Bob Austin - Tips
First I disagree with Keith that this is not related to trawlers.  Showing
videos is one of the best ways of "describing" life at sea.  This is an
excellent learning technique for others.  I did my first long (one hour
edited) movie on super 8 movie film using a  good Canon camera on the 1979
Transpac.  We showed it to a number of Yacht Clubs and gatherings.  It was the
same race that Disney shot "Pacific High"--and many thought that our movie
caught the feel of a racing boat better.  (I did professional photography in
college and Medical school).

I would strongly consider a "Prosumer" camera by Canon, Sony, JVC or Panasonic
in the high defination format--1080p.  This will be the standard from now on,
although there is some good quality video at 500 lines the true high
defination is superior.  Magnetic tapes do detiorrate at sea.  My personal
preference would be to record directly to a hard disc drive and then download
to the PC and burn to DVD's, backed up with an extra hard drive.  There are
also 3" DVD's which will play on the BlueRay player or computers--and if you
go that way, you are taking the risk of what format will win the high def
wars.  If you can afford it, a 3 ccd unit, in the professional grade would be
worth the expense--and a cheaper one as a backup.  I realize that this is a
different approach than Mike uses, but I am thinking what you want years from
now, not just web clips--you can always compress down--but not as well up!

We did videos of our long cruises--and again it brought the adventures to
thousands of people as a learning experience.  Our first video gear had a tape
deck, a large camera and a battery pack--barely portable and often hooked up
to the boats 12 volt system.  The second trip was smaller Canon cameras

Certainly a lot of good information in previous posts and I agree with
Martin's comments about manual controls. I like to use manual focus also.  One
of the problems with auto focus is hunting as the boat and subjects move.  I
also like to have apature control.  Zoom gives one the ability to have
different focal length lenses, but zooming in and out is a major mistake, as
is moving the camera about.  Consider fixing the camera on a railing or a bean
bag and let it roll with the boat--The stabalized lenses help with the fine
movement, but not the large movements of the boat.  There is another approach,
such as the GlideCam hand held stabalizer devices.  These stabalize the entire
camera and can take the roll pretty  much out of the boat under many
circumstances.  Get the B & H catalogue for video--sort of like the West
Marine wish book.
Also a "rain jacket" or underwater housing is an excellent investment.  Don't
get the salt water on that expensive camera.

Unfortunately our video quality were what was available 25 and 15 years
ago--todays world has much better choices.

Bob Austin


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