There’s been a lot of chit-chat lately about the best camera to foist on reporters in this age of reporter video. Many newsrooms seem to like the Casio Exilim. I’ll throw in my vote for the Canon Powershot A570 IS. The “IS” stands for image stabilization, which should come in handy in the field. Plus, the model is very affordable (about $250), and it runs on AA batteries, which means you can do rechargeables or use store-bought batteries in a pinch. For Mac shops, the .avi movie format imports nicely into iMovie or Quicktime. And with Tiger, the videos will even download into iPhoto. I’m already envisioning a very reporter-friendly editing workflow.
Archive for April, 2007
Anyone have a Joost invite they can toss my way? If so, send it to email@example.com, and you’ll have my undying gratitude. Merci.
UPDATE: Got the Joost access. Now all I need, it turns out, is an Intel Mac to run it on. Grumble, grumble.
UPDATE2: I don’t have Joost invites to hand out, so please do not ask.
Not that we really needed another video codec or anything, but Microsoft made news at the NAB conference this week by talking up its new web video player and video platform, now dubbed Silverlight. Flash, of course, has become the standard web video distribution platform (sorry Quicktime fans). Can Microsoft make any inroads against Flash? Here’s a quick overview, along with a video demo (in Flash, of course) that is worth watching. Sez a Microsoft exec: “Flash has “some video capabilities, and some success in that market.” But Silverlight offers “better video quality than Flash,” while the Expression tools will be “cheaper, faster and better” than Adobe’s offerings.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ideal length of Internet video. At the Gear Media Tech seminar last week in San Francisco, host Alex Lindsay said that he and his Pixelcorps team are aiming to produce shows in the three- to eight-minute range. Conventional wisdom holds that shorter is better because 320×240 web video can’t hold the attention of viewers in the same way as TV. Internally at the Mercury News, almost every discussion about video eventually comes around to length, and the mantra is “shorter is better.”
But I wonder if we aren’t going to quickly revisit this assumption. I believe we are on the cusp of a video revolution that is going to radically alter how we consume video content, and this will affect the type of video we create as well. Read David Pogue’s latest column, on the TiVo, to begin to see where we are headed. The TiVo can now pull in video and audio from a multitude of sources, including podcasts and the web. Says Pogue:
The news release below is the sound of the other shoe dropping for TV networks, affiliates and advertisers. If Google can have one-tenth the effect on TV advertising that it did on online advertising, the change will be huge.
Some Google employees want nervous media execs to believe that the company’s entrance into a market will boost ad rates (see the quote from Douglas Merrill). But all along, Google’s business model has been centered around entering ineffcient markets and wringing out the ineffciencies. Self-serve ads and more accurate metrics, along with a pricing scheme that makes advertisers pay only for actual impressions, will drive down ad rates, not raise them. That’s great news for advertisers (including marketers who could never afford TV campaigns before), but not-so-great news for the networks and people who produce content for TV.
It’s worth noting that Google is not the first dot-com to plow this road. Spotrunner, which I first wrote about here, has been letting its users create self-serve ads and buy up remnant cable TV ad time at discounted rates. But I imagine that Google is aiming for more than remnant ads on the Food Network.