Vincent Laforet emailed me about this new Canon camera that supposedly shoots high quality video (his blog post here) because he thinks “It has the potential to change our industry.” My only thought was that other than the convenience of no longer having to carry a video and still camera, it seems rather insignificant to me.
Sure, I think in certain applications where you are gathering news the addition of video will be valuable, if not a requirement and certainly video will be nice to fill out an online magazine story. But, if you want to reach your audience using video then there’s nothing revolutionary here, you’re producing TV or a movie (and might need the equivalent budget with sound, editing and graphics).
And, the more I think about it the less dominant I feel video will be online because it’s just too slow when it comes to communication. If you’re offering the reader a headline with a lead photo and a story along with a video clip, audio clip maybe and picture slide show. The most hits will go to the headline and lead image and everything else follows depending on the time and interest of the viewer (headline writing is an underrated skill in the media world).
So, when I think about sending photographers out in the field armed with cameras equipped with video I can think of very few instances in the past (lets pretend magazines could even handle video for a second) where I would want the best shot they took to be on video. Now, I suppose if you can just pull a frame out of the video and deliver it that way you’d be okay, but the still frame moments seem to be rarely the same as the video moments on a shoot, so I’m not so sure about that.
I’m reminded of people who are writer/photographer and how at a certain level in this industry you do one or the other better and the result is always better when you put your efforts into one or the other not both. I think the same will ring true for photographer/videographer.