There is a phrase in our business (borrowed from the photography business): the best camera in the world is the one you have with you. In the modern world, it is becoming more and more relevant and true.
Every day we work with all sorts of cameras- when I say "we", I don't just mean us here in the professional broadcasting business. We all work with cameras and they literally impact on everything we do- they are everywhere: in stores, in traffic, on flights, in our pockets, in hospitals, in homes. Cameras for entertainment, cameras for fun, news, entertainment, education, health...you get the picture? Cameras- we are surrounded by them.
The truth is, in our industry, we are constantly striving for the best possible picture- the resolution of cameras, the lenses, the firmware, the frame rate. There are so many variables and, as with much of technology, there is a near-constant process of renewal, innovation and expansion into the unknown.
As a consumer, where does this impact on us? Well, we like to think of the broadcast and cinematic end of things as having a little of the Formula 1 about it. The big investments to be better, bigger, faster, more efficient, cleaner, slicker...that comes from the race to be at the top. But really, there is a very strong trickle-down effect. If you want more of the F1 analogy- checkout some of the innovations that began there and led to the car you sit in every day. It really is quite amazing.
So, the camera in your pocket- part of your phone, most likely- has technology that had its beginnings in the workings of a broadcast camera somewhere in the world. A heritage we are all part of- for the geeks out there, you will know that movies have been shot digitally since the late 80s but the first real milestone of digital HD technology in a big, serious film, was in fact The Phantom Menace which delivered some of the sequences using HD technology. And there was no stopping it.
Unimaginable as it is, the phone in your pocket can, in the right hands, shoot broadcastable (ok, there are restrictions on how much they will use) footage. Most notable is news and current affairs- user generated, hand held, wobbly content is not about the limitations of the frame size, not about the professionalism of how it was shot, not even about the ability of the person holding the camera, it is merely about the camera being there recording. The camera sees it, we see it.
We love to see what you can do with the cameras you have- we want to see content develop from everywhere. Last year we detailed our quick guide to using your camera phone to record a video for your company or your charity and we hope you have used it. There is so much out there to try and video doesn't have to be complicated- it's just about what you see and what you say (to put it very simply). For fun, we put together this short "hyperlapse" of a trip on the 'L' in Chicago in October as 2 of our team had the pleasure to visit this great city as part of one of our projects. It is simply an iphone held to the window of the train but it is quite beautiful and this fantastic App from Instagram really does work well. Get embracing that technology in your pocket and put video out into the world. We love it.