Meghan’s Song "Window" + Hacking The Flip Mino HD ::
First things first. If you want a copy of Meghan’s song, “Window”, from the Transform video. Just click this link. She wants to remind everyone that this was just a quick recording during a practice session but it currently is the ONLY recording of this song. So, it isn’t a perfect recording but you know what? This whole post is about doing it lo-fi! If that link stops working, we’ve gone beyond our bandwidth and I’ll find another place to host it. If you want to find more of her music, you can find her on iTunes under the fantastic name of Meghan Coffee.That was her name before I ran off with her to the judge!
More after the jump…
Since putting the Transform video online yesterday, I’ve gotten a number of comments and emails asking about putting a wide angle lens onto a Flip Mino HD camera. Like I said earlier, even if I had the $$$ to go buy a Canon 5d Mark II, I couldn’t find one to save my life. Still a big waiting list for those cameras.
Being that much of my philosophy about things is doing a lot with a little, I wanted to see what I could do with a small web camera. I looked at a number of them and decided the Flip Mino HD was the way to go.When I bought this camera to do this project, I did a google search for hacking a Flip Mino camera and came across a blog post by Russ Roca. He bought a Sunpak 37mm .5x video camera lens, glued one of the supplied step up rings to the Flip Mino, and had the ability to use the standard field of view or go wide angle. The standard field of view on the Flip sucks for many of the shots I wanted to make for the Transform video.
I can’t find a link to this specific .5x lens. I bought it at my local Best(worst)Buy. I did find the 2x lens on their web site. I got the 2x lens as well so I could have a little extra reach. There are a number of these inexpensive wide angle and telephoto lenses out for small video cameras. The nice thing about the Sunpak lenses are the series of step up rings that you simply pick one and super glue to the Flip Mino.
Are these the finest optics you’ll ever see? Ha! No. We’re talking about a $200 HD camera that is smaller than your cell phone. Overall I’m really pleased with this little camera. I’ve been taking it everywhere I go. Despite being so inexpensive, the quality of the video is quite remarkable. Remember that the version you see online has been compressed a lot and then converted to flash. I uploaded it to YouTube today and it looks like @$$. I may take it off my account there. Blip.tv is really nice.Oh, if you want to edit the .mp4 clips from a Flip Mino in Final Cut Express or Pro, do yourself a big favor and download MPEG Streamclip to convert the .mp4 files into something that Final Cut won’t have to render each time you drop a clip in the timeline. You can edit the files right out of the Flip camera but as soon as they hit the timeline, you’ll have to render unless you convert them first.
Here are the conversion settings for MPEG Streamclip that work well for converting Flip Mino clips to something Final Cut will play nicely with. I’ve been using Final Cut Express 4. I was going to cut this together in iMovie but they have recently taken the ability to change the speed of a clip in that application. The new iMovie really sucks IMHO.
PS – The car shots were done with a Sticky Pod.