We've all heard the joke that size doesn't matter but I'm here to tell you it does.
Over at Lenslinger's blog he took up the subject that he so accurately says,
"In the daily camera scrum, no one issue sparks a firefight quicker than the VJ debate.....shrinky-dink lenses are threatening to take the ‘crew’ out of news crew"
I was going to put a simple little comment about it on his blog and ended up writing this long winded diatribe so I figured I'd share it here too.
The main purpose of my comment was directed toward the people who don't understand why we wouldn't want a lighter workload.
As the master of my own personal $300 handycam I have to say that, other than the occasional instance that I want or need to be less conspicous, I don't want to be fumbling around with the minute controls of consumer gear even if it does weigh a fraction of what a Pro Camera like our XD cameras.
If I was made of money I might be the only dad shooting home videos with a $30k XD Cam.
And even though camera makers like Sony do make cameras with pictures that rival their big brothers there are plenty of reasons why professional video cameras are a little bigger, weigh a bit more and have easy to manipulate buttons.
Ease of use by a professional, the weight to help hold it steady and size to allow the manual controls to be spread out allow better video to be gathered and manual changes to be made quickly on the fly.
With tiny, menu heavy consumer camcorders there's no way to keep shooting while manually adjusting for continuously changing shooting conditions.
Simply put, a bigger camera helps us do our job better, a mini-camera is just a cop-out. I think the 16-18 pounds of the XD Cam is probably ideal.
The Betacams we had before the XDs were roughly 25 pounds.
The typical VJ Handycam is about 8.
To quote Lenslinger again, " I don’t wanna take a toy into battle."
Of course we did shoot all of the NAB Video for B-Roll.net with two little Handy Cams...NO, not the one on the Miller Tripod...the itty bitty one's in our hands!