Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Never Assume: The SD Video Edition

A very short warning.

Recently, a friend was helping a middle school with their video needs. The school was looking to replace an old video camera that was being used to shoot events around the school. The footage would be edited using Premiere, and then "broadcast" on the schools internal TV network. That network is SD only.

The school went out and bought a couple of mid-range consumer video cameras.

But something that was completely overlooked when ordering the cameras was whether they shot in SD. It was just assumed that they did.

Turned out, they didn't!

One solution would have been to just shoot in HD and then edit in SD. Except that we determined that this would probably require updating the editing equipment they were using, and also would add another complication for users given everything was in SD format. In the end, the cameras were returned and replaced with two lower-priced SD only cameras (they do still make them!)

While just a year or so ago most HD video cameras also could be switched to record in SD mode, that seems to be changing. So are buying a camera and need the option of recording in SD, just remember to check the camera does record in that mode; never assume!

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