Monday, August 28, 2006

HVX200 Observations: Merging Technologies, Merging Jobs...

It's bound to happen.

These HD cameras will jump to 4K and higher definition, bringing the image quality on-par with the current crop of digital 35mm cameras. With this blurring of technology, you know that the job description will blur as well.

Ultimately, that will result in a loss of many jobs in the journalism field. Newspapers and local television will merge. If the FCC doesn't allow it, they most certainly will relax their regulations to allow such things to happen. The weight of power is on the side of the large business, not the individual. As newpapers work feverishly to generate some kind of revenue to offset what they have yielded, they would look to getting into true multimedia, by purchasing radio and local stations. If they don't have the money, television will look at this as an option, and the merger will slowly mean the merging of office space, editors (although, there will be some distinction between online, newspaper, TV and radio eds), and field workers.

Reporters will have to know how to work in front of the camera, as well as write stroies for TV and radio. Television camera operators will be merged with photographers. The camera operator of tomorrow will be able to grab high resolution frames, capable of being enlarged ten-fold and more, and then edit the footage for broadcast use.

And the upper management will make more money, while finding more ways to trim their bottom line and save more money. Streamlining, they call it. The only problem is that the stream is already too shallow. If this is the way the future will shape up in the 21st century digital age of news-gathering, they should get some seasoned talent and round the newsroom with some promising raw employees, and give them a good working environment, free of pressure-deadlines that encumber the media workplace.

These HD cameras are simply stepping stones to the 2K, 4K, and higher rez cameras. But they can only be used effectively with people who have an eye for color and composition. Those who make for effective story-telling further enhance the story by knowing how to piece it together to create a story, whether it's one with an ending or not.

Grab a camera and start shooting, people. Learn your craft well, because the time will come when you have to truly put up some well-shot and edited stories for your portfolio. Those shooting Canons and Nikons? Our days as still photojournalists are numbered. It won't be within the next year or two. But in a number of years -- perhaps within the next 5-7 years -- the mergers will start and soon sweep over the lay of the land of media.

No one expected that LP's would become antiques, but they are. Audio tapes, sold just a few years ago, and supported with automobile head units (aka radios) and home audio decks, now gather dust. But now, the CD is an elderly medium, and DVD's will follow suit in a few years, as HD-DVDs and Blu Ray disks expand the storage space. They really are opening the doorway to the UHD formats.

Ultra High definition. And we haven't even formally switched to the HD format, which is a couple years off. Even the HD_DVD's and BluRay disks are a temporary format, as the holographic DVD is being developed, to burn a multitude of layers onto a disk. These are said to hold 1.6 terabytes per disk, which equals 1600 gigabytes. See how the format is actually keeping pace with the storage media? You'll need a 1.6TB disk to hold footage from a 4K camcorder.

Learn your craft now. Hone your skills, and stay ahead of the curve, still shooters and indie videomakers. The ones who have little imagination won't last. Stand-up grab-shots won't cut it. Not with these UHD cameras. The HVX200 is only a mule. It's a playtoy compared to what's about to emerge in digital filming technology, in my honest opinion.

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