2009 is going to be the year when camcorders finally shed themselves of magnetic tape, of interlacing, and of NTSC colorspace. Video artists have been pained by these outdated technologies for long enough. Just this quarter, JVC, Panasonic, and Sony, have all released hand-sized, less-than-a-pound HD camcorders that are capable of the true 1080 progressive scan resolution.

1080p for $200

If you’re willing to buy one without a hard drive the price tags drop closer to $500. In Sony’s case as pictured above $200 as apposed to the $5,000 price tags seen for 1080p HD cameras nearly a year ago. Case in point, digital is meeting the mark of film. Especially with 4k on the way, which is rather scary.

So what makes a big huge camera so much better still when the technology is obviously decreasing its size and portability? I can tell you it’s no fun carrying around a seven pound camera all day long. especially with a tripod.

Remember me?

Remember me?

The answer isn’t the 3 CCD technology. As I stated above, smaller CCDs are proving to leap ahead of older CCDs. It’s not the microphone because typically when you check out this behemoth you also get an external mic. It’s not the menus and options because they’re just as clumsy as any video camera. Arguably small consumer cameras have more user-friendly interfaces and touchscreens, and *gasp* LCD panels which my Canon XL-1s does NOT sport.

The reason you want a big camera is because it has a longer lens, and “better glass”.


So just imagine what happens when you buy a lens for a 35mm camera and stick it on to a little HD camera. You get something that feels less like a camera and a bit more like a video bazooka. But check out the stuff below, and maybe you’ll think about taking up some of your summer to build an adapter. The results certainly are rewarding.

What you see in the video above is not any kind of filter. It’s raw footage. Some of that magic is explained below with what I leave you with: a medley of the best introductory videos I know of.

4 Minute Film School covers the 35mm adapter

4 Minute Film School covers the 35mm adapter