Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Future of Video Cameras

At the pro and prosumer level, I don't know. I don't have any experience in that area, but I would expect them to have their following. People who are really into pictures use DSLRs and I think people who are really into video will want high quality gear.

Consumer video cameras are in for some hurting. The market for them will shrink considerably. Point and shoot cameras will tread deeply into their market.

Consider this: Most video cameras today are tape based. when you are trying to tape your kids entire recital, this is fine, it's nice to get the whole thing in one go. However, few people actually do this, and fewer still actually watch these videos. Most videos are short, no more than a few minutes, and tape can be a real drag since it isn't random access.

More and more they are going to hard disks or flash memory, giving people random access to their clips. This trend will continue.

But let's think here. What other kind of camera uses flash memory, has a nice optical zoom and is taking better and better video as time goes on? That's right, point and shoot cameras. Why take a dedicated still camera AND a dedicated video camera when the still camera can do a decent job at both? The rare times when a dedicated video camera will do better just won't justify their cost, weight, and hassle.

My predictions for the next 5 years:
  • Video cameras will continue to increase in resolution. 1920x1080p full HD will be the standard.
  • Few, if any, will use tape, most will use flash memory (16 or 32 GB cards maybe?) some will use hard disks (large enough to get your whole vacation on, 200+ GB)
  • Their market will be smaller than it is today.

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