Sunday, July 01, 2007

camcorders :: direction unknown

For some time I've wanted a camcorder. So many directions; so little knowledge.

Sometimes I want something that is useful for spontaneous, low ceremony use. For that I may really want to have a digital camera, or even phone, which some video capacity. A youtube mentality begs for something simple, cheap, and always available. A short learning curve is also appealing.

A lot can be learned from even a simple photo:

Sometimes I want, or think I want, a pro level camera. Something like $5,000 will get one these days. Perhaps if I spend that much money, I'll spend the time an energy to really learn the thing. Reality check: there is no chance I'll do that. A pro level camera makes no sense unless I want to make some kayaking, kite surfing, paddle boarding, (or yoga?) videos with a commercial intent. That would mean partnering with someone who already is a real video photographer.

That leaves a bunch of cameras in the $1,000 to $3,000 range. Those are probably a good choice once I have done the basic work of developing some storyboards & using a cheap camera to get a feel for what the content -- that is what really counts -- would look like.

Storyboards. Even for something simple like a little video showing people how to:
  1. warm up for a kite session
  2. launch a 2 line trainer
  3. paddle a SUP without a kite
  4. step onto a SUP with a kite
Storyboards are probably worth more effort than countless hours comparing cameras. Here is a plan:
  1. story board a series of 4-5 2-5 min videos for a sequence something like that sketched above.
  2. fly it on youtube
  3. evaluate the response
  4. improve the videos & test them on a couple friends
  5. get a couple local kite surfers and yogis to model
  6. when people use the videos, get a better camera, a real photographer, and offer high and low bandwidth downloads.
  7. think about a serious camera using the learning curve as the chief criteria
I wonder what I should use for entry level storyboarding software?