About 5 years ago, I bought a replacement point and shoot and it had the breakthrough new technology of being able to shoot small video clips. They were small in size (320×240 – roughly half the size of the size of footage on tv), short in length (mainly due to memory card restrictions) and jittery (because of low frame rates).
Watching the video was a whole other experience. The footage looked bad enough on the whopping 1.5″ display on the back of the camera, but if you tried to feed it to your TV, it made old Super 8 movies look like they were shot in IMAX.
All in all it seemed pretty gimicky. I mean who wants to watch some crappy video shot with your point and shoot? Handy? Maybe if you didn’t have a video camera nearby & you witnessed Big Foot walking through the woods. But shoot video with anything other than a video camera? Call me a skeptic.
Of course, like everything else, camera & video technology has snowballed at a crazy rate. Image quality, image size, frame rate have all drastically improved. Nice for home movies or maybe sharing over YouTube, but to use it for a professional television production? I’ll pass.
A year ago, Canon introduced video capabilities to it’s pro & prosumer level of SLR’s. Initially designed as a way for photojournalist to add video content to web sites (for the deteriorating newspaper industry). It has begun to be adopted by serious videographers & even film makers.
The cameras are an amazing piece of technology at a relatively low price. They shoot beautiful 1080p footage (aka top of the line HD), use Canon’s existing line of lenses and because of their smaller size they can used in ways that previous high end video & film cameras couldn’t.
CurrentMarketing shot our first spot with one last week and I would hold the footage up to almost anything else shot on much more expensive equipment. Their low cost has translated to lower production costs for our clients and has allowed some to enter the broadcast arena and at a much higher level of quality.
With broadband growing (and getting faster), the importance of high quality video will only grow with it. The playing field has been leveled a little more & I’m a changed man.