Question: “First, congrats on the move. You did what I am planning to do one day. I was wondering what camera do you use to shoot your video? And what service provider you use for internet access from your apartment? Is it adaquate speed, or do you use the cafe for a faster connection?” — From Ernesto
Henry: For recording video I tried out four different video-cams I have and you might be surprised what turned out to be the best solution. ha! I have a Fuji digital camera which includes a video mode. But after several tests decided not to use it on account of it doesn’t compress well and requires a massive amount of memory even for short, 15-minute videos. I have a another digital camera which I use as my ‘bang-around’ camera for on the go. It compresses well but the video quality is not that good. So I nixed that. I also had an old mini-HD Handi-Cam but the conversion from digital tape to AVI/MPeG was just way too time-consuming plus the battery life was very short.
I will add a proper photo of the video-camera I actually use later when I get a chance.. but what I ended up doing ALL my videos with is actually a solid-state, super-mini video camera about the size of a pack of gum. I bought it several years ago when I was doing Process Server work just in case I was ever attacked while performing a Serve. It charges via USB and even though the battery has declined a bit, still holds charge to run for about an hour’s worth of video. I slipped in an 8Gb memory card and that’s been sufficient for anything I do. It fits easily into my pocket so that I have it with me wherever I go. Like I said, it’s about the size of a pack of gum and at the time it cost me about $45 from China. Nowadays you can get the same thing but for less than $20! The image here of me on the scooter was taken from a video-still, and this isn’t even the original, larger resolution.
The one I have has the video lens on the front. Some of the ones they sell have the lens on the end which is not a good choice for actual videotaping on the go. You can see a sample of what I’m talking about with this one on eBay. Again, mine is different with the lens on the side so it’s easier to keep stable for a decent image. Another nice thing about the one I have is that it has a clip on it. This made it easy to just clip it on to the front of the motor-scooter for the “Handle-bar-Cam” sequence.
As for Internet access, I’ve been using Globe since I got here and been pretty happy with it. A friend of mine had Sun and didn’t seem so thrilled with it. Sun voice service really sucks, so I don’t see why their net service would be any better. However Globe imposes a throttling limit for uTorrent files and also an 800Mb download limit of files (but unlimited internet otherwise). If you go past the limit, they block your access until midnight of that day. Which is why, as it turns out, I am right now at a place called Cafe’ Malmo in Mactan for some nice ambiance and internet via DSL/Wireless, with no limits on downloads.
Internet cafe’s here are so cheap I almost consider them ‘free’. The most expensive one I’ve come across is 35 Pesos an hour for access. That’s about 85 cents.. Beats dragging my laptop into town or when island hopping.
This week I’m looking into another Net service that may or may not be faster, unlimited and cheaper. I’m just waiting for my current Globe monthly plan to run out. My monthly plan costs 999 Pesos (about $23 USD) for unlimited with the conditions I mentioned before. Once I test out the new provider I’ll update this entry.
Wishing you a speedy arrival here to the Philippines!
p.s. Okay.. as mentioned before, here is a photo of the actual DigiCam that I use. It is about the size of a pack of gum. Has a clip on it, does color video with sound for about 90 minutes or so. In the right-hand side photo.. the pinhole is the actual lens.
Author: Reekay V.
Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.
Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.