Small digicams double as video cameras

Needs to be edited:

Young/beginner filmmakers: Even regular digicams and cell phones these days can be used for youtube vlogs or even small editing projects. The newer, the better the video - but check before buying. But maybe you already have one that can be used?

Search youtube for real live samples. Some even have HD video. I'm researching the camera in the clip below for a friend, and was impressed by the quality of this and other clips. Sound is mono. But this and many even slightly older cameras have 640x480 video, which makes for high quality youtube videos. Budding filmmakers - maybe you already have a camera you can use to get started?

The video below is with the Ixus 95 IS, which doesn't have HD:


I'm thinking she's in front of a window, maybe north facing. The lighting is fantastic on her face - and that's how you do it. Think about the lighting being stronger closer to the camera. Camera on tripod or on top of something. A small bean bag is an option, but that camera can be put on a tripod. A cell phone should probably be fastened with something similar to a clamp or something else that grabs the body of the cell phone, unless it stays on its side without falling down.

Canon has a another model that has HD and has come down in price recently. This one is considered to be a good compromise (can zoom while filming) - Canon PowerShot SD960 IS / Digital IXUS 110 IS . But go to, and search for the full name of the camera you're thinking of. Skip the PR videos, and look at a bunch of amateur videos were they're testing their cameras.

Cell phones

Cell phones usually have video that's very compressed. You'll see the artifacts. Sony Ericsson video is usually terrible (I know from experience). Nokia has better video. Haven't tried Samsung or any other. The newest Iphone has surprisingly good video, and also in phone editing. The sound is especially good. Here's an Iphone example:

Some of the newer digicams have pretty standard AVI files, and that means easier editing.

But none of this is for professional projects, though I know some have used a Canon 5D DSLR for professional projects (a VERY different price point, BTW). This was just a suggestion, especially for those who happened to have a pretty new digicam at home, and didn't know it also does video.

This video is from the Ixus 100 IS/Powershot SD780 IS, which does HD. But it's no good in wind - you couldn't shield a mic that small. The video blurb has some extra info on file size, card etc.

The bad points:

I haven't seen any good panning so far (judging from Youtube videos). Very noticeable in the "wind" clip above. They usually have mono sound, an itty bitty microphone and wind noice. Low light performance - lenses probably not good enough. They're hard to hold as video cameras - the form factor is geared towards photography. Some may lack auto-focus during filming (shallow focus study, with low-end DSLR).

Uploading videos for others

If you want others to see the video, upload to Facebook or Youtube. But if you want to mail someone the raw file, say for editing or for them to upload, you can use a service such as Mail becomes useless above maybe 10 megabyte, depending on what service you're using. But rapidshare takes files up to 200 megabytes and is free. You don't even have to register.

Small presentation videos on NativeCelebs

Morten had the idea that actors and filmmakers could make small presentation videos that we could upload to the NativeCelebs Facebook page, so they'd reach a wider audience than existing friends and fans. They'll be viewable on the video tab there even long after they've been posted (by us). 30 seconds is a good length, unless you want to make something more than an introduction. And you can send it to me over rapidshare for instance (just paste the link into the form). You can basically use any camera that does video. Editing is optional for a video that short. The example above with the girl in front of a north facing window shows what can be done even with a simple camera, if you do it right.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 24 March 2010 17:59)