May 20
HD CAMERA by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, May 20, 2011

The arrival of the digital camera afforded amateur photographers the luxury of shooting photographs with minimal concern on expenses. With a camera that uses film, shooting pictures should be done with utmost care.

Now, with the reusable memory card of the digital camera, there’s virtually no expenses involved unlike the film where you bring it to a lab (like Kodak) for developing and printing. The digital camera sort of ruined the film business.

My first digital camera was a 4-megapixel Canon model A520 of the Powershot series. It can shoot a photograph with a resolution of up to 2,200 pixels in width and 1,700 pixels in height.

For the benefit of the layman, that 4 megapixel photo can be printed clearly up to a blowup size of 12 by 12 inches. Larger than this, the clarity of the photo is already affected but still pleasing.

As a bonus, that old Canon that we purchased in 2005 also has a video function. Although the resolution is not that clear at 10 frames per second, it’s just fine for personal use because it has a standard frame size of 640 x 480 pixels.

To me, the camera’s video was like a newfound toy. I was able to experi-ment with the so-called camera tricks, played with colors and tinkered with image movements. But I had to learn video editing.

The Adobe Premiere can easily cut and rearrange video clips of the standard video frame size (640×480 pixels). Some users prefer the Pinnacle. The movie maker software of Microsoft can give you a headache.

I had covered so many affairs with my digital camera. After editing and adding titles and texts, I burn the clean video in a dvd and present to the celebrant. Not bad for documenting events.

After 5 years, I had an upgrade of my camera. So as to maintain compa-tibility, it’s another Canon and again a Powershot series. This A3000 costs less than P10,000 and it comes with a free rechargeable lithium battery.

My new camera can shoot a photo with a resolution of 3,648 x 2,736 pixels. That’s the power of the 10 megapixels camera. That photo size can be used for tarpaulin purposes up to 5 feet in width or maybe more.

For the video, this A3000 can shoot 640 x 480 with a frame rate of 30 frames per second, a big improvement from the previous 10 frames per second. That video resolution is comparable with the output of the videocam that uses mini dv tapes.

Recently, my wife won a digital camera in a photo contest. Coincidentally, it’s another Canon and a Powershot series again. But this SX130 model is more powerful than the 2 Canons that I have.

Note: See related article Lenten Photo Contest Winner. Click this link:

The handy but powerful Canon SX130

This 12.1 megapixel camera can shoot photographs with a resolution of up to 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, that’s as large as an A2 paper. This resolution is ideal for portrait and group shots which can later on be blown up with gusto.

By the way, the resolutions of the digital camera can be lowered, whether for photos or videos. But those in the know say that you should maximize the function of your camera so it’s not advisable to scrimp on resolution so as to save storage space.

As expected, this advanced digital camera has a video function. The images of the video are so clear even with low lighting. The colors are crisp and sleek as can be seen on the wide screen monitor.

With a frame rate of 30 frames per second and a frame size of 1,280 x 720 pixels, it’s actually an HD video. I had to pause a bit to digest that fact because that High Definition video had given me a big problem.

First problem, the format of the video is a movie file for MacIntosh and my Quicktime viewer is not equipped to handle that size. Second problem, my video editor couldn’t access that large-sized video.

After installing a video player, I finally saw the HD video output of our new Canon SX130. Indeed, what I saw on the camera’s monitor was much clearer on the computer screen. Maybe it would look better on the television when played with a dvd player.

An HD (High Definition) video is superior than the standard because the 1,280 width is double that of the standard 640 pixels width. Some Indie movie makers, especially those who want to save on expenses, use an HD camera.

The technology is bringing us closer to the real thing – the movie on the theater screen. The HD with 1,280 x 720 is for the widescreen television. For movie projectors, there’s the 1,920 x 1,080 pixels which is almost half of the theater screen.

Managing an HD requires more storage. But hard disks nowadays, especially the portable ones, have capacities that reach 500 GB or more. That’s good enough to hold the complete footages of a movie production.

Just to reiterate, our newest digital camera was made for still pictures. The bonus video function in HD format seems to be coercing me to buy a new computer equipped with movie editing facilities. That probably has to wait.

Camera, cellphone, computers. Users, particularly the amateurs, are left behind by the fast changing technology. These are the signs of the times.

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