#Mojocon. The case for boutique V behemoth conferences.


I’ve written previously about the evolution of RTÉ’s Mobile Journalism Conference: Mojocon. In April this year we will host the second RTÉ Mojocon and once again we are shining a spotlight on the activities of broadcasters, publishers, NGO’s, businesses and educators who have pushed the boundaries of  content creation using smartphones and other digital consumer technology.

This is my second time organizing a conference and though it was an induction by fire the first time around, I learnt a lot of extremely valuable lessons from Mojocon 1. Probably the first lesson was understanding the phases of the planning. The Pre-production phase involved eight re-writes of the business case over three months with each one having a substantial reduction in the proposed budget.

Once the final business case was approved the next phase began: Initial logistics. Venue, dates and draft session lineup. After multiple quotes have been received and a venue is secured, we then move to announcing the conference with a “save the date” campaign and so begins the process of finding major sponsors for the event.

It’s worth pointing out that RTÉ run Mojocon on a not-for-profit basis. From its very inception over two years ago the entire concept pivoted on the idea that at the core of Mojocon is the intention to bring together a growing global community of people who are interested and can see the potential in mobile content creation. I think the non-profit aspect is one of the key things that separates RTÉ Mojocon from many other journalism related events.

That said, the cost of hosting an international standard conference for 500 delegates; venue, catering, travel and accommodation for 40+ international speakers, pr and marketing etc. all add up very quickly so major sponsors are absolutely essential to making the event a success. Without them the ticket prices would well exceed €500 and in my opinion render the event unfeasible.

We were extremely fortunate to have Sennheiser, an international audio solutions manufacturer, come on board very early into the process. When Google News Lab subsequently joined the conference as sponsors things really started to take shape.

Now, with just eight weeks to go, we are in the exhibitor and delegate ticket sales phase and it is this part that always leaves me somewhat bewildered. Over the course of the last two months I have reached out to over 80 companies inviting them to participate in the event as exhibitors, or in an ideal world sponsor/exhibitors. The thing that really frustrates me is the repeated cycle I’m seeing in the negotiation process where, as soon as I mention the delegate numbers are 500 I get a “Oh, is that all” response.

I’ve started to tease this out with exhibitors, asking why they feel 500 is such a small number and time and time again I’m getting replies like “We can take part in other international media events where the delegate numbers are in excess of 15,000 people for a similar investment-so its not offering great R.O.I. for us”

This is where the case for Boutique V Behemoth really kicks in. I would love to do some market research on the BIG conferences referred to above. As part of that I would like to see for each exhibitor who takes part in those multi-thousand attendee events how many make connections of real value. I would measure connections of real value in three ways: 1. Immediate conversion to a sale. 2. Viable lead for a post conference sale 3. Important and strategic contact in the target market.

Last November I attended The Web Summit for the very first time. Follow the link if you don’t know anything about the Web Summit. It has been heralded as one of the great success stories in recent years for the digital economy in Ireland. That perhaps was the case until co-founder Paddy Cosgrove announced in October 2015 that the event was moving from Dublin to Lisbon from 2016 onwards. Without digressing into the debate about the reasons why I will simply say that I am sure Paddy and his team had good reasons.


From my perspective, Websummit was a behemoth, like Mobile World Congress Barcelona, or NAB Las Vegas or IBC Amsterdam. A huge, sprawling multi location complex of stands and talks with 30,000 delegates trying to find something useful to do with their 8 hours in the venue (a substantial amount of which is spent queueing to get from talk A to B). I’ve experienced this myself at MWC and IBC. You can meander around hall after hall looking for interesting technologies and solutions but instead of finding them you end up bumping into familiar faces again and again and asking them have they seen anything really interesting and worth checking out.

I attended MWC just once and found it utterly head wrecking. At WebSummit I had one day where I really worked hard to navigate the halls teeming with startup alpha and beta’s who, once they noticed your badge said “Media” would instantly pounce in you to “Come meet our CEO/CRO/CTO/COO etc”. I have to be honest, the idea that a startup with three staff has a CEO,CTO and COO does make me wonder! The consensus from Media people I met was that they were actively hiding their media accreditation to avoid the “vulture effect” it induced. Don’t get me wrong here, I fully appreciate WHY this was happening, but it felt like utter desperation.

I can see from a profit point of view how economies of scale play a part in making these events so big. But as organizer of Mojocon, I am not interested in profit, so I don’t have to pander to these scales of excess to cram as many topics and threads into our event, in order to draw as many people as possible. Rather than trying to bring twenty diverse topics together in one space to “grow” an event into a behemoth, I would much prefer to do twenty boutique events where the participants, speakers and exhibitors have a real opportunity to connect. A chance to share stories and actually chat and exchange ideas, not just exchange a cursory few words while you glimpse at a leaflet on the way to the next queue for another talk you will be excluded from because its over capacity.

I have heard people say that they think a conference is worthwhile if you take away three ideas from it. If that is all attendees take away from Mojocon then I and the organizing team have failed. I want delegates to not have their minds opened to the possibilities but blown open with inspiration and ideas. Anything less would be a disheartening and disappointing result to me.

Mojocon has a very finely tuned scope. That breaks down into three components…
1. The plenary sessions with 40+ speakers on panels and fireside chats to learn from the experience of others.
2. The exhibition with 30 companies with products, accessories, apps which enable the professional production of content using smartphones and other consumer digital technology.
3. The workshop day where, if you were inspired on day 1 and bought some gear in the exhibition, you will have the chance to learn from some of the best and most respected mobile journalism and media trainers in the world.

If you follow that process through to the end you can leave mojocon not with just three takeaways but with real skills and inspiration to start your journey as a mobile content creator. Who knows maybe next year you could be a speaker sharing your journey and experience with the #mojocon community*.

Side note: As a spin off from Mojocon we created a group on Facebook to help build the community and keep the conversations from the conference going. The group now has over 750 members. You are welcome to join at http://www.facebook.com/groups/mojocon.

Hope to see you in Dublin in April 29|30.

PS. As a reader of my blog I’m giving you an exclusive tip about a St. Patrick’s Day promotion we will be running. Check out the video for details.

Mojocon returns. 29, 30 April 2016.

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In March 2015 RTE hosted the first Mojocon Mobile Journalism conference. Over two days 44 speakers from around the globe shared their stories, experiences and knowledge with over 350 delegates. Topics covered included mobile journalism, mobile photography, storytelling, social curation and verification, smartphone filmmaking, education and more. Over 28 exhibitors demoed the latest Apps and accessories to help turn your smartphone into a quality content production tool. The workshops were over-subscribed with some of the worlds leading mobile journalism, photography and radio trainers sharing their knowledge and tips including, BBC’ Marc Settle and Nick Garnett, EBU’s Mark Egan, RTÉ’s Philip Bromwell, Jack Hollingsworth, Dan Rubin and many more. Feedback from the delegates was incredibly positive. This was the reaction when asked if delegates would return again…

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So RTÉ have decided to run Mojocon again and I’m leading the project once more. I’m faced with a challenge, several actually, the biggest being: how do I make Mojocon2 even bigger and better than the first?

Learn from your mistakes! To begin with I learned A LOT! I had never organized a conference before and quickly came to understand why there are usually lots of people involved in the planning and production. For Mojocon 1 the team that worked with me was Cliona O’Reilly and Roisin Cronin from RTÉ Technology and PR & Comms respectively and Sinead Cassidy a freelance event manager. In spite of all of our best effort Mojocon1 failed in one regard: it did not break even as we had hoped. The costs of flights and accommodation for44 speakers, the venue and catering, the staging and production and the unforeseen extras meant that we carried a modest loss on the event. A loss which I worked hard to recoup by delivering external training on behalf of RTÉ for the remainder of 2015.

For this years event I’ve decided on a few changes, many informed by delegate feedback…

  1. No panel will have more than 5 speakers with 4 preferred.
  2. Moderators will be assigned well in advance to ensure familiarity with panel
  3. Sessions will be 1hr15mins and retain the 10min presentation slots
  4. Coffee Breaks will be longer (30-45mins) to facilitate networking
  5. Exhibitors will have option to demo on both Friday and Saturday
  6. There will be NO HIDDEN EXTRAS at venue or networking event
  7. Sponsors are key to the success of the event
  8. We need to diversify into 360 video, drones and live streaming
  9. Ticket prices should be very competitive. Here’s a table to compare:


I have only announced 17 speakers so far, there are at least that again yet to announce but it is going to be a VERY interesting few days.


I also want to dispel the myth that this event is just for journalists. Mojocon 1 attracted media, NGO’s Businesses, PR Agencies, Marketing firms and the education sector. I’m working on special case studies which are directly relevant to these sectors as well as the broad range of media content we are putting together. Here’s just some of the companies already registered to attend.


If you want to meet a substantial amount of the global mojo practitioners and influencers then you need to be in Dublin for Mojocon.



Still unsure? Check out this Thinglink of some of the articles written by attendees and speakers from Mojocon 1. https://www.thinglink.com/scene/710099104134332418

Guest post: Oscar and Javier of Eltalleraudiovisual.com explore Switcher Studio for iPad with external cameras

I met the guys Javier and Oscar, behind Eltalleraudiovisual.com at Mojocon, they are two absolute gents. They also blog about mojo at http://yoscontenidos.com

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They shot this really great mojo teaser about Mojocon for which I am exceptionally grateful.

Based in Alicante, Spain they provide comprehensive mojo courses and production facilities. Their blog is a great source of information about Mojo, in Spanish and English. Earlier this year on the Mojocon Facebook group they posted a thread about using Switch Studio (aka RecoLive) with external devices, i.e. non-iOS devices. I asked would Oscar be interested in sharing his experiences via a guest post and he kindy agreed. A colleague of mine, Leola Lillis previously posted about Switcher Studio on this blog.


How to make a mobile multi-camera production with iPads, iPhones, or any other video source.

How to add a video source to Recolive Multicam and Switcher Studio

Recolive Multicam is an application developed to record multi-camera productions using a WiFi network connection that allows you to sync up to 4 different video sources running on iOS and/or Mac devices. The norm is to use the built-in camera of your iPad as one of the cameras, and as the live mixer of all other video signals.

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Switcher Studio is a mobile video app that performs the same functions as Recolive Multicam, but additionally allows you to stream LIVE video while recording, as wells as, to view it using an HDMI adaptor or via Airplay.

Check-out the following post to learn all about how I’ve managed to go further into the use of these apps by using an external video source that does not run on an iOS device.


Recolive Multicam and Switcher Studio: multi-camera video apps. 

I have recorded many videos using an iPad4 and an iPhone 5S (https://www.youtube.com/user/cocinandoenvideo) with Recolive Multicam (http://eltalleraudiovisual.com/recolive-multicam-realizacion-multicamara-iphone-ipad/). This is without a doubt one of my favorite apps, because it allows me to have my own TV studio in the iPad. I can choose among the different video sources right there live; enhance the production with signs, tittles, headlines, overprinting or logos; use transitions; mix images Picture in Picture; or divide the screen; I may even select the device that will be the main provider of the audio signal.

Switcher Studio was developed after Recolive Multicam and widens its many functions allowing multi-camera streaming productions

From now on, thanks to apps like this one – with a very simple learning curve-, anyone, either a person or an institution will be able to record cultural or sports events, interviews, round tables, or simply create video courses. Let me give you an example to illustrate it, with a challenge that I have taken on recently.

02 Pantalla-Recolive-Multicam
02 Pantalla-Recolive-Multicam

Recording a Surgical video using Recolive Multicam

A few days ago, while teaching one of our recording with mobile devices in-house seminars –with our brand YOS Contenidos (http://www.yoscontenidos.com) -, I was asked about the possibility of a multi-camera production in an operating room mixing 3 different video signals as follows:

– One from an iPad recording a general shot of the room, showing the surgeons around the surgical table (the iPad would also act as the main mixer of all other video sources);

– A second one from an iPhone focusing on the patient area where the surgeon keeps his trocars (surgical instruments used to perform procedures without practicing open surgery)

– Finally, the third one would be the image provided by a trocar, or tube equipped with optical elements that sends images from the inside of the human body to a screen, guiding the surgeon during the procedure.

As you have probably guessed by now, the problem is that the laparocopy video is not an iOS or Mac device, therefore, incompatible for the Recolive Multicam recording (the use of which would make them save a lot of money).

The challenge: Full screen live preview using a video capture card

As I’ve mentioned before, Recolive Multicam can only mix video sources from iOS devices using the corresponding app, or running it from Mac computers that have the appropriate free software, Recolive Capture (http://recolive.com/en/blog/40-recolive-capture), to share the screen or to shoot with the laptop camera. That seemed to be the solution.

03 Recolive-Capture
03 Recolive-Capture

I thought that maybe connecting a MacBook to a capture card device showing the trocar signal would be enough…

I needed video capture software that would preview full screen, but, none of the software that I tried, including BlackMagic Media Express, did the trick. I asked my streaming expert friends about it, but they could only advise about purchasing hardware, not software; therefore, the costs were skyrocketing.

04 Blackmagic-Ultrastudio-cables
04 Blackmagic-Ultrastudio-cables

After several try-outs, and a lot of Internet searching, I found a video in a French site that explained how to use a MacBook screen to play with a Playstation using Blackmagic capture cards: full screen!!!  (https://youtu.be/M0usSD-4Q5Y)

We could make full screen live preview from the capture card, FullHD (depending on the latptop and the source), by using the free software capabilities of Pixel Conduit.

Solution: “Full screen live preview video from capture card”

Let me fully describe all the steps taken in the test I run, and that I hope to be using very soon in an operating room.

Equipment used:

  • 2 iPhones 5s with Recolive Multicam app
  • 1 iPad 4 with Recolive Multicam app
  • 1 MacBook with Recolive Capture software
  • A video capture BlackMagic UltraStudio Express card
  • 1 Canon HDV AX-H1 camera (video source used as the “trocar” for this test)
  • Free software from Pixel Conduit (http://pixelconduit.com )

05 Pixel-Conduit05 Pixel-Conduit


1. Preparing images, lowers, and logos; saving them into the iPad that will be used as the mixer.

2. Setting up the video input from the Mac through Blackmagic Media Express and the video capture Blackmagic card. In this case, PAL 1920×1080. I will turn off the software once I see the signal.

3. Setting up all video sources, 2 iPhones and the Mac screen, through Recolive Multicam.

4. Setting up Pixel Conduit to recognize the video source coming from the Blackmagic card and previewing it full screen. See video, isn’t it simple?

5. Selecting the transitions that I will be using, as well as the durations in the iPad; select the multiviews; fix the White balance, the exposure and the focus of the iPhone cameras

Silence in the set: 3, 2, 1… let’s shoot!

And this is the test result: https://youtu.be/7zYopY5PmkQ (In Spanish)


The option to use an external video source with Blackmagic capture card allows me to increase the options to shoot with several iPhone and iPad devices into any other video source.

Furthermore, if you would like to shoot with several microphones and you have a sound table, you may use it as a mixing console for the audio signal, connecting the output of the table to the iPad mixer through a digital interface such as iRigPro or Shure MVi, or an analogic interface such as iRigPre or a Tascam iXZ.

There is absolutely not a more affordable way to do up to 4 sources multi-camera productions.

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06 Maria-iPad-recolive-live-recipes-CookPad-full-size

Those were the pros, but I should mention the cons, there is a minor audio delay, around 0,1-0,2 seconds, from the external video source that does not come from Mac or iOS devices.  In this particular case, this will not be a problem for us, as the image from the laparoscopy does not have audio; although, if you would like to have someone speaking from that source, you will run into an unavoidable de-synchronization.

Finally, Recolive Capture only shares the screen of the MAC computer, but not the sound.

I hope that you will find this to be a useful post. I can’t wait to try this new option of multi-camera production in the operating room… Here is hoping that I will not faint while doing it….

I would like to thank Glen Mulcahy for his invitation to publish this translation in English of our article in his reference blog to all of us who record with our mobile devices.

Thank you also to Gabriele Mondada, CEO of Recolive Multicam to always respond so quickly and so gracefully to all my questions.

If you would like to read this post in Spanish, please visit our blog “el Taller Audiovisual” (http://eltalleraudiovisual.com/multicamara-con-ipad-iphone-y-cualquier-otra-fuente-de-video/ ), fully devoted to recording with mobile devices.

Xkuty Recording 02 Workshop PBC Coworking October 2015 Jovempa - Elda Major 10-30-15Xkuty Recording 03

Thank you!

Unboxing 360Fly. The 360 Video and VR Revolution gains momentum

For the last two years I’ve been posting occasionally about 360º Immersive Video and VR. Last Christmas I bought a VSN 360 Camera. It was one of the first consumer grade/ GoPro price 360 cameras available.


I also backed Giroptic in Kickstarter and subsequently preordered a 360Fly camera also.giroptic nexusae0_V360App-668x478

Last week at the WebSummit I finally got some hands on with the Giroptic Camera and I’m really looking forward to (finally) getting my hands on my own. Today the 360Fly camera arrived. I shot a quick unboxing video to explore what you get for $399

The 360Fly I bought came with a custom “Cardboard” viewer – which was a pleasant surprise!


I’m looking forward to doing a “360 shootout” with these three consumer cameras once I have them all!


I also hope to get my hands on the Freedom360 GoPro cage and some stitching software so I can do a real comprising with an entry level “Pro” solution and these (much cheaper) consumer solutions. Since I last blogged about 360/VR a few interesting things have happened:

  1. YouTube now supports 360 Video via the Chrome Browser on Desktop or via their Android and iOS YOuTube Apps.
  2. BBC has been doing some really incredible 360 videos. Check out this playlist from BBC News: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS3XGZxi7cBXqnRTtKMU7Anm-R-kyhkyC
  3. The New York Times partnered with (in my opinion) leading VR production Studio, Chris Milk’s VRSE to create a second 360 Immersive Video. The REALLY exciting thing they’ve done though is to also partner with Google Cardboard to enable them to give away 1MILLION cardbards to their subscribers. This has prompted a lot of posts about being a milestone in the evolution of 360 Video/VR on its road to ubiquity.WebSummit
  4. Last week at WebSummit I got to try out what will be the Public (Final) version of Oculus Rift with its hand controllers and I have to say it was the highlight of the conference for me. I joked to the Facebook operations manager that its obvious now: “You’re ultimate goal is to put a HoloDeck in everyone’s home” I have to say the experience was mind-blowing.


  5. I am still amazed and bewildered that GoPro have not released their own single camera 360 solution but as someone pointed put to me – Why would they? Right now they can sell 5, 6 or 16 GoPro Heros for a VR solution, why would they cannibalise that market with a single camera solution? Well I think they could get pipped by something like the Ricoh ThetaS which I also got to play with at WebSummit.
  6. Finally Over 6 months ago I emailed a few Brushless Gimbal makers with a photoshop mockup of a remote control platform that could carry a 360Camera and keep is stable. I didn’t receive one single reply or acknowledgement – no surprise there! But again at web summit I was tipped off to these guys by fellow Mojo trainer Mark Egan: http://www.motion-impossible.com and this is EXACTLY what they’ve done!! (Apologies for Video Quality!)

Circom Regional / MTVA Mojochallenge Recap


I’m just back from a fantastic week in Budapest where I led the beginners training course of the Circom Regional / MTVA Mojochallenge. I was joined by some of the best mojo trainers in Europe, John Inge Johansen from NRK Norway, Guillaume Kuster from France Television, Darko Flajpan and Dado Pokec from HRT Croatia, Tibor Kormany from MTVA Hungary.

A total of 20 journalists drawn from stations and countries across Europe came to participate in the challenge. 10 beginners went through a very intensive 3 day mojo masterclass and 10 advanced participants (who had previously completed mojo training) were led through advanced editorial and storytelling by Karol Cioma, Training Manager with Circom Regional and Jane French from BBC.

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After the three days training on shooting and editing with the iPhone/iPad, each Mojo was expected to find a story, shoot it within a day and edit it the following day. Stories could be up to 4 mins in duration. Here are the final stories from the beginners group:

and here are the stories from the Advanced group:

Tibor and Dado worked away on a behind the scenes video of the event and I think it really captures the spirit of the Mojochallenge.

Thanks to the fantastic participants and trainers team for a truly wonderful experience.



Testing the Sennheiser MKE2 Digital and the ClipMic Digital at the same time. [audio comparison]


I’ve just taken delivery of the Sennheiser MKE2 Digital Lavalier mic for iOS products. I got the ClipMic Digital a few weeks back and did an unboxing video and audio test in this blog post.

Given the price difference between the MKE2 Digital (RRP €499) and ClipMic Digital (RRP €220) I wondered if I did an audio test using them similtaneously would there be a discernable difference in the quality of the recordings.g

I used the Apogee MetaRecorder companion App for the recording test on two iPhone 5’s and then imported and synched each (mono) audio track from the App into FinalCutPro to use with the footage shot on Google Glass. Its not a very scientific test to be fair but I was interested in the results. In the Video I panned the two track left and right so if you use decent headphones to listen to the video you should be able to notice the subtle differences.

But just in case you don’t notice any difference I’ve uploaded each recording from the App as an individual track on Soundcloud also. I’m curious to hear what you think. For me the MKE2 is cleaner, less hiss and not quite as heavy on the bass but it was interesting to note that at -18dB the ClipMic recording level was higher than the MKE2. It is a smaller capsule I suppose.

Is Apple’s New iPod Touch the best budget #mojo device?

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We’re recently bought a couple of Apple’s latest iteration of the iPod touch. I’ve been testing it for the last few days and I have to say – this really is a great budget #mojo solution.

I’ve tested our preferred video App: FilMiCPro on it and it works fine with only one little bug* which is in full manual focus mode, when you slide the control bar on the left to set a focus point the iPod Touch Autofocus overrides it. But that may well be something that the FilMiC team can sort out. 1080 25p works perfectly. The camera is the same 8MP iSight as used in the iPhone 5 (which was pretty damn good) though aperture is f2.4 whereas 5s/6/6plus all have f2.2.

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If you buy the new iPod Touch you get iMovie free (as well as a selection of other Apple Apps) and the great news is Audio In via lightning works perfectly too. I tested the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital and the iKMultimedia iRig Pro with the AKG 417pp Lav mic.

Speaking of the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital I found it for under €200 on the Thomann website thats the cheapest price I’ve seen anywhere (so far).

When you think about the inspired project that BBC’s Nick Garnett initiated with Dr. Alex Kumar during the Ebola crisis, where, with a previous generation iPod touch, Dr. Kumar shot first person iWitness content on the ground at one of the Ebola Treatment centres and it auto transferred back to BBC via Dropbox whenever the iPod was connected to WiFi.

Click image to view report:

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it suggests to me that the iPod touch may well be the perfect solution for Hyperlocal content creation or NGO projects. Remember you can pair the iPod to any smartphone via WiFi tethering to allow it to livestream and transfer so you are not restricted to just fixed wifi spots for connectivity either. If you go for the 128Gb version of the new iPod Touch it is less than half the price (€469 in the Irish Apple Store) of the 6plus 128Gb (€999) version – thats one hell of a saving!

So with all that in mind here is my latest #budgetmojo solution. (it links to an interactive Thinglink image)


Unboxing and 1st audio tests with the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital for iOS

Today I got my hands on the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital mic for iOS so I decided to shoot a quick unboxing video and then do an audio test and a video test to pitch it against the iKmultimedia iRigPro and AKG 417pp Lav which we currently use for Mobile Journalism here in RTÉ.

I have to say the build quality is excellent. The capsule is very high quality and the windscreen is a very snug fit (unlike the one with the AKG mic)

I decided to use two iPhone 5’s with the Apogee MetaRecorder App on both to test the audio performance. First in an open space (my training room) then briefly outside and then finally in one of our radio booths (sound insulated).

Lastly I tested both mic setups into FiLMic Pro to see how the audio performed in that situation.

Probably best to listen using headphones as I put both recordings into a stereo track and panned them L and R. I’m going to get some of my colleagues from radio to test the Sennheiser also, just to get their feedback (well trained ears!)

Also one final note – I was incorrect about the price of the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital, I said about €300 but I found it for €227 so quite a difference. Worth noting the iRig Pro €120 and AKG 417pp around €130 will bring them quite close cost wise.

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8 Journalists, 4 iPhones, one big experiment. NDR Hamburg tries out mobile journalism

Guest post by Bjorn Staschen NDR Bjoern The outset might have been a little bold: We wanted to try out the possibilities of mobile journalism for a regional newsroom. And we wanted to do it with colleagues who had quite some journalistic experience, but hadn´t tried reporting from their mobile phones yet. The goal was to produce a proper special edition of our regional news. It  wouldn´t go out on air, but we would use the studio crew, our known workflows and structures. The only thing that was differemt: The whole content should be produced on smartphones. Would it work? I work at NDR, the public service broadcaster providing Northern Germany with television, radio and internet. My department is the Hamburg Newsroom, which contributes to ARD´s national news in „Tagesschau“ and „Tagesthemen“, but also produces its own regional news bulletin „NDR Aktuell“. We had started intruducing a VJ workflow into our daily routines about a year ago, and we had looked into mobile journalism. Though so far we hadn´t actively tried it out. It was a Friday afternoon, when eight of my colleagues gathered around our conference table. The had a proper day´s work behind them already. But they were enthusiastic enough to try out something new. We had about three hours to prepare for the „big day“ on Saturday: We wanted to cover a civil protection exercise that the Hamburg regional government had organized with more than 300 volunteers. Their story: Hamburg was suffering from a great flood and had to open up emergency shelters for citizens who had lost their homes. For producing packages, I introduced my colleagues to filming with FilmicPro and editing with Pinnacle Studio. I had chosen both Apps in order to be able to film and edit with 25 frames per second. We had tried Pinnacle Studio beforehand and compared an edited report to the same material gone through iMovie which only does 30 fps – Pinnacle´s result on air was remarkably better. Our equipment We used iPhone5s with iRig Pre, the low-cost-alternative to iRig Pro (and that´s the reason – to keep it cheap…), and Rode (NTG1 & 3) microphones. The issues were the usual ones during our first trials: The focus was not in the face of an interviewee, but on the wall behind him. Same for the exposure, which highlighted a window, but not the person in shot. Sound was too low and editing was quite rough. We also planned to go live from the scene via LiveU and Dejero mobile Apps. We had asked the companies to install a server for this trial, and they had agreed. ARD had introduced a ReporterApp (VizReporter) about 2 years ago which we used for the upload of the finished packages. It doesn´t provide good enough quality for live links though. Then came Saturday morning. We had split up in four groups with two reporters each, having to produce one package and a live talk. And we had arranged a WhatsApp group for internal communication which helped a lot. I introduced my colleagues to the scenario bit by bit, like it was a real developping news situation: „There´s severe flooding in the South of Hamburg, homes being evacuated.“ „We´ll produce a ´NDR Aktuell extra´ at 2pm“.  Which meant: My colleagues had about two hours on the scene to film, edit and overvoice their packages before getting ready for the live link. Reporting via iPhone About an hour before the programme I sat nervously in front of my computer screen waiting for the first reports to come in. The first uploads appeared on the screen the blue progress bars moved nerve wreckingly slowly. When the first transmission was done, I looked at the news piece: It was a great report of nearly two minutes length, focusssing on the story of a family who had come into one of the emergency shelters. Four soundbites, good pictures – I was amazed at what my colleagues had done. All four reports would have been broadcast quality in an emergency scenario though some sound transitions were a bit rough and some pictures weren´t perfect. On two iPhones, we encountered a problem with Pinnacle Studio: During saving the finished report to the camera roll, some pictures were distorted by artefacts. I did some research with Glen Mulcahy´s help and spoke to Luma Touch. They came back to me quickly and acknowledged that Pinnacle Studio produces some glitches with the Apple H264 decoder when writing in „best“ quality. We started our bulletin on time at 2 pm. It went through without any interruption. Our sound engineer had to do some serious correcting on the packages and the life links, the audience though would possibly not have noticed a lot. The first live link via Dejero was great: My colleague Michael reported standing in front of a school that was used as an emergency shelter. The picture was good, he transmited with around 5 Megabit per second. Little arterfacts only showed up some seconds long. The second live link via LiveU app was about as good though the latency wasn´t put in correctly. Therefore we had a delay of about 5 seconds. Torben, the reporter on scene, didn´t get a second question therefore. The third live link to Elena via LiveU had some serious connection problems with only 2Mbps. Also, the camera tried to refocus throughout the link. It would have still been good enough in an emergency. With Daniel standing inside a building where an emergency task force was set up, everything went fine via Dejero. Livelink to studio via Dejero This is one feedback we gave to the Dejero and LiveU developpers: Their apps need some simple camera control like locking focus and exposure. That wouldn´t make the Apps much more complex, but it would improve the broadcast quality immensly. After 12 minutes, our bulletin was over. The studio crew was a little irritated by the picture quality and sound problems. They are used to perfect material. On our side though, we found the result at least good enough to use it in case of an emergency. And some stuff was really amazing. My colleagues had only three hours of training, and they had done some great work. Which was a surprising result to me: Mobile journalism doesn´t seem to be too complicated to open it up to many colleagues throughout a broadcasting company. Everyone taking part in our little experiment was enthusiastic afterwards. I am sure they will stay friends of #mojo. And for NDR Hamburg, we have discovered a way to improve our coverage of breaking news situations and go on air quicker, with more material from the scene. ***Editors note*** The manual focus and exposure controls were raised with both Dejero and LiveU at the Mojocon exhibition. I believe that if more broadcasters created/signed an online petition we would see faster respone to these requests. Also 3 hours training for a “as real world” live situation is really putting journalists and support crews under pressure. It takes some time to get used to the process of locking exposure, focus and white balance in FilMic and ensuring audio levels are set at their optimum. I would advise NDR to identify 8-10 Mojo “Champions” who could participate in a 4 or 5 day #mojo masterclass which **gratuitous plug** both myself and Philip Bromwell run on behalf of RTE. Your 8-10 mojo masters could then perfect the specific training for your staff and be the “Go To” people on the ground should an emergency like the one rehearsed for, ever actually happen. All that said, I think this was a very ambitious undertaking and I’m extremely grateful that Bjorn shared it with the blog. You can follow Bjorn on Twitter: @BjoernSta

DXO ONE – Could this be a “Game Changer” for Mojo? We’ll have to wait and see…

UPDATED 28-6-15 with 2 demo videos from the DxO YouTube Channel.

Two years ago Sony introduced the QX range of Cameras, designed to work as an image capture device which uses a smartphone as the viewfinder. All the heavy lifting was done by the QX camera with connection to the smartphone via WiFi or NFC. The cameras originally released were the QX10 and QX100 with the QX1 and QX30 being introduced the following year. I bought the QX10 shortly after release and I was very impressed with the image quality and the 10X optical zoom. Sony-QX-range The downsides however were the latency between the camera and the phone over wifi. At times this could be as long as 8 seconds which meant shooting video with any sort of movement was virtually impossible. They also lacked any microphone in which would have been excellent as the QX could be operated via over wifi with a substantial distance between itself and the phone. I’ve written previously about the QX and my colleague Ivor Carroll did a great field trial with them also. I picked up a story yesterday on Twitter from PetaPixel about a new iOS only Camera called the DXO ONE.DxO ONE iPhone Angle What we know so far is the camera is 20.2 megapixel, 1″ CMOS sensor, 32mm equivalent f1.8 lens. The body is aluminium. It has no viewfinder – the iPhone acts as the viewfinder using the companion App. It connects to the iPhone via Lightning connector. THIS IS NEW and to me this is big news. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time an external imaging device has been released which has connected to the iPhone via Lightning. I cannot say for certain but one immediate benefit should be the latency experienced with the QX range over Wifi is virtually non existent. But more importantly this means that the Lightning port can support Digital stereo Audio in AND camera control! Why is this a big deal…? It potentially paves the way for fantastic prototypes that really could revolutionise mojo. Screenshot 2015-06-19 10.33.14 Remember this from 2011 from Antonio DeRosa via  ADRSTUDIODESIGN? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2RDcL0X5vc#t=44 OK I’m letting my imagination run away with me but one thing is for sure the DXO ONE is an exciting development. Back to what we do know… DxO ONE Connecting to iPhone It has a rechargeable (hopefully removable) Lithion ion battery and a microSD slot. DxO ONE iPhone APri DxO ONE iPhone Selfie It records video .mov (h.264) at 1080p/30fps or 720p/120fps which is a bummer for anyone in Europe wishing to use the footage for broadcast. Hopefully the French company with look to 25fps in a firmware update in the near future. The Aperture range is f1.8 to f11. Digital 3x zoom, Shutter speed from 1/8000 to 15s and ISO range from 100 to 51200 (Hi2). It remains to be seen how well that camera performs in the real world. External audio in would be fantastic but I see no mention of it on the spec sheet. Better Zoom and Optical Image stabilisation would also be desirable. I’m not even sure if it sports a 1/4-20 tripod mount underneath. Pre Order price €649 via the DXO WEBSITE DxO-ONE-Fact-Sheet_EN


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