Tag Archives: Video

HD Video: is it the new megapixel?

video_camera Previously it was megapixels that marketing materials used to influence the less well informed into thinking one camera was better than another. Now it seems to me that the megapixel war is over, or has at least been forgotten for the moment. It’s HD video capability that is the latest feature used to market cameras and camera-equipped mobile phones.

Not that I’m denying that these HD video claims refer to valid, useful features. The point is that the marketing claims lead the less experienced buyer to assume they will be able to produce professional looking videos all by themselves, using just their shiny new camera. This is clearly not the case.

I don’t yet own an HD video capable camera nor have I any experience of making videos beyond quick, jerky clips grabbed with my non-HD compact camera or cell phone. But listening to podcasts like TWIP I have come to realise that just because we hear that some TV show episode was shot with an HD-capable digital SLR camera, we can’t make the assumption that they used just the camera. After listening to these podcasts I’ve come to realise that many accessories, often very expensive accessories are used as well. Professional quality external audio recording equipment, a variety of rigs to steady the camera or move it smoothly and devices to allow a focus puller to focus the camera are just some I have heard mentioned. Learning this has made me realise that just buying a new DSLR that shoots HD is not going to let me produce anything approaching decent videos; not without learning a lot about how movies are made and buying more equipment any way.

This was brought home to me on Monday when I came across a blog post highlighting Apple of My Eye, one of the first HD videos to be shot with the new iPhone 4. The movie is short and deceptively simple and the blog post says “Shot and edited entirely on the iPhone 4 / iMovie App (in 48 hours)”. This doesn’t mean that some guy just grabbed his phone and fired off a quick video though. At the end of the movie is additional footage showing how the movie was made. This makes if abundantly clear that without specific knowledge and extra equipment, you are not going to be producing quality video.

So, go ahead and buy yourself a new, HD capable camera; but realise that you will have to go through a steep learning curve, invest in buying or renting more equipment, and enlist the help of friends before you will be able to produce that hit movie you dream of.

Creative Commons licensed image courtesy of Damon Duncan.

Smoke Rings

Zoltan Veres - Extra 300

It was only when I saw this photo I took of Zoltan Veres spinning his Extra 300 in full size on my computer screen that I realised the small bright spots thrown off from the main smoke cloud are little smoke rings.  I’ve never seen anything like that before.  Here are two crops from the full-sized image that show the rings more clearly.

Smoke Rings Smoke Rings

Zoltan Veres is an amazingly talented pilot; take a look at these videos I found while looking up info on him.

Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger

Somebody posted this music video to a list I’m on. It was made after work one day by a fun bunch of geeks.

Damn You, Music Moods

I was in Somerset Mall this afternoon on my way to pick up some groceries. As I walked back from Paper Weight (gotta check for new photo mags every week) I spotted some tables outside the supermarket and assumed them to be from Paper Weight as usual, until I spotted the sign saying DVDs: 2 for R129.95. I have a weakness for collecting older, classic (to me anyway) movies so I had to browse around and see what I could find.

There was the usual selection of lame recent movies that someone mistakenly thought people would buy, but I did find four movies that were on my mental “I’d buy those” list. Empire Records, The Commitments, Blade Runner and Seven. I also bought a copy of Celtic Tiger, Michael Flatley’s latest show, for Mela, who loves musicals and dance shows. Of course I had all these in my hands before noticing the small print on the signs. The special I saw applied only to movies marked at R69.95 and none of the ones I had were that cheap. So on my grocery trip I spent R430 that I had not intended to. Damn you, Musid Moods, why can’t you keep your evil temptations in your store where I know to avoid them?

South African Braai Etiquette

Gandalf cleans up Cape Town

The Boudine van Rensburg Show

Take a look at this cool video of a “typical” South African chick.