Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Video Journalism: small cameras used well

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on March 9, 2010

Last year I put together a short video recommending Kodak’s Zi8 camera as a cheap, but high quality alternative for video journalists and film makers on a small budget.

It’s external mic input and HD capability give it the edge over its rival the FlipCam, and I really think if it’s used properly it can create professional looking footage. Well I’m glad to say someone has gone out and proved that point.

Markham Nolan shot this piece for the Irish Sailing Association. In particular look out for the interview clips which appear about 01’07” in. Well framed, well lit, with an external microphone used, you wouldn’t think this had been shot on a camera the size of a Blackberry. As Markham says:

On the whole, this was low-budget, low-tech. Rory was sitting on a kitchen chair in my garden shed office. I hung a black sheet behind him and sat him with a window on his left (camera right) so we had nice soft, natural light.  On advice from Adam Westbrook, I had splashed out on a Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera to record the interviews with Rory (a whopping €130). The Zi8 has a microphone line in, so I nabbed a cheap lapel mic, and the sound quality is great as a result.

And here’s my original review of the Zi8 from back in December.


6 Responses

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  1. Markham said, on March 9, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Glad you liked it. Thanks for the link, and the camera recommendation – I’ve passed it on and on, Kodak should pay commission.

    More to come.

    • jon19003 said, on March 10, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      I do like the piece but I am wondering if the camera had a hard time autofocusing on the off-center face or if the subject was closer than the min. close focus dist. of the lens. Looks like focus is on the shoulder.

  2. Brennig said, on March 11, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Adam, thank you very much for the zi8 review. This might be bizarre but I am interested in portable recording – as in recording an action, fast-moving event from a participants POV. Would you have suggestions for an inexpensive solution?

  3. Will Peach said, on March 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Really enjoyed that. Interesting to see what can be done with this kind of set-up. Quick question to Markham: what software did you use to edit and are those custom made straps being used? Also, is the intro guy the result of some online resource or was this done from scratch?

  4. Markham said, on March 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

    @jon I had it set on landscape instead of macro, my error.

    @will straps created and all edited in iMovie, with the intro guy created via

  5. Detoxification Of Your Body · said, on November 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    garden sheds can provide comfort specially in the hot summer months ,..

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