Camcorders and kids?
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  1. #1
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    Camcorders and kids?

    No- this isn't an appeal for recommendations, but rather a discussion about comparing the merits between still photography and video.

    Q: How many parents regret not taking enough video of their young children?

    We have an 11 month old-- and have probably taken over a 1000 photos the past year. We have taken an entire 2 hours of video. Granted, the early months don't offer much interesting video opportunities--- mostly sleeping, laying down, etc.--- not much activity. That is all changing, of course. Regardless, it seems that still photography captures a moment better than video--- and it is more portable as a medium, more spontaneous to capture, etc. When we do take a video, it is generally a snippet that is a minute in duration, at the most.

    My wife isn't much of a fan of taking video--- and I generally forget about it. I was discussing the issue with a coworker who has an infant at home, and he stated the same thing--- video is rather boring. I vowed that I would not view my children's life through the viewfinder of a camcorder--- and it appears there isn't even a remote risk of that happening--- but will I regret not taking enough? I was born before the video age--- so there is no footage of me available. Will it be important to children later in life?

    Finally, I believe there is information overload. How many video tapes are just sitting around in parents' homes-- virtually unwatched-- ever--- taken merely for archival purposes, but never really used? Who has the time and energy to edit all that raw footage down into something watchable? Or, am I really missing something?

  2. #2
    Travels by Map
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    You're not missing anything and the points about editing is right on target.

    I don't mind taking video, but editing it is another story.

    Ideally, if I actually enjoyed editing it to make it more watchable, I would edit and put on DVDs. I just can't spend that much time on it and without editing, most of the footage can end up pretty damn boring. In the end, we just end up using the digital camera instead of video most of the time.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    No- this isn't an appeal for recommendations, but rather a discussion about comparing the merits between still photography and video.

    Q: How many parents regret not taking enough video of their young children?

    We have an 11 month old-- and have probably taken over a 1000 photos the past year. We have taken an entire 2 hours of video. Granted, the early months don't offer much interesting video opportunities--- mostly sleeping, laying down, etc.--- not much activity. That is all changing, of course. Regardless, it seems that still photography captures a moment better than video--- and it is more portable as a medium, more spontaneous to capture, etc. When we do take a video, it is generally a snippet that is a minute in duration, at the most.

    My wife isn't much of a fan of taking video--- and I generally forget about it. I was discussing the issue with a coworker who has an infant at home, and he stated the same thing--- video is rather boring. I vowed that I would not view my children's life through the viewfinder of a camcorder--- and it appears there isn't even a remote risk of that happening--- but will I regret not taking enough? I was born before the video age--- so there is no footage of me available. Will it be important to children later in life?

    Finally, I believe there is information overload. How many video tapes are just sitting around in parents' homes-- virtually unwatched-- ever--- taken merely for archival purposes, but never really used? Who has the time and energy to edit all that raw footage down into something watchable? Or, am I really missing something?
    My parents were video crazy during the 1980's when VHS camcorders became affordable. We have probably 100 or so tapes of me and my sister's sporting events, birthday parties, vacations, etc. that never get watched just because they are so poorly filmed. long, and just plain boring.

    That said, if someone edited the best parts of those 100 tapes into a 2 hour action packed DVD, it would be pretty cool.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Speaking of editing--- for my birthday my mother gave me the most amazing gift ever. She made a photo album of the first two years of my life-- paying the most excruciating attention to detail. She had found all sorts of photos I had never seen before. Everything has commentary, captions, narration, etc... in a book that looks like it was professionally done. Granted, it is not video, but it is so much more accessible. It is so much more interesting than a shoebox full of photos.


    Quote Originally Posted by lampshade
    My parents were video crazy during the 1980's when VHS camcorders became affordable. We have probably 100 or so tapes of me and my sister's sporting events, birthday parties, vacations, etc. that never get watched just because they are so poorly filmed. long, and just plain boring.

    That said, if someone edited the best parts of those 100 tapes into a 2 hour action packed DVD, it would be pretty cool.

  5. #5
    Large Suburban Male
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    We received a vid camera before my first kid was born, and we started documenting the usual stuff - birthdays, holidays, etc.

    Eventually (pretty quickly, actually), the camera went on the shelf. It's easier to snap photos that to try and video everything.

    That being said, it's pretty cool being able to see the kids when they were way younger, and also to see people who are no longer with us...Not to mention how we looked (fatter/skinnier/hairier/etc) when the video was shot.
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  6. #6
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    my wife was pro-video camera. i was not. she dropped $500 on a dvd camcorder. i was not happy. so far we have taken maybe 1.5 hours of video on that thing. our kid is over 2 years old. i have spent about 4 times that editing the videos into 30-60 second spots so her parents can download them.

    we also have a canon digital camera with video capability. i would say we have taken a few hours with that. much easier to just use the camera as a video recording because it is pretty much always within arm's reach. we will take a few video with that, keeping them under 30 seconds, then easily upload and send them.
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  7. #7
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    I definitely take more still than video. But I tell you there is no replacement for the sound of my little guys voice, or seeing him take his first steps. Things like that still photos just cannot recreate. I am often taken back to the time frame in the video and get a certain sense of joy that photos cannot duplicate.
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  8. #8
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    My daughters (eight and four) love to pull out a random video tape and watch it. Watching themselves on TV is a lot of fun and them being able to see what they were like, what they sounded like, etc is really interesting. We didn't get a video camera until my oldest daughter was one year old. In fact, the first thing we filmed was her birthday party. Sometimes it's nice to turn off network TV and watch the best 'reality' programming that exists.

    Oh, and I have about a bazillion still photos too. Once I made the switch from film to digital, the photos increased exponentially.
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