Posted by: David Vernon | September 2, 2009

Another Elephant In The Room

First – check out this video from photographer Ami Vitale – which doth rocketh and whom we’ve featured on the CIPB before. Then come back for a short discussion.

If you made it to the end, you saw this entire video was shot on Nikon’s new D300s DSLR. High-definition video is becoming more and more common on still cameras. Nikon features it on their D5000, D90, and the D300s. Canon has it on the T1i, 5D Mk II, and new 7D. In little time it will be in every DSLR sold. Don’t want video in your camera? Well suck it up cause you’re gonna get it.

I was speaking with a buddy tonight about the new 7D and the fact that it has video. He was nonplussed and it was a nonstarter. The funny thing is he and I both spent a number of years working in television in Central Illinois. We both have earned a paycheck shooting video and we’re both somewhat indifferent to the fact that video is becoming prevalent in our still cameras.

But here’s the thing. I’ve been on this duChemin-induced kick about vision and telling compelling stories lately. Damn the technology – it’s the story and executing your vision of it that matters. And one look at Vitale’s video and you realize the combination of video and stills makes for a very compelling storytelling vehicle. And a compelling way to achieve your vision. And even if you don’t know how to – or don’t want to – shoot video, it’s going to become a tool in the gear toolbox. And tools help build the vision.

The next DSLR I get… I’m gonna make sure it has video capabilities and I’m going to use them – even if I’m notplussed today. Because the stories may demand it.

Wanna be inspired a little more. Check out this excellent interview with Ami (done by Steve Casimiro) – she really does have the shizzle. And I seem to recall that’s a good thing.


  1. Hmmm… I’ve never understood still photogs desire to do video.

    Maybe it’s a desire they have for using Adobe products that they haven’t had a need to use in the past? Lol

    First off the video is amazing. I love how they mixed the still shots at the end. What I came away with overall however was a thought more on vision and how traditional still vs traditional video photographers go about it. It’s an interesting discussion in itself but will let that go for another time.

    The question I ask about DSLR video falls to it’s feasability for the future. Do the major camera manufacturers hope to eventually get into the traditional commercial television markets? Maybe the wedding photographer looking to grab a few more dollars instead of watching them go to the video crew? Or is this just one more selling point they hope to make for the consumer who has the 5D MK II (and soon the 7D) to shoot his kids soccer games every week? I suspect it’s a little bit of all of them since a sale is a sale! But maybe I’m missing something.

  2. I really have no desire to do video on the camera. But, I guarantee my next camera will have video capabilities! And I’ll probably use the feature from time to time, if only to play. 🙂

  3. […] working up a separate series of posts on slideshows and video presentations (ala the Ami Vitale video from yesterday). What I want to focus on with this post is the notion of a good presentation, particularly if […]

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