A hyena rendered bite marks, a cracked battery compartment and scratches on the glass covering the VU meters on Jim Kinsey's Sony PCM-D1 digital field recorder, but the unit continued to perform throughout his two-week video shoot.Tanzania (October 25, 2007)--Globe-trotting videographer/photographer Jim Kinsey recently took a Sony PCM-D1 digital field recorder on a recent 21-day African safari to capture animal sound effects along with footage he was shooting for a stock library.
Kinsey, co-owner of Shoshone Wilderness Productions of Hamilton, Montana, and a partner in Wildfirestockfootage.com, has shot for National Geographic's Ultimate Explorer, Women Smoke Jumpers and many outdoor video productions, including the 2007 Silver Telly Award-winning The Nolser Story for the Nolser Bullet Company.
One evening during the safari, Kinsey left the PCM-D1 in an enclosed leopard blind built to surreptitiously film the animals. When he returned the next morning, the PCM-D1 was gone. He thought it had been stolen by poachers, but the ground around the blind was peppered with distinctive hyena tracks, and a search of the area turned up the unit.
"It was covered with mud, and the furry windscreen had been chewed up and spat out," Kinsey reports. "But the stainless steel roll bar protected the twin electret condenser mics. There were two serious canine bite dents on the front, the glass covering the VU meters was scratched, but not broken, and the rear battery compartment lid was cracked. Considering the fact that hyenas have the strongest bone-crushing jaws in the jungle, the PCM-D1 came through remarkably unscathed."
Kinsey secured a spare battery pack in the unit with black electrical tape and powered it up. "It worked flawlessly throughout the two-week shoot," he says. "We captured elephant trumpets, leopard roars, monkey cries and wild bird calls. The sound quality is impeccable. I purchased the unit because of its reputation for extremely high-quality audio, and because I'm generally working in rugged wilderness locations. I need a lightweight, hand-held recorder that will hold up under severe conditions. The titanium body is clearly worth the investment. With 96 kHz-24 bit, noise-free recording, a 4GB Internal Flash Memory and built-in X-Y configured mics, I've been able to capture extraordinary stereo sound in some seriously extreme locations. It's like taking a full-blown recording studio along in your knapsack."
Sony Professional Audio
Wildfire Stock Footage