Our December meeting is our customary Gadgets and Party Evening. Please bring along any gadgets you have bought or been given during the year that you would like to demonstrate. They do not need to be computer related and we have had various things from wind-up torches to a paper clip even in the past!
As in previous years we will have time for some seasonal snacks and refreshments and I will bring the chips and dips as usual.
Peter's introduction to HD video started when he bought new television and a new camera , a Panasonic Lumix G2 which shoots not only stills but also 720p video.
The Lumix is a 12.1 Megapixel micro four-thirds camera that has interchangeable lenses like an SLR but is smaller and lighter. It can shoot still images in JPEG, RAW and RAW+JPEG modes allowing for maximum flexibility and post processing ability. When shooting in video mode the camera also stores a JPEG still at the start of each video segment.
The video can be stored in 2 formats Motion JPEG (MPEG) or AVCHD-Lite which is a lower data rate HD codec. A difference using a camera with video support versus a camcorder is that there are limits for how long you can record. In MPEG mode the maximum is 8 minutes 29 seconds but in AVCHD-Lite it can record for 29 minutes because the data is initially stored in a buffer memory. The MPEG files are saved with the MOV extension. and RAW files are saved as RW2 extension. Displaying and editing RAW files requires additional software.
The Lumix has various focusing and exposure modes and has facial recognition support. Unlike a conventional SLR there is no mirror and the viewfinder is electronic not optical although it is viewing through the lens. It also has a touch sensitive LCD screen on the back that can be adjusted and rotated in use. In still mode the Lumix supports film speed up to ISO 6400 although it does start to get noisy above ISO 3200.
The Lumix utilises SD cards for storage and Peter currently has a number of 16GB cards of the faster Class 10 variety.
Peter has 2 lenses, equivalent to 35mm 28-84mm and 90-400mm lenses which support high speed autofocus during video and have image stabilisation. Many cameras can now record video in 720p but most including SLRs do not continually focus during recording which is a feature found on the Lumix when using certain lenses.
When shooting video the camera only records mono sound unless an external microphone is connected. Peter has bought an external microphone that uses the flashgun shoe for attachment and contains its own batteries providing the camera with stereo sound recording. The microphone output connects using a 2.5mm jack to a socket on the side of the camera. This socket may alternatively be used (rather oddly) for connection of an external camera power supply.
Peter still has to decide how best to send video to other people, without losing quality as to create a DVD involves converting the video back to standard definition. To record as HD requires a Blu-Ray recorder and not everyone has a Blu-Ray player yet. This is something we do not consider before we decide to upgrade to HD video recording although a lot of internet sites such as Youtube can now host 720p and 1080p video so online hosting is one option.
Before looking at some of the videos from the camera that were transferred to his PC Peter showed us a clip from our first ever gadgets evening some years ago of Frank demonstrating his antique wind-up Gramophone. This certainly brought back some fond memories of Frank who we will miss dearly and also showed many of us as younger faces!
Peter finished the evening by showing a number of clips from a recent holiday in Ibiza including lightning during a storm and quite bizarrely some men moving a shed.
This certainly revealed itself to be a detailed topic and in fact we only had time to look at Peter's camera and some example footage during the evening. We certainly have scope for another meeting in future on HD video editing.
The year does come round quickly and it is once again the time for me to wish everyone associated with the club a Merry Christmas and of course a Happy New Year!!
Looking back through past newsletters we have had some good times during the year and some interesting topics presented, but sadly we did recently lose our good friend and long time club and committee member Frank. He always thoroughly enjoyed the gadgets evening however and while it won't be the same this year without him let us get together and remember him over a drink while reviewing our year's toys and gadgets.
|21 December||Party and Gadgets evening||All|
|18 January||Social evening - venue TBA||All|
|15 February||Linux 2011 on ARM etc.||All|
|21 March||Slide show evening||All|
|18 April||AGM + extras||All|
Meetings are now on the Third Wednesday of the month unless otherwise stated.
Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website. http://icenicomputerclub.users.btopenworld.com
The first visit is free and subsequent visits for non - members is £2·50. The membership fee is £20 due from the AGM date in April, but may be reduced for those joining late in the year.
Continuing our publicity for EAUG events, there is now a full list of meetings up to the end of the year on their website.
Meetings are at the Great Baddow Village Hall, on the second Tuesday of the month
opening at 7:30 p.m. for a start at 7:45 - 8:00 p.m.
For directions see below (note the new web addresses)
Tea/coffee/biscuits usually available.
Visitors pay 2.00 GBP for the evening, which is deductible from the normal joining subscription if you decide to join at a later date.
See the Membership page of the website for more information:
They have now moved to the St. Andrew's Computer Club at Britannia Road, Ipswich.
They have a full programme on the parish website (http://www.ourstandrews.co.uk), We may be able to make new contact with them to arrange something in common.
"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."
However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)
If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.
I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website.
Our website URL is
http://icenicomputerclub.users.btopenworld.com as a virtual domain,
it can also be reached using http://www.btinternet.com/~icenicomputerclub
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org