An affordable macro lens from Canon with a built-in ring light? Sounds too good to be true.
One element of my job I need to keep reminding myself to revisit is video technology. The kit available in this area is changing so fast, that recommendations I make to journalists need to move just as fast. I’m mainly interested in the low end kit, the cameras you stick in your pocket to grab footage of something interesting that happens unexpectedly. Basically, once you reach the stage where you’re using heavy tripods and Final Cut Pro, you’ve moved beyond my interest zone…
I spent a chunk of the weekend editing 30 minutes of holiday video footage down to a nice, tight 10 minutes that went down a storm with the family. And that reminded me of several experiments I've wanted to conduct with video for a while, and a few extra ones that crossed my mind while chatting with Documentally when he came to speak at RBI.
- MacBook (left): My trusty laptop, which has been my workhorse for closing in on three years. Despite the leaps in what phones can do, I still need it for the full keyboard and photo and video editing.
- Kodak Zi8 and Flip Mino HD: Not one but two pocket HD video cameras. The Flip Mino is my traditional camera, but the Zi8 will probably see more action this conference as I’m testing it out.
- iPhone. Web. E-mail. Photo. Video. Audio. The Le Web app. Essential tool for me these days
- Fuji Z20fd: Snappy Fuji compact, for those moments when I don’t want to traipse the SLR around with me, but the iPhone won’t cut it. The most endangered part of this kit.
- EOS 500D and 70-300 Zoom Lens – The bedrock of my conference photography. As past events have show, I can grab great pics from the stage by pushing the camera’s ISO high and shooting at the extreme end of the lens.
I'd blocked out the morning in my diary anyway, but I was delighted to learn from Lloyd that Canon would be sponsoring the morning, as I'm a long term Canon SLR and DSLR user, and getting the opportunity to play with their new kit was too good to be missed.
On the whole, people at work tend to know me as a champion of the "quick'n'dirty" approach to photos and videos in reporting. And I think that's valid. The social media era is pushing journalists towards being multi-media workers, and basic kit is (a) great for learning (b) easier to use, and thus gets used more and (c) often enough for most journos. But there are specialist tasks and situations which demand better kit. And some journalists will continue to have a bias towards particular elements of multimedia.