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Your first step will be to prepare a worst-case scenario list. It could go like this:
1) Camera malfunction.
2) Running out of battery power in the middle of an exciting shoot
3) Running out of tape
4) Unexpected weather conditions like excessive sun etc….
The next step is to ask whether there are resources at the holiday destination to come to your aid in times of need? As the saying goes – if you’re prepared for the worst, then you’re really prepared.
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If you have gone through the planning stage in a little detail you will have an idea of how many hours of tape you may need. Yes, you’ll have an idea of what to shoot and what not to. You could buy a 10 pack or 5 pack Mini DV tape to save cost and have adequate supply at all times. It will also save you the trouble of hunting for tapes instead of enjoying your holiday.
Chances are if you’re holidaying in a fishing village you may not have access to items like mini-DV tapes. Even if you do, you may have to pay premium prices for tapes because that’s the way things are in a tourist attraction. Extra tapes will not go to waste . But running out to tape in the midst of shooting an important moment could mar your holiday experience.
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As most of your shooting will be done outdoors, you’ll need ample battery power. Don’t rely on the battery that came along with your camcorder purchase. Chances are it will not last for more than an hour. Get at least two extra battery packs. You’ll have peace of mind if you know you’re equipped with 5 to 6 hours of battery power. By then you could get back to your hotel to charge you depleted batteries. Get all your batteries fully charged before setting out on your vacation.
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Your AC Adaptor
This is an important item you should not forget. You can’t just run out and buy an adaptor which you use to power your camera and charge your batteries. You may also want to include a power adaptor which you could plug into your car cigarette lighter socket in case you need to charge your batteries while on the road. Your AC power adapter will also come in handy when you want to rewind tapes for video playback on the hotel television.
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Will you be doing night shooting? Will you be shooting inside caves? If for instance you plan to take a night boat trip to watch fireflies, you can bring a camera-mounted light along. Use it sparingly though to avoid draining your battery power.
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Filters. Lenses and Tripod
This is optional. If you going to a place with harsh sunlight, then you could throw in a UV or neutral density filter. If you’re visiting a nature park you could bring along a telephoto lens to shoot monkeys swinging high up in the trees or tigers resting by a stream. You may also need a tripod for stable shots.
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You may want to include AV cables into your equipment checklist if you plan to view your day’s shooting on the hotel television set.
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Will you need a special camera bag to protect your kit against unpredictable weather conditions? Is your destination it a dry and dusty place? Is it a place where there are frequent thunderstorms? Choose a bag accordingly.
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If you’re visiting a dusty, dry place, you can throw in a lens cleaning kit. A cleaning tape could also come in handy just in case your camera recording head gets dirty.
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Do You Have a Spare Camera?
Although a spare camera would add to the weight of your luggage it will come to your rescue if your primary camera malfunctions. Be sure to bring along the necessary accessories and the recording media for the backup camera.
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Planning your equipment checklist takes a little of your time but it will ensure that obstacles to your vacation videomaking adventure are minimized. Remember. go through your checklist before leaving home. Now that you’ve got your equipment list ready, let’s move on to the video-making process itself in the third part of the vacation video secrets series.
How To Prepare Your Vacation Video Equipment Checklist
Vacation Video Secrets Series takes you from planning a quality vacation video to getting your equipment ready and finally shooting your video like a pro.