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H.H. Dalai Lama in HD

Earlier this week I had an amazing opportunity to attend the induction/ceremony of the Dalai Lama as a professor at Emory University. It was a really exciting experience due to many things. First they had traditional Buddhist Monks praying/chanting while they played their instruments. This lasted about 30 minutes and was calming and very interesting. Though I was really close to the front of the stage where the Dalai Lama was sitting and the monks where playing, I was able to look at two huge High Def screens to my left and right. The production people had two main HD cameras in the front of the stage shooting front left and front right. These cameras were huge bulky broadcast cameras- but I couldn’t see the brand of them. Then on the stage they had two Canon XHG1’s. This is the HD version of the GL-2 with SDI out. I have never seen any footage from these camera’s so I was excited to be able to see what they could produce and how the footage would mix with the two high-end cameras When the show started, the director stayed on the two main cameras for a while and then started switching to the two canon’s. My reaction? AMAZING. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. In fact the images were sharper, cleaner and had higher contrast than the two “Broadcast” cameras. So with these Canon’s you really could have a professional live HD video shoot with these $8,000 cameras, hands down. The SDI out on these cameras really comes through. The only downside of these cameras is if you wanted to record in camera using the HDV tapes, you suffer major quality degradation. But for live shoots, these camera’s are well worth the money.
The induction and lecture lasted about 2 hours and it was one of the most memorable events that I have been too. The Dalai Lama was very humble and very very funny. He just did things through out the event that made every laugh. From helping hold the microphone when the President of Emory was having trouble with his notes; to making jokes about how people should listen to him now since he is a “proffesor”. His ability to connect and relate to the 4,000 attendants was something I’ve never experienced before. And to top it off, the video production was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

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