We're heading into 2021 with our first batch of fellows working on mobile journalism stories across India and hope to bring them to you soon. We hope these stories will encourage you to make phones an even more integral part of your reporting and storytelling.

But one apprehension we've been asked about is the "quality".

Is the quality of videos shot on phones good enough? We could refer to theses and projects to say that they are, but reading or hearing that is not the most effective way for all people. Some of you might like to see the difference for yourself. And that's why we decided to make a podcast, this newsletter and a video to present the argument in favour of using the phone as a primary video camera.

To demonstrate this, we also did a blind camera test (inspired by MKBHD version of this experiment we covered in a previous newsletter). But this test is about video capabilities instead of photo capabilities, so we shot the same video of an interview setup using 4 phones from the last 2 years and a mirrorless camera. You can see the similarities, here.

And if you know which one's shot on which, fill out the quiz to let us know, we'll send you how well you did over the email address you provide. (We used a Nikon Z6 II, iPhone 12 Pro Max, Galaxy Note 20, Pixel 4 and iPhone XR for this experiment.)

Some situations like covering wildlife or a conference might need you to pull out a mirrorless with a massive zoom lens. But in most situations, you can come out of a shoot with identical footage, irrespective of the price of your equipment. Because at the end of the day, all that matters is the story and narrative.

And that's why we want to encourage you to shoot some mobile journalism videos in 2021. And if you have any questions on how to get started, we're only an email ( editor@inold.news ) or message ( wa.me/919700365693 ) away.

Listen to the podcast, here.

The Closing Gap Between Phones and Cameras

Advancement in mobile journalism capabilities of phones isn't just limited to videos. You can make the best of microphones work with phones now. And even take RAW photos that are easily on par with some expensive cameras. If you want to get deep into how some phones are managing to capture sharp details with their relatively tiny sensors, check out this in-depth explanation on capturing RAW photos on phones.

P.S. The team that makes the Halide camera application also makes Spectre, one of Apple’s iPhone Apps of the Year 2019,  a time when we could freely go out and take pictures. This year, the winners are (unsurprisingly) based on apps' utility for people working-from-home.

Our batch of 41 In Old News Fellows have completed their mobile journalism courses and are putting the new skill to work with stories from all over India. Some of them have also been given grants to cover their reporting and production expenses. The fellows will continue to receive mentorship via one-on-one calls, troubleshooting, and personal sessions with the MoJo trainers to help them with structuring and executing their stories. The fellows also lend each other a hand through the chat group where they constantly share their individual skill sets to help each other out.

The fellows are also working on shooting behind-the-scenes covering experiences and methods of their journey of Mobile Journalism. So, stay tuned on our social media channels, or subscribe to this Newsletter for all the updates.

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