July 14th, 2008
Yes, as threatened, e.politics is making its first foray into the Exciting World Of Online Video. Step One, create a YouTube channel, shoot a video and post it (Step Two will be more involved — inspired by the world of cable news, it’ll require a boob job and a lot of bleach).
I shot the short clip below with a FlipVideo Mino, which is smaller than my two-year-old Ipod and will hold an hour’s worth of web-quality video. Early Saturday evening I was walking up 18th Street in Adams Morgan (DC) and stopped off at Columbia Station to catch the end of a jazz set, which turned out to be a good test for the camera and microphone, since I was sitting on a partially covered patio in the bright outdoors and shooting into a much more dimly lit space inside. The results: one minute thirty of good music in a great setting.
Overall, the camera did pretty well — actually, better than the YouTube clip shows, since the YouTube upload/conversion/compression sequence distorted the visuals quite a bit, particularly in areas that are relatively dark and have low contrast (lots of compression artifacts around the musicians, for instance). Note how well the little critter adapted to changing light conditions when I panned out into the light.
The built-in microphone performed about as well as you’d hope for something small enough to fit in a camera like this, catching the highs pretty well and not letting background noise overwhelm the music. Even when run through my beloved 15-year-old massive 150-watt Infinity speakers, the bass is almost inaudible, but then small mikes are always going have a tough time with long wavelengths/low frequencies, and standup bass can hard to hear at the best of times. So far, success! Wish this thing had an audio input, though — a provision for standalone mikes could really help out with interviews and such.
Up next: off to Netroots Nation in Austin (mmmmmm, Shiner Bock) and the promise of video chats with online politics and blogosphere notables. I’ve had all my shots, and so should be safe in a convention center full of bloggers….