Money can't buy you creativity...
by, 01-15-2012 at 05:49 PM (3561 Views)
If you're anything like me, you'd happily spend a small fortune on video gear. And it's easily done - software alone can set you back a few grand. We probably talk about the latest fad more than we'll actually used it. But how do you justify spending (or as my wife would say, "wasting") money on new gear, particularly when you're just replacing a perfectly good camera.
My last "upgrade" was a DSLR. I managed to persuade myself that a DSLR was a logical step, especially as I wanted to get a bit more serious about photography. And those stunning "test footage" videos on vimeo were the final push. But I'd overlooked a critical fact - I'd never used a DSLR for video. I spent a good few days getting myself acquainted with a camera that was never designed to take video. Yes, the video quality was stunning, but all those tricks for holding a "proper" video camera had to be adapted. Looking back, it was initially a step backward - I wasn't anywhere near as creative with my shots because I didn't know how to hold the camera. I'm still not sure I'm as comfortable with a DSLR, but it's just opened up a whole new world of buying opportunities. I've currently got two lenses in my wishlist.
There's only a few pieces of kit the budding amateur needs. And I mean really needs. A camera and a tripod to film, a PC and editing software to edit. Every additional piece of kit you buy go towards adding wow factor, but it's your core pieces of kit that provide the "guts" of your video. And those "wow" shots need to be used sparingly, or they lose impact. More importantly, for every piece of kit you buy comes a brand new learning curve. Even simple pieces of kit like a glidecam take hours of practice - it's not just moving a camera along a track, it's finding creative uses to get stunning visuals. Put simply, you don't just "use" video gear, you find creative uses in the best circumstances.
If you're hankering after the latest "must have", dig out your last purchase and see if you've mastered that "essential" piece of kit. If you don't know where it is, it's covered in dust, or you can't get the thing working, you probably don't need another gadget. So get our there, film, and have fun learning your hobby. Only buy a new gadget when you've mastered what you have - buying a new gadget won't improve your creativity!
And on that note, I'm looking for a Steadicam Merlin. Don't supposed anyone's got a Steadicam gathering dust, have they?