For those of us who have come up through the still side of photojournalism, we will never forget those fateful words: You need to learn video.
When I talk with folks in the industry, most have said okay, I’ll do it. But there are a few who are hesitant, so we’re going to help them out. Where do you start? What tools do you need? How much is this going to cost?
This week, we take a look at the Kodak Zi8 pocket video camera. Granted, it’s at the end of its lifecycle (you can pay too much for it new or pick up a refurbished one for under $105), but the replacement – the PlayTouch – has essentially the same functionality.
(There are reportedly some image quality differences between the two and the PlayTouch has a slightly wider lens on it.)
We picked up 18 of the Zi8s for teaching tools in the Journalism Department at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. After more than a year’s worth of student use, they’re holding up very well – no camera failures. Because of the simplicity of the camera, the fear threshold is very low – it’s not intimidating and it allows students to learn storytelling, not the tool.
In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at some add-ons – all cheap – that will help improve your video storytelling skills.
If you’ve got a tip, if you’ve got a trick, if you’ve got a widget, if you’ve got a gadget that you think everybody else in the industry should know about, send me some information on it and I’ll get it out there.