Assistant WSFS Videographer travelswithkuma shows off our new Panasonic AG HPX300P P2 HD Camcorder. Lisa has wanted one since the day she ran across it at the professional video show (Cascade Mountain Video Show) in Portland some years ago. This camera listed for $10,700 new. We found one on eBay with relatively low hours and with some accessories and extra memory cards for $3,100. We've had to spend close to $500 additional on items it did not have, like a microphone, and I expect that there's more to come.
The tripod and head (which only just barely holds the camera, within 0.5 kg of its rated capacity) she already had. In the past, people have criticized Lisa for using such a heavy tripod for the small Sony DSC-H2 she previously used. She was thinking ahead.
There are a lot of controls on this thing. Lisa has spent the past few days reading the manual and experimenting with what she can record. The camera records to PCMCIA cards, which makes data-transfer to a computer pretty easy. (It can also transfer more slowly via USB 2.) Unfortunately, it produces the output in MXF format, and furthermore, Panasonic separates the audio and video MXF files. With the exception of Adobe Premiere Pro (very expensive!), none of the software we've tried can both convert and merge the two MXF files to a single MP4 or AVI file. There are a number of MXF converters out there, but they all convert the individual files, leaving us with separate files, and that's not what we want at all.
pcornelius has a line on a converter program that handles the separate files and merges them properly, and has signed on to the Business Meeting Videography team working for Lisa. If anyone else knows more about Windows-based programs that will let us merge the MXF files without having to spend several hundred more dollars, please contact me. Mail to my user ID @livejournal.com will get to me.
Now this is a fairly extravagant purchase. It means that further work on getting our kitchen fully operational again, and replacing the jammed sliding glass patio door is delayed until probably next year at least. But on the other hand, Lisa points out that the work she did putting in the wiring and assisting our plumber to get the new water heater would have cost more than $2000 based on previous quotes, so she feels somewhat justified in using some of her inheritance money on the camera. She earned it.
*Official recordings of the Business Meeting have been explicitly authorized under Standing Rule 1.6 since 2008, and had been done informally for some time before that. Any member may also record the meeting. Videos of meetings back to 2009 are available on the WSFS Rules Archive page.