Tools of the trade?

I have assembled some of the tools I will be testing over the coming months. Here they are:


Well, except the MacBook Pro, which has been the best laptop I have ever had, and is now over one year old. Besides it is an EeePC 901 (12Gb solid state, 8GB SD, 1.6Ghz Atom, webcam, mic, Windows XP), a Canon 20D (extra battery pack/grip, 4GB CF), and a Flip Ultra.

The Flip Ultra has been interesting. The testing has shown that the mic is incredibly receptive, and the video quality is higher than I expected. I uploaded test footage to my YouTube account and it did degrade slightly, but it was still perfectly watchable.

I am taking a leaf out of the book of Jeff Jarvis, Michael Rosenblum and Howard Owens. Is this the kit all journalists should have? Maybe, maybe not. The DSLR is clunky, a point and shoot might be better. Better yet might be a new Nikon D90, which is a DSLR and a HD video recorder.

But for now I will make do with what I have, and see how effective they are as tools of the trade. Georgia should provide an interesting test bed if nothing else.

4 thoughts on “Tools of the trade?”

  1. Dearest Gavin,
    The D90 video facilities are restrictive in many ways compared to your Flip. Adding an external flash to your 20D might be a better use of funds?

  2. I guess it depends what you are trying to achieve and record. For some journalists and excellent phone with camera and video functionality is all that’s required, but it’s no use for a distance shot or long form interview.

    As regards non-DSLR cameras, I’ve found my Panasonic Lumix TZ3 fantastic (later versions are now available). Picture quality, functionality, zoom, Leica lens and video. I’m waiting for cameras that are wifi enabled – may be there are some out there already – now that really would be handy.

    Agree with Yendred about flash.

  3. For sure, and phones are getting better for recording in higher quality – convergence at last.

    I like the Canon range of point and shoot cameras. Wifi enabled cameras have been around for a while, I think since 2005, when the Nikons came out. But these days you dont need the camera to be wifi enabled, you can get the memory card to be wifi enabled like this one:

    Which obviously makes everyone’s lives easier! 🙂

    I was able to comfortably carry the eeePC, Flip and DSLR for long distances in the field (rather than in comfy cities), which was a bonus in itself. And having zoom would have been a *distinct* advantage.

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