Multi-media on the cheap

When our department began looking at ways to incorporate multi-media into our freshman/sophomore level newswriting classes, we did what any self-respecting journalist would do. We listened to Oprah.

OK, so maybe it was a little more complicated than that, but we ended up on the same page as O: We picked the cheap and easy to use Flip video camera. So far, it seems the Flips:

  • have great audio
  • work well with close-ups
  • don’t do well with lots of motion
  • suck at long distance shots (watch Maria Shriver comparing Presidential candidate Barak Obama to California in this video and you’ll see what I mean)

The cameras come with some simple software for editing, although I’ve been using Windows Movie Maker and to a lesser extent Premiere Elements. They lose a fair amount of quality when uploaded to the Internet.