The Future of the Combination of Video and Stills

In the last several years camera development has taken huge strides in giving photographic capabilities of stills to video. Non film makers now have the capability of taking cinematic quality video without needing to upgrade from their dslr. In this video, Untitled Film Works unpacks the continual merging of stills and video.

While this video seems as much of an advertisement for Canon's 1DC as anything else, the conversation brings up an interesting discussion regarding the future of photography. Pulling stills from video is nothing new, the technique goes back to 35 mm motion picture footage. In the past, quality video didn't easily translate into a quality print. With the advancing capabilities of dslrs, that line has begun to quickly blur.

There are clear advantages to shooting video over stills, you never have to miss the moment. If it's possible to get an image with the same quality by using video as by taking a still, is there any reason to shoot stills anymore? For most photographers, does the easy shift to video threaten you at all?

Log in or register to post comments


Patryk M's picture

I'm a photographer. I don't see this is a real source for still images. Just a few minutes of video will equal out hundreds if not thousands of images. At 30 frames per second or even 24 frames per second will not be productive process. Not to mention the art & talent of photography will be diminished. Does is threaten me? Not at all. I think it is a nice feature but not a true talent to photography. I can appreciate the technology but not to replace my stills. 

Its always a good alternative source to get stills but I don't see it becoming the primary method. You will always have problem with not being able to get as strong light as still with flash, and the lack of high shutter speed means there will always be motion blur.

Didn't Peter Hurley already do this on a Red Epic at 5k?  Yes he did.  The full res samples from the hassi blow the red epics away although I'm wondering if it was just a glass issue.  I think this definitely has it's place but I don't see it replacing still photography.  Sports photography like boxing or mma or Olympics it could be pretty awesome.

I feel this is a lot more exciting for video shooters than still photographers.

Manual focus? Having to mount your camera for use with any longer lens? Nd filter for shallow DOF? Limited to a usable 1/100th sec shutter speed for video sake? Vertical video? Can't use flash? 128gb /30min + for footage?

Wading through gbs of video for that "micro expression" that a skilled photographer took in the first place in one frame and moved on to their next composition / angle.

Even if video touted 8k + stills down the track I feel It won't ever replace stills photography. Apples and Oranges.

RUSS's picture

I think we'll see the ones currently doing photography stills and video separately, stay doing it this way.
BUT the people new to it after the next half year or year, will start doing it this new "FUSION" way.
It will be the new thing to do for the newest, hippest, social media addicted, photographers and more camera makers will probably, at that time, jump on the "FUSION" band wagon.

As long as your dslr shoots hd/2k with h264 compression, forget pulling a still.

You will need a raw film camera.

RUSS's picture

 Paul, would that video output be good enough for stills, for web pics like facebook photo albums and such? ( I don't do video so i have no idea)

Elmer Landaverde's picture

This is not a page for people who only post images to facebook. I think everyone here expects a little bit more than what is required for a fb upload.

RUSS's picture

 Sometimes I just have to say it; and sometimes it's in the absolutely most sarcastic tone that can possibly be used...

thank you sooo much elmer. I did not  realize I should address my question to you and have you avoid answering it to tell me what type of people should be on this page. Now if I don't ONLY post to facebook, but am not white, is that type of person allowed or, should we all go somewhere else with the people who only post to facebook?
Please let me know I do not want to be on some web page where i am not allowed.

 15 000 Dollar facebook photo camera :)

RUSS's picture

 the camera paul was talking about is 15,000.00?? which specific one was he referring to sakari? I did not see the make and model...

I was reffering to the one in the video. And I hope you understand that I was trying to add some humor in to the conversation.

45SURF's picture

Cool!  One of the drawbacks of shooting stills and video at the same time with a single camera is that stills and video generally require different shutter speeds for optimum quality.  Also, in the video above they can only pull jpegs from a $10,000+ camera for their stills.  Needless to say, RAW gives the pro photographer far more power.  Add all this up, and more, and that is why we always use two cameras bracketed together with the 9shooter/45surfer bracket--one camera is dedicated to stills, and the other is dedicated to video.  For instance, we will use a Nikon D800 or Canon 5D bracketed to a high-end Panasonic or Sony camcorder which also affords awesome video stabilization, or two DSLRs or mirrorless cameras bracketed together.  Happy 2013!

This is it!  Everyone will capture stills from a video in the future.

CL's picture

Takes "spray and pray" to a whole new level!

George Socka's picture

As print continues to die, this IS the future. Those that say otherwise are the same that said digital photography (and the internet ) are just passing fads.

Spencer Selvidge's picture

Remember when TV killed radio? Me neither. 

Taking stills from video will be a useful tool for web use, etc. It will be fantastic. But there will still be need for all the forms of media. It will be just fine! 

George Socka's picture

I do remember - maybe I have been around a bit longer than you. Know any radio theater writers today? Any radio comedic actors? How about live bands playing on radio? Heck, much of radio doen't even have announcers anymore with remote studios and voice tracking. Much of what was once radio is now internet playlists played on iPhones without radio waves involved at all. I even remember when we had stuff called film and real photographers said digital would never work for anything serious. Time to adapt once again

mark Beaumont's picture

I can't help but feel this will continue to dumb down photographic skill, maybe not now, but certainly as this develops and comes down in price, and available to the masses. It's similar to the way many fps has reduced the photographers skill in timing for the moment, just stick it on video mode and choose your frame!

Maybe it'll stay too expensive, but somehow I doubt it.

Photographic skill doesn't boil down to good timing. If you have the eye to recognize something worth capturing and can frame it properly, it doesn't matter if you took one frame or 1000 to get the final image.

People, please stop blame or laughing about people who use tech like this. You are the same people when the digital cameras came out. "Film is the best" "Digital is for amateurs". This new "Fusion" generation is a new step forward. And please stop thinking that you are so so good, because you can shoot great still pictures with a "real" camera.