Wedding Audio Insurance
If your camcorder has a stereo mike input jack, you can record wedding ceremonies with both a wireless
mike placed on the groom, and a zoom mike mounted on the camcorder.
Using a cable with a 1/8-inch stereo mini plug on one end and two mono 1/8-inch jacks at the other end,
two sound sources can be recorded simultaneously, each in sync with the video.
For the final edit, you will have at your disposal general sound from the zoom mike mounted on camera
and close-up audio of the exchange of vows recorded through the wireless mike.
If you discover later that the wireless mike has static or drop-out, or that you were too far away for your zoom mike to be effective, don’t sweat it. You have a backup!
Manalapan, New Jersey
When I shoot video projects that require a set located in a fancy or “rich” environment, I’ve found that
furniture stores are the perfect answer. They offer expensive new furniture, often arranged into a living
room scene, kitchen scene, etc. Talk to the manager at the store and ask if you can shoot after hours. Keep
your time on the premises to a minimum and arrange it so that the store’s name gets listed in the credits of
your video. It’s a great, inexpensive way to get fancy-looking sets for your production needs.
A Friendly Reminder
Many videographers (beginners especially) suffer from the bad habit of forgetting to turn off the power on
the camcorder, thereby depleting the battery prematurely. By placing a small neon-colored sticker
(available everywhere) on the Record, Pause or Standby button, you can save on battery power by
providing a simple reminder for the camcorder operator. Every time you notice the neon sticker, it reminds
you to shut off the power when the camera is not in use.
Barry R. Barrera
Dodging the Dew Point
Camcorders have a particular problem when it comes to condensation, especially in cold weather or
while using underwater video gear. To dry out a camcorder that has ceased to operate due to condensation,
place it on a towel inside an airtight container (such as a larger Tupperware[TM] bowl or box) atop a bed
of silica gel. You can purchase silica gel in craft stores, where people use it for drying flowers and other
similar purposes. Leaving the camcorder in the airtight container for about an hour should suck out all of
the unwanted moisture.
One Good Surge
An important piece of video equipment that’s rarely written about is the surge protector. When you’re
running off of AC power, a single surge could ruin thousands of dollars in electronic equipment
(computers, edit controllers, VCRs or even camcorders). At about $50, a good surge protector offers cheap,
reliable protection against this kind of tragedy. When looking for a good surge protector, be sure to look
for a company that promises to replace your equipment if it fails.
Medford, New Jersey
Take a Seat
I really enjoy taping parades, air shows and other similar activities; however, my severe arthritis keeps
me from standing or walking for anything but a very short period of time. To continue with my hobby, I
have devised a system that consists of a tripod or monopod and a small LCD monitor. Using this system, I
can remain seated while operating the camcorder via remote control and keeping an eye on the scene
through the LCD monitor. I usually attach the LCD monitor to the tripod or monopod at seated eye-level
with duct tape or gaffer’s tape. The monopod is handy for keeping the camcorder focused on any action
that might be taking place, while the tripod keeps everything nice and steady in a more static shooting
Clinton Township, Michigan