The Sunday Post, XLV

Spent most of the week closing out MTTS East. Lots of video and photos. And more dreaming of new equipment, mainly a Macbook Pro. Then came the complaints.

On video cameras

I took the The Flip with me for MTTS. Heck, most of you saw that video. Most of someone saw the video because I have over 30k views (combined) on the dozen or so that I posted from the week. The bulk of those views are from, primarily the JCW MINI in action video I posted last Friday.

And damn if I didn’t get more complaints than compliments on that thing.

Sure it’s shaky. Sure the sound isn’t that great. It was take with a The Flip Ultra video camera for craps sake. And the entire shoot happened in less than 5 minutes from the time we found out we could ride in the car to the time we were done.

Just in case anyone might have missed it, I operate on a very low budget. Esp. for the show. I have spent less than $600 in total for my gear (and one of the other hosts) and that includes the The Flip.

But the The Flip works very well for me. It takes video that is very easy to edit and my Mac doesn’t choke on them _too badly_. This is one of those things that I have to think about.

Well now I’m thinking about upgrading to a better camera. I really hate complaints. Complaints mean that someone, somewhere, was not 100% satisfied with my work. I think it’s pretty good, but what do I know.

So, research has ensued. What I’ve been looking for is a camera that, at the very least, shoots 16:9 and uses SD Cards for storage. No tape, no hard drives, no DVDs. And it has to have external microphone support. Remarkable, in low end cameras, this is a tough combination to find. So, I dialed the money up a few notches and this is what I have found.

For a while I was very keen on the Panasonic HDC-SD9. You know I’m keen on Panasonic, and I’ve used my point and shoot (Panasonic DMC-TZ3) for video and it produces great results, albeit with horrible sound. The problem with this video camera is it doesn’t have external mic support, and that’s kind of a deal breaker.

So, the other camera I’ve been looking at is the Canon HF100. It’s about $100 more expensive, doesn’t have as good of sensors (CMOS instead of CCD) and it’s a bit larger. But, it does have external mic input (and monitoring) and great video quality (here is an example.) Plus it will shoot at lower than HD resolutions and still keep the 16:9 format.

Hopefully I’ll be able to upgrade before MTTS LA. If not, I’ll leave the The Flip at home and either do video with the point-and-shoot or not do any at all. I really don’t like complaints. I would rather have no comments at all then have complaints.

And, if you are on WRR and look to the right and see a donate button and want to click it, feel free. Someone suggested I do that, so I have. Camera money only. Should I get enough to cover the cost, the button comes down immediately after I order.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.


  1. Awesome video CJ! Very very cool!

    I wish you would have put that on Viddler tho. I have a few comments as the video goes. 😉


  2. Thing I like about the Flip is that its in my bag all day and if the bag gets kicked, whatever, the Flip is fine. If it was a $600 camera I’d have to treat it with kid gloves.

  3. true. I actually started looking at another Canon camera. it’s the F100 or something. Basically the same as above but not in high def and it’s less than $400

  4. You don’t need a new camera DB… just get a Steady-Cam rig for The Flip, lol.
    Tell you one thing though, you kept your composure better than I would have :-/ I’d have told one person in particular to lick my left… uhh, Ear 😕

  5. The power of the delete button my friend. The power of delete 😉

    Actually, I’m thinking about trying the washer on a piece of string method first. After I do it I’ll snap a pic to show you.

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