I borrowed a digital video camera from the office yesterday so I could experiment with video as a means of communication. I have had a video camera for years, but haven’t used it much because it’s analog, so everything I shot had to be painstakingly converted to digital before I could do much with it, and I never got around to acquiring a good encoder, so I was never happy with the quality. Digital is so much easier – attach the camera to the computer via a FireWire cable, and off we go. I haven’t even had to buy new software, as a combination of stuff I already had around has proved to be sufficient. Admittedly, I have more digital media software on hand than most people, thanks to my professional history.
So last night we went out to buy tapes for the camera, and then in search of dinner. We ended up at the Casa di Lucia restaurant in Lecco, where we had a very pleasant dinner out in the garden under a pergola covered in wisteria. As we were finishing our second course, we heard a lot of noise in the entry area, which eventually resolved itself into a gospel choir coming to sing for the diners. We had heard that there was a gospel choir in Lecco, but had never actually heard them. They’re quite good, though they could use some help on pronouncing English.
The lighting was terrible – already dark outside, and the singers were backlighted. The “backlight” setting on this Sony Handycam seems to make no difference at all. I tried Nightshot here and there (not in this clip), which made everyone turn green. In some parts of this clip, you can see the cooks working through in the brightly-lit kitchen through the window behind the singers. And I didn’t have a tripod, so this is a good example of unSteadicam! And the mike is the one incorporated into the camera, so you get all the background noise of the diners (Italians talk even during formalÂ concerts…).