New Video Kit Contents!

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Extension's video kits have been wildly popular. After three years, they are still checked out frequently. Because of this constant use, they were in need of some TLC!

We put a lot of thought and research into updating our kits. We talked to frequent users in Extension and video experts at the University. Here is what we came up with!

Google Doc: FULL LIST OF VIDEO KIT CONTENTS 2017

Contents:

We stuck with the iPad Mini as the "camera" since that has been so easily usable by anyone who borrows the kit. Also, by not having to replace this we saved money to use on other new items!


We bought a new tripod mount for the iPad. It is magnetic and very sturdy. For ease of use, we just leave the tripod foot screwed onto it all the time.



We kept the Sony bluetooth microphones, but made some changes to make them easier to use. We are leaving the (necessary) adapter dongle attached to the receiver, rather than putting it in separately. This is to avoid confusion on forgetting to use it. We are also putting the transmitter inside the "caterpillar" windshield all of the time, to make it more obvious that it is the one you clip on the subject. (The transmitter and receiver look identical except for the label).

 We are using rechargeable batteries, necessary for the bluetooth mic.


The wired mic is a Rode lavalier "smartphone" mic with the 20' extension cord attached. This mic requires no batteries or adapter. It will probably work the better of the two mics if you are able to be tethered to the iPad with a 20' leash!


We included headphones in the kit, to allow for easy checking of your footage's audio. You'll need to unplug the mic and plug these in to check, but it is worth it to be confident your audio is working!


We packed up the new video kit in a camera backpack, with a side loop for the new fluid head tripod.


The backpack is labeled inside each compartment what should be where, to allow for quick and easy packing up and checking in/out!


We also boiled down the "Quick Start Guide" to a small, laminated card. This might be too simple, but we'll see. I don't think anyone read the 2-page one before anyway!


Cost:

A completely new kit like this will cost approximately $793. See the google doc for the full spec sheet and prices. We already had some of the components (the iPad and Sony bluetooth mic) so were able to refresh our existing kits for less than $300 each.

Verdict:

So far the new video kit is receiving positive reviews. If you have any feedback on things we could improve or add to it, please leave us a comment! 

2 comments:

  1. The kit is awesome - works excellent! (The backpack is WAY cool!)

    As a non-Apple user, I have been intimidated at not being sure how to get the video from the iPad to my computer, but it was no problem. Apples iTunes, the iPad Mini and Windows 7 played together very nicely.

    Todd

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    1. Based on your feedback a couple weeks ago--we added an instruction sheet in a pocket on how to download you videos of the iPad! Thanks for giving us that idea Todd!! (it is page 2 here: http://z.umn.edu/umnextvideokits)

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