Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Video? Me?

It was kind of cool that as soon as I arrived home with the new camera, I had an "event" someone wanted me to photograph for the annual Day of Caring. There were lots of kids and grown ups just having fun and chillin'. I barely had time to charge my battery, but I made it and here are the pictures. And, as a bonus, totally unlearned, I shot my first video with a Digital SLR Camera ever! Now please, family and friends, notice what I just said... this was NOT my first video ever - you all know I have that cheap little JVC Everio Camcorder, but that's not even in the same league. Yes, in some ways it's better, being "purpose-built" and having an incredible 42X zoom lens that makes no zooming motor noise whatsoever. But now that they're putting Video Recording capability into all DSLR cameras, even the very least expensive models, this has become a real game-changer. The reason for that is, with a DSLR's large film-sized image sensor, you can now have the capability to shoot Video that would still look good on a large theatre screen. That's right- you can be Cecil B DeMille for as little as $400.00! Just to show how serious a game this has become, have a quick look at this ad. There's a whole new industry competing for big bucks that can put any DSLR available in stores today into the heart of a film-maker-serious Video Camera system.

Would I even be tempted to get into this? Certainly not yet, but as they say, "never say never". There's a huge difference between Photography and Film-Making (my most obvious statement of the day), and although I am a movie buff (I typically watch two movies every night), it is still the art of the single shot that intrigues me the most.

I guess the whole point of this post is that if you like shooting amateur video, and are leaning toward getting semi-serious about it, there is now a completely amazing emerging technology opening up that can get you into film production "on the cheap". Once again, "ho-hum, old news" right?

Right. But getting back down to earth, if you are the owner of any digital camera of any type, even some of the least expensive models (and even smart phones - old news again) made in the past two years, chances are, it will record HD (High Definition) video. It's very nice to have that capability right in your pocket - amazing really, that you can now go to a Mud Bog and record all the action to share with your friends almost in real-time! But I want to leave you with just one tip today-

Beginners Tip of the Day:

It's a real simple one - just because your camera can record High Definition doesn't mean that you should. My first video clip, mentioned above, is 50 seconds long, but it took one hour and fifteen minutes to upload it over my standard DSL Broadband connection! That's over one minute per second! If that's OK with you, fine (if you happen to have "uncapped broadband" like I do). But most likely, not all of your family and friends have uncapped broadband, and to download one or two of your great HD video clips could blow their limit for the month! "Damn, now he tells me!" I hear all you Rogers Internet customers cursing me up and down after you clicked the link to watch my hoakey little video.

The solution is simple - unless you know for sure that your video is going to become part of a high quality film production someday, be sure to set your camera's Video Recording to it's lowest setting possible. On a computer screen, or even on a big screen HDTV, a 640X480 video clip of the kids having fun, or the kittens being cute, will be just as enjoyable to everyone, as if you had shot it in full HD!

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