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The New School of Videographers

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the film-it-yourself dept.

Movies 103

Provataki writes "This editorial discusses the impending explosion of hobbyist artistic videographers, in the same way that happened with digital photography just a few short years ago. The article claims that it's time camera manufacturers create camcorders equivalent in principle to the cheap DSLRs that we currently enjoy. Some beautiful HD footage, shot by amateurs, is shown too."

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103 comments

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An interesting counterview (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223421)

Are digital cameras (and even worse, camcorders), really a good thing? This well-written and thoughtful article [shelleytherepublican.com] argues that the answer is no.

Re:An interesting counterview (3, Insightful)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223537)

Technology will always have illegal, immoral uses. You can use a DVD to watch the latest G-rated animated movie or some (fake) snuff film (some would argue that such a film is immoral). You can use a gun to defend your house -- at least, in the U.S. -- or it can be used by "terrorists" to shoot your children. Just because it has illegal uses doesn't mean it should be hard or impossible to be obtained for legal purposes.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

JonWan (456212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223903)

some (fake) snuff film (some would argue that such a film is immoral).

Why is a fake snuff film immoral? On the shelf right now I have "Gag", "Experiment in Torture", and A crummy Scifi called "Decoys". If you want to go more mainstream how about "Angel Heart"? As long as its fake it's only a movie. Ack just remembered the "Faces of Death" stuff.

This isn't directed at the parent post, but to those people that think that a fake snuff film is immoral.

Re:An interesting counterview (3, Insightful)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224001)

Or anything really. Why do guns always make their way into "innocent uses" debates. It's a device designed to kill or injure, even when used with the best intentions.

The list of examples is infinite: Baseball bat, carving knife, wrench, rope, candlestick, piece of pipe.....

The important point is there are an unlimited number of things which have a beneficial primary use which, in the wrong hands, can be put to nefarious use.
Including words. Look at the sort of baseless fearmongering use this "well-written and thoughtful" article has put to innocent, harmless words.

Re:An interesting counterview (2, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224939)

Or anything really. Why do guns always make their way into "innocent uses" debates. It's a device designed to kill or injure, even when used with the best intentions. The list of examples is infinite: Baseball bat, carving knife, wrench, rope, candlestick, piece of pipe.....
Guns have a beneficial primary use for their owners: they allow them to pretend that the size of their genitalia are not three sigma off average. This is why big trucks driven by city-dwelling windshield cowboys always have gun racks in the back window. (It's also why a lot of these yahoos blow their toes off when "cleaning their gun". Which they do. A lot.) Without guns, the streets would be awash in lane-spanning H5s with horns that play "Pour Some Sugar On Me" while listening to right-wing talk radio spout off about feminists emasculating our boys by making them watch Dora learn about foreign lands. And no thank you — I lived long enough in Houston thankyouverymuch.

And speaking as an alumnus of the University of Texas, I am thankful no one has found a way to go to the top of a bell tower and snipe people for two hours with a pair of pliers. Yet. Although, to be fair, Chucky-boy did have a pipe wrench with him...

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

spacebird (859789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225935)

They also allow people to defend themselves against opponents who would otherwise be able to overpower them. A 120 lb woman stands very little chance against a 220 lb male mugger, for instance, but that same woman can easily use a 14 oz handgun to level the playing field and protect herself.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

Overneath42 (905500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223629)

Well-written and thoughtful? That article read like an elaborate parody.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223857)

We really need smiley's on Slashdot.

Re:An interesting counterview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224103)

Why do we need smileys? Are the readership all moran's?

Re:An interesting counterview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224117)

One of them certainly looks like he might be a moron.

Re:An interesting counterview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224307)

Is it really so difficult to detect sarcasm in a text posting?

Never mind. You have unwittingly answered my previous question.

Re:An interesting counterview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224081)

Did it. Did it really.

Re:An interesting counterview (2, Funny)

Fishead (658061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225023)

I kinda agree with Shelly. My wife's Grandmother should be classified as a "terrorist" with her digital camera. It used to be that the high cost of film and developing would somewhat limit how much she could terrorize everyone at family functions, but since she got her digital camera a few years ago, along with several large memory sticks, the terror has been unrelenting!

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223637)

Are digital cameras (and even worse, camcorders), really a good thing? This well-written and thoughtful article [shelleytherepublican.com] argues that the answer is no.
As much as I believe you when the words "well-written and thoughtful article" are followed by [shelleytherepublican.com], the article is full of factual inaccuracies and downright lies.

For example, the following:

The majority of liberals who own expensive digital cameras are members of "kiddie-porn clubs".
...deserves a Wikipedia-style "citation needed" :)

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225371)

You know, I really think that the next version of the HTML standard needs to add in <sarcasm> tags, just so articles like that will be unambiguous to the slow people of the world. I'm also a fan of implementing the Evil bit.

The Only Thing Interesting... (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223681)

The only interesting thing I found in that article is that it proves just how much some people are ruled by an insane fear of everything and everybody. Playing the "protect the children" card to advocate restricting cameras is about as low as one can go. Likewise, using terrorism to advocate a police state is just flat out insane.

Oh, and attempting to spin documented cases of police brutality and flagrant abuse of power as "harassment" of cops is mind-bogglingly detached from all link to reality.

It all plays in to the same attitude of wanting 100% perfect safety and security that we've been seeing lately. Never mind that the cure there is worse than the disease.

At least I got my daily dose of pure, unadultrated FUD.

Re:The Only Thing Interesting... (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225409)

You didn't think that was a serious article did you?

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223709)

Well written and thoughtful article? [shelleytherepublican.com] Hehe, pull the other one, it's got bells on.

Actually, this is excellent satire. :-)

Re:An interesting counterview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224575)

You think it really is satire? They used to say the same thing about adequacy.org [adequacy.org] but it turns out they were dead serious. Apparantly AMD sued them and put them out of business.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 6 years ago | (#21227371)

It looks like satire to me, but then again I usually give people the benefit of the doubt.

BTW, I posted a comment to the blog where I gave the whole thing away as satire. When I checked again later my comment was changed to whole heartedly support of the mad ravings.

Kind of explains why so few comments are negative... ;-)

Either this is clever satire or these people have some serious problems they need to seek professional help for like delusional paranoia or something.

IANAP. But, hey some cases are quite obvious.

Actually, if I should have tried to expose the paranoid illusions of the current administration this is exactly the way I would have chosen (evil as I am ;-) Pretend to support their case while at the same time make a mockery out of the whole thing.

Nothing is as deadly as if you can get people to laugh at your political opponents, politically it's pure poison.

What a psycho. (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223799)

I love how this article refers to "This foreign-made camera is one of Osama's eyes in America." A kit Nikon D70? I have the same camera, and last time I took pictures with it, guess what, I DIDN'T send them to Osama. I'll probably be on a watch list now though since I own a digital Nikon. Show me an American MADE camera, SHOW ME Tristen...I wonder where the car you drive was made? (and I don't mean BUILT)

The thing that gets my goat here is does this person actually believe this clap trap or is she simply looking to get a rise out of the general population of digital electronics consumers that use the internet? Are there Americans that believe this crap?

If so, I am appalled and ashamed for us as a people. :-(

Re:What a psycho. (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226061)

A kit Nikon D70? I have the same camera, and last time I took pictures with it, guess what, I DIDN'T send them to Osama.
Not that you know of... it secretly connects via an open wifi AP when you walk, I mean park, within range.

P.S. Canon are better.

Re:An interesting counterview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224669)

That's either the funniest parody of Republican wackos I've ever read, or you're a total nutjob. Which is it?

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224747)

Shelleytherepublican is *satire* people. Out of the 10 or 11 passionate replies in this thread, only one person seems to have noticed that. Everyone else, consider yourselves trolled.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226403)

Shelleytherepublican is *satire* people. Out of the 10 or 11 passionate replies in this thread, only one person seems to have noticed that. Everyone else, consider yourselves trolled.

Tru dat.

But how many people REALLY believe this satire is for real? My sister, goddess love her, really believes that Bush is not only right but the best president ever, that the Iraqis had WMDs, that the Iraqis were getting ready to use said WMDs on the US, and only President Bush can save us.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

ojustgiveitup (869923) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226619)

Yeah. That's why the satire is so good. The fact that so many people fall for it and think that those articles are serious is a testament to its power. The comments section enhances the satire like no other similar satire can (Colbert does the same thing, but his format does not lend itself to comments and also doesn't fool as many people). Reading the comments on every article on that site is one of my favorite exercises. 49% "shelley you're so right!" 49% "oh my god this is horrible how could you say this crap?!" and 2% "this is *satire*" - it's funny to see that the split on Slashdot is about the same.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226683)

You know, the sad thing is: I can't tell whether the article is supposed to be serious. There really are nuts like that out there.

Re:An interesting counterview (1)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21229043)

I am glad that this has been moderated as "Funny". For a second there I thought you were actually serious. After reading the article, it has become apartment to me that our country has a lot worse problems than readily available digital cameras or even Islamofascists.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223489)

yeth

I've Seen American Beauty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223513)

I know what we have to look forward to--a thousand high definition videos of a bag floating in the wind.

Yay.

But do they know how to write? (5, Interesting)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223557)

This was just on the cusp of being A Potential Big Deal when I was doing my master's in film school (finished in 2005). But honestly, the failure of most amateur and professional narrative (fiction -and- nonfiction) films is not the framing or the filming or the colors or the shots or the material. The failure is that not nearly as many people are as funny or as clever as they think they are. They don't have good senses of timing, of editing, of rhythm, or of narrative structure.

Over the coming next few years it'll be really interesting to see what *does* happen with more technology and less expense in the hands of amateurs and of professionals and of the "aspiring" class stuck between the two. But for now, YouTube ahoy.

Re:But do they know how to write? (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223741)

They don't have good senses of timing, of editing, of rhythm, or of narrative structure.

Fortunately, there's a ridiculously large number of professional writers who do, but who can't really break into Hollywood without so much work that they'd rather just be writers.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a new class of films where the writer is more like a director and the director is more like a camera coordinator.

Re:But do they know how to write? (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224131)

But honestly, the failure of most amateur and professional narrative (fiction -and- nonfiction) films is not the framing or the filming or the colors or the shots or the material. The failure is that not nearly as many people are as funny or as clever as they think they are. They don't have good senses of timing, of editing, of rhythm, or of narrative structure.


Well sound tends to be awful, lighting tends to be awful (because proper lighting is expensive and awkward) and the actors tend to be pretty ugly.

Re:But do they know how to write? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226429)

ell sound tends to be awful, lighting tends to be awful (because proper lighting is expensive and awkward) and the actors tend to be pretty ugly.

Been watching a lotta Star Trek fanfic video lately, eh?

Re:But do they know how to write? (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224251)

The failure is that not nearly as many people are as funny or as clever as they think they are. They don't have good senses of timing, of editing, of rhythm, or of narrative structure.
200% true! In fact you can see this effect in professional TV every day. Despite the amount of money spent, and training, if the talent isn't there...

However, the beauty of this new system is it does allow more cream to rise. (not a pr0n reference, although that is also true) I trained as a videographer and film cameraman over 20 years ago in the UK. It was (and to some degree still is) very difficult to succeed in the UK in this business, unless you knew the right people. Elitist organisations, unions and funding bodies all did their best to keep out those they didn't like.

To some degree this would be valid, were it not for the fact that the UK film and TV industry in the past 20 years is at best mediocre, and at worst, truly awful. There's very little new ideas, fresh blood and innovation. Most people with talent in the UK leave to go to other countries to find real work. That's what protectionism does for you. UK film and TV does not reflect the best of UK talent, it reflects those that are most successful at networking the right people.

While 99% of Youtube and similar is total garbage, the digital revolution is the best thing that's happened to those who DO have the talent. It makes things much easier for them to succeed.

Until they in turn create the new elitists I guess...

Re:But do they know how to write? (1)

nixman99 (518480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225747)

. . . the fact that the UK film and TV industry in the past 20 years is at best mediocre, and at worst, truly awful. There's very little new ideas, fresh blood and innovation.

That's mostly true of Hollywood as well; they just have larger marketing budgets.

Re:But do they know how to write? (2, Insightful)

Confused (34234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224375)

The same thing was said about Super-8, VHS and any other film format whenever the prices for the recorders dropped and they became affordable.

In a photograph, it's usually good enough if one gets two out of the framing, lightning and content right for moderate useful results. Even blind chicken manage that from time to time, if they take enough pictures.

For a video, the same applies but for the whole duration of the clip, and then to add complexity to the matter, the clip needs also some story it tells and the sound should be ok too. The same blind chicken that manages decent pictures will manage a few decent frames in a video clip, but without fail the garbage before and after it will destroy any possible positive impression and the result will be junk. All the time.

The result will be, that with a lot more effort the usual hobbyist will manage with video only to produce material that scares away the audience. With photographs at least he can select his three good shots and be appreciated.

This revolution will again fail to happen. Video just takes too much effort to produce results that aren't total crap.

--

Confused

Re:But do they know how to write? (2, Insightful)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224535)

Certainly there's some truth there, but digital photography has shown us that more accessibility to "professional" tools generally means more beautiful art being produced by "amateurs". I'm sure if you look at the average flickr submission, there are plenty of awful photographs, but if you look at the photos that others have found most interesting [flickr.com] , or head over to photo.net and look at their Top Photos [photo.net] [Warning: Occasional Boobies!], you can see that there is a vast pool of outstanding photographic talent that has been unlocked by digital photography.

Certainly cheap HD video equipment will lead to a lot of high resolution crap, but I'll bet that a lot of fantastic footage will come out of it as well, along with the tools (a la photo.net) to find that fantastic footage.

No need to compare to digital photography.... (2, Insightful)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224849)

I don't think we need look to digital stills to see what will happen with cheaper video equipment -- we need only look at YouTube. There has been no cream floating there. A lot of the popular stuff is purile pap generated by bored teens.

Ah but Flickr and Photos.com... Flickr and photos nothing. Still photography is much more accessible to the producer, yes, but much less accessible to the consumer. So while photos.com ratings are gathered by a comtemplative specialist audience, YouTube ratings are gathered by pimply kids who pee themselves at mento-rockets, swearing and happy-slapping.

Face it -- editorial control cannot be replaced with wisdom of the mindless mob.

HAL.

Re:No need to compare to digital photography.... (2, Insightful)

ahoehn (301327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225039)

You're missing the essential difference between Photo.net and Youtube. Photo.net is dedicated to ranking its content on artistic merit, while Youtube seems to be dedicated to ranking its content on merit of entertainment value.

Which is, of course, why I said that part of the equation is the development of "the tools to find that fantastic footage."

Re:No need to compare to digital photography.... (2, Insightful)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225269)

No, you're missing both the essential difference and the essential similarity.

Similarity: there is no tool that can find aesthetically pleasing content -- this is a job for humans.

Difference: the humans on photo sites appreciate quality aesthetics, the humans on video sites appreciate titties and mischief.

Unless you have a closed club, this will always be the way. Viddler et al are happy just now, but there's a flood of MPEG diahorrea headed there way....

Re:No need to compare to digital photography.... (2, Insightful)

g0at (135364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21227721)

Similarity: there is no tool that can find aesthetically pleasing content -- this is a job for humans.

Difference: the humans on photo sites appreciate quality aesthetics, the humans on video sites appreciate titties and mischief.
I think both you and your GP are missing another point, to some extent: It's [relatively] easy to shoot a good still photo, and post it. It takes a *lot more* effort (in terms of man-hours) to create a good film. Ergo, we'll typically find a proportionately larger amount of good still photography, compared with well-cut moving pictures.

Yeah, I'm both an amateur still photographer and film (well, video) editor.

b

Re:But do they know how to write? (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224569)

My prediction is that the field is gonna go the way of every artistic field where the barrier to entry sharply dropped - more talented people will enter the industry because they had to the drive to do it with a decent home DV camcorder, and they're gonna push out the people who fell in to the industry and are sailing along just because of their resume. This is currently happening in animation - with the influx of animation training and computer technology decreasing the barrier to entry that traditional pencil and paper methods had.

Practice makes perfect (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224609)

Many amateur videographers don't (yet) have much experience with the timing, editing, rhythm or natural structure of film. Think of it this way: music is taught to children from preschool, yet the recent explosion in home studio hardware and software has lead to a lot of mixed results. Some amateur music is really, really good; some is not. On the other hand, how many of us have *ever* had a chance to try being creative on film?

This isn't a new phenomenon. We saw the same thing when people suddenly had the ability to create personal web pages. As I mentioned above, we saw the same thing when people suddenly had the ability to create their own multi-track audio recordings. Now, we are seeing the same thing with videography. There will be a period where there are a lot of people producing junk (not like Hollywood doesn't already do this...), but eventually, the dilettantes will find something else to occupy their time, and those who are left will begin refining their skills until they are producing films that are as good as or better than anything commercially available today.

I, for one, can't wait.

Re:But do they know how to write? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225221)

actually yes. typically better than people that have a masters in film school. Talk to most of the Indy directors that made it big.

the art of writing a good story and telling it can not be learned. you CANT learn to be an incredible story teller. you have to have the gift.

The thing is you NEED to learn is cinematography. you either pay money to do it or you grab a camera and start learning it. both ways end up with fantastic DP's and cinematographers. Same for editing. you either pay to learn or simply dive in and learn.
That is the cool part about photography and video. you certianly do not need a formal education to be good at it. formal education can make you better. it can prepare you for the Insane drivel of dealing with studios, producers, executive producers, distribution, etc... but honestly you learn far faster by being screwed your first time than anything they can teach you in Film school.

If you want to learn to shoot the same thing that everyone else does, go to film school. if you want to be creative and succeed do it yourself. stop wasting time at film school and get out there and shoot, direct, edit.

film schools are great for making your assistants and crew. They do not make world class directors and writers.

Good. (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223653)

I had been using a super old VHS camera found in a garage for years until I decided to purchase a nice little MiniDV one last summer. Great purchase for the price, though sub par low light performance. I'm finally comfortable with the digital editing programs (I personally like Vegas) and have to struggle to scrounge up wanna-be actors that'll work for peanuts. :P

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21226411)

You mean I could have gotten more money out of you? Damn!

crash way too much? (1)

peektwice (726616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223739)

TFAuthor says "KDEnLive, Avidemux2 and Cinellera crash way too much for my taste"
So how often is that? For me it's once. For any software. At this rate, I'll never get to software Nirvana because authors are too busy adding "features" than optimizing and fixing old code.

Re:crash way too much? (2, Interesting)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224019)

I use Cinelerra on occasion, and find that it's not too bad... If you're willing to get to know it and learn how not to anger it. After a while you can get the hang of things and find what you can and can't do safely. At that point it's actually not that hard to be productive.

It's also not very intuitive. Again, once you learn it it's not bad, but for someone who's new to it it can be tough. This was the issue my brother ran into; his PC runs Ubuntu quite well, and when he wanted to edit video I suggested Cinelerra. He used it for a while, but decided to invest in a used Mac just for Final Cut.

So, it's a powerful program, and worth looking into. This company [linuxmediaarts.com] actually makes turnkey Linux editing systems using Cinelerra, so it has potential.

Re:crash way too much? (1)

wishmechaos (841912) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226435)

If you're willing to get to know it and learn how not to anger it. After a while you can get the hang of things and find what you can and can't do safely. At that point it's actually not that hard to be productive.


Well, as you say, it is possible to use Cinelerra, but video editing is still one of the major weaknesses of Open Source, and in my case, it's the only thing that keeps me from getting rid of my Windows partition =/ There's nothing like Premiere or Vegas, and let's not talk about Final Cut or AVID

Re:crash way too much? (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226037)

Every 10 minutes. I have my way to crash them by actually using them instead of petting them.

Her Fear Frightens ME (0)

InfiniteSingularity (1095799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223781)

I don't know about the rest of you, but this article scares the crap out of me. This woman basically takes some technology, puts her 'slant' on it by saying it is used for illegal activities and then begins her outcry against the technology. This is crazy. I mean REALLY, seriously F*&ked up. I find it hard to believe that there are really people out there that think like this. I thought it was just limited to governments, large corporations and religions looking for control that used these tactics, not soccermom down the street. Of course, it does prove how pervasive those tactics have become, that it finally filters down into mainstream individuals in our society.

You know, I can take a toothpick and make it pornographic, use it as a weapon, etc. That does not mean we should RAIL against toothpicks!!

What really scares me the most about this article is that it is a direct assault against our freedoms. I don't own a video camera, but I do have the right to, if I wanted. With all of the freedoms we have lost in the last ten years, I hope people see this article for what it is: A deliberate attempt at gaining control through fear and trying to take away more freedom from us as a result.

Mod parent down (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223939)

You must be reading a different article than I am. All I see is a bunch of chatter about camera, editing software, and video hosting selection. Aside from some brief bit about HD cameras getting cheap so more people are taking up amateur videography, the article has nothing to do with whatever it is you're ranting about.

Re:Mod parent down (1)

Cosmic AC (1094985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223987)

He seems to be referring to the 'Shelley the Republican' article linked to above, but doesn't seem to realize that it's satire, like several other posters. Or perhaps the GP's post itself is satire, and the joke's on us.

Um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224043)

I think he was referring to the article linked by the first reply.

Re:Mod parent down (1)

InfiniteSingularity (1095799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224843)

Ya. My bad. I was in a hurry this morning and clicked the wrong reply button. I was talking about the Shelly the republican article that another post had in it. :)

Re:Mod parent down (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224953)

Ahhh, sorry about that then. I tried for a minute to come up with another title instead of mod parent down but my hangover wouldnt let anything come to me (or realize what you were talking about).

Re:Her Fear Frightens ME (1)

The Lerneaen Hydra (885793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224013)

*Whoosh*
-------> joke

O
-|- InfiniteSingularity
/ \

Shelley the Republican is satire, fortunately.

Re:Her Fear Frightens ME (1)

InfiniteSingularity (1095799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224865)

Yep. Sorry, that is what I get for being in a hurry and skimming the web page before I left this morning!! However, now that I have gone back and looked at it, it may be TOO subtle. Sadly, 90 percent of that page could easily be the next headline on Fox News!! I guess that is what freaked me out about it. I know a lot of folks that truly believe that kind of stuff. I guess my mistake almost proves my point. Well, sort of :)

Re:Her Fear Frightens ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224045)

What scares the crap out of me is that you're so clueless that you didn't instantly identify the blog as a parody written by some leftoid trying to be funny and failing.

Re:Her Fear Frightens ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224171)

Your comment would indicate that 'she' hit the bullseye.

Re:Her Fear Frightens ME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21226365)

Say what?

Oh, right: you're stupid.

Hint: just because Al Franken and/or Rush Limbaugh make you laugh doesn't mean that they're actually funny. It just means that you're a sheep who's been conditioned to laugh when presented with the right political stimulus.

Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223851)

...because I was reading Amateur Photographer last week, which was discussing DSLRs that could take multiple photographs at near-film/video frame rates. The implication was that users (or the camera) would take many close-together photographs, with the best one being chosen later. It was discussing the implications of this on still photography. (Of course, it could be argued that users of cameras with high-speed motorised film transport- which has been around for years- are already doing this to a large extent).

Of course, the viewpoint of the writer of the Slashdot article is coming at this from the opposite direction, that of videography. However, you can see that both fields might- or might *not*- end up in similar places, or at least using similar equipment. On the other hand, I can also understand that still photography and videography's handling needs may not be amenable to a compromise solution, so perhaps there will still be equipment designed with one primary use or the other in mind, even if the core hardware setup remains the same.

Re:Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21227487)

My beef with the people who believe still and video photography are going to converge is that still photographers have always wanted careful control over their shutter rate, while video photographers have generally stuck with whatever rate will be used for playback.

In video, no individual image is all that important--it's the sequence of images, and if one isn't quite perfect, it isn't going to ruin the overall impression, because it'll be on screen for 1/24th or 1/30th of a second, then replaced with one that's slightly different.

In still photography, a single image needs to capture the entire message of the photographer. Cherry-picking is going to be fine when you just want a nice sharp, average picture plucked from a transitory moment in time (I'm sure it'll be a godsend for the news photographer), but it's going to do nothing for people who want to play with longer or shorter exposures, or under- or overexposing, or any number of creative variables that go into photography beyond "point and shoot," because such a camera is only capable of taking many pictures exactly the same way; it doesn't have the intelligence or creative vision to replace human intent.

I'm not an elitist by any means--I'm an amateur photographer because it's fun, not because I'm trying to create great art--but the act of taking video seems sufficiently distinct from the act of taking individual images that I'd imagine the overlap between the two is smaller than armchair pundits suspect.

Re:Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21230799)

My beef with the people who believe still and video photography are going to converge
I don't know if you included me in that; however, I was careful to suggest that whilst the technologies may converge to some extent, I was not suggesting that the actual fields themselves would merge.

Both are trying to do something different, which is why I stated that different devices may still be required for each, because even if the underlying technology was similar, the ideal handling and design of a device intended for still photography would not be the same as a device whose purpose was videography.

That aside, I agree with what you said.

Re:Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21228019)

I think you're missing the point. It's not about having "SLR" video cameras. It's about having affordable HD video cameras in a similar segment to the affordable still digital cameras we have now. You can get inexpensive digital SLRs that allow full manual control, interchangeable lenses and excellent ergonomics. However, if you want an affordable digital video camera, you are stuck with a totally "integrated" device that you can't change the lenses on, has shitty ergonomics, and any manual controls (if present) are accessed through lame touch-screen menus. If you want a video camera that you have much control over, you have to fork out big bucks for professional models.

In still photography, you have these affordable SLRs that are modular (at least in terms of lenses) and give you total manual control. Of course, you can buy a top-of-the-line pro camera like the Nikon D3 - but they usually don't offer that much more than the inexpensive ones. For 99% of photographers, a Nikon D40 or D70 does the job fine. Most of the difference comes from the quality of the lens (and photographer), anyway. You can use the same lens on a cheap DSLR, or an expensive one and get much the same results. But if you want a decent lens on the video camera, it's hard to get. You are usually stuck with the built-in piece of crap. This is where the video camera companies are falling behind. They charge a ridiculous premium for things like interchangeable lenses, which is much higher than the cost differential of manufacturing it.

the result is that a video camera is a comparatively bad investment. When your DLSR body becomes obsolete, you can still use your nice collection of lenses. When your digital video camera dies or becomes obsolete, you have to chuck the whole thing.

Re:Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21231011)

I think you're missing the point. It's not about having "SLR" video cameras.
I wasn't really suggesting that it was; that was (bad) paraphrasing of what the article was about.

However, if you want an affordable digital video camera, you are stuck with a totally "integrated" device that you can't change the lenses on
DSLR prices have fallen *drastically* in the past few years- four or so years ago, they were closer to UK £2000, three years ago they were still hovering around the £1000 mark. It's only in the past couple of years that they've really fallen to the sub-£400 level of late-1990s film SLRs that Joe Public could (or is willing) pay.

Before that, consumer-price digital cameras *were* integrated devices (either compacts or "bridge" cameras) with non-changeable lenses.

Three things to consider; firstly, I think videography is now approaching a state where the basic sensor and electronics won't cost any more than those used for still photography.... but it's not quite there yet.

Secondly, the market for "serious" videography is still relatively small, so that's probably holding things back. Of course, that's a vicious circle "chicken and egg" situation that will probably be broken sooner rather than later than the "virtuous circle" caused by falling HD video equipment prices. But my point is that although affordable camcorders have been around for over 20 years, for most of that time they've never really been capable of "professional" results; so this has probably stifled development of the "serious amateur" videography market that would drive demand for the cameras you and the article describe. So IMHO, there's a bit of cultural lag too.

Thirdly, there's one other serious problem with amateur videography that won't be so easily overcome. It's possible- if you have the skill- to take a professional-looking still photograph with a half-decent consumer SLR and some patience. But filmmaking is inherently an altogether more involved business, and even if the cameras cost next to nothing, you're still going to need a moderately expensive setup- and likely quite a few people- to shoot footage that actually looks professional.

In short, it's going to cost you a lot more time and hassle to shoot something that doesn't look "cheap". This, I suspect, is the other reason that serious videography hasn't taken off.

Re:Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21231029)

To clarify, this:-

DSLR prices have fallen *drastically* in the past few years- four or so years ago, they were closer to UK £2000, three years ago they were still hovering around the £1000 mark. It's only in the past couple of years that they've really fallen to the sub-£400 level of late-1990s film SLRs that Joe Public could (or is willing) pay.

Before that, consumer-price digital cameras *were* integrated devices (either compacts or "bridge" cameras) with non-changeable lenses.
...was discussing affordable *still* DSLRs, and trying to make the point that they've not been around long either. Of course, affordable film SLRs have been around much longer.

Re:Funny that summary advocates DSLR camcorders... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21235179)

DSLR prices have fallen *drastically* in the past few years- four or so years ago, they were closer to UK £2000, three years ago they were still hovering around the £1000 mark. It's only in the past couple of years that they've really fallen to the sub-£400 level of late-1990s film SLRs that Joe Public could (or is willing) pay.

That's certainly true. But what caused it? One thing that intrigues me about still photography is that there is serious competition over quality in a way that hardly seems to exist elsewhere in the consumer electronics industry. Are Nikon and Canon just "special" companies? They really seem to make products with the user in mind - innovating in both technology and usability. While in other areas you get competition on price, and on paper specs, but rarely the whole experience. And still SLRs, even inexpensive ones, are built to last. Is it just the demand of the market? I don't see who one of the video camera manufacturers couldn't do a similar thing.

Three things to consider; firstly, I think videography is now approaching a state where the basic sensor and electronics won't cost any more than those used for still photography.... but it's not quite there yet.

I don't see why the sensor and electronics would cost any more than a still camera anyway. I don't really know, but I would have thought they'd already be cheaper. The only part that seems it would cost more is the complex mechanical tape mechanism. However, with video storage moving to flash memory and hard drives, that point is moot, anyway. And on the other side, still cameras require a mechanically complex reflex mirror, pentaprism and shutter combo. So, I don't really understand how they make still cameras that are cheap, and also built a lot more sturdily than video cameras that cost a lot more. My only conclusion is that the video camera manufacturers don't give a shit - or that video camera consumers will put up with crap, and not demand higher standards.

But filmmaking is inherently an altogether more involved business, and even if the cameras cost next to nothing, you're still going to need a moderately expensive setup- and likely quite a few people- to shoot footage that actually looks professional.

Well yes, but then there are millions of schools in the world, where labor is not at a shortage, where they'd like to invest time and skill in production, but simply can't afford the gear. But I guess we live in a world where people actually shoot video footage with their (shudder) cellphone, and in which consumers are fooled into buying those garbage memory-stick cameras which are designed to look like a real DV camera.

And although a scripted production might take a lot of planning and effort, small improvements in gear still make a big difference to casual videography. Your video of toddler's first steps, or of a children's birthday party is going to be massively better if you simply use a tripod, and a wide-aperture lens. It would be like night and day - transforming something unwatchable and nauseating into something tolerable. For the love of god, why do so many people think they don't need a tripod with their video camera?

Great technology, but you still need talent. (4, Insightful)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223853)

Cheap and good audio equipment won't make you a better musician, cheap and good digital cameras don't make you a better photographer, cheap and good electronic publishing don't make you a better writer. The technology doesn't make the art, but it does open doors to people who have the talent, but not the money.

The same goes with video. A cheap and good HD camera will not make you a better filmmaker, it will simply allow those with filmmaking talent more opportunity to explore and hone their craft.

All this technology is great, and it's very democratizing. It allows more people to pursue their creativity, and also offers the truly talented more opportunity to rise to the top.

Re:Great technology, but you still need talent. (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 6 years ago | (#21227895)

Cheap and good audio equipment won't make you a better musician, cheap and good digital cameras don't make you a better photographer

Products like ACID and GarageBand make me a better "musician," if you first understand that I cannot play any instrument. Modern cameras make me a better "photographer," because I'm nearsighted and really need the auto-focus, and because not having to deal with various exposure settings gives me that much more time to frame the shot. Similarly, Photoshop doesn't make me an artist, but I'm able to retouch and improve many photographs.

It indeed doesn't make me a good musician or a good photographer, but it does make me a better one.

It's not HD or YouTube - it's the sound. (1)

boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223925)

I'll absolutely agree with some of the points - mainly that cheaper videocameras have made amateur videographers more numerous and producing more professional looking shots.

I'm not so sure AVCHD is going to replace HDV anytime soon - maybe for true amateurs. But I digress.

The raving about the Canon HV20 being the best consumer HD camera today, is, in my opinion correct. Now, I'm one of those new breed of "amateur" videographers, but instead of making nature shots, I'm filming feature indie documentaries with the tech - the fact that my footage is pretty damn good and I'm hoping to sell my work - but haven't yet (first one's still in editing, I've got about 12 hours of footage and some pick-up editing to do.)

But honestly, I don't think it's because of HD cameras that videography as a hobby is getting started. I've always been into videography but unfortunately, they haven't been making good consumer video cameras until the HV20. Even the HV10 was a major disappointment. Why? No audio input. C'mon guys, you had mic jacks standard back in the days we were all recording to VHS in these big bulky boxes. Why did you take them out, screwing those of us who bought cameras and wanted to use them for more than home movies? That's why amateur videography never really took off - never mind YouTube and Vimeo.

To give you the idea of the impact of good sound on a production - I'm spending $10000 on an indie documentary in New Zealand coming up soon. But before I learned about the HV20 and it's mic jack, I was going to go with a much lower-video quality camcorder because it had a mic jack for about twice the price. The mic jack is that important.

That said - I will now take the opportunity to shamelessly plug my projects.

"Makers" - A short subject documentary that asks the question: If American do-it-yourself ingenuity has become a counter-cultural movement, what does that say about our culture?

Preview Video up at Vimeo. [vimeo.com]

"Following Alexis West" [followingalexiswest.com] - A feature documentary that follows the spirit of "Democracy in America" writer, Alexis de Tocqueville into the 21st century. An American travels to New Zealand to figure out the secret behind New Zealand's peaceful 1993 switch from a two-party, American-style system to a European-style proportional multi-party system, and the effects it's had on the country 15 years later.

It's the sound -- but not the mic jack. (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225015)

Now this is what gets me... everyone keeps going on about mic jacks, like we've got to record our audio and visuals on the same tape.

What I want is a simple time-sync link so that I can use a field recorder to get my sound without the usual in-editor syncing rigmarole. (Yes, there may be some time offsetting required to account for equipment lags and difference in the speeds of sound and light, but it would still be easier.) And I'd also be able to sync multiple cameras.

As an example of why this would help, consider the classic interview set-up: one camera looking over the interviewer's shoulder at the interviewee and one over the interviewee's shoulder pointing at the interviewer. Now, if the cameras are not synced and one interrupts the other, it is a nuisance to edit the switch of cameras. However, pro rigs don't have this problem. For the indie/hobbyist, the pro gear with these features is too expensive, or perhaps they can buy one unit. But if there were "prosumer" units with sync features, I'm sure many indies and hobbyists would buy more cameras. Then I could use a single two-channel recorder (or the audio in of one of the cameras) to capture the dialogue. On my PC, I could then edit like a live TV director does; run both videos (or thumbnails thereof) and just cut between shots. Quick and simple.

So, camcorder makers: build in sync sockets and you encourage people to buy more cameras... more cameras... more cameras....

HAL.

Re:It's the sound -- but not the mic jack. (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225639)

I'm doing this already, but it is EXTREMELY cumbersome. Audacity on one screen for audio editing. Then paste the audio into Ulead VideoStudio 10's one of 3 audio tracks. Place the main camera video on the main video track. Add the second camera's video on another track. Slice and dice and watch the frames very carefully to make sure I don't have a bad Japanese movie in the making (mouth movements out of sync with the audio).

Yeah, I'm at the consumerist level. At some point I'm going to take a film class so that I feel good about getting a pro-sumerist type of camera and spending the money on the hardware/software for the other stuff (that and getting the money). I feel I have a good sense of framing and understand the theory of using the cool focus rings on a lens... I just need to learn if I'm right or not.

Re:It's not HD or YouTube - it's the sound. (1)

Ivan124 (1184065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21229593)

I own the canon md101 which is canon's entry level minidv camcorder. In the US it is referred to as the ZR800. It does have a microphone in jack. Recording in low light conditions could be better though.

Buying a camcorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224339)

I've been doing a little research on camcorders latetly (baby on the way, 3 other kids growing up, etc.) and it's a *really* shitty time for this kind of purchase. I have a 720p HDTV, but any decent HD camcorders are NOT cheap. The Canon HV20 lauded in the article would be great, but I don't have $800+ to drop on it. Even $300 is a bit of a stretch right now. And in the $300 range it's all standard def. Do I want to film a baby at standard def only to play it for him at age 5 and have him wonder why it looks like total crap? (For the slower of you out there: No. I do not.)
I'd imagine that 2-3 years down the road we'll have the sub-$500 HD camcorders, but that does me no good right now.
There's FAR too much change in the electronics landscape in general right now. Want to buy a DVD player? Have fun figuring out HD-DVD, BluRay, Progressive Scan, Upconverting, pulldown, etc. and finding something with even a small degree of future-proofness. Want to buy a receiver/amplifier? Best of luck figuring out Sirrius/XM, HD Radio, Digital vs. Analog, 20 different Dolby Digital/DTS formats, THX cert, adjustable/independant crossovers, HDMI switching, internet radio capability, ethernet connections, USB connections, ON TOP OF ALL THE "GOOD OLD STUFF" like S/N ratios, THD, etc.
I will not upgrade all the electronics in my house every couple of years because of new features. Bad enough I do that with PCs, but to duplicate this with all other major electronics purchases is untenable. And, frankly, given my current situation in life I really can only stand on the sidelines because eating and college are more important than HD video of family events. Perhaps this is part of the point of the article, but I have to imagine that if it's a problem for me that it's as much or more of a problem for others. Perhaps the sheeple are just buying something that looks decent and isn't too expensive (i.e. Costco seems to have stacks of standard def camcorders). But this is really stoopid because that SD video will be crap inside of 2 years.
Sorry to vent. I just wnat to buy some decent electronics that I can use for 10-20 years that will not be obsoleted inside of 2 years. A very difficult thing to do right now.

Re:Buying a camcorder (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226075)

In the article I mention the ZR800, which costs $250 overall. Get that one if you really need one. However, as I wrote in one of my blog posts, it makes more sense to wait for AVCHD to take off.

Alternatively, you can buy the new Kodak 12 MP digicam that is also able to record 720p video. This one costs $180.

Where are the external mic connectors? (1)

WindPwr (256720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224411)

It drives me nuts that almost all of the consumer price range camcorders from most vendors are missing external microphone connectors and headphone jacks. Unstructured camera movement and far off camera audio are two of the obvious "amateur" mistakes.

It is much harder to create video that has creative value than this article suggests. Flickr (which I really like) does have some really great stuff, but I think much of it is of a particular style-super saturated colors, lots of depth of field, ample post processing-eye candy. Look for simple, well composed and exposed "straight" images without a lot of post processing and you don't see as much. The bar for "doesn't suck" isn't too high, the bar for uniquely outstanding is rarely reached.

In video the narrative is key, and as stated by others, many don't have much to say. To put it another way if you fill up a 4 Gb flash card with still images you are bound to get something. One can't shoot days worth of video with good audio, lighting, camera control, acting, and editing quite as easily hoping you might get something of value.

Re:Where are the external mic connectors? (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226095)

Both the HV20 and the ZR800 that are mentioned in the article have external mic connectors. I don't buy cameras without a mic input either -- even if it's not in XLR format.

Photography is spontaneous; video is harder (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224753)

I don't mean this as a troll, but it seems to me that a lot needs to come together before somebody can produce a good video. If you put a professional DSLR in the hands of an amateur like me as he travels the world, he will almost certainly take five or ten excellent pictures in a year. Sometimes you just get blessed with excellent natural illumination on an interesting scene, and the camera chooses just the right shutter settings. For me, roughly one out of a thousand pictures is a masterpiece and ten are quite good. It's those few pictures that I upload and show to friends, and they make me look like a far better photographer than I really am.

However, a whole lot more needs to come together before amateurs get lucky with a video. It just can't be done spontaneously like photography. You have to plan, write, act, block, illuminate and a million other things - which is why so many names roll by at the end of every professional movie. Compared to photographs, many more separate things need to go right before a good video is produced. And all those things coming together by luck is incredibly unlikely. So the future of amateur video will still look like YouTube, but in HD.

Re:Photography is spontaneous; video is harder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21227603)

The really great photographers aren't necessarily spontaneous, either. While you need to be versatile when working on the street, and perhaps a bit less so when working with landscapes or studio, a lot of what a great photographer does happens before they ever depress the shutter release, or even arrive at the scene. A great photographer might throw out even more images than you or I would, but a higher percentage of them would be what we would consider good.

That said, absolutely agreed on the greater likelihood of getting lucky with a camera than a video... although some one-hit wonders make me reconsider, sometimes. :-)

The quick answer? No. (4, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225051)

Why?

A variety of reasons:

1. the most important part of a video is? The Audio. You can take something that was shot on a fischer-price pixelvision [wikipedia.org] camera, and if you finesse the audio - it can "look" awesome. Audio matters in a first rank kind of way.

1. the other most important part of a video is? Storytelling. If it doesn't tell a compelling story, or an interesting story in a compelling manner, nobody gives a flying fuck. The wasteland of 20th century "experimental" cinema is proof. Andy Warhol did a 24 hour film of the Empire state building, and it was a pointless waste of filmic Koolaid that the avant garde sucked right down. Kubrick, Wenders, Herzog, and even into documentary filmmaking - the list is long - and it all proves one thing: Storytelling matters, and is tied with Sound for #1 importance.

2. Editing. Editing is #2, and it's a close 2.Editing won't fix a broken story, and it won't make something sound better. But it can take a mediocre story and make it more compelling. So editing is #2.

3. Acting. Assuming one is not doing straight nature documentary, Acting is required. There are a variety of vagaries around this - charisma is hard to pin down. But it is necessary, if one is going to make a compelling video or film.

4. Lighting. Lighting DOES matter, but it can be "worked" - sunlight is fine, if variable - but it helps to have a light bounce around to add some clarity and reduce shadows a bit. As a consequence, Lighting is a definite 4th. It doesn't usually break something, but it can make something.

5. Catering. If you have a crew that consists of someone other than yourself, FEED THEM. Seriously.A well fed crew and actors are a happier bunch who can do good work. If everyone is scampering off to feed themselves, you lose control of the set, esp. in an amateur / non-union production.

So - ALL of these things exist outside of the HD format, and they exist solely in the field of pre and post production. So: now we come to amateur productions in HD:

The sound? Sucks - built in camera microphone. Arf. You can hear the camera whirring. It's tinny and lame.

Story? What story? Cat poops on bed! Ewwww! end of story. that's a great use of technology. Or: the "avant garde" film maker who sits and shakes the camera while a naked woman reads the phone book. Great. That's something I'll remember forever. After I beat the crap out of the filmmaker for wasting 10 minutes of my life.

Acting? My sister was an understudy for her high school production of 1776! She's GREAT! Not.

Lighting? Hey - those CFLs are GREAT!

etc. etc. etc. Putting ever higher technology in the hands of citizens does NOT guarantee higher quality work, except in the narrow and meaningless sense of it being in some precise and lovely format that is de facto to the technology itself.

It's not bad that they have access to the tech, it's just no promise of quality.

RS

Re:The quick answer? No. (2, Interesting)

talexb (223672) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225293)

Mod parent up.

Sound is essential to a great production. I can remember in more difficult times watching a rented movie on a fourteen inch TV, but with stereo sound going to a great set of speakers. (It was a phenomenal film called Delicatessan.) The presentation was terrific, and you completely forgot that the screen was tiny -- compared to the 32 inch screen I watch now.

The sound and the pictures are supposed to support each other -- if there's clearly a mismatch, it's painful to watch and listen. If there's a really good, it becomes hypnotizing -- think Koyanniqatski (mis-spelled, I'm sure).

mod down (0, Troll)

lawnsprinkler (1012271) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225311)

this guy's an idiot

Some video shooting and editing tips (1)

VictorGodinez (688875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225491)

Hear, hear. Audio is by far the most important element when assembling a video project. Your audio drives your narrative, and can compensate for mediocre or lousy video shots. I actually started shooting and editing video stories for the newspaper I work for several months ago, and I recently put together a list of tips and suggestions for budding videographers. [beloblog.com]
Oh, and one other thing I learned (the hard way): don't try to edit your movie in the Vista version of Movie Maker. Heartache will surely follow. [beloblog.com]

Re:The quick answer? No. (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226113)

Videography is not about making indie films with actors. At least not always. So what you say here is not always relevant or important.

Digital camcorders (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225065)

I own a Sanyo Xacti C40. I love the ease of use and it does passable SHQ video at 30fps. On a 2gb SD card I can squeeze about an hour and a half of video.

One thing I wish it had is a jack for an external microphone. I might just hack one into the thing since there is room in there to add a 1/8" jack.

The other thing it needs help with is low-light performance. That can be easily solved as I plan to build an LED based lighting ring that snaps around the lens body. And I know this camera can see infrared so I'll make a visible LED ring and an infrared ring.

Then I'll buy one of the HD capable Xacti's.

Re:Digital camcorders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225359)

what you have is a toy not a camcorder. if you want a "digital camcorder" look at the JVC GZ-HD7 has killer video and is not one of those toys that shoots horrible video.

Honestly the stores need to stop selling those other "digital camcorders" by the cameras. they entice people to waste good money on really low end stuff.

Re:Digital camcorders (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226129)

I have to agree. The ones that record in flash cards with the smaller body are indeed toys. Like Aiptek's too.

The New School of Videographers (1)

shikari666 (770101) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225125)

Many good comments about talent vs. gear have already been posted. Better equipment does not make up for lack of training/skills/raw talent but it does open the doors for more people to give it a try.

Remember when Desktop Publishing was going to make everyone a professional writer and typesetter? Yeah, that didn't happen, but the landscape did change a bit as those with the relevant skills adapted to the new technology.

Just for fun, I thought I'd pull the following two quotes.

From the Canon website: "The stylish Canon HV20 gives you the ultimate in HD video and digital photo quality with advanced features for the knowledgeable and demanding videographer." Ultimate? For some reason Sony doesn't have a problem selling their HDC-F950 for $110k. Silly pros not realizing all the money they're wasting!

From the referenced article: "... but the (sic) Premiere and Vegas are the only "cheap" NLEs for Mac or Windows that support 24p (which is important if you want to edit movies, TV shows or simply your own HV20 24p footage)

Movies? TV shows? The quality of such a camcorder is simply too poor except for perhaps use as a stunt camera or for a consumer camera viewpoint. Most of the folks I talk to who are hobbyists don't realize that the camera makers are doing a number on them by promoting "professional" features (HD, 24p) that don't overcome the basic limitations of the camcorder -- tiny imager, lousy depth of field, crappy lenses, poor audio circuitry, extreme compression, limited dynamic range, etc. Putting headers and wheelie bars on an AMC Gremlin doesn't really make it into a sports car. (And yes, I've seen one decked out like that.)

I used to be a hobbyist videomaker. It's fun. Good for those who enjoy it, but there is a whole industry built around creating the illusion that by having gear with the right bells and whistles you'll be catapulted into being a pro.

Re: The New School of Videographers (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226151)

>Movies? TV shows?

I was speaking about ripped shows, not about shows recorded with these cameras. The point was to show that 24p is important for video editing, not that the HV20 is capable of doing uber-professional TV show recordings.

Lots of missing the point going on here (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225613)

I don't think any part of the article insinuated that having cheap HD cameras available was going to make anyone a great filmmaker. The rambling on about sound, lighting, framing, story, etc. is obvious and extends to any art form.

The real point is that having these inexpensive cameras available allows those with the talent and patience to produce the quality for which cost was the barrier before. The rating sites where they can upload their product and get recognized easily gives them a far better chance of succeeding in the industry than the drudgery of demo reels and mini festivals that you would be required to go through before.

I'm definitely not one who would become a creative genius if I ran down to Best Buy and picked up a Canon HV20. All the video we have, shot on a very old Super-8 camera (not even Hi-8), is almost totally comprised of our kids running around the house, trips to visit relatives, my son's track meets, etc. It's crap, shaky (especially if taken by my wife) poorly lit and with typical sound where you can hear the camera trying to refocus. It exists however, for one reason: To enable us to remember those times when our children were young which we are already beginning to forget.

I will probably end up getting a new HD camera because even for a track meet it's a pleasure to watch. Some of the video on the Vimeo site could be collected into a atmosphere reel to play in a loop on a large screen TV during a party as moving artwork. It's this aspect of high definition amateur videos which is interesting. It doesn't have to be something you have to sit yourself down to watch and concentrate on one part of the screen but something that can be enjoyed in passing. The more cynical may look upon this idea as the video version of those "Natural Sounds" CDs but think of walking through an art gallery where Mona Lisa moved, changed expressions, showed you different sides of herself, a Canaletto in motion. Those out there with the talent will be able to produce these moving artworks and be able to be recognized.

Re:Lots of missing the point going on here (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226197)

I have already done that. I have downloaded much of Vimeo's HD content, re-encoded it when necessary to .mp4 h.264 and I play it back through our PS3 to our 55" HDTV. It looks great!

Re:Lots of missing the point going on here (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226363)

Great minds think alike! :-)

What did you use for the re-encoding?

My own implementation of this will have to wait for the projector and Screen Goo wall paint.

Re:Lots of missing the point going on here (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226455)

Most of the time is not necessary to re-encode, as they are on the right format already. But when I need to re-encode I just use Vegas Pro 8 at 5mbps. FFMpeg is able to do the job too btw.

How long can Vimeo last (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226011)

Vimeo seems to offer the best value for HD seekers but they don't have the funding that Goo Tube has and they're just not gaining enough popularity to boost advertizing revenue. Web 3.0 may be the breakout cycle for HD, but for now the crowds are dictating what services survive and that means Goo Tube.

Re:How long can Vimeo last (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226169)

Canon is behind it and sponsors the HD part of the site. So as long as Canon funds it, they are ok.

Great, we can look forward to... (1)

Whatsmynickname (557867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226375)

an infinite supply of cat, bug macro, and sunset videos...

well-written and thoughtful BULLSHIT (1)

Rockin'Robert (997471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21229323)

QUOTE: "This well-written and thoughtful article" IS BULLSHIT!.
It's a load of unmitigated and paranoid GOP FUD.
The fact is - felonious: paedophiles, perverts, perjurers, thieving puppet politicians and abusive police etc. have every reason to fear being caught bang-at-it on film, tape or digital chips.
In terms of 'IN-security' - digital technology is no different than film, just faster - insofar as film can be: home developed, printed, scanned, sent from wherever and both can be manipulated.
OTOH: As satire ... BRILLIANT!
There was a time when they wanted to ban Polaroids and home movies too.
Now, with mobile phones, you can shoot video or stills of a crime - wherever and by whomever, then send it off before the 'authorities' can confiscate the evidence ... like the taserings on campus ...
However you slice or spin it - that's progress.
RR

Quality?! (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21230859)

Just my opinion, but HD video is not that great.

HD has a low bit-rate compared to proper DV video, HD camcorders do not record PCM audio like DV video does - and actually uses an outdated audio codec (and at a low bit-rate). HD also is harder to edit and lower quality thanks to it not recording every single frame as one complete image like DV does.

Add to that, most new camcorders seem to record on non-removable hard drives or memory cards - stupidly difficult to backup onto something other than yet another (expensive) hard drive in your computer as opposed to cheap tape.

I have seen well encoded amateur HD video, and it's just not that impressive.

The consumers got the digital equivalent of VHS/Betamax, from a decent image (DV) to a poor one (HD), and backing up of footage made harder not easier. We are now moving into a world where video and audio quality no longer matters.
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