OT: Long-neck women of north Thailand - Sony RX100

NickHope wrote on 3/15/2013, 2:28 AM
In January I took my Sony RX100 with me to the Mae Hong Son region of north Thailand, mostly for stills, but I took some video of the long-neck women at Kayan Tayar.

As much as anything I'm posting to show the quality of the RX100's built-in mic. I think the camera work comes over as a little intrusive, although off-camera we had fun chatting with the women and bought some of their handicrafts, which they sell to support themselves. I really missed having a flip screen. That always makes subjects smile when they see themselves.

I didn't realise how controversial these villages are until I got back. Read the video description on YouTube for info about that.



Duncan H wrote on 3/15/2013, 3:05 AM
Hi Nick.

Nice film, well edited. I really like my Sony Rx 100 too and I am greatly impressed by it's image stabilisation and have also been pleasantly surprised by the mic quality. I particularly liked your timing and treatment of the cutaways to the dog and rooster - such quintessential residents of villages across much of Asia.

Entertaining, poignant, I liked it alot.

NickHope wrote on 3/15/2013, 3:32 AM
Thanks for the encouragement Duncan. I can't say I'm really a fan of the RX100. So many overlapping and complex settings. But it is small and can give a good result when you get it right. Maybe I just need to use it more.
Grazie wrote on 3/15/2013, 4:36 AM
Truly sympathetic editing Nick.

Watched your work 3 times. Engaging use of angles, cutaways and perspective, making the "eye" travel into and with the shot. Great use of negative space. I like your way of allowing the action to develop and then cutting away when the action was established. Most be the result of your years of experience when watching fish vanish from shot.

I also read the background to it on your YT post - "Human Zoo" . . . . . sad . . . .

Anyway, very different to being under the Waves!

That SONY is sure fine.


NickHope wrote on 3/15/2013, 4:47 AM
Thanks Grazie. To be honest I was a bit half-hearted with the shooting and only got into it when I realised a bit of live music might be on offer. Editing wise I just sort of chucked it together.

Their story is sad, and I was in 2 minds whether to post the video or not as I didn't want to be part of any exploitation. Some say that Thai businessmen trap them there and keep most of the entrance fee that foreigners pay, but one of the women was telling us about her children in nearby cities and overseas, so it's hard to know. But without tourists buying their handicrafts I guess life would be harder for them. Hopefully Burma will finally sort itself out some day and they'll have the option to return there.

Would like to return and make a "proper" documentary one day, including interviews.
ushere wrote on 3/15/2013, 5:37 AM
great video - agree entirely with grazie. engrossing and spellbinding. eminently watchable and informative WITHOUT some tired, jaded vo.

i am erikd wrote on 3/15/2013, 7:18 AM
As I was watching the video, a couple of times I moved my hand to the mouse to click off the video but each time I stopped because the video feels very authentic. I think that is the key to it's attraction. When you remove the VO and just let the scene unfold it really is refreshingly authentic. Thank you.

farss wrote on 3/15/2013, 10:10 AM
Thanks Nick,
Looks great and sounds good. Not too certain about audio from the RX100 in every situation. I tried it in a church and the sound wasn't so good, thankfully I also had a Zoom H1 running as well.
Agree about the menu, I'm sure there's some sense to it but it's escaped me. The lack of any manual doesn't help.

About the "long necks". When we were in that part of the world we were offered the choice to go see them but our local tour leader didn't seem happy with the idea. He didn't seem keen on us crossing the bridge into Myanmar either "You go if you want, me stay here...", we didn't. We did visit a few other villages and we did buy handicrafts and food from the locals. Always a difficult call these things and the real truth had to determine.
Best part of the trip was crossing the Mekong by speed boat into Laos. Quite an Oliver Stone feel to that crossing, didn't know we were going to Laos until we got to the other side!

Laurence wrote on 3/15/2013, 11:32 AM
The video is just perfect. I like everything about it. Having said that, I hate shooting without a flip out screen, and on the GH3, I LOVE having buttons that take me directly to all the important camera functions. The big thing of course is the end quality and you and the RX100 nailed it. Secondary is how much fiddly it is to get there and the RX100 scares me a little there.

Am am very aware of this also because in addition to my GH3 I also have a little Panasonic GF3 with a 2.8 zoom on it. The image is very close to the GH3 except in low light (where the GH3 can push the ISO a heck of a lot more). The image is comparable, but boy is getting there a lot harder. No flip out screen, lots of menu navigation, and in the sun you can hardly make out what's on the screen as you're fiddling.
NickHope wrote on 3/15/2013, 2:03 PM
Thanks for all the kind comments. They are much appreciated and give me the confidence to go on and make some more above-water videos :)

Thinking seriously of a GH3 still, but they say a Canon 70D, successor to the 60D, is due to be announced on 22nd March. Very interested to see what they come up with.
Byron K wrote on 3/15/2013, 2:21 PM
Really enjoyed that Nick!
The cuts to the village animals and music really added to the feeling and mood of the video.

Laurence wrote on 3/15/2013, 5:30 PM
One thing that I don't expect the 70D to have is the ability to shoot video through an EVF without an external loupe. Using the GH3 with the viewfinder with the screen out and functioning as a touchpad for the focus points is simply a wonderful way to work. It is so fast, so reliable, and so absolutely controllable. Topping the GH3 will be very, very hard.
amendegw wrote on 3/15/2013, 8:10 PM
"Thinking seriously of a GH3 still, but they say a Canon 70D, successor to the 60D, is due to be announced on 22nd March."Well, I'm one generation back. I have both a GH2 & Canon 7D and I must say the (hacked) GH2 is the hands down winner for video.

otoh, for action still shots, the Canon 7D is amazing.

Laurence wrote on 3/15/2013, 10:36 PM
>otoh, for action still shots, the Canon 7D is amazing.

Nothing like through the lens phase detection focusing for quick action focusing on something that's moving towards or away from you. Yeah I know. That's the one area where a DSLR beats the pants off of mirrorless cameras.