Point-and-shoot taking video

Tom was in a multiple-band concert at the high school Monday. I unexpectedly wound up being the designated "official" videographer due to an equipment failure of the school's equipment.

I had my Canon HF100 video camera which I normally shoot with, but I also had my Panasonic point and shoot (DMC-ZS20). The performance venue is quite wide and the marching band uses it all, and the Panasonic had by far the widest lens at 24mm equivalent (I did not bring the wide angle add-on lens for the HF100) so I shot the entire thing with the Panasonic on the tripod. I shot hand-held with the HF100 as well since I had not used the Panasonic for anything serious yet, didn't know if the sound would be good and didn't know if the batteries would hold for the whole concert.

It worked very well. I feared that the sound would not be good, but it was as good as you can expect from a band playing in a gymnasium. I shot at 720p and made a DVD from the files using Vegas studio HD.

I think I could have shot the entire thing, about 70 minutes, on one battery, but I had two fully charged batteries so I swapped before the final band (which comprised about half the concert) just to be safe. The first battery was reading 2/3 full at that point. It would have been different if I had been shooting 1080p - when I'm doing so the camera gets noticeably warmer so I think it probably kills batteries faster. I suppose I should do a test.

Even though the specs indicate that it should be a quite capable video camera, we've all been burned by the difference between theory and practice when it comes to photographic and video (and audio) equipment before, so I was relieved to get good results.