition pictures with one button use, this pocket-sized camera has been our go to camera for the videos on this site. Movies are easily downloaded via the pop-out USB jack that plugs into your computer. This also charges the onboard batteries...those batteries can also be replaced by normal AA batteries in a pinch.  I love this camera, especially being able to download and edit while on the road. The only downside is that you cannot use an external mic...you need to be within about 6 feet of your subject for decent sound, which brings us to our next item...

The Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera is the next hottest camera out there.  This is at the top of my Christmas list.  Pretty much does everything the Flip does but add the bonus of being able to plug in an external mic for better live sound.  I've got one on order and I plan on this being our main camera with the Flip used for second unit photography.

Sima Universal Mini Tripod is great for traveling. Notice that everything on this page is pocket sized? That's essential for traveling, especially air travel when space is extremely limited. This little tripod is sturdy, has telescoping legs, and attaches in seconds. Put the legs together, and you've got a quick & dirty steady cam grip.

Adobe Audition 3 Upgrade this is the audio editing software we use on our videos.  Notice that this is the upgade edition, make sure you qualify before you buy.  The full version is quite expensive.  I love this for audio work, you can edit literally hundreds of track at a time for some deep, rich sound.  Many filters and restoration tools are included to polish up less-than-perfect sound.  A much stripped down alternative is Audacity, which you can download for free but beware of its bugs and limitations.  If you use Audacity, save your files often.



TRAVEL GOODIES-

Apple iPod is Tim's favorite way to pass time either on the road or on the plane. He's got close to 700 songs on his and has only used up about 1/3 of the 8Gig capacity.

Inflatable travel pillow Neck Rest Support Cushion is nothing fancy, but great for the plane.  In our case, it also comes in handy as a back booster when Tim needs a little extra help to sit at the table for eating.

Microfleece Travel Blanket is handy since airlines don't like to hand out blankets and pillows any more. Besides the plane, you'd be amazed how often this comes in handy. Also good for a privacy screen when you've ended somewhere very public and no private facilities are available.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.  May your shopping and traveling be stress free!

-Darryl

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