June 16, 2016 Leave a comment
Click this image to access a Thinglink interactive image with links to all the microphones mentioned.
Latest developments in the world of Mobile Journalism, Technology, VR and Web
June 15, 2016 Leave a comment
These key drivers are reasons, in my opinion, why mobile is going to continue to evolve and come to dominate the media industry.
June 13, 2016 Leave a comment
I know its been a while since I posted to the blog and I have to admit I’m struggling to find the time to maintain it. When I started this (over 5 years ago) I was newly single and in a new role in RTE so finding time to research and share was no problem. Now with two wonderful kids and a wife to consider, my evening are precious and with that comes the struggle to balance priorities and interests.
That said I’ve wanted to post this for quite some time…I’ve been a huge fan of UAV’s/RPAS/Drones since the launch of the DJI Phantom 1. The market for unmanned aerial vehicles has exploded over the five years since and the quality, features and range of models has grown exponentially. I’m still flying my Phantom 2 and have been tempted on many occasions to upgrade to either the Phantom 4 or the 3DRobotics Solo but for now I’m cash strapped so will have to make do and mend.
However there is one new area of Drones that is now starting to gain momentum: SubAqua.
I’ve been patiently waiting for a cost effective, HD/4K underwater camera system and in the last few months a few interesting ones have *surfaced*.
This company, based in the US, have 2 main Subaqua Drones. The Endura and the HydroView. Interestingly no prices are listed on their website (I have requested a quote) but the videos from the Endura look pretty good. Arguably they could do with a 3 axis gimbal with “soft follow” to stabilise but the most impressive thing is the depth. The Endure 300 can dive to 300m although it comes with a 100m tether out of the box so presumably you have to buy extensions to reach that depth. Will update with price if I receive a reply.
***UPDATE: The Endura 300 starts at $25,000 and the Endura 100 $17,000. You would want to be a pro user for that pricepoint.
More infro from their website: http://www.aquabotix.com/
2 . TTRobotix
The TTR Seawolf is a cheaper solution and aimed more towards the enthusiast. Again it is a tethered solution but in this case the depth is limited to 25m-60 meters depending on model. Interestingly one of the versions of the Seawolf has a VR/360 cameramount which in their promotional material shows a LUNA 360 camera attached. The Luna 360, recently funded via IndieGogo is waterproof and submersible.
More info: http://www.ttrobotix.com/
The iBubble, recently successfully crowdfunded via Indiegogo, follows in the footsteps of the aerial equivalents of autonomous drones like the hexoplus, airdog and Lily. The iBubble will autonomously follow a tracker bracelet underwater, which has 8 pre-programmed camera moves but can be switched into manual operation mode or used as an underwater handheld camera. It’s target RRP when finally released* is expected to be around $2000.
More info: http://ibubble.camera/
If you are technically minded you could go the open source / DIY route and explore the OpenROV project. Kits are available to buy/build from $899 – $1399.
More info: http://www.openrov.com/
An alternative DIY solution is the BlueROV which also relies on open source software via https://ardusub.com/ The BlueROV kit costs $1290
More info: https://www.bluerobotics.com/
Details are sketchy about the Fathom underwater Drone. Its due for release in “Summer 2016” The team behind the Fathom have said their target price is +/- $500
Limited info: http://fathomdrone.com/
If you know of any other subaqua drone projects please let me know in the comments section. Equally if you own one and have some interesting video to share please post that also.
March 9, 2016 Leave a comment
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.
January 19, 2016 Leave a comment
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…
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…
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
November 16, 2015 1 Comment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 12, 2015 1 Comment
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.
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:
October 16, 2015 Leave a comment
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.
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.
August 28, 2015 2 Comments
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.
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.
July 24, 2015 Leave a comment
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.
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:
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)