Archive for Hobbies

New Camera – Thanks Panasonic

// February 17th, 2010 // 12 Comments » // Hobbies, Toys

In December we bought a new Panasonic plasma TV, and of course, as happens these days, we got something free with it. That free thing arrived today after much form filling and waiting – a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1. These rugged little beauties cost $600 in the shops so I was very happy to get one for “free”. Also I am sick of lugging my giant Canon EOS around with me on family outings!

I particularly like that it is shockproof to 1.5m – perhaps even Janproof? She has dropped 2 of our digital cameras and destroyed them in the past. Also it is waterproof to 3m, so if Archie tries to flush it down the toilet, it may survive, unlike Jan’s iPod. And it shoots HD video as well, not sure what the quality’s like, but hey! HD in your pocket’s gotta be good. And did I mention that it is ORANGE? How cool is that?

Here’s some quick test shots I did:


Canon FS100 & Adobe Premiere

// February 10th, 2010 // 45 Comments » // Hobbies

I recently bought a Canon video camera, the FS100. It’s a handy little thing, records straight to an SD card, and has a number of groovy features. I particularly like the built-in light for shooting in darker environments. It records videos as MPEG files, but in a strange container called a MOD file. When you copy the videos to your hard drive using the included Canon software, they are renamed as MPEGs. Kind of annoying, as you can’t just rename them yourself because they have another small file with the suffix .MOI that apparently holds metadata for the video file. Strange!

My first problem was when I wanted to copy the video files without the Canon software, which I had lost and couldn’t be bothered finding again. After a bit of searching I discovered a great little utility called SD Copy. It’s just a little exe that will convert .MOD files into .MPG. You can download it from here, or have a Google.

So I’d copied all my files from the SD card, and all seemed fine when playing them back in VLC. I then decided to have some fun editing them together in Adobe Premiere. But there was a problem – all the camcorder files were coming into Premiere at the wrong ratio. I’d recorded them in 16×9 but Premiere was reading them at 4:3. So annoying! For some reason the widescreen flag doesn’t come across with the video file.

Thank god I found this incredibly useful post “Working with MOD Files in Adobe Premiere CS3“. I didn’t bother installing the dll for Premiere, since my files were already MPEGs. All I had to do was right click the file name in the Project window, select Interpret Footage, and change the Pixel/Aspect Ratio to “Conform To: Widescreen 16/9″. Bingo! Everything was at the right ratio, and all the edits I’d already made had automagically transformed as well.

Just thought I’d post this in case it helps anyone else. Apart from these teething issues, I really like my FS100, especially shooting in bright light. After dark, it gets quite grainy – thank god for the built-in light eh?

I’ll be posting my first creation on YouTube soon.

UPDATE: Here’s the creation in question! Not Oscar worthy but cute :)