Hi, I lived 9 months in A



I lived 9 months in Anchorage starting Jan 14, 1998. Alaska is made for video country. At the time I was shooting Hi8 and moving to Digital 8. As I was preparing to leave in September, I was calling an aviation company every weekend to find out if they could see Denali or if it was covered by mist. After 3 weekends they told me you could see the summit and I rented a car and zipped up there. I spent $240 for a couple hours of flying around the mountain and landing on glaciers. Fantastic experience. If you do this, keep a tight grip on your cam if you open the window as the plane is banking through those peaks. The air is icy and it wants to suck your camera into the void. Tip #2: If I ever do this again, I will have plastic picnic plates for placing under my tripod legs for shooting on glaciers. This will prevent any of the legs from melting through the ice so that you have control over your shot rather than havoc with your horizon line. This particular company flew in a second plane as we parked on the glacier for the fantastic video drama of being buzzed on the glacier by a low flying plane.

Now to your question!

Consider the Sony VX 2100. It is a low light champ, possibly yielding better visuals than even the XL2 in the low light conditions. (Has anyone compared?) If you search a little bit, there are numerous testimonials on this forum regarding the unique low light ability of the 2100.

There is a lot of neon in Anchorage which may require some experimentation to get the shots/exposures you want. You may end up bracketing f-stop and shutter speed (to tiny and fast) to get detail in scenes of neon, glare on ice and snow, low lying sun on the horizon at 3 am in the summer, and other exposure challenging scenes unique to Alaska.

Note that the VX2100 has a prominent rubber lens hood and a plastic handle on top (with backup controls for recording and zoom). On the coldest days (e.g., second day restart of the Iditarod race), you can handle these parts with thin gloves or no gloves without fear of sticking your flesh to these parts, as can happen with the metal parts.

The most treacherous areas for falls are where a light coating of snow conceals the slick ice underneath. Protect your body and your equipment by exercising caution in this environment. If you start to go down (in slo-mo of course), remember your first priority is a soft landing for your cam, not your bones. 😯

Have A GREAT Adventure!


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