Saturday, September 6, 2014

Another camera test

There were a few more things that I wanted to test with the new camera. First, I wanted to try out the fancy new image stabilization built into the camera. The purpose of IS is to sense the types of small movements that arise when trying to get a "still" shot without a tripod. In other words, it is an electronic solution to shaky hands. This typically works well for its intended purpose, but certain types of vibration can cause unintended effects,

As I may have mentioned previously, I also want to be able to capture the things I hear in my headset rather than just the drone of the engine. This requires an external microphone jack on the camera, and it also requires some means of feeding an audio signal into the jack. In the past I have attempted to do this by placing a very small microphone inside one of the ear cups on my headset. That worked pretty well in that it captured both the muted sound of the engine and the radio traffic from communication with control towers and the like. Unfortunately, the little microphone fell out of the ear cup without my noticing every single time.

During the build of the plane, there was an optional step that involved the procurement and installation of a headset jack that would siphon off some of the headset audio, with the explicit purpose being precisely what I wanted. It would only provide the headset audio, and because it costs a tremendous amount of money to buy a video camera that comes with a mixer that allows simultaneous capture of both the external microphone and the in-camera microphone, I had to choose between headset audio or ambient sound. I can have one or the other, but not both at the same time.

I installed the optional jack, but because I was never able to get the similar music input jack to work, I have always assumed that the headset audio jack would not work either. I was anxious to find out.

This little video shows the results.  The IS works pretty well for its intended purpose, but I will clearly need to remember to turn it off when using the camera in the airplane. Quite surprisingly, the headset audio worked like a champ!

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