PVX: Thai Drinking Game

Posted by Arlo on Jan 30, 2012 under Postcard Valet, PV-Podcast, Travel, Videos

View the same video in high-definition (720p) on Youtube.

The first time I walked into a 7/11 in Thailand, the sheer number of drinks in the coolers blew my mind.  There were dozens of brands and flavors and I because couldn’t make heads or tails of their swirly writing, I had no idea what most of them were.  I wanted to try them all…! but with my luck, I knew I’d end up with something like “Shrimp-Mussel Juice.”  Sampling a random drink in Thailand would be like Russian Roulette, only my taste buds would be at stake.

Knowing that our friends were on the way, Oksana and I decided to wait for them before playing “Thai Roulette.”  I mentioned the idea to Wendy and Dusty (from Roam the Planet) and their friend Sarah.  They were game!

We decided to film the whole thing, because it seemed like it might be entertaining for you to watch us taste all these mystery drinks and because  Wendy and Dusty had just brought us a new point-and-shoot camera (to replace our ailing Panasonic Lumix.)  It was a Sony TX10, which boasts 1080p video.  Since they had the exact same model, we shot with both cameras to see if the footage would match well in editing.  It was also a good test for me, to find out if our new camera could double as a camcorder in a pinch.  (Answer: No. You can read my thoughts on that after the jump.)

During one of our first meals together, I laid out the ground rules for the little drinking game I’d created in my head.   Then we hit the stores, buying our drinks in secret, and then revealed them to each other later that evening.  Unfortunately, when we did, it was raining outside our hotel and the cameras picked up a lot of street noise while we were recording.

This video turned out much longer than I expected — close to half an hour!  Now, I could spend many more hours whittling it down to just the funniest parts, but that goes against my self-imposed guidelines for these “Postcard Valet Extra” videos.  (Also, it sounds like a lot of work!)  So I left pretty much everything in, including some awkward jump cuts and blurry video.  On the plus side, if you stick it out, you’ll get to see every little grimace as we sample 10 crazy Thai drinks.  If half an hour is too much of a commitment, feel free to use the time markers above to jump to the section that sounds most interesting.

The Sony TX10

There are some things about the Sony TX10’s video recording that I liked, but for the most part, color me unimpressed.  I do like that you can zoom in while recording — that’s a feature we missed on our old Panasonic Lumix TZ5.  On the other hand, the start-up time is terrible and the auto focus is all over the place.  It’s quite nice to have a small camera that can track a subject that moves toward or away from the camera, but in my experience, this model has trouble staying locked onto subjects and, as you can see in the video, the focus tends to roam while you’re recording.

The audio recording isn’t that great, either.  Both cameras we used picked up the background whine and amplified it.  At least you can still hear what people are saying.

After a few months with the TX10, I have to say I’m mostly unimpressed.  I will admit that I found one fantastic use for it, however.  Slap a mini-GorillaPod on the sucker, drop it to the bottom of the ocean while snorkeling (it’s waterproof to about 16 ft), and you can get some fantastic video!