Stodgy old guy beginning to think about pro cam video...

Started Sep 11, 2010 | Discussions thread
CriticalI
Senior MemberPosts: 1,777
Like?
I agree with you!!
In reply to Paul Grupp, Sep 13, 2010

Check out my other post.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=36304977

However that does not change the fact that the internet is now the foremost delivery platform for news and information and therefore that PJs will need to provide video content.

With an SLR though? Thats a whole other issue....

Paul Grupp wrote:

I have always maintained that most DPReviewers look at "image quality" above all else when thinking about photography.

This thread proves it once again.

Look, it's true that in the hands of a skilled videographer, a 5DMkII, 7D, or D3S can produce some pretty remarkable video.

On the other hand, if you think you can just bring the camera to your eye and bingo, you're the new Francis Ford Copolla, you have another thing coming.

Let's look at some of the issues: ever try to do manual focus shooting stills with an 85/1.4 or 1.2 wide open? It's tougher than it looks -- not impossible, but even good shooters produce a fair percentage of misses. Now imagine shooting a whole scene at f/1.4, with both the camera and the subject moving. In the real world of professional video, this is handled by having an assistant - a focus puller -- painstakingly adjusting the focus for each carefully planned (and often blocked) move. Mr. D3S news guy -- he's got nobody to pull focus, and he can't use autofocus. Big problem.

Audio -- good video production is typically shot with multiple well-placed microphones, feeding separate double-system audio recorders. Often there is an audio guy monitoring levels to make sure nothing clips and that there is sufficient level to keep noise at bay. The typical DSLR doesn't have any kind of meters to help you know if you're getting good audio or not -- and if you just use the internal microphone, you're going to get lousy audio at best.

Camera movement - if you want to avoid the jello effect from the DSLR shutter, you'd better have that camera nailed down on a good tripod and fluid head, and be really careful about panning. A lot of guys are using elaborate rail and track systems, or Steadicam units to keep the shots from making the viewer seasick. GOTTA shoot handheld? The best practicioners are using cages or shoulder mounts -- all kinds of elaborate stuff to keep motion at bay.

By the time you get all this stuff rube goldberged together, the DSLR is almost invisible, and the investment you made in that DSLR is dwarfed by the cost of all the stuff you had to hang off the DSLR to get it to behave like a proper video camera.

And I haven't even discussed the software you need to edit this stuff yet. If you want to be getting the most out of those HD DSLR files, you better be using an editing package that has a Codec that knows what to do with the files. You really can't do DSLR files justice without something like Final Cut Pro at over $1000 just to get started.

Finally -- that's just the technical stuff -- what about the practical things like filing? News cycles and deadlines get shorter and shorter -- it's not uncommon for an editorial shooter to use a laptop to upload the best images from a shoot to an editor moments after taking them. But video files -- a whole nother beast. The infrastructure required to get good video into publishable form fast is pretty sophisticated.

In short -- yeah, the DSLR can shoot pro video. But there's WAY more to it than meets the eye.

Look at what the Conde Nast magazines are doing on the iPad, and you can see we are making a lot of progress. But those efforts are still largely experimental. If you want to encourage the publishers to do more with their electronic versions, there's only one way to get the message across -- with $$$. If you are complaining about this, but aren't buying the ipad versions wherever available -- shame on you! Money talks -- we can't get all this cool new media unless people (that's us) are willing to actually pay for it.

Best,
Paul
http://upstatephotographers.com

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Steve

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