Top Ten Reasons You Should Be Shooting Video


Your Camera Can Do It, So Why Can’t You?
Most recent model DSLRs shoot excellent video, as do many of the smaller Mirrorless cameras. So the only thing keeping you from shooting video, is learning how to put your camera in Video Mode.

Your Lenses Can Do It, Too
Many DSLR and Mirrorless Lenses are great for starting out in video work. Yes, there are some limitations, but you can learn about these as you go along, and make your future purchase choices accordingly.

Your Current Gear is Not a Bad Starting Place
Whatever you currently own for batteries, bags, tripods and continuous lighting can be used for initial video work. Yes, there are a few items that pop to the top of the list as early gear additions, such as a video pan head if you currently use ball heads, and continuous LED lighting, if you currently use strobes or SpeedLites. But there is not reason, particularly for outdoor shooting, not to start with that you have.

Video Editing Software is No Longer a Big Expense
Final Cut Pro X is a full video editing suite with most of what an intro user could ask for, at the amazing price of $299US (the previous version of Final Cut was $1000). iMovie is now free with the purchase of a Mac, and shares much of the Final Cut interface, so starting with iMovie and moving to Final Cut is painless. Other editing apps are dropping in price under the pressure from the new price-points on the Apple software, so Windows users are in line to save money as well.

Video Is Becoming Mainstream, and Easily Distributed
Not that long ago, only pros shot video, and only corporations had much use for it. The distinction between a magazine, newspaper or book, and a website, blog or e-book is blurring quickly. Electronic media can use video where traditional media used only images. And the democratization of the web means that individuals and small outfits are frequent participants, as well as the big corporations. So your motion work can find hundreds of new locations to be used, and to be seen, which did not exist a few years ago.

Bandwidth is Making Video Viewing Easy
The days when it was a lot of work to get digital footage onto your TV or Computer are fast disappearing. We now think nothing of streaming a Netflix film instead of playing a DVD. And we watch video on an increasing number of devices; phones and tablets being the most prevalent.

Social Video is Growing
More and more social media locations are now accepting video. Your work can be placed on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or a number of other locations, or linked to from more common video locations such as YouTube.

Still is Starting to Look Less Interesting
A well shot and edited image, carefully printed at a larger size, is still a wonderful thing. But the number of people who will see your prints is shrinking, and the number who might see your images digitally is growing. In electronic form, resolution is replaced, to some degree, by motion. People are coming to expect their images to move; and to have sound.

Dimensionality Can Increase
We work hard to add depth and dimension to our still images. But there are other techniques, available in video, which can add further dimension not possible in still images. Once you learn to use these techniques, you will miss them when they are not available; you’ll start thinking as a Director of Photography, not just a Photographer.

The Future Awaits You
Digital photography has been an adventure. But its reaching a more static phase in its life, where an increase in resolution or dynamic range is about all we can expect to see over the next few years. But digital video is growing at a mad rate. We can look forward to many improvements, and growth in the aesthetics of video, as well as the delivery techniques for motion. If you’re the type of person inspired by a challenge, then motion is the biggest challenge available in photography today.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2013. Website: Return to Blog’s Main Page

Published by cdtobie

This blog covers a range of issues of interest to photographers and those involved in the digital photographic workflow, digital tools and platforms, and fine art output.

One thought on “Top Ten Reasons You Should Be Shooting Video

  1. Excellent – and timely – post! Video is so much easier to do now. I’ve personally created a bunch of videos using my Mac’s built-in iMovie app with just-fine results. In fact, I made a dirt-cheap video for HP showing Elliott Erwitt making his first hybrid platinum print. The video cost a total of $200 to make (all for the narrator) compared to the usual $15-25k fee to the agencies that make HP’s videos. And guess what? That little video has more YouTube views (~14k) than the ones costing 75-100 times the cost. Here’s the link to that video:

    (notice that I combined DSLR stills with mostly available-light video on a low-end cross-over Nikon P7000)
    So… you can do it!

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