world of video recording equipment has changed quite rapidly with the
recent advent and acceptance of the DV (or Digital Video) format.
Very high quality video, nearing broadcast quality, can now be captured
in a unit that fits in the palm of your hand. Something that
is small and does a great job of capturing what you see and experience
makes for a perfect motorcycling compliment.
I've worked for some time in television, but my first hands-on
experience with DV and the Mini-DV format came in March of 1999 while
working on a short film starring Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin.
"Scout's Honor" was directed by my old boss Neil Leifer, the
famous still photographer. The set was lit like a 35mm motion
picture film shoot, with big-time lighting equipment. But the
movie was captured on Canon XL-1 video cameras which record onto Mini-DV
tape. These tapes are about half the size of a deck of playing
cards, but they can hold 90 minutes of video.
I was amazed at the quality of this format. The resulting footage
looked like it had been shot on Panavision film cameras! Of
course, the XL-1 is a professional camera with interchangeable lenses,
and the excellent lighting crew made all the difference, but the
experience convinced me that a revolution is going on here. DV is
a great alternative to film, at a fraction of the cost. And
because the format is digital you can easily edit what you shoot and
then throw it back to tape without losing any quality, unlike earlier
analog video formats.
Elura is a great choice for those who want to capture their
motorcycle adventures on video. This camera has
excellent features designed into an incredibly small package. It is
small enough to fit in a jacket pocket yet the image quality is
superb. Size is the most important criteria to me when picking
gear for the motorcycle, and often it means a compromise in
features. Not so with the Canon Elura. Besides capturing
video and audio extremely well, the unit doubles as a digital still
camera. Most of the images on this site were created with the
Elura. At the time of this writing, the Canon
Elura can be purchased for around $1200.
has a great lineup of DV camcorders and there are also some good cameras
available from other manufactures, including Sony. I've tried some
of them out and have been pleased with the results. But I think
Canon offers advantages in image stabilization, lens optics, and bang
for the buck. I can't wait to see what the folks at Canon come up
CANON'S DV WEB SITE