Welcome to the age of consumer HD video

I LOVE my Canon 5D MK II. Check out this video I filmed with it last week at the LeWeb Conference. Make sure you watch it in HD (might buffer if you don’t have a good connection, it’s best if you open the video on its own URL and make sure the HD button is clicked).

This was filmed using nothing but the Canon with 17-40mm F4.0 lens. Total cost? About $3,800. No extra gadgets other than I use a $150 Bogen/Manfrotto monopod to steady the camera.

YouTube’s video quality is spectacular.

How big a deal is this? Well, Mike Arrington and I interviewed Chad Hurley, cofounder of YouTube, and at the end of the interview we talk about the impact that HD will have (you can see Mike Arrington’s Techcrunch post and video here). Here’s that interview (here’s the URL for that video, watch it on its own page for best quality):

The thing is, for “pro” quality now you only need a $4,000 system but you can get pretty damn good quality with a Kodak Zi8 or a FlipCam. The Kodak works great at 720p quality and OK at 1080p. But those cameras are only $200. The fact that you can do decent HD for $200 and distribute those videos for free is a revolution.

Welcome to the age of HD video. Where’s yours?

One problem with this HD age is you can really see when I haven’t done something technically well. For instance the Chad Hurley video is slightly not focused properly (the 5D isn’t easy to focus in video mode). But the fact that I can do this at all is incredible. Thanks, too, to LeWeb for putting in high speed lines so I could upload these two videos from the conference floor.