Back in 2005, my aunt and I went to Rome for Easter. I packed what seemed like an impossibly small video camera, its case about the size of a small purse, and I captured beautiful scenes of Pope John Paul’s last Easter.
Then I got home and realized that without specialized editing software, I couldn’t do much besides play it back as is, plugging the camera into my computer.
About a year later, a friend told us about this thing called YouTube. John’s computer wheezed and stuttered as we tried to watch our first video.
As online video became all the rage, I bought a Flip, a high-definition video camera about the size of an old mini cassette recorder. Its simple interface quickly got me recording, editing and uploading video to YouTube. The name referred to its clever design — you push a button on the side of the camera and a USB connection flips up, plugging straight into your computer without a cord.
This was the first video I shot on my Flip cam then uploaded to YouTube. It’s literally almost as interesting as watching paint dry.
I was slow to the iPhone trend, but once I started carrying a high-quality camera as part of my smartphone, I rarely bothered with my Flip any more. The launch of Twitter’s Vine, a tool for sharing six-second video loops, followed by Instagram’s 15-second videos, made it easy to share video without ever touching my computer. Record the video, share it straight from the iPhone via wifi or data plan.
In just a few years, it’s remarkable how much amateur video has changed — and that’s from a starting point I already thought was pretty advanced.
So many other technologies are moving just as quickly, and it can be tempting to just stick with what you already know. It can be overwhelming to constantly learn new tools.
But imagine saying no, I’d rather keep my fax machine than learn email. No, my film camera is just fine, why would I bother with a digital camera or the phone on my camera? Who needs a photocopier when this ditto machine still works? I prefer this rotary phone to a cordless push button, and I can’t see a use for a cellphone. I like these eight tracks, or albums, or cassettes, or CDs … Read more