Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some handling practice

Nice practice session today with my training partner.  It got hot in the sun even though temps. were in the 40's so we cut it short since the dogs were panting.

This is my first video with my new Flip Mino video camera.  I like the small size and ease of use of it but I think it has comparable or maybe slightly worse video quality than my mini DV and it doesn't zoom out as far which is problematic for shooting my practices with a tripod.  It uploads quickly but then when I put the clips into Windows Movie Maker to trim them down Movie Maker has to process them in some way and that takes a fair amount of time.  The files are nearly twice the size for the same or slightly worse video quality and I'm not happy about that.  I'll try it a few more times but I'm leaning towards returning it and waiting until I can afford a regular HD camcorder (and hoping my mini DV camcorder holds out in the meantime).  I suppose for $114 I'm expecting too much.

This practice session went much better than last week since it was a lot easier but still had it's challenges.  Weave pole entries continue to be a problem for Strummer and the one in Exercises 1 and 5 is one of the hardest scenarios for him.  I was even out at the practice field this week practicing that entry.  We worked at it until he finally got it. 

Only one rear cross for the whole practice and I did my goofy little run away from the cross then quickly charge the other way into the cross.  Joy would cringe if she saw that, she was always pointing that out to me.  Strum read it o.k. but still not the way I want to execute a rear cross.

In Exercise 3 I was trying to tighten up the turn to the tunnel with a front cross and at first moved parallel to the tunnel opening which was not so very helpful.  I figured it out though and it was a much nicer turn.

In Exercise 5 I should have put in a front cross between the yellow jump and tunnel.  Not sure how I missed that.

In general I felt more focused than last week.  Tried to focus on focusing and when I remembered to do it it worked.  Hopefully some dog walk practice and a full course tomorrow.


  1. very nice!! Your poor tunnel takes quite a beating :-)

  2. Wow, I'm so totally jealous of those soft side weave entries - gorgeous!

  3. I have an HD video camera and I love it. It was a gift.

  4. I think you bought the cheap Flip because mine was 230.00. I have a regular tripod and it seems to zoom out just fine.

    Question about the wp entries. Are your expectations that he get them independent of your location or motion? Because in exercise 1., the first time your motion and location do not support the entry, second time your eyes are off your dog and your motion supports both the weavepoles and the jump (that he took). He chose the jump.

    I have trained Summit for independent WP entries but in reality, it just doesn't happen (probably because I didn't train enough to that level. There are always so many other things to train). So I always try and use as many cues as I can to help my dog get the entry which includes line of motion, location, shoulders, eye contact (if a discrimination or I need a lot of collection).

  5. The Flip I got is the Mino which is their middle of the line camera, 8 GB (2 hours) Here's a link, looks like it's gone up a bit in price:

    The Slide is the top of line Flip but it looks like all 3 models have the same zoom. I bought a 2nd generation model and the 3rd is supposedly the same except that it has image stabilization that the reviewers said was crap and don't waste your money on it.

    I do think I'm being unfair to compare the zoom on my regular camcorder, even if it is an old mini DV, to something that's meant to be small and portable and not as versatile. I'd love a regular HD camcorder but don't want to fork over that kind of money right now.

  6. As for the weave pole entries, ugh, I know, I'm not supporting them well at all for Exercise 1. And my training partner did point it out. Of course I want independent weave poles but I do try to support the entry with motion and location. In theory. You don't want to know how many tries it took me to get that right. I edited out most of the reps because nobody wants to witness that carnage. Over and over. It's an ongoing struggle for me to try to execute what I know I'm supposed to do while dealing with Speedy McSpeedypants. But that's what practice is for.

  7. Yeah, that poor tunnel, between Strummer and my training partner's lightning fast poodle it doesn't stand a chance.

  8. Aww, the never ending persuit of looking for the perfect video camera. LOL, I still havent found it. Let me know if you do. Every camera Ive tried doesnt have the picture quality that I think it should have. LOL Diana

  9. Hi Elayne - I'm a little disappointed by the whole HD thing too. Mostly the performance of Windows Movie Maker is slow working with HD and the videos do suck up the disk space. I also think Vimeo does a better job with HD than YouTube.

    I ended up with a small Panasonic HDC-SD60 that I like, it was a wide angle and a nice zoom. I've used other people's Flips and don't care much for the limited zoom. Once I started using a wide angle lens it made videotaping agility from a tripod much easier.

    Thanks for posting your training sessions!

  10. I checked out the Panasonic on Amazon and it looks pretty good, more the sort of thing I was hoping to get and not a bad price when I think of what I paid for my first camcorder. But still more than I want to spend at the moment though we'll see how annoyed I get with the limited zoom.

    One nice thing about the Flip is that I can throw it in my pocket at trials and ask someone to film me last minute and most people know how to use them so I don't need to give someone a lengthy camera lesson. I stopped asking people to film me at some point because I felt like having to explain the quirks of my camera was detracting from my warm up. Other than that though I guess you get what you pay for.

    I'll give Vimeo a try and do another comparison.