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The GY-HM650E flies to Morocco

Morocco, the most westerly of the North African countries. Both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and a rugged mountain interior. This diverse country, influenced by European, Arab and the indigenous African people, the Berbers, provides stunning scenery and remote routes not often explored by the common outsider.

Lucas Jedrzejak and Richard Heap, award winning film makers travelled with moutain biker cyclist Alun Bull through the Kingdom of Morocco on a once in a life time journey. Using our GY-HM650E camcorder they documented their memorable experience. Find out how the journey went and what they thought of our latest Pro HD camcorder. 

The Journey

The team landed in Marrakech on Monday 10th June. On the 11th they began their journey at the highest ski resort in Africa.

Lucas' Diary - 11th June

For the first time we were able to pack professional broadcast equipment, cycling gear and personal belongings in one bag, weighing 7.5kg (out of 10kg hand luggage allowance).

After going through airport security with no trouble (on previous work trips each piece of broadcast equipment had to be scanned separately) we departed for Marrakech then into the High Atlas mountains overlooking North Africa's highest peak.

Power charging access was always going to be interesting and I have been impressed with the battery life of the GY-HM650. We worked 11 hour days and only needed two batteries between dawn and dusk.



Following this they headed towards the coast staying in villages with local Berbers encountering extreme heats of up to 45°C.

Lucas' Diary - Day 2 - 12th June

An early start again leaving our hospitable Berber hosts and continue on upwards by mountain bike. Incredible heat on the way up but with a long winding, cooling, off road descent to follow. Our camera seems unaffected by the heat and makes our job of filming a journey through the Atlas Mountains an easy task. Wide and extreme telephoto action shots are captured quickly and efficiently because of the 23x optical zoom - a perfect set up for the dust and sand that we are working in as the whole camera is integrated and compact. Filming in Berber villages was enjoyable as people didn't seem intimidated by the camera. Recording and interacting with the local children was fun as the camera is quick to handle. This enabled us to capture them having fun riding bikes - all in full broadcast quality HD.


Lucas' Diary - Day 3

Very pleasant night, occasionally interrupted with a Muslim call for a prayer. We set off early morning after a Berber style breakfast and cycle through the Atlas mountains towards Oasis in the Sahara.
Today is probably the hottest day reaching high 30s°C and we can feel the camera is getting really hot to touch. It doesn't make any difference to its performance though we keep an eye for the batteries to be mainly in the shade. We are constantly flipping the Neutral Density filter switch between 1/16 and 1/64 because of the harsh sun condition -the range of ND filters on the camera means that it is well suited to these conditions. 

A few shots of a beautiful Sahara sunset and we mount the camera on top of a vehicle to catch a few biking shots towards Marrakech.
Very determined to send some footage back to JVC we return to old Medina around 9.30pm. Variety of exotic African insects in close ups as well as a real black scorpion should impress the guys at JVC London.
Exhausted but excited about new footage we order lamb tajine and later retire to our rooms.

The broad variety of the Moroccan landscape gave the team the perfect opportunity to test the GY-HM650 and its FTP capabilities. Amazing scenery with contrasting colours, sunsets, sunrises as panoramic views, sound bites with Berbers, along with the contrasting temperatures of the Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert took the GY-HM650 to its limits.

*Special thanks to Saddle Skedaddle and Epic Morocco who made the trip possible for us.

Cycling trip in Atlas Mountains from Lucas Jedrzejak on Vimeo.