Video from digital cameras…

My new toy is the Panasonic DMC-FX50. Though I love my Nikon D70 digital SLR for ‘serious’ photography, this slim, small camera has allowed me to have it with me all the time. I toss it in my briefcase or in my pocket…no muss, no fuss.

Where I’ve developed a shine for this little wonder, however, is with its high quality, 30fps video capture. I bought a 4GB SDHD card for it and can snag about 44 minutes of 640×480 video and store it. As a Mac user, I appreciate the Quicktime formatted output as it helps streamline my personal workflow.

I’ve been in three situations where someone has demonstrated a technology, process or service and I *knew* that I needed to grab the demo in order to show it later to a client. Asking the person if snagging some video would be OK, I’d proceed to take out the camera and shoot. A little technique and a steady hand helps, but a moving picture is worth 100,000 words in many instances. As more and more of us collaborate on the Web and participate with our own generated content thus communicating in a richer and deeper way, the ability to quickly grab good quality videos is only going to increase in value.

My first night with the camera I grabbed the following in the car as I went to pick up my son at a local coffee shop where he was doing homework with others. The quality — transcoded here to Flash and delivered via my Brightcove channel — is pretty good but the original in Quicktime is, in fact, qualitatively better and Flash means virtually everyone can view it. The video this camera takes is certainly not high definition nor even digital video dimensions, but for most presentations or Web communications I do, it’s absolutely perfect.

NOTE: for some reason in this video, there is a slight warping of my head making it look a bit convex. While my head probably is warped and that explains why my kids say “You don’t get it Dad” fairly often, it’s the fact that the camera is in my slightly outstretched left hand two feet from my head as I’m driving (and yes, I’m demonstrating a couple of the techniques taught at the “Steve Borsch School of Dangerous and Aggressive Driving” in this video).

Update 6/27/12: Brightcove nuked the old video so I uploaded it to my Vimeo account to display it again:

1 Comment

  1. Bill Vick on February 9, 2007 at 5:57 am

    Steve – very neat! I bought a Casio Exlim 6.0 and the video was an afterthought but I’ve used it for one grandsons TaeKwonDo class and anothers birthday party as well as the mundane things like trade shoes. Its in AVI format 🙁 but I clean it up in iMovie and away we go.

    Thanks for the intro to Brightcove.

    Bill



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