“The video camera provides such an accurate and convincing record of contemporary life that it has become a more important form of documentation than written records.”


  “The video camera provides such an accurate and convincing record of contemporary life that it has become a more important form of documentation than written records.”There have been many methods of documenting in the history of human,from carved ancient pottery to sheepskin documents,of which the video camera may be the newest form with certain superiorities and inferiorities to written records.The advantages of video camera certainly make it an important form of documentation,but not to the extent of being more essential than written records due to its disadvantages.

  To begin with,video can be interpreted as a series of pictures associated along the time, while written records can be considered as the descriptions of these pictures.Therefore,it is undoubtedly that video contains much more information than that of written records.From a video, we can clearly know what happened with subtle details.Merely with a television set,we can easily watch the happenings at home,such as the Olympic Games,comfortably sitting on the sofa,needless to be present on the spot.

  And more excitedly,certain close-up enables us to scrutinize our favorable athletes.If there isn't video camera,we may be unable to enjoy such activities unless we can afford time and expense to be on the spot.While it is true that we can also be acquainted with the circumstances through newspaper or other media,however,the written record may be unable to present them as accurate as video.The imagination from the reports,however detailed,dooms to be imaginary,by all means different from the real circumstance,which video can represent.Moreover,the written records may contain some mistakes due to the carelessness or injustice of its reporters,while the video may be more accurate and convincing.

  Another strongpoint of video is that it can be perceived simply by visual signals,from which people mainly get information in their daily lives,and therefore this method is more natural than written records.Everyone,ranging from a babbling child to an old grandpa,is able to get some information from the video just as they do during their daily lives,regardless of their literate ability.While the written record,no matter how easily it is represented,requires literacy of its readers,and a newspaper or book means nothing to an illiterate person.In addition,video is much easier to comprehend for people all over the world.For instance,an American can grasp nothing about a story written in Chinese unless she has learnt such a foreign language. However,she can absolutely understand something about a video recorded in China, although she may be confused with the language spoken in the video.

  While video is certainly not superior to written recorders in all aspects,its limitations determine that the written record will not be replaced at least at present.The first disadvantage of video is that it is much more inconvenient and expensive.Video must be recorded on the spot, namely,when an event happens to you,you cannot record it unless you have a camera at hand. However,even though you haven't paper and pencil either,you are still able to recall it to record based on your remembrance.

  Therefore,for those who can't afford a handy camera or who are unwilling to bring it anytime anywhere,the written records may be the easiest form available.Further,another weakness of video is that its cost is too high and its correspondingly high-quality record may be beyond people's requirement.The cost of making a written report is much less than that of manipulating a video. Also,every morning we may browse a newspaper to know what happened throughout the world,and the simple report,which may only consume us a few seconds,meets our needs of curiosity;we needn't the accuracy and vividness of video,which may be more time-consuming.