Monday, June 29, 2009

Hidden functions of HD2000

There are several hidden functions of the HD2000 that are found only in the shortcuts setting for the toggle switch (the SET button). You can set 4 shortcut functions to the toggle switch, one each to the four different directions of the toggle i.e. up, down, left or right out of a total of 10 recommended settings. The 10 functions that can be set are AF Lock, AE Lock, Focus, Flash, Exposure Compensation, ISO, Self-timer, Exposure, Display on/off and Sequential. (The AF Lock locks the focus while the AE Lock locks the exposure.)

The shortcut function in the Option Menu 2

Out of these, the AF Lock, AE Lock, Exposure Compensation and Display on/off cannot be found on the normal menu and thus are only available when set as one of the shortcuts. Unfortunately, most of the functions can be set only before recording and are thus only useful for taking still photos rather than videos. Nevertheless, it is better than not having any manual settings at all. Once recording has started, you cannot make any changes with these shortcuts exception for the AF Lock and the AE Lock. These two can be toggled on and off individually or in combination while recording.

Example of shortcuts set

It is very easy to activate these shortcuts by just moving the SET button (the toggle) in any of the four directions and thus it is also very easy for them to be activated unintentionally when the toggle is moved accidentally. Luckily the display will show these if they are activated so it is very important to check the display screen to see if any of these shortcuts have been selected before starting a recording and make the necessary changes where required. Happy shooting!

Ronald Kwok

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Using the HD2000 with external HDD on the road

Hi, I'm back from my holidays in Turkey. As mentioned earlier, I took along the HD2000 together with a Maxtor Basics HDD for my holidays. My wife used the camcorder while I used my Lumix FX18 for still photos. Previously after a holiday, I only had to sort out hundreds of still photos but this time around I also had to deal with several hours of videos as well. Since this is my wife's first outing with the camcorder, she was trigger happy and what more with the knowledge that there is an unlimited supply of SD cards, thanks to the HDD.

Here's my experience with using the HDD on the road with the HD2000. First it worked as advertised, but there are a few points to note.

1. You need to have two power points near to each other since you need one for the HD2000 via the docking station and another one for the HDD.
2. Make sure your transfer your SD cards in the chronological order that they were used or your files will be copied in the order that they are transferred. If this happens, you can correct it later by changing the file number in the correct sequence by opening you HDD in Windows.
3. Change you camcorder's time to the local time (if there is a time difference) or you may be confused later when working with your videos by the time-stamp

Here's my workflow to handle the vast number of clips taken. Make sure all the clips are already transferred to the HDD for storage. Format a SD card and copy a day's video or up to 4GB worth of videos from the HDD back to the SD card. Delete unwanted clips and use the HD2000 built-in editing function to cut or join the remaining clips as required. Transfer the edited clips back to the HDD for storage and later further action when I have a more effective software to handle the HD2000 clips.

The manual is not very clear on how to transfer videos from the HDD to SD card. This is the procedure.

Under Xacti Library Menu, select Select Play File and choose either Library Roll or Library Calender. Then go to Playbcak Menu2 and select Copy. You will then come to the Harddisk to Card screen where you can select how you want the files to be transferred - single, selected or all.

I am more than happy with the performance of the HD2000 thus far, apart from the poor IS at zoom. More on this later.

Ronald Kwok