Gigs and gigabytes

Last night while watching Finch, the same way I craned to see the stage, I found myself trying to see people's cameras among the forest of hands. Big screens look cool

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

As an indie kid turned skatepunk turned chin-stroking music bore, I go to a lot of gigs. In a past life I did a fair bit of gig photography, so I know how challenging it is. I've long since left the moshpit behind -- although that wasn't the case watching Pendulum earlier this week -- and now I prefer to stand somewhere with a little elbow room and a decent view of both the stage and the bar.

Are camera phones the new lighters? It still tickles me to see people holding their phones in the air at gigs. Ten years ago, holding your phone in the air would have seemed daft. Fifteen years ago it would have been impossible. But now everyone wants to take pictures. Maybe it's just since I've been a camera reviewer I've found my gig experience changing: as well as watching the show, people-watching the other punters, and considering if I'm too old to crowd-surf or start a band, I now notice that more people are holding up actual cameras.

Last night while watching Finch -- great to have them back -- the same way I craned to see the stage I found myself trying to see people's cameras among the forest of hands. Big screens look cool. I find myself muttering about turning the flash off, though.

That's the point of compacts: small enough to take anywhere, clever enough to cope with any situation, easy enough to make it worth taking lots of pictures and sharing them. Is video getting there too? The recent proliferation of small, simple and above all cheap camcorders has culminated in the enormous Stateside success of the Flip Video, now joined by Creative's Vado. This suggests that video is only going to get more accessible. Bootleggers rejoice.