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Danny Grizzle
Re: Cheap Backup Camera ?
on Nov 19, 2011 at 5:58:26 pm

I recently purchased a Sony DSC-HX9V for $300, and I am smitten. So much so I have been using it all week as my only camera for the birth of a grandson, even though I have 5D Mk II, 60D, and T3i at my fingertips.

You will need a 32GB Class 10 SD card ($40) and spare batteries (amazon has a 3rd party bundle with 2 batteries and a charger for $12). I also got a Jobi Gorillapod Video Tripod for under $18, and it is very cool.

Here's the best trick with this camera: get a Giottos mini ball head, the smallest one they make, only $12. You also need a Rode Micro Boom Pole, maybe $79. Now you have a camera mounted on the end of an audio boom pole, much like how a microphone would normally be positioned.

For about $400, you have an HD camera system that will do 1080p at up to 60fps(!), and it will get shots that are impossible with normal cameras. I have found this little rig will do extraordinary things documenting men working, because you can get angles and into positions that would interfere with a larger rig, or be dangerous. Not only that, but the camera audio can be very good also, thanks to getting the camera's on board mics in close to the action.

Mounting the camera on a mic boom pole allows shots that look identical to conventional crane or jib work. You can fly the camera like a Steadicam also, either on the boom pole or handheld.

The video is so good, this may become your main camera for the mechanic productions.

The HX9V lens is great, 24-300mm equivalent. Full time auto focus, even while recording. A fantastic optical image stabilizer makes all this handheld work possible. Finally, the HDMI output is live during recording, making monitoring possible.

I like it so much, I have ordered a SmallHD DP4 EVF/monitor, plus some RAM brand mounting hardware to affix the monitor to the Rode boom. Actually, I am probably going to upgrade my boom to the Rode full 10' model, to get higher crane type shots.

You should research this further by searching for the HX9V on YouTube and Vimeo. I own tons of equipment, but this little camera is the best bang for the buck I have ever purchased.


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