For years, videographers have been saying video will replace photography altogether. Last year we tested this controversial statement in our own Red Epic Video vs Hasselblad Photo Shootout. In this latest video, Abraham Joffe along with Philip Bloom and Sue Bryce test the idea of simply pulling out still shots from video and printing them at reasonable sizes. Just as we found with our own video, capturing the definitive "micro expression" with a video camera like the new Canon EOS-1DC can be both precise and incredibly clunky.
Obviously videography will never be able to rival the still image when it comes to flash photography or producing the highest resolution images (4k is around 8 megapixels vs common 50+ megapixels medium format cameras). But what it can excel at is capturing the absolute peak moment in naturally lit environments. Because video currently captures 24 - 300 frames a second, it becomes possible to record the absolute perfect shot of wildlife or a key moment during a sporting event. Combine these high frame rates with the growing need for web resolution media and you have a pretty powerful new tool for the photojournalist.
The naysayers will argue that any good photographer can capture the "moment" with a still camera, and that may be true. Peter Hurley, one of the world's most accomplished headshot photographers, strives on capturing the perfect moment of interaction between his actor clients and the camera. But when Peter was faced with shooting video, he was shocked to find that every perfect micro expression was precisely recorded and able to be exported both before and after the traditional click of the shutter. As described in Abrahams video above, we are now able to pin point the exact fraction of a second that a real genuine emotion happens, and those tiny changes in expression can produce completely different reactions from the audience viewing the media. For any photographer who makes their living producing that definitive "peak of the action" shot, it becomes easy to see how ultra high definition video could be a huge game changer.
Once the hiccups of editing and culling through unbelievable amounts of footage are solved, high resolution cameras with fast frame rate capabilities are going to change the way we perceive reality. It's already happening in the advertising world and soon enough it will happen in all other areas of photography and imaging. But can it eventually over take photography as a whole? I guess only time and technology will tell...but in the meantime it's pretty fun to think about.