Fort Vancouver Mobile - A video overview

Courtesy of: Research Assistant Aaron May of Washington State University Vancouver's Creative Media and Digital Culture program. Produced in 2011.

Video highlights from the apps (36-minute version)

This montage provides a sampling of some of the video media in the Fort Vancouver Mobile apps. This app is much more than just a video distribution system, but these videos show the variety of content, from expositional segments to new journalism to those intended to prompt the development of interactive narratives.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Canon XF100 HD it is ...

After many weeks of research and testing, and much discussion, Forrest Burger and Troy Wayrynen came to a consensus and recommended that the Fort Vancouver Mobile project purchase the Canon XF100 for its next phase of development. 

This was a tough decision, with three great cameras to choose from (and many more that were eliminated during earlier discussions). 

The final two contenders were the Panasonic GH2 (a digital SLR) and the Canon XF100. Forrest and Troy spent a lot of time on this project, and we are very thankful for that effort. ... Forrest even produced a short video clip to compare the final two:

FVM Camera Tests from Forrest Burger on Vimeo.

As you can see, the GH2 can give a much greater focus to the primary subject in the video, blurring out the background much better than the Canon. It even arguably presents a better overall picture, although the Canon was not calibrated in as much depth as the GH2 before testing, making the comparison potentially unfair. 

The Canon is more of a self-contained unit, though, which better fits the needs of this project. For one, that means much less accessories to buy (and almost as importantly, to keep track of), and out of the case, this camera would be easier for either videographer to pick up and just start using, without a lot of trying to remember what part did what. While the GH2 and Digital SLRs in general provide a distinct film look that is very alluring, they also require different lenses, and separate sound equipment, and more post-production work that makes shooting in two-person teams cumbersome and adds significant time and complexity to the editing process. 

With the project's budget for the camera at $5,000, paid for by a Clark County Historical Promotion Grant, this camera was in-between the lower-end equipment, $2,500 and less, and the higher-end equipment, $7,500 and up, which is somewhat of an awkward spot to be with commercial quality aspirations. This camera's cost, $3,000, though, allows us to buy other accessories that will improve the quality, including filters and a Canon WD-H58w 0.8x Wide Converter Lens, without sacrificing much in terms of end product. We also are purchasing a high-quality tripod, in the range of $1,200, and a separate sound recorder, which should help dramatically improve the overall quality of our mobile media. 

In the end, after all of the examination and evaluation, Forrest and Troy said, the Canon XF100 seemed a clear choice for this project. So that is the direction we will go. ... I'll post some comparison footage, when we get the camera for good and start using it with this project. 

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