11 Essential Tools For Mobile Journalism

CITIZEN JOURNALISM | 8 minute read | | 0 Comments | 234 Likes

The first steps into mobile journalism can be an exciting time for any aspiring journalist. The beauty behind this is that you can set off on this venture  with minimal equipment and a device you have been carrying around in your pocket now for years.

Although all you need to get started is your mobile phone or a tablet, here is our list of recommended tools that will help you achieve professional results.

One of the crucial things you need to get right in your mobile journalism is perfect  audio quality. Although the microphone on your mobile device can take you so far, it will never be as good as a dedicated device. To get the best audio without spending an absolute fortune, we recommend:

Røde Smartlav+ (£45)

The Røde Smartlav+ is a lapel microphone perfect for interviews or commentary. It offers great sound and is easy to use and connect. You may however, due to their short leads, need an extension lead or radio mics.

iRig Mic Handheld Microphone (£35)

The next microphone you need, and arguably the most important is a hand held microphone. We recommend the iRig handheld microphone due to it's great sound, rugged casing and dual mini-jack for real time monitoring.

iRig Pre (£30)

A compact preamp that allows you to connect professional microphones, with an XLR fitting, direct to your mobile device. The iRig Pre also features a 3.5mm headphone out for real time audio monitoring.

SONY Pro MDR7506 (£70)

It goes without saying that to acheive great results with your audio you need to monitor your inputs. Although there are lots of great headphones out there, we recommend the professional Sony Pro MDR7506 for no other reason than we have them and like them.

 

Mophie juice pack air for iPhone 6 (£60)

If you are doing mobile journalism it is critical that you do not run low on power. Imagine getting that awesome interview or capturing that once in a life time shot just to lose it all to a dead battery. If you are using an iPhone 6 we recommend the Mophie juice pack. Other Mophie juice packs are available for other iPhones.

 

Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens for iPhone 6/6 Plus (£60)

Although the standard lens on the iPhone is good quality we feel you can't go wrong with a dedicated set of lenses. The Olloclip 4-in-1 provides you with four lenses that should get you through most situations. These include a Fisheye, Wide-Angle, 10 x Macro and 5 x Macro along with a fitting that you can wear as a pendent.

 

Manfrotto Mini 24LED (£30)

Lighting is critical in video, it is the one thing that make or break your footage with very little forgiveness if you get it wrong. The Manfrotto pumps out plenty of light and can be attached to your phone with a Manfrotto Klyp case.

Rollei Fotopro X4i-E (£99)

A seemingly firm favourite with mobile journalists. This lightweight tripod is the perfect size and weight for carrying around and dropping into position quickly.

Steadicam Smoothee

The audio is perfect, the settings are great all you need to avoid now is that shaky look. The Steadicam Smoothee comes highly recommended by us as a quality device that gives great steady shots.

Joby GripTight Mount (£9)

You have your device and you have your tripod. All you need now is a way to connect the two together. The Joby GripTight Mount is the item for that very job. Simply pop in your phone and attach to your tripod.

Joby GripTight GorillaPod (£15)

Not exactly crucial to your kit bag but there is no denying that the Joby GripTight GorillaPod is so multifunctional it is sure to help you out when you need a steady shot in an awkward position.

If you are looking for a list that suits a lower budget check out our post “Mobile journalism on a budget – equipment for less than £150”

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