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Video and compact cameras

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by soundimageplus, May 23, 2011.

  1. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I've always found it remarkable that I can now shoot HD video on a very small camera. Ever since Canon put some serious video into the 5DMkII I and my business partners have been offering this in addition to our photography services. Since using the Canon we have moved over to the GH1 and the GH2, and have also shot footage on Olympus Pens and a GF1. This has included wedding videos, industrial and educational videos.

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of posts here about that, and I was wondering why. Do you use the video capabilities of your cameras or is it something thats unimportant to you? If its unimportant, is the reason for this that you're just not bothered, you think its too complicated to shoot and edit or some other reason?

    If you do use it, do you shoot mainly family / holiday footage or do you go out of your way to create something more personal?

    I was thinking about this after testing the video in the Fuji X100. Though little is made of it and Fuji don't offer very much in terms of functionality, the quality of the footage itself is really very good indeed.

    <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y5UG7hYSZmc" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="300" width="400"></iframe>

    I also got some incredibly impressive results from a GF2.

    <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mJf37Hy5Lc0" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="300" width="400"></iframe>

    In terms of a camera like the GH2, many think its more a video camera than a stills camera. While I don't agree with that, there's no doubt it is remarkably capable for shooting very high quality footage.

    Even many micro sensor compacts can shoot high quality footage, and in many ways the smaller sensor has advantages in terms of focusing and depth of field.

    So I'm not talking here about "pro" video but to get some idea as to whether you see this facility as an opportunity to either document your lives with moving images or use it to extend your creative possibilities. Or indeed if its just the part of the camera you basically ignore.

    Speaking personally, I have as indicated used it as part of my work. I also go out and shoot something occasionally, just to see what I can do with it. Its not something I do a lot of, but I do enjoy it and would miss it if I didn't have it. I'm certainly no expert and most of what I do consists of shots with the camera on a tripod and something moving in the frame. I rarely move the camera. Partly out of lack of confidence and partly because of problems such as rolling shutter.

    In terms of editing, I have used Premiere Elements which is very good and not too complicated but in the main I use iMovie, which is now turning into a very impressive and fast package. Being able to shoot on an X100 and then edit the footage on a 12" Macbook Pro is a truly remarkable thing. When I then play it back through my HD TV, I almost can't believe the quality of what I'm seeing. Truly astounding.

    So, what are peoples feelings on this. Is it something you take advantage of, or is it a waste of time? Its obviously something that is going to be a part of cameras from now on. Any camera with live view is giving you video anyway. Its then not a huge step to actually record that. In terms of the technicalities, thats probably best left to other sites, but its the philosophy I'm more interested in. Do you regard it as related to your photography or something completely separate? Again I see what I do with my personal video as much more "moving photographs" rather than anything to do with what might be seen as a film / movie sensibility.

    So is video a useful addition to stills cameras or not? My answer is obviously yes, however it would be interesting to see if I'm in a minority here.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    David, thanks for this because I need to be reminded that I actually have a video camera built in to my X100...but I've had it on others, too, and never really remembered to use it. It's my loss because when it comes to family and close friends having the sound of someone's voice adds tremendous emotional impact, if one loses that person. When our daughter was little we borrowed a huge video camera...and I still have those videos...we then bought a small now defunct video camera...but I still have those videos, too, which can be played on a VHS player. One of the most meaningful things about those films, for me, is seeing and hearing my mother, now long since deceased. We also have some incredibly entertaining videos of cross country skiing attempts by a friend while being herded by 3 Shetland Sheepdogs... So, yes video is important but I tend to forget about it and I really need to learn how to use it effortlessly and be ready for those times when it really would be a great mode to record life around me. A new goal to strive for! I may need some help, though.:blush:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Interesting response. I'm always a little alarmed to see what some video enthusiasts do with these cameras. Some of the rigs they come up with are very daunting. The nice thing to me is that DSLR / CSC / Compact video is very portable and in the main very simple. Even though I've used it commercially, I've always kept it very uncomplicated, adding just a tripod and a better microphone. I'm not interested in making feature films or TV programmes, I just like to take advantage of the HD quality and then have a look at the footage on my computer ot TV screen. Lots of people I guess use their mobile phones, but the footage from a hybrid stills/video camera is obviously a lot better.

    I always thought that a photographers perspective to video might produce interesting results. To a certain extent the technology has been "hijacked" by film makers, seeing an opportunity for high quality at cheap prices.

    As far as the X100 goes, turning the dial to the movie camera symbol and pressing the shutter button starts you recording. The lens will AF automatically. Thats basically it. Video buffs will tell you all sorts of things you "should" do but you really don't need to do it. Most of my commercial stuff was shot on auto and like photography its more to do with your eye than anything. If you want the Michael Bay 50 edits a minute approach then obviously it gets a bit more complicated, but in general its relatively easy to start off.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Thanks, David. I'm going to walk on the wild side and give it a try. I guess that I'll have to export the files and import into iMovie - don't want to turn this into a how to thread, but it's the simple things like this that often stop me at the gate, so to speak.
     
  5. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    They are just Quicktime files. Open them up on your mac and they will play. Only import into iMovie if you want to edit them together.

     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I see. Thanks so much, David. I'm going to give this a try...and then I'll have to figure out how to save them for posterity - burn them to some sort of DVD, I'd guess.
     
  7. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    What was the music on the first clip?
     
  8. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    Something I wrote. I compose and record music that I sell on a library website, alongside my photographs.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    David, I didn't realize you were a composer, as well. I really liked the music on that first clip!
     
  10. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    !!! Really! Very Cool. Hence "soundimageplus" I guess :)

    Edit: Can't seem to see a link to the audio library you mentioned. Could you post a direct link?
     
  11. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    We have made 3 TV ads using DSLR type cameras. Two were made with Canon 5dMkII, while the third was with a GH2. These were all shot in studio or clean locations. The character of the footage is different, and lends itself to certain perspectives.

    We do a lot of field shooting too - sometimes in pretty rough conditions of dust, moisture etc. There is some feeling that the GH2 would not handle this well.

    Personally, I do not shoot video. I love the medium, but it's a personal time thing: with work and family I just squeeze in time for my writing and photography. Video, and editing, just won't fit.
     
  12. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    soundimageplus, wonderful post here! I have played with the video on my Pen and my XZ-1, but never remember to use it 'seriously'.
    Still stuck in the still mindset I guess.
    Will have to put a postit on the LCD; "Video Dummy!"
     
  13. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    Very Nice!
     
  14. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    I think I see it as something completely distinct from still photography and something I have almost no interest in. I've used it once or twice when visiting family but not at all otherwise. I suspect people use it primarily for that purpose, especially if they have kids, but most photographers I know aren't using it in any 'creative' way.
     
  15. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I think from the lack of views for the thread, and the few replies, I've pretty much got the answer to my questions. To be honest it was what I expected. Its not just this photographic forum that has a pretty muted response to the addition of video in stills cameras, and in a way thats quite encouraging. It means photography as an end in itself is still very important.

    Shooting video can't really be made much simpler than it is in many cameras. For some its just press the red button. But customers seem less excited about it than the manufacturers. Maybe the magic of the frozen moment, has more appeal to us than the reality of the moving image.

    It certainly is to me, though I will still continue to shoot bits of pieces of video from time to time.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I tend to agree with Olli that, even though it is a seemingly logical move to combine still and video cameras in the one package given the common componentry they share, it doesn't necessarily follow that a photographer will have much use for video and vice versa. It just depends on what you like doing I suppose.
     
  17. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I'd like to remember and try to use it more often. I need a little red icon, I think. Right now, I haven't even tried it once.:redface:
     
  18. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    As you say they make it pretty easy. However to get a polished looking result rather something that looks and sounds like a raw news video one needs to edit carefully.
    While many of us do careful post-processing on stills, editing video and sound requires a whole new skill/mind set.
     
  19. ZDP-189

    ZDP-189 Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z

    64
    Apr 18, 2011
    I found and used it in my initial testing, but haven't used it since. I don't shoot much video and didn't buy this camera for video. However if it works well, I may have another go.