Guest post by Ayana Morali, Senior Producer for Reuters:
The digital video department in the Reuters New York bureau recently bought a Canon 60D to give a different feel and production quality in comparison to our regular news packages. When I was asked to do a piece on a big issue in New York City that was all over the news outlets – stop & frisk – I realized no one had really gone into the neighborhoods and spoken to the citizens who were affected by this policy.
I decided the only way to make this type of MOS work was to give it a more intimate feel than a classic ENG shoot, so I grabbed the 60D and the standard Canon 50mm lens. We have an Canon 70-200mm available as well, but I still wanted to get some texture and context in the background, since the setting was important. The black and white shots are simply the camera rolling while we were checking mics and setting up the frame. It seemed fitting to throw them in at the top of each comment, so I simply stripped the saturation in post. A few of the interview shots were slightly over-exposed (it was my first time using this camera as I usually go to our Panasonic HPX-250 for field shoots), so I doubled up the video in FCP and added a 40% composite overlay and the color popped instantly.
Overall, I found it much easier to get around on a field shoot with this smaller piece and since I never shoot AVC-Intra on the Panny 250 anyway, I found it much easier to get a quality picture on the DSLR without any real drawbacks.
My only major concern was slight paranoia that I would mess up the audio recording somehow. I’m used to recording audio directly into the camera, but since I can’t monitor the mics with headphones on the 60D, I used an external audio recorder – the Tascam DR-100 portable digital recorder with a boom mic (we don’t have windscreens for our lavs and it was fairly windy out that day). As it was my first time using this device, I was a little nervous that the levels wouldn’t come out properly or I would accidentally not record the audio properly….but I think with time and use, I’ll be more comfortable with that as well.
Verdict: love this camera.
Ayana Morali is a Brooklyn-based producer/shooter/editor. She is the Senior Producer for Reuters Investigative and Special Programming Unit.