Friday, October 10, 2008


On the photography blogs I follow, there's a big discussion of still/video convergence driven by the release of new cameras like the 5D MkII and the D90. These cameras, to a varying degree allow one to not only take still pictures, but do video also. is pushing this convergence and threatening dire things for photographers who don't jump on the bandwagon. There has been a counter view to these comments growing on sites like Paul Butzi's Musings on Photography.

I've shot video before, though it has been a while. I did some community access stuff for a while when I lived in the Kalamazoo area. While I liked the documentary aspect of it, doing a good video is hard. This was reinforced in a conversation I had yesterday. I was talking to a salesman at the local camera store about the new cameras. He was a current owner of the Canon 5D and was considering buying the new 5D MkII, primarily for the video capability. We segued into talking about toolsets to manipulate the video and he started telling me about a 10 minute video he had helped create. It turns out there was a story they wanted to film for a local non-profit. For the 10 minute video, it took 5 people multiple evenings to shoot, then someone worked over 40 hours to put the show together.

Even if you don't shoot for a story and go for a documentary, you still have to worry about sound, story continuity, and that big bugaboo, editing. I think the camera companies are adding video features because it is an easy thing to add and another check mark on a marketing campaign.

Let me add that while I don't think video is good for most still photographers, there are a couple industry segments that I do think need to jump on this bandwagon with both feet. Those are the photojournalists and wedding photographers. I can see where shooting video could be beneficial and hopefully pull in more money.

Since I haven't actually seen or handled any cameras that actually have these capabilities yet, I suppose I could be out in left field. But I don't think so and will pretty much be ignoring video for a while.

1 comment:

Michael Mitchell said...

My thought is just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

The controls of most of the DSLR's are complex enough without adding a whole new set of buttons, menus and switches.

I understand that it might come in handy for some people, but if I want to shoot video I think I would prefer to use a camera specificly designed for that purpose.