Monday, June 18, 2007

Faster, Faster

I recently saw a demo of this Sony XD Camera. It shoots HD and 24p. It is used by a lot of documentary camera crews as well as TV news programs. The 24p really looks like film and I was impressed. With all the bells and whistles the camera runs about $23,000.

An interesting thing about the camera is that it records media files to disk, not to tape. Very soon there will be no more tape. All of our footage will exist in a digital, file based
format. The Panasonic cameras can record to DV tape, but most people go directly to files with the P2 cards. This is the future- no tape.

Without real-time digitizing, (30 minutes of tape takes 30 minutes to get into your computer) everything moves much faster. However, at the demonstration I saw a guy in the audience still complained that the files took too long to load. I guess you can't please everyone all the time, but digitizing 30 minutes of footage took about a minute. That's fast enough for me.

More on this later, including some workflow terms I was unfamiliar with such as editing by proxy and meta-data.



Mark Leslie Woods said...

Very nice blog, Peter! Good topic -- functional displacement due to techonological changes.

My biggest observation is anecdotal -- as hungry film students way back when me & my mates begged for bits and bobs of expired film stock. Shooting was a carefully staged ad luxurious process.

Shooting DV has become almost as automatic and reflexive as blogging! If the children in the cast are nutty, no problem, just shoot a little more --it's only DV!

But your discussion assumes that the camera apparatus and editing suite are separate entities, requiring a transfer of data, currently ported by tape, soon to be disk.

But when the editing facility moves into your camera, watch out!

This has already happened to some spheres -- for example, I can shoot some video on my mobile pohne, add captions and edit frames in my hand, and then send my 'finished' footage along to my waiting computer at home, allowing me to dump the cache, in case I spot something else begging for impromtu cinematography.

Cheers from misty Wales!

PeterH said...

When I was writing the post I was imagining a day when you could do decent editing in the camera. It's not too far away, I think.

Thanks for reading.