Videographer & Photographer

RT Panther

All-Pro
“Within a couple of years,” she told me, “the only photographers we will hire will be the ones who can also shoot and edit video for our web sites. We don’t have the budget to hire specialists anymore.”

To paraphrase, one of our state professional photographers basically agrees with the concept of Videographer being the wave of the future and the still (only) photographer dying out.

More below...
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/1113663915/opinion-why-the-canon-xc10-is-a-big-deal
 

WoodWorks

Regular
Once more, I'm happy that I only shoot for pleasure. But no doubt some professional photographers are starting to feel like calligraphers did when Gutenberg showed up.
 
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It really shouldn't be that much of a surprise when you consider that the modern medium is so conducive to video and that YouTube is a 800 pound gorilla while Flickr is a 98 pound weakling in comparison.

But having done both I can say that while photo and video are from the same gene pool they are also very, very different. It is exceedingly difficult to be good at both.
 
I for one will never become a videographer because I hate that term. Conjures images of bulky shoulder mounted VHS cameras and sloppy clothes.
 
I don't see stills fading out as much as I see video ramping up.

For years now the common man was able to reproduce high-quality stills for a marginal amount of investment, but high-quality video belonged to the professionals. Now, however, high-quality video recording has become just as accessible to the average man.
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
Real Name
Bill Palmer
Sadly, however... videomaking skills have not "democratised" at the same pace as the technology. And for the avoidance of doubt I absolutely include myself in that. As a videographer I am a fine lace-maker and I would not ever unleash the mercifully few video nasties that I have made on the world. Would that 99.999 per cent of posters to you tube and it's ilk shared my reticence...
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
Several disparate thoughts, but related to the subject at hand:

1. After reading about the XC10, which dpreview says is equal parts video and stills camera, I ran a small experiment with both my FZ200 and LX100. Both will shoot video and the LX100 has the ability to extract stills from high-res video. The question I wanted to answer was, "Can I shoot stills while shooting video with either of these cameras?" The answer is YES! and the activation of the stills shutter doesn't seem to affect the video quality, which appears uninterrupted. I was going to try to post the results here at PL, but that would involve uploading YouTube videos, etc., and I lost interest. But take my word for it, with the FZ200 and LX100 you can shoot stills while shooting video.

2. In a galaxy far, far away, long, long ago, I ran a two-man video production unit at GE's Research and Development Center outside of Schenectady, NY. It takes a huge amount of work to produce really good video. Why? Because every frame we see is automatically and subconsciously compared to the extremely high quality video we see on broadcast television. Great video requires great planning, great scripting, great shooting, great editing, and every step (at least back when I did it) was fraught with great potential technical peril. Unexpected issues can bite you in the posterior when you least expect them. I'm just saying . . .

3. Finally, IMHO, good video virtually requires a tripod or steadycam for steady shooting. A lot of the handheld stuff I see makes want to mainline dramamine (an anti-nausea medicine).

Cheers, Jock
 
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Lightmancer

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
Real Name
Bill Palmer
Jock you've summed it up better than I could. My closest analogy would be cycling or driving along the same road; different pace, different skills, different muscles used, different perception of the same journey. Or consider when you are driving upon a road you know well, but are held up by a traffic jam. You find yourself looking into houses and gardens at the roadside, really seeing them rather than gaining at best a fleeting impression of them as you flash past...
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
My closest analogy would be cycling or driving along the same road; different pace, different skills, different muscles used, different perception of the same journey. Or consider when you are driving upon a road you know well, but are held up by a traffic jam. You find yourself looking into houses and gardens at the roadside, really seeing them rather than gaining at best a fleeting impression of them as you flash past...

Just so.

Cheers, Jock
 

Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Chuck
Apologies for resurrecting a three-month old thread...

I help manage a Facebook page for a non-profit nature education organization. When we post a nice still photo, we may get several dozen "hits". On the other hand, when we post a video - however technically deficient it might be - the view rate goes into the hundreds or more. People - at least those on FB - are drawn to video in ways that are hard to explain.

I'm trying to help the organization produce some better quality videos without going broke adding new equipment. My ancient Panny GH2 and nearly-as-old LX7 are the primary tools at this time. Apple's iMovie makes putting together videos (and composite stills/videos) a pleasure, although it still takes hours for me to put together even a short clip. A GH4 and Final Cut Pro X would be an ideal combination, but I'm just not sure the lure of video will last for me. Right now, it's fun to learn a new skill and try to make the most of the old toolkit.
 

Kin Lau

Regular
I still use my GH2, and other than low light, it's still very good. For FB, it'll be good enough. Shoot in MP4 rather than AVCHD to cut down on transcoding time, and learn to shoot for the edit.
 

Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Chuck
I still use my GH2, and other than low light, it's still very good. For FB, it'll be good enough. Shoot in MP4 rather than AVCHD to cut down on transcoding time, and learn to shoot for the edit.

Kin, thanks very much for the words of advice. Most of our targets will be outdoors, so low light won't really be an issue. We're more likely to have too much light, so ND filters are making their way into our kit.

Do you have recommendations for lenses to use with the GH2? Unfortunately, I sold the Pana 14-140 before I got into video...
 
Kin, thanks very much for the words of advice. Most of our targets will be outdoors, so low light won't really be an issue. We're more likely to have too much light, so ND filters are making their way into our kit.

Do you have recommendations for lenses to use with the GH2? Unfortunately, I sold the Pana 14-140 before I got into video...

GH2 should be more than good enough for Facebook. If you are shooting outdoors, the biggest improvements you can make will be in quality of light and audio. If you are shooting talking heads in sunlight, try to soften the light with a diffuser and use a reflector to soften shadows.

Regarding lenses, the Panasonic 12-35 is a great all-purpose interview lens. I've also had great luck using adapted Pentax lenses.


Here's a still pulled from GH2 footage with a Pentax M28mm F3.5 outdoors
7304732014_63bc250272_c.jpg
Screenshot - Panasonic GH2 with Pentax M28mm F3.5
by John Flores, on Flickr

Here's another still pulled from GH2 footage with a Pentax DA70mm F2.4 indoors.
7140739833_9e857a6f62_c.jpg
Video Still: Daniel Sanabria, Marine Veteran
by John Flores, on Flickr

Work on lighting and audio and the GH2 should serve you fine for several more years.
 

gryphon1911

All-Pro
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Andrew
If it ever came down to video being the main focus, I would seriously consider getting out of the business all together. It just doesn't interest me as the main focus.

I'm actively looking at doing some hybrid stuff, stills with video - but I'm a long way off from being able to offer that as a service I would expect people to pay for. It's a whole other investment in microphones, different lighting and a whole different shooting mindset, additional software.

It might be refreshing to be a stills only amateur again!
 

Crsnydertx

Top Veteran
Location
Houston, TX
Real Name
Chuck
GH2 should be more than good enough for Facebook. If you are shooting outdoors, the biggest improvements you can make will be in quality of light and audio. If you are shooting talking heads in sunlight, try to soften the light with a diffuser and use a reflector to soften shadows.

Regarding lenses, the Panasonic 12-35 is a great all-purpose interview lens. I've also had great luck using adapted Pentax lenses.


Here's a still pulled from GH2 footage with a Pentax M28mm F3.5 outdoors
7304732014_63bc250272_c.jpg
Screenshot - Panasonic GH2 with Pentax M28mm F3.5
by John Flores, on Flickr

Here's another still pulled from GH2 footage with a Pentax DA70mm F2.4 indoors.
7140739833_9e857a6f62_c.jpg
Video Still: Daniel Sanabria, Marine Veteran
by John Flores, on Flickr

Work on lighting and audio and the GH2 should serve you fine for several more years.

John, thanks for the advice and the words of encouragement. Recently I've been falling under the siren sound of 4K and UHD video, while in fact I'm nowhere near ready to use that technology effectively. My lightly used GH2 just took on a new luster...

Lens-wise, I don't have the 12-35 and it's not in the short-term plan. I do have the original Panny 14-45 kit lens, which used to have a pretty good reputation for stills. Do you see any significant disadvantages for using that lens so long as I'm not zooming during recording?

Regarding sound, thanks for reinforcing some lessons I've been getting online. I do have an external mic for the GH2 (Rode Videomic), along with an audio recorder (Zoom H2N) and wireless lapel mic (low-end Audio-Technica). Some familiarity with Audacity, curiosity about PluralEyes. Primary editing software is iMovie 10, secondary Adobe Premiere Elements, long-term interest in Final Cut Pro X. Total novice on lighting; time to gain some knowledge.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise; it's much appreciated.
 
John, thanks for the advice and the words of encouragement. Recently I've been falling under the siren sound of 4K and UHD video, while in fact I'm nowhere near ready to use that technology effectively. My lightly used GH2 just took on a new luster...

Lens-wise, I don't have the 12-35 and it's not in the short-term plan. I do have the original Panny 14-45 kit lens, which used to have a pretty good reputation for stills. Do you see any significant disadvantages for using that lens so long as I'm not zooming during recording?

Regarding sound, thanks for reinforcing some lessons I've been getting online. I do have an external mic for the GH2 (Rode Videomic), along with an audio recorder (Zoom H2N) and wireless lapel mic (low-end Audio-Technica). Some familiarity with Audacity, curiosity about PluralEyes. Primary editing software is iMovie 10, secondary Adobe Premiere Elements, long-term interest in Final Cut Pro X. Total novice on lighting; time to gain some knowledge.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise; it's much appreciated.

Glad to help, Chuck. I've learned so much online so I'm just paying back.

I haven't used it myself but the 14-45 should be fine since 2k video is not as demanding on lenses as stills. Just make sure that you have enough light and work you camera-subject-background distances to get the kind of DOF that you want. Contrary to many others, I don't like ultra-thin DOF, particularly when filming head and shoulder shots. Sure, I like the background to be a little out of focus, but I don't want the subject to go out of focus if she or he leans forward or back. (http://www.johnmflores.com/razor-thin-depth-of-field-is-a-harsh-mistress/). So for single person interviews I'm usually at F3.5 or F4.0 and carefully monitoring DOF. If you are shooting talking subject, you might also want to experiment with the GH2's Face Detection AF. It works pretty well for an older camera.

You can also build a manual focus prime kit quite cheaply with a mount adapter. The good thing about old manual focus lenses is that the focus ring has a long throw to help you fine tune focus.

Regarding audio, nothing beats having the mic right up to the subject's lips. Everything else is an often necessary compromise. I prefer lavaliers for single person subjects since I'm often a single person crew and don't have someone to hold a boom.

One last piece of advice, get a video-specific tripod, one with a bowl that let's you quickly and accurate level the camera. Saves so much time. I've heard good things about Davis & Sandford and they have some very affordable models.

Good luck!
 
If it ever came down to video being the main focus, I would seriously consider getting out of the business all together. It just doesn't interest me as the main focus.

I'm actively looking at doing some hybrid stuff, stills with video - but I'm a long way off from being able to offer that as a service I would expect people to pay for. It's a whole other investment in microphones, different lighting and a whole different shooting mindset, additional software.

It might be refreshing to be a stills only amateur again!

Funny, when I sit and talk to people and then take their picture, I often wish that I was shooting video because I love the stories that they tell.
 

Kin Lau

Regular
Kin, thanks very much for the words of advice. Most of our targets will be outdoors, so low light won't really be an issue. We're more likely to have too much light, so ND filters are making their way into our kit.

Do you have recommendations for lenses to use with the GH2? Unfortunately, I sold the Pana 14-140 before I got into video...

I see you have the 14-45, and it should be fine. Even 4K video is only 8mp, far below the 12mp of stills.

The big problem is stuff like blown highlights, under exposure and chromatic aberrations that you need to control in-camera, rather than trying to fix in post.

With video, it pays to spend more time checking the settings before you start shooting.

Good audio is a much bigger deal than people think. It's not hard, even a cheap lavalier mic plus pocket recorder is many times better than on-camera audio. Just make a loud clap at the beginning, and you'll be able to easily sync the beats later in post.
 

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