Monday, August 21, 2006

HVX200 Musings: From Bottom of Barrel to Next Generation

Walking into work today, and I can't believe my eyes. There it is, just like that, on the front page. An image of a man squrting water onto the rubble as a bucket scoops out debris from demolished homes for removal in front of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Opening up the paper, I see 3 more images that I shot with the Panasonic, all printed in color. This was the milestone.

We're now only one of a handful of papers working with HD cameras to do double duty, shooting video and still with one camera. Here we are, with a 30fps (or, 60fps, in slow motion) camera that can capture images up to 4 megapixels for print use, and also use the footage for web or broadcast use.

Only an hour after I made it to work, and my boss Dudley calls me from home. "Is that your still camera, or the video camera?" he asks. It's the video camera. I decided to ramp back the sharpness and shoot all video files, grabbing HD-1080 frames and setting them as Photoshop images, dropping them into the system with a tagline of "HD MOVIE FRAME," instead of "DIGITAL IMAGE," which we tag onto digital still photos. The file number now reads, "," instead of "DSC0182.jpg."

The picture ran 4 columns wide, and Dudley was ecstatic, like I was last week, when I thought I had my first front page high definition frame. "The only reason I asked was because I knew you'd be gunning for a front page photo," Dudley said, adding, "You'd better grab some extra copies, because we've moved to the next level."

So, it's now official, that we've gone to the next generation of news-gathering. It's time to start considering whether to dump your stills for the high definition camera, and as the newer generations are released with 2K and 4K capabilities, you'll be able to shoot raw images and project them onto a movie theater screen. It's coming. It will soon be here.

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