But What I Really Want to Do is Direct

The coming convergence is on our doorstep with announcements of the Nikon D90 and the Canon 5D Mark II, both still cameras, dslrs, offering flavors of high definition video.  The photo Internet online world seems to have gotten itself into a tizzy with buzz and noise on how great this is.  I find myself though shaking my head a bit.

It’s not that I don’t think this is cool.  It is. To see the stunning quality of the high def video, to see the ability to work in little to no light, to see the control over the image with the lenses we all already use – it is very cool.  But where were we two weeks ago?  Where we all doing our work in a funk because what we really wanted to do was direct?  Did we all have a moviemaker trapped inside of us because the equipment limited us?

As professional photographers, with the switch to digital, the stories about clients who purchase their own digital cameras and then think they can do our jobs are a dime a dozen.  After Nikon’s and Canon’s recent announcements I have to think there’s a bar somewhere filled with filmmakers all huddled around the glow of a laptop, reading the various forums and blogs, and having a great laugh.  “Look at the still photographers, they think they can do our job!”

Don’t get me wrong, I want to try the high def video on the 5D Mark II. I am curious to see its capabilities and its usefulness but if I’m smart I’ll remind myself of my current camcorder (a standard def mini-dv model) and my Mac.  I, like many, had grand plans.  I would edit my video in iMovie, make small movies and post them online for family and friends.  I did do this initially, a half-dozen times or so, but then it ended.  It’s time consuming to edit and I’m already chained to my computer for my still photography so I balked at even more computer time. Now when I videotape something I plug the camcorder directly into the tv to watch the footage.  It’s simple and easy and adds no extra time to the process. Maybe I’m just a still photographer at heart.  Are you?