I recently did a very dumb thing which was a bit costly. But as a result I ended up getting two new toys. So my dumbness was not such a tragedy after all.
A few weeks ago I decided to head to Hollywood Beach to take some photos. So I loaded a still camera and my little RCA Small Wonder video camera in a camera bag, along with extra rechargeable AA batteries for the still camera and took off. I had put the still camera in the larger main compartment, and deposited the batteries and video camera in a small outer zip up pocket.
I had a grand old time snapping photos and recording some video at the beach; then decided to walk over to the Intracoastal Waterway to take some photos of an unusual drawbridge. To get the proper angle for my photo I had to lean way over the water with my one arm resting on top of a stanchion to keep my balance and avoid falling into the water. I think the thing is called a stanchion – it’s a columnar post, about 5 feet high and maybe 10 inches in diameter. I guess it is used to tie up boats.
So I’m leaning over, and as I press the shutter I get a ‘replace batteries’ message on the screen. No problem – I unload the batteries, put them in my pocket, unzip the outer pocket of the camera bag which is hanging on a strap over my shoulders, remove the fresh batteries and put them in the camera. Then I proceed again to take my photo – but when I lean over the water I hear a ‘plop’ – omg! I had forgotten to zip up the outer pocket and my RCA Small Wonder was in the water!
I had so enjoyed the little RCA – I just had to replace it that very evening! I got a Flip for $180 which takes 720p HD and stores up to 2 hours of video. Compared to the RCA’s 480p and 30 minute storage it’s a big improvement.
My second new toy is a Suction Cup Monopod which I saw while strolling around a Best Buy store – cost only $20. I like to take videos while driving but it is quite dangerous at high speeds in traffic holding a camera over the steering wheel in one hand. The monopod is perfect for my video forays on wheels. This is what it looks like; I bent it so that it fits on my car’s windshield and holds the Flip level, facing front. It bends easily and holds its shape – plus it sticks to any non-porous surface.
Yesterday, I tried both toys out together. The following short video is of exiting southbound Florida Turnpike to westbound Interstate 595. Ideally, going from South to West the off ramp of one limited access highway would flow directly to the other. In this case a small lake and housing developments prevent such an easy transition. Instead, the ramp swings around a long curving overpass, eventually emptying onto the Interstate way further North than the exit from the Turnpike, and crosses under the Turnpike. The video looks best at full screen at 720p or 480p.