Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jan 05 2003

Baby, it’s cold outside. I realize that 9 degrees …

Baby, it’s cold outside. I realize that 9 degrees Celsius sounds practically tropical to most people, but factor in Taiwan’s infamous humidity and it feels positively frigid. My landlord just came by with a windowmaker to see if they can’t do something about the noise, such as replacing the 3-mm glass with new 8-mm panes and aluminum frames. Sounds good to me, and it should make keeping the room heated and cooled easier and cheaper as well. My landlord is waiting for the quote, however, to see if he can afford it. “So do you want these windows to be transparent?” he asked me. I nodded. A very Taiwanese question, that, as many people dislike having windows they can actually see out of. You can see expensive apartment complexes all across the city with the windows all boarded up, taped over or blocked by boxes and other discarded items because the owners are afraid someone might look inside.

The other night I was walking around Camera Street looking at microphones when I saw the new Panasonic AG-DVX100 in the window of the place where I bought my Canon GL2. I went in and they took out both cameras, putting them side-by-side on the counter so I could compare the two. I had been waiting for the Panny to come out before making a decision, but I ended up buying the Canon first, as you know. Since then I’ve heard both good and bad about both models, and I really needed to play around with the Pana to see for myself.

The DVX100 is larger and heavier than the GL2, but the picture looked significantly better on the monitor, though a bit dark. The Pana has a 72mm lens as opposed to the Canon’s 58mm, and it’s CCDs are 1/3″, larger again than the Canon’s 1/4″ CCDs, so the picture is naturally going to be better, more true-to-life I guess. I really liked the zoom and focus rings on the DVX100, much better than the Canon’s single focus ring. There have been claims that the 24p mode puts the picture 2 frames behind the sound, as well as high-contrast artifacting issues with the Pana, but it looked very good on the store monitor. The Pana also has phantom power for the audio, including XLR plugs in the camera, whereas the Canon requires a seperate fixture on the top mount, and requires powered mics. The Canon does have a greater shutter-speed range and longer zoom than the Pana, though. Both have good lenses; the Pana’s just has more glass and projects it onto larger CCDs, and it’s cheaper than the XL1S.

But the fact is, I’ve already bought the GL2, so unless someone walks up to me tomorrow and says “I’ll buy that off you at the original price”, I’m probably going to stick with it. Both cameras are ver, ver nice-ah, so I can’t lose no matter which I ultimately decide on.

After that I walked a block or so over to the West Gate District, where I took this week’s video clip, basically just to show you what a Times Squaresque place the West Gate traffic circle (not a traffic circle any more, but everyone still refers to it that way) has become. In the subway I was examining the photos of old Taiwan in the underground mall when I bumped into Jeff Steele, lately of ICRT, and we talked a bit. On a related note, I recently got an email from an old classmate from Tunghai University who stumbled across this blog and somehow recognized me after all these years. Amazing machine, this “Internet”. He gave me some publishing advice and suggestions for publishers to solicit concerning the damn book.

Last night Kirk and I went out. I let him decide where to go this time in light of our expensive trip to the Taiwan Bear Club last week, so he chose Funky. I was late, however, and Kirk was half frozen waiting for me outside the club. Sorry about that. We went downstairs and had our ID’s checked before being let inside. Funky’s been around for a long time, at least 12 years that I know of personally, but it’s still a hopping place. There didn’t seem to be quite as many people there last night, probably due to the cold, but that was just as well, as it’s usually jam-packed on weekends. This arrangement was far more comfortable, and everyone seemed to be having a good time doing the Cha-cha to Ah-mei songs.

posted by Poagao at 6:27 am  

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