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Canon ZR200 / Windows Movie Maker

Damn I'm writing quite a bit today. 😉

Even though I'm dealing with a bunch o' b.s. from Apple at the present time, I have been enjoying all the perks of my new Canon ZR200 camcorder. While this thing is tiny, the pic quality is very good, the interface is easy to use, the NTSC widescreen works great and miniDV beats the ever-lovin' snot out of VHS, VHS-C and Hi-8.

This is my first camcorder that has the following goodies that I didn't know modern ones have:

Time Code

I love the fact that all my video has time code on it. It makes it extremely easy to find stuff. It's "real time", not a counter.

Remote control via computer

With FireWire, whilst editing I can control the camera's playback functions with software. Very cool. Just about every software can do it. I don't know how it does it, nor do I care. I'm just happy to have it.


Because I don't have any pro video editing software for Windows (yet.. that's another story that I'll blog about at a later time), I've been using Windows Movie Maker that comes free with Windows XP.

I won't say WMM is anything other than basic, but I found out a few things about it that are kinda neat. It actually does have the ability to output in 16:9 NTSC widescreen.

Check this out:

See that 16:9 option? I found out how to do this on WindowsMovieMakers.NET, and whadya know.. widescreen on WMM. It was always there and I never knew it was. Now I have a quick dirty way to get video to Windows in native widescreen and export as such. Not bad a'tall for something that's free - but make no mistake, I have absolutely no intention of using this as my primary editing software. There's other software out there that has a lot more capability. More on that in the future.

Oh, I should mention that WMM is Sir Crash-A-Lot. I tried doing some moderately advanced pieces with it and crash boom bang.. Hot tip: If you use this, save often and use small video clips.

My biggest complaint about WMM is that you can't place video clips on specific parts of the timeline. All video clips must be directly adjacent to each other. My workaround is that I just add a black graphic and "stretch" it out. Kinda stupid I have to do this, but it works.

Gold 1 to Gold 2 and 3...

I still think Tron is one of the coolest movies ever made. Just thought I'd mention that here (grin). The above is probably the most known part of the movie, that being the Light Cycle race.

Old Trinity

Someone was nice enough to e-mail me and say how nice my photography was (something I truly appreciated) so I dug through my archives and found this one. This was one taken of a place called "Old Trinity". It's in Northeastern Connecticut; I can't remember what town it's in. It used to be a church, I think. The place is surrounded by legends and urban myths. I've heard every single kind of story you could hear about this place, including but not limited to:

"Someone died here."

"Someone was killed here."

"When the trees show the shadows just right you can see an image of a cross, and where the cross intersects is the exact spot where someone was killed."

"Cars stall for no reason passing by this place at night."

"I met Wayne Newton* here."

All the heavy metal goat throwing musicians of the day used to spin tall tales about this place. I never believed any of it. It's an old building made "famous" by locals trying to make it into something it's not.

What no one has ever said about this place (but I will) is that it looks quite nice in the afternoon. The stonework on the wall is still in good shape (at least at the time of the photo circa summer 2005) and it looks very nice and peaceful.

* I made that up. No one ever met Wayne Newton here.

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