These are the 5 essentials to in any Mobile Journalism kit
Written by Watchity
A mobile journalism project is a low-cost solution if you want to start creating and broadcasting your own content, or a great choice if you want to enhance the communication with your clients, because of course, video is the most efficient way to attract people these days.
Nowadays, you only need a mobile phone and an idea to start producing original content. Nevertheless, there are some gadgets that will help you to give your work a more professional look.
Many times, content that has a lot of potential doesn’t get the attention it deserves because of bad sound quality or poor lighting.
Don’t let that happen to you or your company and invest in equipment. It makes the difference.
If you already have a mobile phone, you will need a phone rig to attach the rest of your gear, like external lenses, microphones and lighting.
Besides, a phone rig will allow you to attach your camera to an actual tripod or support, and it will give you stability if you’re planning to do a hand-held shoot.
Beastgrip is excellent to get started. It has an external lens adapter and cold-shoe mounts for your accessories. Besides, it’s 3D-printed and features mechanical buttons for your smartphone.
Sometimes we forget about the “audio” in “audio-visual content”. It is not as attractive as images, but it has the same relevance at the moment of recording.
There are three kinds of microphones that you’re going to need if you want to get started in MoJo: the ambient mic, the lavalier mic and the hand-held mic.
Remember to buy an adapter, like the Rode SC6, so you can record two audio channels, besides monitoring with your headphones.
To record ambient sound you will need a mic like the Rode Videomic Pro, which is a directional microphone that will record the sound of anything you’ve got in front of you. If you’re looking for a more compact alternative, the Rode VideoMic Me-L is the perfect choice.
Interviews are a big part of MoJo broadcasting, so if you don’t get clean, good quality audio in your footage, your work is going to lose all of its potential.
You can do them using a Lavalier mic, which is a tiny microphone attached to clothes, intended to allow hands-free operations. iRig Mic Lav is one of the best options in the market.
It allows you to connect two microphones, and also lets you monitor the sound.
If you’re looking for a hand-held mic to get a more journalistic or professional look, try using the Rode Newsshooter Kit, which includes a wireless transmitter and a receiver.
If you don’t have an adequate amount of light in your shot, you’ll lose some precious image quality, and if your broadcast looks noisy or grainy, less people will want to watch it.
That’s why you always need to have support lighting, because image quality matters, unless you’re shooting outdoors with natural sunlight.
The common solution is just buying a LED panel to attach to your phone rig, but not all LED panels have the same specs.
We recommend the iblazr 2, a powerful 300 lux LED panel that you can mount on your phone rig. It allows you to regulate the colour temperature and it can sync up to another four iblazr 2 panels. It also works as an independent table light.
External lenses will allow you to use cinematographic resources to tell better stories. If you’re broadcasting live, they can help you to get a more dynamic or detailed look.
If you’re too far away, you can use a telephoto lens, and if you need more space, you can always try a wide-angle lens. They are not just technical gear, they have their own storytelling characteristics.
If you’re using the Beastgrip, the rig itself has an auxiliary lens mount for their Beastgrip M Lenses line, which comes with an extensive catalogue of wide, macro and telephoto lenses.
Moreover, they have an adapter for DSLR lenses that makes it possible to get a shallow depth of field, and make your videos look like they were shot with a professional camera instead of a mobile phone.
Recording and editing apps
Mobile Journalism is not all about hardware. You’ll also need some apps to enhance your phone’s features, and for working on the content you shot.
For recording, Filmic Pro (iOS/Android) is one of the most complete apps for smartphones. It gives you full control over focus, exposure, colour temperature and even audio levels.
Also, it lets you record in LogV2 format, which is special for colorizing and postproduction.
If you also have to edit the material while you’re on your phone, you need to try LumaFusion (iOS Only).
It’s a multitrack video editor, very similar to a desktop one. It lets you export material in PAL or NTSC and add graphics to your videos – all from your smartphone.
If you’re looking for an Android app, try KineMaster, which is very similar.
One of the most tragic (and basic) problems that you can face while broadcasting, is to run out of battery.
Broadcasting consumes a lot of energy, especially when you’re also using audio devices, lights or special apps for that process. You better leave the house with a fully charged power bank when you’re going to broadcast.
When you choose an external battery for your transmission, have a look at the mAH, or milliampere hour, which is the measure for electric charge. If your phone uses 3000 mAH for its battery, look for a power bank that can reach that amount of charge.
If you need a power bank that can charge your phone for at least 3 or 4 times, the Anker PowerCore II 20000 power bank has a capacity of 20000 mAH, and two USB ports that allow you to charge two devices simultaneously. It also weights just 370 grams.
Go out and broadcast yourself!
Mobile broadcasting only requires a mobile phone, but these basic gadgets will enhance your whole experience and increase the quality of your product.
If you have a broadcasting project that you want to launch, get our free demo and start creating the content you love.