Posted by: sibyllemeder | December 19, 2009

Spoiled for choice – Video Equipment Reviews

Every time I want to buy something, I intuitively know what I am going to purchase. If I could only leave it there, shop and be happy! Alas, no! Rationality sets in and I start backing my choice with a range of well-chosen expert’s advice.

Maybe it’s the German in me. There is a whole fund in Germany dedicated to the testing of each and everything from kid’s pyjamas to life insurance leading us all into utter confusion. I suspect the whole thing is only set up to make us all buy not only one but three articles, so that we can’t go wrong.

As little as perfectionism helps in art – apart from creating perfect products, of course, that might be as boring as Cindy Crawford without her mole – as little does it help – and that’s new to me – to aspire to being perfectly equipped.

Stand’s the reason, really, since there can only be choices, different alternatives for a range of different demands, situations and so on. But I was convinced, so far, that if only I could get enough info, I’d make the right choice.

(Directing Rule #1: Your work day consists of choices. “Right” and “wrong” are relative. Get used to it.)

For example, I only needed to learn about the shotgun microphone NTG-2 from Australian producer Rǿde to know that that was the one for me.

Until I read the reviews.

And still I thought it was a great choice: good, but not as expensive as the Sennheiser 416, maybe not quite as good, but better than…

Three evenings spent in front of the computer screen, tight neck muscles and a cramp in the mouse scroll hand later, I realized that my intuition would carry the choice. As soon as I can spare the 300 euros for mic, mount and wind protection, I’ll order the NTG-2.

Unless I’ll read a few more reviews of blimps and dead cats, check whether Rycote isn’t preferable to Rǿde. And what about Audio Technica, Azden and Beyerdynamic…?

Did I mention that before choosing the mic with help from the reviews I had to choose the reviews?… In case you want to skip that step and are looking for tight neck muscles, have a look at these:

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/review_shotgun_mics.html (My initial reference article about shotgun mics. Nicely structured, but a bit dated. Hey, that’s why I read on…)

http://www.microfilmmaker.com (My latest discovery. Not that many tests, but with a clear goal: for filmmakers on a micro budget. That I’d like the guys was clear from their choice of cam for their tripod test: a Panasonic AG-DVX100B.)

http://www.videomaker.com (Tipps and tricks and reviews of the latest gear. Drawback: that happens to be the most expensive gear, too. Frustrating for the cash-stripped crowd.)

http://www.dv.com/ (Website of the namesake magazine. Reviews similar to videomaker.)

http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0603/cameracorner.html (Very appetizing review of the Panasonic AG-HVX-200. As a happy Panasonic AG-DVX100B, owner this was a glimpse into the future for me.)

http://reviews.cnet.com (Everyone knows cnet. Nice if they’ve tested what you are looking for. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case And links to online sellers aren’t quite enough.)

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ (Independent Camcorder Reviews, Ratings & Comparisons they say.)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/rode_ntg_2.htm (There it is: my future mic. From a friendly small German company with great website, too.)


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