Video and the still photographer.

Can you feel the pressure to try out video? I know the two 'big camera' manufacturers are casting their marketing spell trying to draw us in. And why not, the look and feel that DSLR video produces used to be the realm of Hollywood only.

My issue is one of distraction to the professional photographer. Never before has it been more important to focus on our core skills and business practise, than now. And big camera are suggesting us to change career...? Sure some will make that jump, but you think photoshop was a big learning curve, consider the art of editing video.

So what can you do with a DSLR and video that is attainable for the stills photographer? Yervant Zanazanian spoke at the AIPP Hair of The Dog conference in Brisbane last week, he is wary of the video 'lure', but puts video to great use. Yervant uses a Canon 5DMk2 to capture 'long stills', from which he screen grabs individual frames and adds to his wedding album prints...yes, stills from video. Yervant said he regularly prints 11x14inch prints from these grabs!

Stills from motion have always been a promise that has never been fulfilled. The idea is exciting, the reality has always been disappointing. Screen grabs from the 5DMk2 are acceptable as 'filler' images for an album, they are a smaller resolution than stills, whilst classed as HD, but they are not the RAW masters you need to create great prints. Think of them as a spare 35mm camera loaded with fast film to grab that 'reportage' moment.

Yervant uses SnapFlow (for Mac) software to pick through the thousands of video frames and identify the hero stills, you mark the frames for extraction and when you are done sorting, SnapFlow extracts and names the frames. (There will be a windows equivalent, I haven't found it yet.)

But what makes Yervant so excited about stills from video, the promise of a 4k Canon DSLR, each frame will have the approximate resolution of current 5D. What will this mean? Will looking for the 'moment' be a matter of picking through 10 frames...