Why the DSLR is changing video journalism
Thing is, where are we seeing this happen? Video journalists working with traditional (albeit smaller) cameras are generally producing “TV” news, solo.
Flipcams, like the Kodak Zi8, are proving they can compete with the big boys in some instances…although still mimicking the old guard.
One camera is threatening to give the rules the rewriting they deserve.
A new range of digital SLR cameras are now capable of shooting HD video, through the most awesome quality photographic lenses. And it’s getting photographers and videographers very excited.
At the top of the pile is Canon’s 5D MkII which comes in at a hefty £2,5000. Cheaper, but still very high quality is the Canon 7D, roughly just over £1,000. And now Canon have brought out their cheapest one yet – the 550D. It shoots HD video at either 25 frames per second or up to 60 frames per second at a lower quality. It’s got an external microphone input, so you’ll get good quality sound, and you can attach any Canon lens onto it to get a wide range of gorgeous images…it’ll set you back £700.
In the right hands these cameras are bringing a cinematic feel to video journalism. There are no hands better than Beijing based photojournalist and VJ Dan Chung. Check out this film he shot for the Guardian. He trialled the 550D, and put it on some cheap movable rigs to add motion to the shots. Used subtly it doesn’t distract from the story, but adds a wonderful texture to it.
I am hoping to invest in the 550D in the very near future. I hope DSLRs, in whatever form or price inspire a real visual revolution. It’s about time.