Updated: 11/16/2011


New Video Camera and

Cell Phone Technology 



Professional SLR / HDTV Cameras 

~~All of the advantages that professional SLR (single-lens reflex) still cameras provide, including their wide assortment of lenses and accessories, are now available to videographers needing to produce both still images and high-definition video (HDTV).

Since these cameras have large image sensors, not only is resolution (image sharpness) better than with typical camcorders, but they can produce video at much lower light levels. HDTV SLR

~~ Shooting with a digital SLR camera requires some special considerations.

1.  Shake, vibration and "drifting" are much more of an issue with these small cameras, so a tripod is not something you want to leave behind. Compounding this issue is the fact that most of these cameras don't have vibration-reduction systems.

However, some companies, such as red dot RedRockMicro, have come up with ways to stabilize these cameras for hand-held shots.

2. The LCD viewfinders in camcorders can wash out outside or in bright light, making it hard to focus. Eye-level viewfinders are a better option.  However, these viewfinders don't carry the range of status indicators that are available with camcorders.

3. The audio on most of these cameras comes from a built-in mic. As in the case with the built-in mics in camcorders, this results in poor sound pick-up. However, some of the better digital SLR video cameras have a provision for an external mic.

4. Most of these cameras use automatic exposure control, but being able to manually control exposure gives you much better creative control.

5. Finally, the memory cards used by many of these  cameras limit continuous shooting time. Depending on the camera and the storage card, this ranges from 15 to 30 minutes. However, the models designed for motion picture work can not only record for extended times, but the memory cards can be "hot switched," meaning that additional cards can be added without interruption while scenes are being shot.

We are now seeing digital SLR video cameras being used in a variety of professional applications. Having a small, light-weight, high-quality video camera that looks like a simple SLR has advantages in unobtrusively covering news, for example.

A New Generation of Cell Phones

>> Although more and more people are using cell pones to take pictures, probably most of those pictures stay in the cell phones.

First, there is no quick and easy way to transfer them to a computer for editing and printing.

Hi-res camea phone

>> Both of these issues are about to change.

First, a new generation of cell phones arrived with the Nokia N96 (shown here), which has a five-megapixel sensor and a Carl Zeiss lens with autofocus capabilities. This may take a bite out of the pocket digital camera market. (Why carry a cell phone and a separate camera?)

>> And then there is the issue of how you download cell phone pictures. A number of simple options are opening up.

Verizon Wireless has a service that makes this easy. Each time a user takes a photo, a box will appear on the cell phone screen asking the shooter if he wants to send the photo to Photobucket, Flickr or whatever online service the user prefers.

>> So we are finally reaching a point when a relatively high quality photo can be taken with a cell phone and then transferred to an intermediate point to crop and enhance, and then send it to a friend, publish it on a web site, or print it out for the family photo album.

>> In addition, of course, most cell phones are capable of capturing video -- although the quality would hardly be confused with that of professional quality video cameras.

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