The Market for Photographers vs Videographers

Started Mar 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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cinemascope
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The Market for Photographers vs Videographers
Mar 12, 2012

This is a quick light hearted post to bring some sanity to the discussion brought by those shmucks (pardon my french) who keep saying they don't want video in their DSLRs.

These people are real selfish and have no idea what a blessing video in a big sensor camera is, and what we have gone through, and still do, to get some "basic" functionality out of our equipment. It was only a few years ago that we were using DoF adapters to get some basic shallow DoF footage! Just the fact that suddenly one has a whole range of affordable lenses to use for video is a complete game changer!

Photographers should really appreciate the complete level of control and maturity they have available to them in the "affordable" 1-3k price range equipment, as there is very little to complain really regarding their still features and capabilities.

Videographers, on the other hand, have to live with a lot of compromise, and even have to hack their cameras to get what they need.

Videographers have (in the 1-3K price range):

  • No RAW equivalent

  • No choice over colour sampling, usually stuck with 4:2:0 (a bit like being stuck with 8-bit channels in photography)

  • No choice over codec parameters like bit-rate, other than what the manufacturer deemed "enough"

  • Not much choice over frame-rates, other than what the manufacturer deemed "appropriate", with PAL often ignored

  • Not always allowed full control over exposure in the lower price bracket

  • No choice over capture resolution (why are we stuck with post-production/distribution resolutions, 720 and 1080 are meant for final distribution)

  • No choice over aspect ratio (cinema traditionally uses 1.85 or 2.39 aspect ratios, but we are stuck with TV-ish 1.77)

  • Rolling Shutter and Moire artifacts due to sensors being designed with stills as a primary function

  • Not always allowed control over saturation and similar parameters (i.e VG20 and most "consumer" camcorders - also, manufacturers often pump up saturation in the lower price bracket to disencourage professional usage)

Now put yourself in our shoes, and think for a second if:

  • All camera models up to the D800 only shot JPEG - but you were indeed given the choice between "Basic" and "Fine" (you need to get a D3x to get "SuperFine" or the RED MF for, wow, RAW!)

  • All cameras in the market shot stills at either 1280x720 or 1920x1080, regardless of the number of pixels in the sensor - since that's the standard the photo industry decided upon, you don't need anything else for stills, really

  • All cameras in the market had a native aspect ratio of 1.85 or 2.39 (1.33 or 1.5 are available in crop mode if needed)

  • One needed to buy a D300 or higher in order not to get over saturated JPEGs, since lower models are factory preset to the CSI Miami colour scheme

  • One needed to buy a D7000 or higher to have manual control over exposure while shoting stills, although a standard feature for video on all models (people who shot stills at the lower price level don't really understand manual exposure... they always auto-focus anyway...)

  • You were finally able to hack your D700 to improve the quality of "JPEG Fine" (a dream come true at this price level)

  • You were relived that you no longer needed to buy those funky DoF adapters to get into "Shallow DoF" photography - but you were often told to buy a point and shoot to shoot stills, as real cameras are meant for video

So, you see, things are getting a little bit better, but we still have a long way to get what we really want...

Peace!

Nikon D300 Nikon D3X Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800
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