Video Monitor: Switch Hitters
Cutting costs while maximizing resources and results is a common theme within production circles these days — adult or otherwise. One method for getting by with less involves slashing crew and hardware expenses by relying on fewer shooters — using DSLRs for HD video acquisition and HD video camera “Photo Modes” for flexible and inexpensive “all in one” productions.
While such an approach may not be embraced by the folks at Digital Playground or other high-end production houses, there are legions of smaller companies and lone wolf operators that can leverage today’s technology to have the best of both creative worlds — producing still and video content in a single session, using a single photographer.
Although screen caps have long been used to bolster a website’s content, many of the early captured images offered to surfers are not necessarily considered “photo quality” — due to their typically low resolution, poor color fidelity and motion artifacts. Today, these screen grabs exceed the quality of standard digital cameras of only a few years ago, with vibrant, accurate colors, sharp details and high resolutions.
Some video cameras feature large on-board data buffers, allowing high-quality still photos to be taken at the same time that the video is being recorded; providing an easy means of grabbing images for promotional content, box cover art and gallery creation.
Likewise, many of the latest DSLR cameras shoot video, including full hi-def video with stereo audio, some of which rivals footage from decent three-chip video cameras.
Sure, a specialized device will always outperform a general purpose device, but when the intended distribution medium is the web, then using a switch-hitter is “good enough.” That might be a short-term viewpoint as technology advances and current web resolutions fade into postage stamp quaintness, perhaps leaving this content less-marketable to future consumers; but using these tools today may allow your brand to survive until tomorrow.
Check out the latest offerings in this arena and see if one will work for you.