While Andy was here last month, I edited and posted the first video in my “Great Eats in Bangkok” series. Since then I’ve shot video for another three segments, but I’m finding myself frustrated with the audio quality. My camera, a Panasonic Lumix LX-3, takes fantastic looking pictures and video and is especially good in low-light settings. But like most cameras with video functions, the built-in speakers leave something to be desired.
Most of the great eats in Bangkok are located in noisy places – crowded restaurants, street-side stalls, busy markets – and my camera’s microphone doesn’t distinguish my voice from the ambient noise from the background.
Exploring my options, I found a relatively inexpensive solution. What I did not want to do is buy a full digital video camera. That would be too bulky and I’m not willing to leave my Lumix behind because most of my blog content is photos, not video. After some research, I settled on a Kodak Zi8.
The Zi8 is a handheld high-definition video recorder, a simple point-and-shoot model along the lines of the Flip video camera. It doesn’t have a lot of functions – zoom, different shooting modes, etc. – but it does have one feature I was most looking for: an external microphone jack. Which leads me to my next purchase:
A wireless lavalier microphone set from Azden. This way I’ll be able to mic myself so even in the midst of a crowded environment you should be able to hear my voice distinct from the background noise. Funnily enough, the microphone set is about half again as expensive ($150 vs. $100) as the camera. I was initially hesitant to spend that much money, but after talking it over with Tawn he encouraged me to make the purchase as an investment in my blogging.
My cousins in LA will be bringing my purchases to Hawai’i next week where I’ll met them for another cousin’s wedding. Perhaps the first test of all this will be on some local Kaua’i grinds. Stay tuned!