Until very recently, I had all but given up on ever producing any really useful video photography. The main problem lay in the fact that unlike still photography, where you can immediately delete any shot that isn’t up to snuff, video requires intricate and time-consuming editing that is not easily accomplished without detailed knowledge and heretofore expensive hardware and software.
The last time that I really did any serious videography was about 20 years ago with a Canon Videocam that looked more like a kid’s lunchbox than one of today’s pocket-sized multi-function units. Recordings went onto little cassettes that were the size of a pack of cigarettes. Playback was accomplished by hooking the videocam up to a TV with a patch cable and quality was mediocre at best. I don’t think that I could have justified the $1,000+ price tag except that we needed it for our business. We probably never got our money’s worth and it still hangs around the house today because without it, we have no way of playing back those 8MM cassettes!
When it comes to technology and gadgets, I will admit that I am a techno-junkie. In more acceptable terms we like to call ourselves ‘early adopters’. What this really means is: ‘I have to get my hands on it before anyone else!’ In my own defense here, I will add that I have not even been tempted to plunk down my hard-earned cash for an iPad. That may be largely because they spurned all shutterbugs by omitting photo and video capabilities.
The next step in my video evolution occurred about 10 years ago now, when I purchased a demo-model FUJI 2600Z digital camera. Once again, the purchase purported to be principally for business use. Indeed, in those days, I did have need of a digital camera for reporting on merchandising displays. However, I had originally been supplied with one of the very first Kodak Megapixel cameras at a cost of $1,100+ (to my employer). The Kodak, however, did not have video capability. I bought the Fuji, not because of its video capability but rather because its resolution was an amazing 2.1 megapixels 😉 Video, although present was at low resolution and frame rate. It produced poor video without sound. Furthermore, filming was restricted to 20 second bursts. Needless to say, I did not use the video function very much.
Another problem with video back in the late 90’s, was the fact that there were already competing codecs (formats) and many computers had neither the hardware nor software capabilities to do justice to even the poor quality of video produced. O f course, professionals who had both the time and money to overcome these limitations were not bound by the same restrictions.
We will finish off this instalment by showing you a shining example of video shot with the FUJI 2600Z in 2003, without sound and @ 10 frames per second. One really wonders why anyone would bother, since except for the fact of it being colour, it could be WWII footage! Over the next few instalments, we hope to demonstrate that you no longer need to spend a lot or to be a professional to shoot, edit and produce video and get professional-looking results without breaking the bank. If you want be automatically be kept in the loop as we continue this saga, you can follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook Fan page or subscribe to our RSS feed via browser, reader or by receiving e-mail updates. All the links to accomplish any of these can be found in the right hand column near the top of the page.
In our upcoming instalments, we will show you how you can dress up even quirky old video pieces like this into something that is fun to watch. All you need is a computer and the following piece of video editing & production software that costs less than $70!