Friday, 25 April 2008

The future is now

Michael Reichmann over at The Luminous Landscape has an interesting essay about the forthcoming convergence of digital stills and video.

This has already begun to take place at the top end of the market, with a number of films and TV shows now being shot using the RED One. Shooting 12 megapixel 30 fps video in RAW format, it allows film makers to treat their video output just as us still shooters treat our RAW files - colour correction, cropping and other post processing can be done much more quickly and efficiently than with film or JPEG output. And if a still shot is required, a 12MP RAW file can be pulled from the sequence and used, just as if it had been taken with a still camera.

He also has a review of the new Casio EF-X1. This is the first of a new generation of consumer cameras that combine high definition video with RAW format digital stills. Over the next couple of years we can expect to see more and more of these products come to market. What does this mean for stills photographers? Right now I don't know.


  1. I'm reading this blog from the start as I grew liking it a lot.

    Stumbled upon this as well.

    It truly seems that video and still are merging really fast.

    Can't help to just wonder what happens in the future when video is required from still professionals (photographers) and stills are required from video professionals...

    The two separate markets professionals have to fight in more combined market?

    Surely there will be separate still and video needs, but it has happened for some allready.

    Thinking back, I'm not surpriced video soon being required from still professionals, as what is already being expected from photographers.

    Meanwhile the consumer end is filled with superior technology that was in use for professionals just few(+few) years ago, the profession becomes harder and harder to execute as required.

    The long feared threat of everyone having a 10 MP camera has propably made some of the professionals lives hard, magazine photos for example as the shocking factor of a picture for the news is more important than the quality, some people have faced the brutal evolve-or-perish. But on the other hand, while it made many potential buyers think taking photos is easy, it still didn't impact as hard as many feared.

    Maybe it will be so in the case of video merging with stills. Some hit their downfall as failing to evolve, some florish.

    It is still the most creative people and the forerunners in the business that survive, and it allows the fresh, healthy talent to emerge.
    Like forest fire, some meet destruction fast or slow, some survive and become stronger, some get a fresh new start.

    I'm in joy that if there is video coming hard to stay on photo industries soon, I'm happy to hear that it is actually in format that we are all very familiar with.

  2. Hi Lauri

    I definitely think there will still be a place for still shooters and video shooters in future. People will always be better at one than the other, and those with the budget will pay to have a specialist.

    But I expect that a lot of low-end work will end up combining both. In a few years time I imagine DSLRs and DV cameras will have converged to such an extent that there will be far fewer compromises than there are now.

    Much as the advent of cheap digital cameras has eroded the bottom end of the photography market, these devices will erode the bottom end of the video market.

    The best way to stay ahead, as always, will be to stay out of the bottom end by shooting excellent work.