Who Needs a Video Camera?

As manufacturers improve the control and quality of video recording in digital cameras — including D-SLRs, advanced or transitional digicams and even the smallest of point-and-shoots — will consumer camcorders become a thing of the past? Many cameras are now capable of producing video at resolutions and frame rates, and with compression quality, that rivals that of broadcast television.

This little video was captured using a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX9 at 1080i/60i. I “edited” the video using iMovie on a MacBook, adding Apple’s camera shake removal. When exporting, I made an NTSC 480i widescreen “print” with a medium level of compression to keep the file size reasonable. Of course, YouTube has compressed it further while transcoding it for playback on their site.

Of course, this video will never replace a full-fledged video camera for professional or broadcast use, but filmmakers are¬†embracing mid-level D-SLRs like Canon’s 7D and 5D mkII for serious movie making. Even the Canon EOS Rebel T3i can produce truly professional-grade results in the right hands.

So, what do you think? Will dedicated consumer camcorders be replaced with these high-quality hybrid technologies?

3 thoughts on “Who Needs a Video Camera?”

  1. I think dedicated camcorder-type cameras are likely to be a thing of the past. Those who want high quality video can always get a DSLR that gives them more. If they don’t need that high quality, there’s always the compact P&S camera or the little Fllip cameras. I don’t even really get why Flip things exist. I’d much rather use a P&S with an actual real-life, honest-to-goodness zoom.

    1. Neat toy, and it certainly makes nice video. There are some issues with it for me. I prefer a larger sensor. I even find 2/3″ sensors to be too small to get decent depth-of-field control. I also prefer a bit more manual control. But remember, my video experience is in a traditional broadcast production environment, and so my desire is different than a lot of people. I would certainly consider a Sony NEX5 or NEX7 with the Sony 18-200mm E-series lens. They are similar in size and shape to the JVC, but the lenses are interchangeable.

What do you think?