Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Thank you, Detcon 1!

We were very grateful to receive a grant from Detcon 1 (Detroit NASFiC) to cover a bit more than half the cost of a "proxy card" that allows the new camera* to simultaneously shoot a lower-resolution version (relatively speaking, given that the main copies are professional broadcast quality) MP4 simultaneously with the main higher-resolution MXF versions of the recordings. With that grant, Lisa told me to go ahead and tap her savings for the rest, rather than run a crowd-funding campaign for the remaining $300 it cost us out of pocket.

Lisa suggests that people who want to thank her in the future buy us dinner, rather than donate money directly. She was very uneasy with taking direct contributions. It made her feel like the people donating would "own" her stuff, and that makes it hard for her to concentrate and to have fun doing these projects for the good of Worldcon, Westercon, and fandom in general.

The proxy card arrived today, and Lisa spent part of the afternoon shooting various test footage and making more adjustments to the camera. The good part about this camera is that it's capable of amazing stuff. The bad part is that, being a pro-grade camera, it doesn't really hold your hand that much and you have to read the instructions carefully, or else you get useless footage. When she's satisfied that she has the settings the way she wants them, she'll do some shots and have me upload both the MP4 from the proxy card and the converted-and-edited MXF-to-MP4 versions so that people can compare the two.

Note that the MP4 in the proxy card can simply be dropped straight into YouTube. The other way requires converting the files, mixing them together in another program, and then converting that to MP4. Now the video resolution in the MP4 proxy card files will not be as high as the MXF masters. The sound, however, is comparable, and one of the reasons for getting this camera was for superior sound pickup compared to the little handheld things like her Sony DSC-H2, or a GoPro, or similar consumer equipment. As she put it, "You want to hear what Kevin said, not necessarily be able to count his remaining hairs."

We'll be taking the camera to Spokane with us when we leave (late tomorrow afternoon, as we're taking two nights to make the drive) so that Lisa can (assuming we can get access) shoot footage in the actual room in which we're scheduled to hold the WSFS Business Meeting during Sasquan.



*Recap: The new camera, a professional-grade Panasonic P2 series camera, shoots in a format called MXF, and keeps the audio and video files separately. While there are plenty of MXF conversion programs out there, none of them except the very expensive Adobe Premier Pro can spot the separate A/V files and simultaneously convert and combine them, then produce an MP4 suitable for uploading to YouTube. Before you offer your opinion on this, please read all of the posts I've already made on this subject and make sure you're not just repeating something someone said back there. Hint: a simple search for "MXF conversion" will not give you the answer we're looking for. I know this sounds snarky, but otherwise well-meaning people are telling us lots of things we've already tried.
Tags: business meeting, camera, lisa, worldcon, wsfs
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