Every so often, someone comes along and they shake up the establishment.
In video, it was Jim Jannard who most recently caused a revolution with his RED cameras. At a time when most people were shooting in 1080p (at great expense) he decided to shake things up with a much cheaper, 4K camera with greater dynamic range and easier workflow.
In photography, the most recent person to change the world was an unknown, but the funny thing is they also focused on video. It was the person who decided to make the Canon Wonder Camera.
If you don’t remember, the Wonder Camera was a concept for what Canon thought cameras might look like in 2030. Unveiled in July last year, it featured an unspecified “very high resolution sensor”, a fixed lens capable of everything from macro to 5000mm (not an error) and only shot video. That’s right, no photos.
The reason for this, Canon said, was that it could shoot video at such high resolution (vastly more than 4K) , and at such high frame rates, that you would never need to take a picture again. You could simply choose a still from the video.
This got a lot of people angry at the time. What about all the skills of a photographer, they said. The art of capturing ‘the moment’?
At the time, I agreed in a way. I thought it would spoil the art. However, a couple of recent events have got me thinking again.
First, it was watching the BBC’s recent burst of wildlife documentaries which showed video can capture some of the most amazing moments on earth with no limitations. And all with the same compositional elements as photography.
The other was Sunday at the F1 GP. I had not shot motorsport since I was there last year and I was a bit rusty in my panning ability. I got it back to perfect at the end, but it took most of the race. Imagine the number of shots I could have taken had I just been able to record the cars and choose a shot.
So yes, I do believe the future of photography is video. There are too many benefits to say otherwise. You get to see the shot all the way through the frame, without losing it the moment the shutter fires, and while time consuming, going through video to find ‘the shot’ is not much different in terms of time to going through tens or even hundreds of wasted images.
Plus, as I said, the best films show that photographic elements will always be useful when shooting video, and in reality, all you’re doing when choosing stills is pausing the movie of life.
Do you agree with my vision? Do you wildly disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.