Cell phone video – in high definition

I shoot video as part of my job, but it often surprises people when they learn my husband and I don’t own a video camera. We have a legitimate reason. Our video camera was stolen during a 2008 home burglary.

We never replaced it. After all, I’m not one to edit hours and hours of video at home. I do that at work.

But I’ve been on the look out for a decent hard drive camera for about a year now.

I found one, but not where you’d think.

A month ago I upgraded my phone from a BlackBerry Curve to a Droid X.

I went with Droid for a very specific reason – high definition video.

I tried it out for the first time at the Lodi Grape Festival last week. Here’s the result:

You’ll note a difference between the video above and, say, my recent video of the new football stadium at Stagg High School.

The Droid X, for one, needs to be stabilized better. It also doesn’t capture high and low lights very well, making the lights of the rides bleed into the black of the sky.

The difference is equipment more than anything. We shoot video at The Record primary with two Canon high-definition line cameras, an XHA1 and a XHA1s. We also have a Canon GL2, which I’ve referred to as a “workhorse.” No kidding, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Our cameras adjust nicely to color. One of the biggest advantages of shooting in high definition is the vibrant color that comes with it.

I didn’t get that in my cell phone video.

I also didn’t get good image stablization.

Or good light.

And the microphone kind of picks up everything around me, much like shooting video on a point-and-shoot camera does.

All of that, though, is correctable with a little preparation.

I have a comparison that’s will elicit cries of blasphemy from fellow Droid users.

“Apple of my Eye” is a video on YouTube and Vimeo¬† that, according to the chatter, was shot and edited solely on an iPhone 4.¬† iPhone 4 also shoots HD video.

Here it is:

There’s a cool “behind the scenes” video on the making of “Apple of my Eye” here as well.

I say, more often than not, that the videographer is makes good video, not a camera. Video comes to alive in the angles, the content, the color and the beauty.

Will my Droid X ever shoot as fine as one of our Canon cameras? Not likely.

Can it still be good video? I bet it can.

I just have to figure out a way to be a better videographer will a cell phone camera.

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