Companies & Sectors
The line between ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ cameras has vanished. But you still need a trained eye behind the lens for that right click

The cost of making audio and visuals just became much cheaper. But the skill of the photographer or cinematographer is still paramount in the business of photography or filmmaking 

Living in Delhi, one gets used to heavy security guidelines and regulations for all sorts of events, and has learnt to live with them. However, even by Delhi standards, this one was new, listed as one of the security guidelines for the Formula-1 event in Delhi. It states that included in the list of banned items for spectators are (See: Professional audio visual equipment, professional cameras
Frankly, till now, either electronic items were allowed, or they were not. Yes, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in its wisdom, continues to try to charge extra for using video equipment, not realising that almost all digital cameras now will record video as easily as they will record stills, but then that's the legacy of decades ago. And they are old hands at it, plus what’s at stake isn't more than a small charge levied for non-commercial video. F1 is supposed to be about state-of-the-art everything—including and especially electronics. Surely they know, by now, that there’s not much difference here, anymore, in what looks like professional equipment and what doesn’t?
This is also interesting, because as on date, the dividing line in output quality between professional audio/video equipment and what is known as consumer audio/video equipment is so thin that it has almost disappeared. Moreover, to leave this sort of discretion in the hands of private security guards is asking for trouble, of the sort that has a bad habit of becoming an issue in this day and age of instant social media based publicity. After all, there are cameras as small as the handheld point and shoots—which function almost as well as professional DSLRs, and there are old very professional looking cameras which will not match even the cheapest of point and shoots anymore.
The reference to the security issue pertaining to cameras at the F1 event in Noida was just one example of a huge change taking place in cinematography lately, which does not seem to be reflected in the way not just security agencies, but others react to the new age dawning on us. Assuming HD (High Definition) film quality as a benchmark, good enough for the end product to be screened at the best of multiplexes, the back-end in terms of equipment used for shooting itself has changed tremendously.
A good professional camera, used in both the television and film industry, like the RED-1, with bells & whistles, would cost between Rs30 lakh and Rs50 lakh in India today. At the other end of the price spectrum, a very good DSLR from a manufacturer like Canon, for example, along with a good lens, locally procured follow-focus, grip, new age LED lighting and portable sound recorder, would come for between Rs1.25 lakh and Rs3 lakh. That’s the simple bottom-line that a producer needs to deal with when going out looking for a few dozen cameras to work with while doing a movie or a commercial.
And both are going to give the same result, as more than a few movies as well as commercials will testify—movies as diverse as Ra.One and The Girl in Yellow Boots have used the low-cost DSLR camera-based rigs, and as for commercials—the list is already very long. Established professionals have not been able to tell the difference, when shown products from both options, while customers from the larger corporates who commission such work clump along blithely unaware, like the security guys at F1, that the world has moved on.
In addition, while professional camera equipment would still require a studio and equipment to work on it for the final product, the DSLR based cinema equipment often requires nothing more than a decent computer and a very quiet room. Yes, both will require some specialised knowledge of techniques, but the importance of the sound recordist as well as the technicians is still paramount, and lighting continues to play a major role for specialised cinema. But by and large, the cost of producing a film which has a technical quality good enough for the best of playback options available, is now coming crashing down because one of the main elements—the camera—is now available at just a fraction of the cost.
So, implications for so-called security issues apart, where does this leave the word "professional equipment" as far as so-called ‘film-making’ goes?
First of all, from the security point of view, professional or consumer level equipment, both are as dangerous or safe, if a fair and proper risk analysis is done. Organisations like F1 need to take a call on this serious matter.
Next, as far as those who are really creative or want to get their point of view across are concerned, it places them in a wonderful place, freed of the cost of film and developing to start with. (How many here remember the political clout involved in even getting hold of raw stock of film for making movies, not too long ago?) The main equipment cost has also come crashing down to about 10%-15% of what it used to be.
And finally, what this really gets across is that no longer is it the person who owns the machine who calls the shots in what the rest of us are going to see, because now it is increasingly clearer that anybody can own or rent these cheaper professional cameras. It will now be the message that dominates, as well as the technological skills of the person getting that message across, and not any more the cost of the technology.
Who is going to explain this to the security guard, or the corporate honchos, then, when their bosses are still not reconciling themselves to this radical shift taking place in the world of cinematography?




5 years ago

The eye behind the lens is indeed most critical, but today's camera's do more than just help.While on a trip to Kailas-Mansarovar I assessed the Nikon DSLR too heavy to lug along in that rarified atmosphere; so just took a Sony cybershot. But a short video from that is so amazing......Pl send me your email-id and I'll send the file.



In Reply to SANarayan 5 years ago

Dear Narayan ji, thank you for writing in . . . may I request you to post the video on youtube or equivalent, and also place the url here, please?

And yes, the point and shoot videos are getting better and better every day.



In Reply to malQ 5 years ago

The URL is http:/


In Reply to malQ 5 years ago

Have given the URL

When the government violates its own Internet censorship rules

Several law enforcement agencies are circumventing the IT Act, the Indian Penal Code and ultimately the Constitution, by not following proper procedure for removal of online content

Internet censorship in the age of free information is still a debatable issue. However, several times, it becomes necessary for the government to block or remove certain content from the Internet in the larger interest of society. In India, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) is the only designated authority that can order content removal or website blocking. However, many times, several law enforcement agencies are found to be circumventing the DIT by not following proper procedure for removal of online content.

In addition, the information procured by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the DIT and the latest Transparency report issued by Google show a wide gap. According to the reply from DIT, so far, six government officials and one politician have made requests for disabling access to certain online content under Section 69(A) of the IT Act. However, the report from Google says that it received 68 written requests from Indian law enforcement agencies for removal of 358 items from its various sites.

The statistics provided by the government show only eight separate requests made to the DIT, which under the IT Act is the only authority that can order blocking or removal of online content. These requests actually total up to 68—including 64 websites (at domain level), 1 sub-domain and 3 specific Web pages.

There are various reasons for blocking the online content, primary being adult content (61 domains), one domain and a sub-domain for specific communal issues and two specific pages, one a video speech of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray on YouTube and one page of Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wikipedia.

Section 69 (A) of the IT Act empowers the Union Government to “direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource” through a designated officer.

However, the ground reality is very different when it comes to following the procedures of the IT Act. While there are few who approach the Designated Officer for blocking online content, as per the Google report, there are a number of people, agencies and institutions that are sending requests directly to domains or registrars for removing content. While blocking of online content is regulated by the IT Act, forcible removal of content is not. However, this is what is happening, most of the times. Surprisingly, companies like Google oblige such requests even when they are not under any legal obligation to do so.

According to CIS, the DIT did not provide answers to two specific issues, whether any block ordered by the Department has even been revoked and the basis on which the Department decides the intermediary (Web host, internet service providers (ISPs) for sending content blocking orders. In addition, CIS said the DIT in its reply to the RTI application only provided minutes of one meeting of the committee (Committee for Examination of Requests, constituted under Rule 8(4) of the Blocking Rules) that decides whether to carry out a block, when it had requested for minutes of all the meetings it had held. The Committee is supposed to consider each single item in every request sent to the Designated Officer. The DIT has accepted that it sent 68 items for blocking to the Designated Officer through six requests. This shows there is something that does not add up. Either the Committee is not following the Blocking Rules or the DIT is not providing a complete reply under the RTI Act, said CIS.


Toyota Kirloskar’s sales at 10,762 units in October 2011

Toyota Kirloskar’s growth in sales is mainly driven by Toyota’s latest entrants Etios and Etios Liva , which sold 3,405 and 2,454 units respectively

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) registered a growth of 63% in the month of October 2011, when compared to the same period last year. The company sold 10,762 units in October 2011 as compared to 6,602 units in October 2010.
The growth in sales is mainly driven by Toyota’s latest entrants Etios and Etios Liva , which sold 3,405 and 2,454 units respectively.

The Innova, Corolla Altis and Fortuner sold 3411, 700 and 763 units respectively.

“The production in October has been low due to the festive holidays. However, we have registered a growth in sales last month. The Etios continues to drive the sales growth,” said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director-marketing, TKM.
The company registered a cumulative growth of 68%. It sold 1,06,246 units from January 2011 to October 2011 when compared to 63,158 units in the same period last year.


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)