Anyone hauling a dv camcorder?
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Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Anyone hauling a dv camcorder? on 06/30/2005 08:46:45 MDT Print View

Thinking about taking a small canon DV camcorder on next trip--yeah its a heavy 20oz. and then extra batteries--but this trip is a special one --
Just wondered if others have found it worthwhile to lug--if so any tips?
Also taking a digital camera--load can be split between 3 people.

Ron

jacob thompson
(nihilist37) - F
Camera on 06/30/2005 09:02:25 MDT Print View

I'm going to add to this too. My friend and I are attempting to thru-hike the PCT in '07 and were trying to work out a way to take film and photos for an economical weight. I recently found a solar panel that rolls up and can be draped over the pack or worn over head. We were thinking it would be a light and clean way to recharge batteries (which are almost always specified to the device). Has anyone had any experience with these?

jeffrey fujimoto
(jefff) - F
dv camcorder on 06/30/2005 09:13:27 MDT Print View

I usually take a Sony miniDV camcorder on my trips. It adds a pound of weight, but the video ends up what we remember about the trip. Battteries last about 1 and 1/2 hours and the tapes last 1 hour. I take an extra battery and tape but rarely use them.
I am looking to purchase the new Sony DCR-Pc1000. It is smaller and still uses the miniDV format. Jeff

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Solar Panel on 06/30/2005 09:16:52 MDT Print View

Hi Jacob,

I know that Brunton sells solar panels that can be used this way. I am not sure if this is the item to which you are referring. I have had no experience with the Brunton solar panels, but Brunton makes very good products and has for quite a long time.

They are now part of the Silva Group (compasses and instruments). Brunton also makes compasses and instruments, and they make the pocket field transits that we as geologists have used for many years.

Edited by naturephoto1 on 06/30/2005 09:34:55 MDT.

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Re: dv camcorder on 06/30/2005 16:24:43 MDT Print View

Do batteries lose their charge over time even when not used?

The solar panel idea sounds great--hope someone has the answers on that one.

Ron

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
brunton solar panels on 06/30/2005 16:29:49 MDT Print View

Pretty pricey at 320.00 and still weighs 17oz. think I'd have extra battereis at resupply points for the PCT trip--just my thoughts.

Flexible solar panel weighs only 17 ounces
Max Output 14 Watts (15.1 volts at 900 mAh)
Includes several adapter cables for different devices
TefzelĀ® floropolymer construction for extreme durability
Waterproof
Link multiple units together for increased power

One-year warranty
Kooter's Solar Roll 14 Price $320.00 with free shipping

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
DVD Camera on 06/30/2005 16:31:03 MDT Print View

I too just purchased a DVD camera and was thinking about taking it on my trips with me. Battery and film life has me a little nervous but it could be a real cool little toy to take. heck when your baseweight is 12 lbs why not take one item that could as cool as this. Just think, you can make a movie of your adventure!!!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: dv camcorder -- To Ron on 06/30/2005 16:47:51 MDT Print View

Ron,

yes. batts lose their charge over time even when not used.

it varies depending upon the particular battery type/technology. obviously, non-rechargeable batts are more stable (Li being perhaps the most stable popular consumer batt technology currently in use) than rechargeable batts. amongst rechargeables, the rate at which charge is lost varies once again based upon batt type/technology (i.e. NiCd vs. NiMh vs. Li-ion).

now i'm gettin' onto thinner ice here as i'm having trouble recalling the following fact, i.e. whether i'm thinkin' of NiCd or NiMh. so, having said this, it's either NiCd or NiMh which loses ~2% of its remaining charge each day. the other batt types prob. lose something similar. that's NOT 2% per day, but 2% of it's remaining charge.

i've used a "ton" of NiCd, NiMh, & Li-ion rechargeable batts. other than the Li-ion batts in my laptop, i've become very disenchanted with rechargeables, having had so many go bad or perform poorly in my applications.

another other key pt. to remember about rechargeables (NiCd & Li-ion based upon my 1st-hand experience & perhaps also NiMh though i haven't myself seen this happen) is that if they are allowed to "fully" discharge NOT under load/use, they may suffer irrepairable "pole-reversal". i have never been successful getting pole reversed rechargeables (both NiCd & Li-ion) to recharge if this has happened. always long-term store rechargeable batts in a discharged state, by discharging them under load/use.

i'm not going to get into the concept of rechargeable batts so-called "memory". suffice it to say, there are actually two types of "memory" assoc. w/these batts (i've actually seen these referred to as "long-term" & "short-term" memory) and there is much confusion about them (even a bit in my own mind having read a lot of conflicting info on this subject - even fr/batt mfrs. i should have bookmarked it, but didn't - do a web search & hopefully you'll find that web site with info by a long time Battery Engineer - great info - he clears up a lot of myths about rechargeables and gives a lot of facts).

however, while i have had rechargeables go bad by deeply discharging them under load (at least the batts wouldn't take a charge again), far more often i have had them go bad by storing them fully charged & ready to go, only to NOT use them for an extended period of time & then when i finally used them they were "dead" - when they wouldn't take a charge, i would check them with my DVM (digital volt meter) & they would be in a pole reversed state.

oh...just remembered...i have had several sets of NiMh batts (in electric razors - get too many as gifts & can't use them all) go bad after being stored fully charged & then trying to use them 1-2yrs later. they wouldn't take a charge & upon examination they had suffered pole reversal.

Edited by pj on 06/30/2005 17:08:33 MDT.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Brunton solar panels on 06/30/2005 17:30:56 MDT Print View

Hi Jacob,

Yes the Brunton solar panels are expensive. But if you need battery power for your camcorder you need battery power. If you can get by with 9 w of power, Brunton has the 10.6 oz SolarRoll 9 which is on sale right now at http://www.backcountry.com/store/BRU0061/Brunton-SolarRoll-9.html?mv_pc=r110&CP=Shopping&CMP=SPC-Shopping&ATT=batteriesandsolarpower&GCID=C2000x044&keyword=batteries+and+solar+power
for $251.06.

You might find a better price elsewhere on-line. But consider how much money additional camcorder batteries cost and their additional weight. Don't forget that these units do not usually use AA or AAA batteries and they are not readily available when hiking.

Rich

Edited by naturephoto1 on 06/30/2005 17:32:42 MDT.

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Thanks for battery info Paul on 07/01/2005 07:54:07 MDT Print View

The solar panels are sounding a bit better--after hearing the battery inputs from Paul.

It would be interesting to find out whether anyone has actually had experience using them and recharging a camcorder battery while on the trail.

For this trip I think I'm going to carry two extra batteries fully recharged and one on the cam--

this trip is going to be more of a comfort trip and not that far as I'm taking my daughter and one of her friends and my niece....so its a full load anyway! I'll get my miles in from day hikes from base.

John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thanks for battery info Paul on 07/01/2005 08:50:22 MDT Print View

Some of the newer digital cameras offer video recording at 640x480, image stabilization, and zooming.

Google Samsung's soon-to-be-released subcompact 5 megapixel l55w. It has a 28-135mm lens (great for landscapes), 640x480 video at 30fps, widescreen mode, video image stabilization, zoom, ability to take a picture while filming, 2.8" LCD, and a very good battery life.

They claim to use a high quality/high compression mpeg4 format that allows 1 hour of recording on a 256mb card (though they don't specify at what resolution)

I imagine a few 1-2GB SD cards would be enough, and lighter than mini-DV tapes. You can find a SanDisk Ultra II 1GB card for $80 now. Put the money you would have spent on a videocamera into SD cards an I bet you end up spending less.

One unique feature is the ability to edit video on the camera. This would let you reclaim valuable memory by cropping what you don't want.

Even with 2 spare batterys, you'd still be smaller and lighter than with 2 cameras.

Edited by jcarter1 on 07/01/2005 08:53:21 MDT.

Stephen Stone
(stevestone) - F
Re: Brunton solar panels on 07/01/2005 14:16:25 MDT Print View

Consider the following combination:

Fuji FinePix E550
6.3 megapixels
640 X 480 video
Powered by AA batteries
Cost, at a number of retailers (including 1 GB xD memory card) = roughly $400
Weight = 7.1 ounces (minus battery and memory card)

Web Site: http://www.fujifilm.com/JSP/fuji/epartners/digitalE550Overview.jsp?item=I789908&dbid=789908&urltype=overview&NavBarId=I789908

AND, add the following

Iowa Thin Film Technologies AA Foldable Solar Charger
Cost = $150
Weight = 3.4 ounces without batteries and 7.2 ounces with 4 x AA batteries

Web Site: http://www.iowathinfilm.com/index.php

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Re: DVD Camera and backpacking update on 08/24/2005 09:02:20 MDT Print View

I ended up taking my Canon Zr80 and an extra battery--the camera weighs 20oz.--I put it on a starp around my neck--so I could shoot the trip from start to finish--definitely a bit of a hassle--but--
when I got back I took the shots my daughter took with her digital camera--

edited the combined video and stills on my Mac in Imovie---added music---let the voices be heard where it was relevant---and now we have a 15 minute movie of our trip--

In retrospect--I would only carry a DVD if I had my kids along or was doing something a bit more epic.

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Re: DVD Camera and backpacking update on 08/24/2005 09:05:48 MDT Print View

I ended up taking my Canon Zr80 and an extra battery--the camera weighs 20oz.--I put it on a starp around my neck--so I could shoot the trip from start to finish--definitely a bit of a hassle--but--
when I got back I took the shots my daughter took with her digital camera--

edited the combined video and stills on my Mac in Imovie---added music---let the voices be heard where it was relevant---and now we have a 15 minute movie of our trip--

In retrospect--I would only carry a DVD if I had my kids along or was doing something a bit more epic.