By ALEX FRUIN
As a student in the School of Communication, I feel as though it’s four times a day I hear about the need to be well-rounded and experienced at just about everything in order to find a job upon graduation. For broadcast journalism jobs, not only do you need to know how to write and be on air — but with an increasing reliance on “one-man bands” or MMJs (multimedia journalists) — it’s increasingly important to know all that you can about working with cameras and editing equipment.
While the battle between Apple’s Final Cut Pro and the PC-friendly AVID program is an entirely different story, it’s possible for anyone to get great footage without too much camera experience — or even very much money.While, in my opinion, it will be a long time before news stations as we know them will ditch the big Sony cameras they typically bring for field reporting, a lot of the online multimedia work seems to be done with Cisco’s Flip Video cameras.
While the website is geared to providing consumers with the opportunity to stylize their Flip Video camera with trendy designs, for those who know even a small amount about the quality of video footage can see pretty easily how impressive these cameras are. For those who are really interested in using the camera to get professional multimedia footage, a number of accessories have been created to make that task a bit easier, such as mini-tripods, an additional lens, and a case that makes the camera waterproof.
These cameras are known for their easiness to use—you literally press one button and can have HD quality video at your fingertips; no tapes are involved since there is a USB port built right into the side of them so you can plug it into your laptop and stream your video online within just a few minutes of shooting it. Most of the HD cameras run for under $200 and are sold both online and at retail stores like Best Buy and Walmart.
By simply plugging the camera into your computer, you can opt to have basic Flip Share software downloaded that will allow you an easy place to sort through your videos and do some basic editing before putting them onto the internet. Whether you’re a video camera enthusiast or have no idea where to begin, Flip Video cameras are affordable, simple to use, and perhaps, the wave of the future of multimedia journalism.