Tag Archives: flip

Five of the best compact camcorders

30 Mar

One of the greatest strengths of any mobile journalists is the ability to capture an event as it is happening, right from the frontline of the action.

As the recent coverage of the Japanese tsunami has shown, a picture can often be worth a thousand words and a video can often be worth a thousand photographs. The videos taken of the tsunami were unlike anything ever seen – they provided a form of journalistic coverage that had never before been achieved.

A quality compact camcorder is a vital part of your mojo kit bag and we have compiled a list of some of our favourites;

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A beginners attempt at capturing video footage: Flip camera

5 Dec

What you are about to see will hardly blow you away with its quality or technique, but what it does show you is the ease with which anybody (not just a journalist) can now gather video footage on the move.

 

 

To gather my video footage I chose to use a Flip camera; a light-weight camera that is no bigger than a mobile phone. The appeal of the camera is its simplicity: one button to begin capturing footage and to end, and a easy-to-use menu for reviewing captured footage.

The camera records on to an internal hard drive and files can then be uploaded to a computer via the camera’s attached USB stick.

I then used Windows Movie Maker to edit the footage. There can be an issue with file conversion to suit this programme, which my more technologically advanced friend helped me with.  Some useful advice can be found here.

The file conversion was fairly straight forward and once completed I dragged the files into the timeline at the bottom of the programme, using their simplistic editing tools, such as cross-fading and adding an intro (albeit a very plastic one). I then uploaded the video to Flickr.

Obviously the quality isn’t amazing, nor my shoddy camera work, but what the Flip offers you is the chance to capture video footage quickly and with ease. Coupled with the simplicity of Windows Movie Maker, the process is (dare I say it) fool proof.

Give it go. I don’t think mine looks too bad for a second attempt.

Some further tips on using Flip cameras can be found here.

What does a mobile journalist need?

1 Dec

While there is a huge variety of technology available¬† to any budding mojo, the cost of ensuring that you have every piece of equipment out there is unbelievably high. We have therefore compiled a list of ‘must-haves’ for any mobile journalist looking to report up-to-date news from a variety of locations.

Hardware

  • A smartphone with a camera/the capability to record video/a contract that allows you to send unlimited texts, make many phonecalls and with an unlimited data package
  • A small digital camcorder e.g. a Flip or Kodak Zx5
  • A digital dictaphone
  • Digital camera – while this may not always be entirely necessary, particularly if you have a high quality camera on your phone, they often take much better photos
  • Spoffle – a foam cover that can be placed over any microphone to reduce the amount of ‘crackling’ on the recording. These are available for smartphones that have voice recorders e.g. the iPhone
  • Spare batteries
  • A small portable tripod for your camera e.g. a GorillaPod
  • The ever trusty notebook and pen – always remember a spare pen
  • Small laptop or netbook with a dongle

Software

  • Apps for your smartphone/laptop that allow you to keep in constant contact through email, a blog, Twitter or other social media
  • TweetDeck
  • HootSuite
  • iBlogger
  • WordPress for iPhone
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Maps
  • Skype
  • A back-up email account – occasionally Google Mail or Hotmail will stop working and you should have a back-up ready
  • YouTube account

Each mojo will have their own preferences about what to take out with them while reporting. It is always wise to ensure that you have a list of contact phone numbers should you need to get in touch with your editor/colleague and I would personally always recommend taking out some form of food and drink – you never know where you may end up and for how long.

For more ideas on equipment for the mojo see;

Online Journalism Blog

Notes from the Field