The big camera debate

Some veteran TV photojournalists have argued for years that bigger is better when it comes to video cameras. Only a heavy professional model could produce rock steady, broadcast quality images, the long-timers said.  Or at least they used to.

Oscar Valenzuela of KGMB-TV in Honolulu has been in the business more than 20 years and says he never really thought smaller and cheaper would take over. Until now.

At a recent police department stake-out, Valenzuela and his behemoth camera were set up next to a photojournalist from a competing station and his “baby-cam,” a Sony EX-1.

Right there in that precinct, at that very moment, change had finally come to pass.  We are now officially in the transition to what I believe is the job/appropriate equipment. These new smaller, lighter cameras can even shoot HD, on memory cards,  and can last a lifetime on one battery.

As if the presence of a “baby-cam” weren’t evidence enough of a sea change,  what happened next certainly was:

That’s when the intern from the other station arrived at the last minute, pulled out her cell phone from her purse and recorded video of the suspect, same as the rest of us, as the patrol car pulled into the garage. (along with the newspaper guy who took pictures and video with his Nikon DSLR camera!!!).

Need  more evidence? How about this story from KOB-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., shot almost entirely by reporter Jeff Maher using a tiny Flip camera?

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Think we can agree that the big camera debate is over?