Posts Tagged ‘video camera’

The Best Video Camera…Ever

Monday, April 30th, 2012
Video camera in action.

Video camera in action. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone wants to know what THE best video camera is on the market. Friends (who don’t work in video production) will ask me this question before making a purchase, “What video camera would you recommend?” I’m flattered that they respect my opinion, but the answer is a little more complex than it used to be. Today there are an incredible amount of cameras out there – each with their own capabilities. I’m hesitant to say that one camera is BETTER than another camera, because I’m not quite sure that’s the case. Every camera is DIFFERENT. Each brings to the table something that makes it unique. Think of these different cameras simply as tools in a toolbox. Each one performs a specific function and each one is suited for a particular job. I feel the same way about cameras. They are simply tools that help you to tell a visual story. You should select a camera based on the type of story you want to tell and the style/look you want to achieve. For example:

  • If a client wants the project to look a little raw and feel low-budget and home-made, I will select a camera and shooting format based on those parameters.
  • If it suits the project, I might shoot standard-definition video in a MiniDV format.
  • If I know that I will be going into a shooting situation with very low light levels, I will choose a camera that performs especially well in low light.
  • If I know that I need to achieve a rich, cinematic look with shallow depth-of-field, I might select a large-sensor camera with the flexibility to change lenses.

You get the idea.

Editing systems are now fully capable of importing video footage from different cameras (with differing frame rates, formats, and frame sizes) into the same project. So now, producers can mix and match their source footage into one video if need be.

The goal has always been to tell the best story. All you need is the right tool for the job.

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Making Time Lapse Videos

Friday, January 28th, 2011
Texas Tech alumnus Rick Husband was the final ...

Image via Wikipedia

Time lapse videos are visually engaging because they compress hours (or even days) into only a few seconds or a few minutes of video. There’s something fascinating about watching things evolve and change in super fast motion, like this time lapse of a space shuttle being prepped for launch. I’ve used time lapse shots in my own video projects for various clients and they really punch up the production value. Recently, I came across this question about time lapse videography:

I have a camera right now, but it’s difficult to make time lapse videos with it. I may know the answer but i’m not quite sure, it’s something about you have to be able to have automatically shooting every xy second. At least that’s what one person told me. I just know what to look for when purchasing a camera, if that’s what I need, because I want a camera with this function so it is easier. There is a way you can do it with my camera, but it’s confusing.

If you are interested in creating time lapse shots that span several hours, even days, then your camera needs to be equipped with an intervalometer. Prosumer and professional video cameras have this function built in. Essentially, the intervalometer allows you to specify how long the camera needs to record and how often it needs to record. For example, you might want to shoot 2 seconds of video every 5 minutes, or 1 second of video every 10 minutes, etc.┬áIf you don’t have an intervalometer, you can easily set up your camera, hit record, and leave it alone. However, your time lapse shots will only be able to span a few hours with this method and you will end up with quite a bit of footage that you won’t really need.
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