Tools for Reporting Across Platforms

Tag: slr

Just for Fun: Bring Barbie on Your Next Shoot

Introducing Barbie Video Girl. She’s  blonde, beautiful and comes fully equipped with a built-in video camera.

The camera lens is embedded in her necklace, while an LCD viewing screen sits fashionably in her back.

One of my colleagues showed me the following video by digital media maker Brandon Bloch, comparing Barbie Video Girl to a Canon 7D SLR camera. It is HILARIOUS, and the results may surprise you. This camerawoman is not half bad! (See more of Bloch’s work on his website:

Can you imagine bringing Barbie along on your next interview? “Dr. Hansen, if you could please just look straight at Barbie, say your name and spell it for me?”

For aspiring little journalists/filmmakers on your birthday buying list, $50 gets you the doll and a USB cord. Mattel says the camera is compatible with both Mac and Windows. It requires 2 AAA batteries.

To Use or Not to Use? The DSLR and Video Journalism

The emergence of digital SLR cameras capable of shooting HD video has prompted an informal debate about whether the cameras are suitable for video journalism.

Naysayers like Cliff Etzel of say the shallow depth of field and cinema look produced by DSLRs distract from the story.  Etzel says the need for additional equipment to improve a DSLR’s functionality as a video camera is another major drawback.

But take a look at a news piece shot with a DSLR, and you’ll see that when done right, you really can get a superb product.

Here’s an example shot by photo and video journalist Dan Chung in China for British newspaper the Guardian. (It takes a little time to load, but it’s well worth your patience!)

Chung’s website, DSLR News Shooter, is a great resource if you’re interested in seeing more.

For the video above, Chung used the Canon EOS 550D, a.k.a. the Rebel T2i, which is miraculously, not extremely expensive. I recently purchased my own and have been very happy with its performance so far.  The camera comes complete with an external mic jack, so you can get higher quality sound. The kit I bought rounded out to about $1100 and included an extra lens. Check B&H for deals.