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October 17, 2004

BLOG VIDEO: I've been experimenting with my cheap Sony digicam and Windows Movie Maker 2. That's because I really think that the video-with-sound capabilities of digital still cameras are the key to success with blog video -- it's just so much easier to carry one of those around. Movie Maker 2 is pretty decent for rough-and-ready video in that setting, too -- it supports exposure control, which I used, and titles, which I didn't, and while I'm all for fancier video software, I believe in relying on stuff that's simple and ubiquitous whenever possible. Here are two short segments that I shot with the Sony as examples. The first involves the InstaWife shooting at the range recently. (Small version for dialup here -- no complaining about her form, gun geeks, because although she's riding the recoil a bit, it was toward the end of the second box of ammo and she was tired; she was rock steady for the first several magazines' worth).

The second was shot in my neighborhood sushi bar (small version here). In both cases the lighting wasn't great, and neither was the sound situation, but I think the product is pretty decent. And these were shot on the "standard" setting, not the high quality setting. It seems to me that a local news-blogger with a couple of big memory cards could do some interesting stuff with this kind of a setup. For example, if I'd had the Sony with me instead of the Olympus, I would have done some video interviews along with the still pix when I visited the bullet-riddled Bush/Cheney HQ in Knoxville last week. And that would have been kind of cool. Those with ambitions toward news-blogging, take note.

UPDATE: Reader John MacDonald emails:

The video and sound came out pretty well albeit it was a short clip, but then nightly news isn't much better. If someone wants to go to a lecture or a protest or fire, this will give readers a good idea of what's going on. Now that you're unleashing hundreds of thousands of videographers, how do they get it on a news feed or yahoo? MSM may not be able to do too much more filtering if there are hundreds or thousands countering their spin on a story.Now you just have to work out a few logistical kinks.

Well, blogs are okay for distributing video, but I agree that we need something better. One step at a time. . . .