The Sony A1 gets the job done and with a lens rig/support ( see previous posts)or/and working the high end of the zoom for shallow depths of field you can do some nifty things such as the promo on viewmagazine.tv.
But if you're graduating from news to longer news features docs particularly on TV and cinema, though you'll also see improvements online with an understanding of bespoke compression, then you might want to consider something like the E1/E3 which shoots 24p - effectively as close to the subtlety of film and those amazing depths of field.
Begs the question why use the A1?
- Size - Does not scream professional; incospicious enough to get what you want
- cost - about 1500 dollars
- and quality for what it is - for 1500 dollars it's more than adequate, even if it does have a fixed lens unless you go really pro like this below( see original post), then er, you're defeating the object of stealth.
Masters at Work
For the E1/E3 Philip Bloom, film maker , DP and editor makes the case far better than I could with this reel drawing out rich saturated colours and then speaks about the E3.
If you're going down this route there are a number of plugins et al you'll have to download for FCP to read your .mov files. Small matter really!
Now where was I? Oh yes watch and enjoy. Then 2 videos down have a look at Rob Chiu, an old mate, and see what he does with a 900 dollar DVCam.
Hillman Curtis and Tarsem are also a must if you want to see aesthetic video in play.
The point here is whilst the camera is crucial but it's the cinematography and editing skills of both Philip and Rob that puts them in a different place; that third eye being able to see things we'd probably miss.
Where next for video journalism?
It's early days, but there will come a point when onliners will become more discerning as others raised the bar, and if like me you once struggled to get a 120X90 pixel movie playing on a 28 k modem compared with full screen today, you'll get my point.
In the mean time watch and delight.
Only thing is I'm not shooting round the clock at the moment to buy one. Studies etc you see!
But one national newspaper I consult for did ask what I thought.
Reel for Sony from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.
Sony XDCAM EX3 review HD from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.
The Ronin and Devoid of yesterday