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Sunday, April 1, 2007

HD Digital Video

The world of high-definition video offers new opportunities for nature photographers

HD Digital Video

Many outdoor photographers have long admired nature documentaries like those from the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Yet when they tried shooting in traditional video, the results were often disappointing. Video wasn’t known for its detail and color rendition.

Now a lot of people have big plasma and LCD screens showing off the best in sports television. Show a nature video on them, and it looks even worse—unless it was shot in high definition, or HD. That’s definitely the future of video.

We’ve been looking at HD digital video lately for three reasons:

1 We’re excited by the image quality for nature work.

2 High-quality still images are possible from HD video.

3 We’re launching a new magazine called HDVideoPro (which will be out this spring).

I’ve been working with a couple of Canon HDV camcorders and I’m impressed with what’s now possible in video. HDV is a recording format for HD video and is used by Canon, Sony and JVC in their most affordable HD video cameras. HDV is capable of pro results, though it’s a highly compressed format that won’t match the big, expensive HD cameras that Hollywood uses.


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