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Kodak zi8 Flip-Style camera rocks!

I previously wrote an in-depth blog on my social media hardware bag, and the Kodak zi6 flip-style camera in particular.

I've since upgraded to the new Kodak zi8 camera (available from Amazon.com for about $180) which is just amazing.  I can't say enough good things about this camera.

It has an external microphone jack (which the zi6 did not have) and it uses a rechargeable battery that can accept an external power connection during filming (meaning battery life is no longer an issue if you're near a plug, or if you're not near a plug, you can use an external battery pack like the Tekkon external battery pack, which uses 4 AA's).

At left is a picture of me using the zi8 along with the QuikPod to capture the content of a panel at a Digital Hollywood conference.

Here is a sample panel that was recorded with this camera (may take up to 30 seconds to start playing):

I previously wrote an in-depth blog on my social media hardware bag, and the Kodak zi6 flip-style camera in particular. I've since upgraded to the new Kodak zi8 camera (available from Amazon.com for about $180) which is just amazing.  I can't say enough good things about this camera. It has an external microphone jack (which the zi6 did not have) and it uses a rechargeable battery that can accept an external power connection during filming (meaning battery life is no longer an issue if you're near a plug, or if you're not near a plug, you can use an external battery pack like the Tekkon external battery pack, which uses 4 AA's). At left is a picture of me using the zi8 along with the QuikPod to capture the content of a panel at a Digital Hollywood conference. Here is a sample panel that was recorded with this camera (may take up to 30 seconds to start playing): Below are more pictures of me using it with various external microphones, including a lapel microphone. [gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Gear Post 2012: Zen Edition

On Tynan

Okay, okay, okay... I'll write the gear post before the year's over! One of the things that keeps me from writing all year is that it never really feels like the stuff in my pack has changed all that much. I switch one item at a time, never thinking I have much to write about. Then the end of the year comes, the citizenry demands a post, and I'm always surprised to see just how much has changed.

I called last year's gear post the Style Edition because although it was 100% functional, I also made a few choices to have slightly better looking clothing. That trend has continued a little bit this year, but I'm calling this one the Zen Edition because my already minimal packing list has become even shorter.

When I first started traveling, the minimalism aspect of it was pure coincidence. I had intended on buying a normal backpack, but Todd convinced me to go smaller. Our first 28L Deuter Futura backpacks seemed impossibly small at first, but after a year of learning what is and isn't necessary, space gradually opened up. My response was to fill it with new gadgets-- eventually I had a portable kettlebell, a full cot with silk sheets, and who knows what else.

As the years went on, Todd continued to get smaller backpacks, which influenced me to get smaller backpacks as well. I would always pack them completely full until recently. Last year I had some empty space, and now my pack is less than halfway full. If I could find a well organized and designed 12 liter pack, I would use it.

Part of the reason I have less stuff now is because technology keeps getting better. My laptop is tiny and light. The camera I have now couldn't exist five years ago when I started all this. Everything charges with the same cable. The other reason I've continued to reduce what I travel with, though, is because carry unnecessary items makes your trip worse. They weigh your pack down, clutter it up, and make it take longer to pack and unpack. The less I travel with, the better my experience is. At this point my pack weighs 10.7 pounds, which makes it trivial to carry it all day, even when climbing through the mountains.

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