Opinion: Where’s the rest of the picture?

by Cougar News Contributor 491 views0

Why do smartphones have the option to record vertically? Not once have I seen an appropriate circumstance that would require anyone to record a video in such a matter. Not only does this decrease the quality of the footage, it is also hard to watch when it is played back on a TV or a computer screen.

For example, sometimes when watching the news, the news station would take a video clip of a tragic event that some witness recorded on their smartphone. For some reason, it’s not rare that people would record a tragic event vertically. Why is that? Every time I see the news use vertical footage I am always more focused on the fact that the person who recorded the video decided to record it vertically then whatever is being reported.

Why do smartphone have the option to record vertically at all? My theory is that when smartphone cameras were first programmed, designers wanted whatever footage that was recorded with the device to be compatible with other smart phone device screens. Although vertical footage does work on smartphones, it does not work on other media devices. In fact, it looks really sloppy when played on other screens. Imagine watching a blockbuster in a movie theater and the movie footage was recorded vertically, it would make for a really hard to watch movie because most of the screen is missing.

Why keep vertical footage as an option for smartphone users if most of the screen is missing on other devices? Horizontal footage looks absolutely fine on a smartphone because you are using the whole smartphone screen. Some might say vertical footage is easier on people’s hands because you only need one hand to record and not two. Although it might be easier to record with on hand, the product of recording vertically will always be the same. A sloppy looking video that is hard to look at and feels like it has no depth. It is like looking through a keyhole, you can see what is going on but you can’t get the whole picture. Human eyes are used to seeing things horizontally because we have peripheral vision. Not seeing the whole picture can counteract our natural was of seeing the world and can be very awkward and uncomfortable.