Your camera is not good enough!

Sorry your camera just isn’t good enough to meet our high standards

The camera in question cost several tens of thousands of dollars, but the man on the other end of the phone was adamant, my camera just wouldn’t cut the mustard for broadcast TV news. I was disappointed of course, having spent the best part of a day shooting covering the story. The camera in question, was on paper at least, up to the task. However, it wasn’t on the stations list of acceptable cameras and the guy wasn’t going to budge.  We subsequently sold the item to another network.

Fast forward a short number of years… I’ve noticed this last week the very same network that wouldn’t compromise their standards are using an increasing amount of news footage, clearly shot on mobile devices. There was a live cross the other day…. Total shocker, vision all jagged and jerky and the audio starting to breakup. Now I could understand if this was breaking news of some importance, but it was one of those padding stories, just put in to fill space on a slow news night. Then there was the dramatic storm footage…. We know that’s what it was, because the news reader told us so. Any of us could have produce similar looking video just by taking our mobile phone out side in the darkness and turning a garden hose on it while filming. But the one that surprised me most was another filler story run over the weekend. Clearly there had been an actual camera person present with a broadcast quality camera, because they used some of that footage. But much of the footage was again poorly shot and from mobile devices. In fact the quality was so bad I suspect it was most likely gathered from a  social media site which uses very high compression rates on their uploaded video.

I guess, anything to keep costs down is the name of the game. I’m all for citizen journalism and getting breaking stories to air in a hurry. I just wonder sometimes where we are headed. Digital television and HD video were supposed to improve our viewing experience. Now the buzz in the industry is Ultra-HD Video or 4k video as it is commonly known. Clearer brighter better…… What is the point of all this if the content providers are providing vision and audio which is way below standard definition quality?

Your camera isn’t good enough indeed….

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