06/15/2010 02:28 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Digital Production in 2010

Ask anyone in the media production industry and they'll say that there are 3 crucial business factors -- good, cheap and fast. In order to create media, you can pick 2 and inverse the other one. So, a video can be a good and cheap, but it won't be delivered fast. It can be fast and cheap, but it won't be good.

While this is definitely true today, production tools are changing rapidly. Canon announced and released the T2i earlier this year and based on my YouTube views, it is a success. In a nutshell, the Canon T2i is a DSLR camera. Its first and foremost job is to take good photographs. However, it has an excellent video mode. It shoots 1080P and combined with the right lenses, it produces video that looks comparable to some of the best cameras in the $10,000 range.

The T2i costs less than $1,000, not including lenses.

So, what does this mean for digital content creators? It means when cost-efficient tools are in the hands of experienced professionals, the results are outstanding. DSLR video is still very new and as such, requires more knowledge than operating a traditional video camera for a couple of reasons:

  • Deep understanding of technical imagery - shutter, apperture, ISO, etc.
  • Dedicated audio setup (with the H4n) and sync setup.
For digital content creators, this is good news for a few reasons:
  • Hardware investment has decreased substantially.
  • Quality has increased, primarily due to greater knowledge of the above techniques.
Furthermore, tools such as the iPad and related apps streamline the production process. On a recent commercial shoot, we used DSLR Slate to sync all our cameras as well as for color balance purposes. The application costs $4.99. Comparing that to a traditional slate, which costs $1,000+, this is a bargain, even if you have to purchase an iPad to use it.


On the distribution side, companies like Blip.TV and TubeFilter have enhanced their solutions to gain more viewers and increase distribution platforms. And, Apple's recently released Mac Mini with an HDMI port as well as the XBOX 360 and ESPN announcement are further bridging the gap, making content truly multi-platform.


Aanarav Sareen is a content creator and digital media consultant. He blogs daily at Digital Media Business and publishes the monthly Digital Media Newsletter. He's also the host of the weekly Digital Media Podcast.