Tuesday 9 October 2007

Branching out into video

As you probably know if you've listened to any of the music I recorded this year, it's all audio-only. While the sound quality is usually pretty good - except for some unavoidable wind noise in Essaouira - the full-length videos that I post on YouTube never seem to get the number of plays that even short clips of the same piece get when accompanied by a video track. Maybe that's something to do with the media; people expect video on YouTube and are put-off if they don't get it.

Its not only that, though. The Essaouira festival is not just about music its also about dance and that over-worked word performance. I've been there five times not just because the music is great (which, of course, it is) but because the performance drags me back. And when I get home, I not only want to listen to the music again - which my recordings have allowed me to do - but I also want see again what I saw then. Yes, I know its not the same as being there - but it certainly helps.

That's why, I'm now seriously planning to move to video, and not only regular video but HD. That's High Definition to the uninitiated - i.e people like me, until a week ago.

Where to start is the problem. Audio quality and the ability to plug in external microphones is obviously a real necessity. So is low light sensitivity - especially for night-time concerts, Lilas and general street-shooting. Size and weight are also important - I don't really want to hold a 5lb camcorder for hours on end. And anyway - how can I film and dance at the same time? Do I need two cameras - a bigger, more functional one for me and and smaller, lighter one for Maggie? Do I really need HD or should I wait till that settles down a bit? Am I destined for the movie business or should I limit myself to audio? Do I really need interchangeable lenses? How important is SMPTE at this entry level? When will YouTube move to HD? Ever or never? Is size important?

As you can see, this post is all about questions, not answers. I'm doing my research and will make a decision soon. Maybe buy something for Maggie and see how I get one.

More later on this, but if any passing reader can answer any of these questions, please do.

Next year - VideoTime!

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