We were nervous before we started, both about using our equipment and the fact that we were taking our great gear into extreme conditions. Several fearful invitees actually huddled at home in fear of El Nino weather. But it all went smoothly, and we want to thank:
- Sony Mavica FD-7
- Hitachi MPEG EG1A.
- Sony VX-1000 Digital 3CCD Camcorder
- IBM ThinkPad 560
- 3com Megahertz 56K cellular modem
- Nokia 2160 Digital Cellular Phone (set to Analog mode)
- A Texas Instruments Extensa 570 laptop computer
- Sony Mavica FD-7 by Doug Filter
- "One of the easiest digital cameras I have used – by returning to base camp and handing off a floppy disk to the webmaster, whether on a PC or a Mac, I can get back to the creative process faster and more efficiently. The camera has some bulk, unlike the little Nikons or some others, which causes you to hold it securely, yet it is portable, handy and unobtrusive. Great pictures, a 'program' button to maximize the camera for the task at hand, weather panoramas, group shots, close-ups or portraits. Novices in our group discovered they could instantly begin capturing great images."
- Hitachi MPEG EG1A by Philip Merrill
- "I've been a fan of the MPEG format's look-and-feel for years. Getting quality real-time MPEG out of such a small little vacation shooter is a minor miracle. I can't help being impressed by its processing power and miniaturization - since I'm into that - but the tech-aspect is transparent and it's ridiculously easy to use. I'd take it anywhere."
- Nokia 2160 cellular phone and 3Com cellular modem by Doug Filter
- "One of the advantages to the Nokia phone is its 'split personality' – the ability for it to utilize either digital or analog networks. For the cell modem, this was important, as it specified an analog phone. Hooking up, once the modem software was installed, was simple. The modem recognized that the Nokia was attached, and dialed out through it to our ISP. On Mt Wilson, however, we discovered an unanticipated problem. We thought that by being so far out in the Forest, we might not get a cell connection. In fact, the inverse was true. We were able to 'see' so many cell antennae that the network locked us out – we were broadcasting to and accessing too many. For the first time, we had to find 'sweet spots' where the cellular service was less accessible. One of the solar astronomers showed us a few places on the mountain where we could get access. By walking around, our signal strength meter would go from 'No service' to best service within a few steps, and then back to 'No Service' as we picked up some more towers and were once again locked out."
- Sony VX-1000 Digital 3CCD Camcorder by Todd Iorio
- "The Sony VX-1000 is an incredible piece of video equipment. To think that this pint sized hand-held can output the quality it does blows me away. I love that I can translate from DV tape to QuickTime files, virtually lossless, using an inexpensive firewire connection. Much of the cost in DV has been the Analog/Digital conversion, but with the VX-100 and a Radius MotoDV card, cost is not a factor! That alone would be enough of a reason to buy one of these cameras, but the image quality is tremendous. This is a serious piece of video equipment! In low light situations it doesn't perform as well, but overall the quality of the video is incredible. This is not the rants and raves of some guy Sony handed a camera to and said 'tell us what you think.' The production division of my company purchased 2 and they really are the most versatile cameras in our inventory."