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By: Hoan K. Trinh

The Nikon D90 was the first DSLR to have a video function when it first came out in 2008. When this video feature first came out, there were some resistant from photographers since it seemed like a gimmick and would not have a place in professional use. One of the phrases that I often heard back then was “If I want a video camera, I would buy a camcorder”. Now, after a few years, we know that video footage from DSLR does have a place in the professional video market since DSLRs do have their unique and desirable traits when it comes to recording video.  Some these traits such as the low light capability and the depth of field in DSLR’s footages are difficult to imitate using other medium.  Also, a DSLR system could offer a vast variety of lenses that does not exist in other format. While no one can deny the success of DSLR’s video capability, one question still has not been answered. When is a photographer going to use the video function on his DSLR? I mean the people that use DSLR to record videos are mostly videographers.

I am not much of videographer at all, but I did find that the video function on my D90 particularly useful when covering a speech. Why? Because there are only so many ways you can take a photo of someone giving a speech. The message of the speech itself cannot be captured by photographs. Carrying an extra video camera around for quick clips of speeches might be overkill for photographers who use still images as a medium of expression.  With a quick click of a button, a photographer can capture the essence of a speech without too much much effort on his DSLR.  I think the ability for photographer to do that is pretty neat and definitely worth it.

Can a photograph capture this kind of message?  Probably not in this context.  Record on the Nikon D90 with the 35mm f1.8 lens.

You can further read about the my trip to Washington, D.C where that clip was taken here.


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