It’s Time For Citizen Journalism To Grow!
And that means you!
As an image maker and communicator, you have the skills to capture, and share the information to the world.
No better time than the present. With the amount of events going on cross-country, the time to share real news, not fake news, nor alternative facts has never been more important.
It’s not about what side you are on. It’s about being a voice. Plus giving others that voice.
It’s a daily discussion. Sure, you may get political fatigue, but be part of the process. It’s a needed service, and your talents can make you a citizen journalist.
Remember to identify yourself with credentials, and laminates if you are affiliated. Having a tablet with a release is also good to get after an interview.
To that end, I’d like to recommend some gear to help you get going.
DSLR’s are great, and the best can capture 4K video as well, but you may want to be a bit smaller and move easily in and out of situations.
Capturing quality audio, of course, is a also a big concern.
I have a couple of reccos on hand-held mics that you can attach directly to your camera. Great for interviews on the move.
Audio technica 2005 for an inexpensive and quality interview mic.(around $80)
Move up in the ranks, and the Electrovoice EV50B or EV 50N/D-B ( a little hotter output for DSLRS) will give you pro quality sound, and minimal handling noise. ($180)
What’s handling noise? When you are holding a mic, or an interviewee is, the movement of hands on the shaft of the mic can be heard.
The EV50B has minimized that to the best degree I’ve found. And look at any of your local news broadcasts, and that’s the mic they are using.
When using a handheld mic, you may want to consider designing a mic flag, with your logo, or company name.This adds to your branding and making a more polished looking video at the end of the day.
Have time to mic up someone with a lav? I have 2 suggestions, at 2 price points. Both of these are being held between my fingers so you get an idea on the size
TRAM-50, on the right, and the flatter of the 2 has been my go to for years (about $310), and have now started in with Sanken COS 11d. Almost twice the price, but can hear the diff.(about $380.)
Both omnidirectional, but physical shape is different, and the Sanken is a bit easier to hide.
Many ways to hide either of these mics, and plenty of accessories to help you do that.
For going wireless, which is a good idea, I am actually still using some Sennheiser G2 evolution receivers and transmitters.The link takes you to full set incl. lav, but I’d go used or EBAY, and skip the lav. They rec/trans both look the same, so I’m only showing one of them..
When I was first hitting the trade show floors there weren’t so many of us and the frequency on the trans/rec was easy to keep standard. The beauty of these is that you can scan and adjust to get your mics on their own frequency.
Going back to the handheld mics, add in the plug in transmitter, ( also called the butt plug, sorry) with XLR jack, and completes your handheld interview package. Easy to find used on EBAY, and I’ve had good luck with that. You see it on the EV50 above. Good to add a cover.
And yes, might as well get a well designed logo, on a mic flag for a finishing touch.
After 5 years, I’ve upgraded the video camera. Yep, I like a dedicated video camera for live action.
The Canon XC-15 is my camera of choice:
4K, up to 305 MPS, broadcast quality, in a small, unassuming package. Not intimidating at all, and may help you get the interviews, without imposing on subjects.
With an articulating screen, you can grab that high angle shot in the crowd, and the autofocus is amazing fast and good.
One zoom lens only, so there is that. Sorry but I’m cool not changing lenses and being more nimble.
Using CFast cards for the 4K, and SD cards for the HD, you can get started with what you have, but need to make that painful purchase on new CFast media cards.
Lighting wise, I am using the Fotodiox ring light, as it gives good front fill, and leaves the cold shoe on top free for anything. (under $50) Sometimes, I just add a Rode shotgun mic to the shoe and gather what I can. Plus it comes with a bunch of adaptor rings so you can use it on your other lenses/camera as well
Admittedly, the XC-15 has a separate audio module used in Canon’s bigger pro line C series vid cameras, but i only use those for set-up situations, when I have more time.
Have your social feeds add more than promotion, and selfies. I’ll try to do the same.
There are no rules, except be respectful of those you approach to be on camera and give their thoughts.
Oh, and don’t break any laws!