Home » cameras

Tag: cameras

After the Flip: We’re all polycamerous now

This morning, a tweeted link on Twitter lead to a conversation that went a little like this:

And the more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the true cause of the fall of the Flip.

The current narrative is that the role of the Flip has been eaten away by the rise of the smartphone. And it’s a seductive narrative, because smartphones are the new hotness, and this story reinforces that pre-conceived notion. But I actually think it’s more complex than that.

I did a quick inventory of the devices I have which are capable of recording video:

  • Flip Mino HD
  • Kodak Zi8
  • Canon IXUS 220HS
  • iPhone 3GS
  • MacBook Pro
  • Canon EOS 500D

All bar two of those (the MacBook Pro and the iPhone) are capable of recording in HD. By later this summer, I’ll be down to just one device that can’t record HD, as I plan on replacing my iPhone once the contract is up.

So, in fact, the Flip’s market has been attacked from all directions. Even basic, sub-£100 point and click still cameras are capable of video now, and they usually have better glass and sensors than the Flip. Kodak has expanded the range of options, with external mic sockets, and a waterproof model. And DSLRs are now video devices, too. I shot more video on my Canon EOS over christmas than anything else – in fact, I used it more for video than stills, possibly because it was my nephew’s first Christmas, and babies catch everyone’s attention….

Video is too prevalent, too common, too easy to produce for the Flip to survive at its existing price point. Did the smartphone play a role? Sure. Was it the only killer? No. Most of us are polycamerous now.

And, pleasingly, some of the lessons of the Flip are finding their way into other devices. My new Canon IXUS has a single, big red button for shooting video, aping the Flip and improving vastly on the multiple presses to record found in earlier models:

The Flip is gone, but the core need it served is being amply catered for.

Shooting Video on a DSLR

I spent a chunk of the weekend editing 30 minutes of holiday video footage down to a nice, tight 10 minutes that went down a storm with the family. And that reminded me of several experiments I've wanted to conduct with video for a while, and a few extra ones that crossed my mind while chatting with Documentally when he came to speak at RBI.

So, I pulled some experimental video I shot on my Canon EOS500D DSLR (an enthusiast level camera, available for around £500) out of Aperture, and edited it up. It was shot hand-held, with some image stabilization applied in iMovie during the editing process: 
And...I'm quietly impressed by it. The quality is pretty good (as you'd expect with a decent lens on the front), and it's actually easier to handhold than some of the Flip-style cameras, because it's easy to get two hands on it. One shot near the end betrays how difficult it is to handhold at the further end of a telephoto zoom. With a tripod, you could get some really nice footage off this thing. 
Room for more experimentation, I think. 
There's a YouTube version after the jump, for those of you on iPads and their ilk...
Enhanced by Zemanta

Read more