Olympus E-P1 Video
I know you people are sick of my E-P1 crap by now but someone did ask me about video via email. I really am not prepared to answer that question. I bought this thing for stills, I honestly don’t know when I will use the video recording. My hard drives fill up with crap quickly enough. I did take a grand total of one handheld video and I was impressed with the “quality”. I will try to get up the energy to actually make a serious effort on the HD video for this little guy soon.
Until then let me give you my thoughts on video, HD video, and all of the internet generated shortcomings that have been bantered about regarding not only the Olympus Pen cameras but a lot of DSLR’s as well. I applied the same thought process to this camera as I have when considering other cameras that happen to do HD video. First off - for me it’s totally secondary at the moment. In fact it is not part of the equation but if it were I think most of the criticisms about autofocus durning video, lack of exposure modes and adjustment while shooting video, and under performance of “vibration reduction” as some sort of commentary on the video performance is absolute hogwash written by neophytes that wouldn’t know the first thing about how to shoot a “high quality” video in the first place.
For instance - the complaint about AF and handholding. Hmmm. If you let the camera focus for you so that the focus jumps about AND you hand hold video it will suck. End of story the video will suck. Who the hell cares if it’s HD, it sucks. Same goes for “auto exposure” while shooting. Who cares about auto exposure - set it or lock it on the ONE exposure for that shot then shoot it. If you don’t the variation even by a little during that shot will also cause it to suck.
I know what you are thinking - you are thinking that I am absolutely around the bend on this one. Okay don’t believe me. Take a look at ANY good video. Let’s take something from Hollywood for a second. Is focus all over the place? How often does one see a change in focus point on a particular shot? Maybe 1% and even then how do you think that is done? hmmm. marks on the lens. marks on the floor, all preplanned and executed at the exact time the director wants it done. For the vast majority of shots it will be a pre-chosen focus point with a predetermined depth of field. Same for exposure. Do you see the scene brightness jumping all over the place when the actors move or a window comes into the shot? Answer = no. Even across multiple shots that are supposed to be in the same location at the same time, even if they were shot weeks apart are at the same EV.
You starting to catch on here. Okay let’s take hand held shooting of video - again this happens 1% of the time and then half that is with a very very expensive steady-cam (look it up) or it’s all jiggly on purpose for special effect. You know like when it’s supposed to be footage taken by some POV victim that just got shot or blown up or trampled on by a monster. Okay so all the internet experts want a built in steady cam. Fine - if you use it for 100% of all your high quality HD footage your videos will still suck.
If you don’t shoot your video like this who the heck cares if it’s HD? Shoot it with your cell phone and save the effort and expense. Do you think the guys shooting serious stuff even with DSLR’s don’t shoot it the way I just explained? Of course they do. Check out the biggest proponent of HD video in DSLR’s on the planet. Laforet or whatever his name is.
Okay - so that’s my thoughts on all of the criticisms aimed at the E-P1. You have already seen what it can do on the commercial - of course the shot it just like they would if they were using a camera that cost a quarter million dollars. Se that is the great equalizer, not bull crap about auto exposure and autofocus on these toys.
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