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How the iPad 2 was used for professional level video coverage of CES 2012

Shortly after we discussed the possibility of the next iPad getting a significant boost in camera quality, Ricky Cadden got in contact to tell us about an exciting project that he and his team recently completed.

Ricky Cadden is a mobile technology expert and currently manages RadioShack’s presence on various social media outlets. Knowing Ricky as we do, we were not too surprised to find out that he had made the decision to capture video coverage of CES 2012 using the iPad 2, aided by the Movie Mount from Makayama, iRig Mic from IK Multimedia and various other accessories. It's not that Ricky's default position is reaching for Apple kit, far from it in fact, but rather that Ricky is quick to spot advantages in using new mobile technology.

So what advantages did shooting footage with the iPad 2 bring? Ricky states:

"...we used the Apple iPad 2 to shoot every second of our videos. That’s right, the iPad 2. Of course, we also had some additional gadgets helping out, including a unique sound setup that allowed us to use a total of 3 different microphones and a custom-made tripod mount for our iPads from Makayama.

Aside from some post-production that included adding graphics and soundtrack, the footage you saw in all of our CES coverage is pretty much exactly as it came through the iPad 2. The iPhone 4S’s 1080p video capture might have been slightly better, but the iPad 2 allowed us a larger display on which to preview footage and line up the shot on the show floor.

The results, as I’m sure you’ll agree, were impressive. All of our videos were posted in full 720p, and the sound turned out great, considering there were 150,000+ people milling around us and booths blasting their own sounds. The iPad 2 had plenty of storage and the connectivity options to upload straight from the floor – in many cases, we had the final cut of one video before we even finished shooting the next."

Ricky mentions that their iPad 2 rig caused quite a stir, with attendees often taking photos of their rig rather than the exhibit that the iPad 2 was filming! It seems that Ricky and his team were the only ones using the iPad 2 to provide professional level video coverage. That surprises us a little as the iPad 2's extended depth of field camera, large display and capacious battery life, combined with iMovie and the obvious connectivity advantages, make it a great choice for covering just such an event.

We watched some of the CES footage a few days before we were informed that it had been shot with an iPad 2, and as a testament to the quality of the footage, we didn't notice anything unusual about it. It's not the highest quality footage by any means, but it certainly seems good enough for 90% of the shots.

You can watch all the RadioShack CES footage here. Ricky has also posted his thoughts on the experience on his own personal blog.

If you want to dip your toes in the iPad video production waters, we can wholeheartedly recommend that you pick up a copy of the free video capture app that Makayama provide for use with the Movie Mount, it offers a level of control that is not present in the default camera app. iMovie is an essential purchase too. You might remember that we considered the Handstand iPad 2 case to be a pretty good substitute for a full-on rig in these situations.

App Store Link: Movie Mount and iMovie

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Reader Comments (5)

While this post is something that I am very much interested in. I am an editor myself, I do have an ipad as well as professional camera's for filming. There is something about this post that the average person may not realize. It was mentioned throughout this post and in the video samples that the crew edited on the iPad itself with iMovie. When looking at the last video in this post it's clearly impossible that it was edited on iMovie.

If you look back at the video the hosts are on screen talking about products and while they continue to talk other footage or sometimes called b-roll is played over the hosts voice as they continue to talk. So as far as i know there is no way to do this on imovie on the ipad unless they used another app that i'm not aware of.

Next they talked about the quality being good enough and I disagree, I don't think the ipads camera is good enough for professional use. I also own the iPhone 4s and would love to see it mounted on a shoulder rig attached to the sound set up they had, they would of produced much higher quality footage.

This system of shooting video is the future to be honest. Proper film cameras can't edit on the camera and the ipad with its apps become a very powerfull weapon in this world where video is mostly played online, streamed and need to be put up really fast. However the quality just isnt there and I am very much interested to see what camera they put into the iPad 3 and if mounts can be made for it for professional use.

I would still love to know the truth about which app of software they edited their videos on and if there is an iOS app that will allow me to edit b-roll over interviews

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Hi Brian, thank you for your comment, it's much appreciated.

To be clear, iMovie is not mentioned in the CES videos at all and when it's mentioned by us within the text of the article it's not in connection with these RadioShack CES videos, rather it's mentioned as a general benefit of shooting and editing with the iPad in these types of situations.

Video quality is a subjective thing to some extent... But we agree, it could be better and we look forward to seeing what Apple do with the iPad 3 in that department. ^_^

January 24, 2012 | Registered CommenteriPad Creative

I am wondering : how did they store all those videos?
The ipad's storage is limited.
Do you have any infos about that?

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

Hi Marc, thanks for the question. I'll ask Ricky to explain the workflow a little more and post it here in an update.

January 25, 2012 | Registered CommenteriPad Creative

That's more than expected, thank you :)

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

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