As you might have read in a previous post, I am fond of cameras, but…
Maybe I just don’t like change. Maybe I never did. Here’s a photo of me taken in my parent’s kitchen more than thirty years ago. I’m looking at a camera manual and it looks like I’ve just finished drinking a glass of milk.
Here’s a photo of me taken in March 2013 near Ucross. I’m looking at the camera’s menu.
I can assure you that in both cases I’m bubbling with frustration. I’m not looking for a point and shoot, but I don’t want to fuss with a thousand different settings, either. In the recent photo I probably missed thirty hawks flying overhead in the time it took me to figure out how to adjust the exposure!
This frustration is multiplied when it comes to cameras that capture moving images. Once digital came on the scene, the rate of change sped up geometrically. HD arrives. Then everyone is talking about the Red Camera. Then someone discovered DSLRs can be used to shoot film. Holy guacamole! Suddenly no one is talking about the Red anymore. Canon pumps out a new camera a week, each one eclipsing the last. My camera, the one we shot the bulk of A Life’s Work on, is way way WAY obsolete. It is perhaps useful as a doorstop. Maybe.
All of this has to be edited, of course, and all of these cameras shoot in different formats, so that means there needs to be some transcoding so that you can import the footage into your editing software. This means you probably have to download some codecs, and … oh, it just never ends.
This is the bad. This is the stuff of filmmaking that makes me pull my hair out. On big budget films these are the worries of assistants; on A Life’s Work these are the worries of me.
There’s a learning curve with every camera I use, and it is longer, or steeper, or whatever… it’s taking me more time to learn how to use these damned cameras. Maybe my brain is shrinking.
I’m not usually the grump, that kind of person who pulls the “back in the day everything was better/easier/simpler” card. But sometimes when it comes to cameras…
Thoughts? Leave a comment.