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Deciding between Photography and Videography

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so i've saved up enough to finally get a camera... but now i'm torn between whether i want to go with photography or videography =D

 

i'm surprised at how few actually do videography as opposed to underwater photography... considering that they are roughly the same price... and both can be high definition.

 

on one hand.... if i'm at a location that's not that pretty.... for example... rhode island for a shark dive... a video camera would be better, since i can capture every movement of a shark as it circles around me, and that will certainly be better than a camera, since the water is not that clearest, and the environment are not all that beautiful..... but at the same time, a photo camera would be nice at a great scenery... and it requires less time looking through the lens. and you're able to frame some of hte beautiful pictures around the house for memory.

 

dilemmas dilemmas

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Point and Shoot with video. Best of both worlds. ;0)

 

Honestly, I LOVE video. But, the one dozen photos framed on my office wall certainly get a lot more viewing than any video. When you frame a photo, it is instant art.

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yeah that's one thing i like about photos... i would love to frame them and put them around t he apartment =D

 

how are the still pictures taken from a video camera though, in terms of quality... say if the video camera is a high definition one; i hear most video cameras these days have a button that lets you snap a picture.

 

by the way.... do yo have any of those pictures on your wall available for viewing on this site? i would love to look at them =D

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yeah that's one thing i like about photos... i would love to frame them and put them around t he apartment =D

 

how are the still pictures taken from a video camera though, in terms of quality... say if the video camera is a high definition one; i hear most video cameras these days have a button that lets you snap a picture.

 

by the way.... do yo have any of those pictures on your wall available for viewing on this site? i would love to look at them =D

I would actually argue just the opposite but a lot depends on your expected audience. I take pictures and my wife shoots video. Her videos are always a far bigger hit than any picture or slide show since you can capture the essence and behavior of a critter rather than just a picture. Of course it could be that her videos are just so much better than my pics but even on liveaboards full of hardcore divers, it is the nightly raw footage review that people pay lots more attention to than anyone's pics. If you take for example a new Sony HC-9 hi-def video camera you get hi def video but also 6 MP stills on separate media. The camera itself is only 1100 or so (lots less than a good SLR with lenses, but more than a P&S). Housings range from ikelite (1300) to Gates ($2300) to Light and Motion ($4000) with lights an additional grand or so. You get great video and 6 MP stills. Far better option than P&S with 10 sec video IMHO.

 

Enjoy either way

 

Bill

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I started out shooting video, then added film camera, alternating, then started taking both, and at one point even designed a mount so I could have my video rig atop my still camera with a quick release so I could use both on the same dive! Now I only do stills, but there are definite advantages and drawbacks to both IMO:

 

VIDEO

Pros:

- Easier to start out and get very good results just using a red filter

- Gives your audience much more of a "feel" for what you experienced

 

Cons:

- Takes dramatically more time to process/edit after you return from a trip, choosing clips, adding music, etc. - if you are retired and/or have lots of time at home after returning from a dive trip, this isn't a problem, but if you're a workaholic, you'll have a hard time ever getting your footage edited...

- Unless you have multiple audiences to which you can show it, you're likely (after all that work) to only show it a few times, an nobody will really want to see it over and over again, so it will then sit on the shelf thereafter

- Although some camcorders have still capabilities, you are unlikely to get "great" stills without strobes and a "real" still uw camera rig

 

STILL PHOTOGRAPHY

Pros:

- You can probably process (delete the bad and crop/edit the good in Photoshop) your work while ON a trip, or finish shortly thereafter.

- Once in awhile you'll get a great shot worthy of printing and hanging on your wall, sending prints to friends, etc., where it can be enjoyed/appreciated daily.

- Easier to send to friends, post on the internet, etc.

 

Cons:

- Very frustrating at first - takes awhile to get the hang of it and start getting very good results

- Doesn't convey the "feeling" of being underwater nearly as well

- Did I mention how frustrating it can be and how many crappy shots you'll get of things you thought would make great photos?!

 

SUMMARY

- Just starting out, and if you have plenty of spare time at home for editing, video is a great option. And if you have an outlet/audience for your videos, you may never want to do anything else!

- Whichever you do, remember to: 1. Get closer to your subjects, and 2. Get low and try to get/keep as much blue water in the viewfinder (i.e. behind and around your subjects) as possible; don't shoot down at things in the reef if you can possibly help it!

- Have fun! And welcome to the world of hobby-turned-obsession! :D

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I would add to Bruce's observations:

 

With video, as you progress in your ability you will stress out over whether you have shot enough of the right kinds of footage during the trip. This is because it won't be clear how you will edit until you you are near complete in your shooting. This is doubly a problem if you don't load and sort your clips during the dive trips as I used to do.

 

With video, it will be hard to avoid every story line being the story of a dive. That works for amateur video but can get repetitive and boring. How do you know in advance what will you interest you when you're at a new location?

 

With video, no matter how hard you work, how good your equipment, how prepared, meticulous, and talented you are there will be a limit to what you can achieve as "tourist" videographer. Pros have the gear, the support, the time and the ideas to go to a whole different level. In contrast, with still photography it is possible to achieve a world class result as an amateur. Pros have the experience and talent to do it consistently but the barrier to entry is lower.

 

With still, once the dive is over you either got the shots or you didn't. If you missed shooting a subject then that shot will be absent from your collection. With video, missing some mundane, "filler" shots can have a negative effect on your presentation. When I would finish a week of diving with video, I'd need a vacation from the stress. With still I am much happier.

 

Different subjects are better suited to the different formats and both can be rewarding. I would say that my group generally enjoyed watching my videos at the afterparties, but as Bruce said, there won't be as many showings or as lasting an appreciation of the result with video. Photos are easier to share and appreciate for a long time. Fortunately, the internet is more friendly to video now than it used to be but viewing a video takes time.

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I'd say Stills:

 

Its soooooo much easier.. Faster, less expensive and you always get the girls :D

 

Video its 30 mins of passion and 3 days of frustrating editing etc etc..

 

Stills is defo the way to go...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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