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Monday, June 23, 2008

Hi-Tech Studio: A Camcorder Primer For Photojournalists

As camcorders continue to evolve, so does the opportunity for photojournalists to create high-definition video essays alongside their D-SLR work

The EX1's SxS cards fit into the ExpressCard slot of a MacBook Pro, the laptop of choice for many still photographers. This format's fast transfer speed allows footage from the EX1 to be quickly and painlessly downloaded for use as stills or as video footage in Final Cut Pro, for example. The workflow will be immediately familiar to photojournalists accustomed to working with CompactFlash and other solid-state memory formats. The EX1 was recently joined by a bigger brother camera at the NAB show, the EX3. The EX3 is very similar in features and controls while adding interchangeable lenses to the mix. List Price: $7,790 (EX1); $10,000 (EX3).

Any of the HD cameras listed here would make a fine addition and supplement to a photojournalist's arsenal. We've tried to list a variety of capabilities and budget levels. With the exception of the RED ONE, all of these cameras are easily operated handheld.

Veteran news photographer David Leeson was asked about the emergence of video cameras in the domain of still photography. “Video doesn't replace the still photograph,” he noted. “But the demand upon still photographers, especially at newspapers, is to produce video and stills at the same time. If you don't approach video with the eyes of a still photojournalist, looking for and recording those decisive moments, how are you going to pull a frame from that video that's going to have that moment in it to provide a great still photograph?”

Noah Kadner hosts a series of digital postproduction training DVDs for sale at www.CallBoxLive.com, and at Abel Cine Tech, www.abelcine.com.

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