CNN shootout in London: iPhone 6 vs a Pro TV camera

An iPhone is meant to complement the material gathered by expensive, complicated and time-consuming pro gear. 

In this video, a CNN camera operator makes direct comparisons that are biased towards the kind of difficult filming environments where a pro camera performs best.

The video has generated many comments but I am weighing in here to hopefully provide some perspective about such comparisons.

An iPhone 6+ (properly kitted up) can produce great video.

I show examples of the gear and apps that dramatically improve quality at  

A mobile device can do things that a dedicated TV camera cannot.  For example the Hyperlapse app by Instagram uses accelerometer data to make smooth motion shots. 

The iPhone can also quickly cut shots together and upload rushes back to the news desk while the reporter is still out in the field. 

All mobile devices have small sensors, and as a result, have limitations when filming in low light conditions. 

An external lighting source (or two) is essential in these situations.

A pro TV camera also is very heavy, expensive and makes the operator a target when filming in tense situations. An iPhone is much safer to use and less likely to cause back problems. 

A pro video camera gives a camera operator manual control over iris (exposure), focus frame rate and other settings critical to getting the best quality. 

The Filmic Pro app gives an iPhone video journalist many of those same controls.

If the CNN cameraman had used this app to film and set the frame rate to 25 fps, the iPhone video he made would not show the light flicker that is common with a frame rate mismatch. 

A frame rate of 25 fps is used in countries where the frequency of the electric current is 50 cycles per second (England, for example)

A frame of 30 fps is used in countries where the electric current is 60 cycles per second (USA, for example)

It is a false expectation to suggest that an iPhone should replace it entirely. It is a different device with very different limitations and some extraordinary strengths for field production tasks.

I share tips for getting the best quality video from smartphones in the

Support my new masterclass video school series of lesson and get a $300 films school course for as little as $25.

The Newsroom in Your Pocket

This, just in.

A review of my favorite Presentation: "Your Smartphone is Your Newsroom," given in Singapore for WAN-IFRA Digital Media Asia 2014.

It is the latest version of a talk I have been giving since 2010. All fresh examples!

"Your Smartphone is Your Newsroom" is a popular presentation by mobile and video journalism expert, Robb Montgomery. As a mobile journalism pioneer, he has been delivering it since 2010. It is constantly refreshed with new examples of best practices.

The shift to mobile-first journalism is also challenging journalists and newsrooms to produce more journalism using mobile devices. Montgomery will show new ways of reporting and sharing multimedia stories that connect with mobile consumers.

We will also show what it takes to begin to retool a news operations into a mobile-first operation by organizing workflows around highly-responsive mobile news production and delivery.

Robb Montgomery works with large media houses like Radio Free Europe to retool their thinking, training and workflows around mobile journalism, mobile apps and delivering a great mobile experience from top to bottom.

Three smartphone apps that you can use to make shareable visual stories

More lessons like this at

 I was just invited last minute to visit Bali to teach at the Young Reader Summit on 24 November.

Sadly, I can't attend as I have 20 grad students from Barcelona visiting Berlin that I promised to work with.

They are making mobile journalism reports.

So, I made a custom video for the delegates (Many fine people there doing great work!) that shows three great smartphone apps that youth reporters can use to engage with the community.

Maybe you will like to see it too!

Sneak peek: "Your Smartphone is Your Newsroom" iPhone, Android, Windows Phone

A sneak peek at my popular presentation - 'Your Smartphone is Your Newsroom.'

Updated for the talk I will give at Digital Media Asia in Singapore on Nov. 18, 2014.

I will also produce two one-day masterclasses in mobile journalism and smartphone video.

Back the Smart Film School Kickstarter!

Deals on my training and consulting services are offered at a steep discount to raise money for the Smart Film School!

Hurry, the Kickstarter ends on Nov. 23.

Here is the conference program


Conference schedule

DAY 1 
Gregor Waller, Principal Associate Consultant, WAN-IFRA, Germany 
09:00 Welcome remarks - Intro moderator & social media moderator (GD) 
09:05 Live rap news by Vietnam News Agency 

Session 1: Top 5 Digital Priorities for News Media 
9:15 Digital World Trends & What they mean to you 
Ben Shaw, Senior Digital Consultant, WAN-IFRA 
9:25 Apple Daily's 5 top news media priorities 
Cassian Cheung, CEO, Next Media, Hong Kong 
9:45 Digital Publishing - SPH's top 5 priorities for 2015 
Julian Tan, Head of SPH Digital, Singapore 
10:05 Panel session / Q&As 

Session 2: Activating the Digital-First Newsroom 
11:00 Your smartphone is your newsroom
Robb Montgomery, CEO, Montgomery Multimedia, Germany
11:20 The Homepage is not dead! Every page is a Homepage 
Grig Davidovitz, CEO, RGB Media, Israel 
11:40 Working in a cross-platform newsroom - the Dagbladet way 
Hildegunn Soldal, Digital Editor, Dagbladet, Norway
12:00 Reaching a younger audience and monetizing content via chat apps 
JV Rufino, Director Mobile &Books, Philippine Daily Inquirer12:20 Panel discussion 

Session 3: Advanced Content Monetisation 
14:00 Pay-walls, subscription plans and bundling options for 
pricing optimisation 
Gregor Waller, Principal Consultant, WAN-IFRA Consulting, Germany 
14:20 Taking a digital news start-up international in an Asian context 
Joey Chung, Co-Founder/CEO, The News Lens, Taiwan 
14:40 Panel session: Speakers and Matt Lindsay, President, Mather Economics 
Teaser of Session 6 on Digital Advertising 
15:00 Where consumers go, marketers go… Going mobile,going social 
Amit Garg, Business Head-Digital, Internet & Mobile, HT Media Group, India

Session 4: Driving Innovation in News Media 
16:00 ADMA overall presentation 
16:05 Apple Daily (order of presentations tbc ) 
16:10 Kompas 
16:15 The Age 
16:20 Thomson Reuters 
16:30 Presentation of Awards 
17:00 End of conference Day 1 
17:00 - 19:00 Cocktail reception at hard Rock CafĂ© 

Break-out session 
11:00 - 12:00: From Print to Digital - How to Monetise Digital Content with Video 
Hosted by Brightcove 
12:00 - 12:30: Paid Content and eCommerce 

DAY 2 

Kalle Jungkvist, Senior Advisor, Schibsted, Sweden 
08:00-09:00 Breakfast session: A Future for News Media Revenue 
Matt Lindsay, President, Mather Economics, USA 

Session 5: From Big Data to Smart Data 
09:00 The data driven news media 
Ng Fai-Keung,Group Country Manager, Southeast Asia, AT Internet 
09:20 Focussing on Big Data to become no.1 on target markets 
Pierre Flitsch, Head of Digital Performance Unit, Styria Media Group, Austria 
09:40 Generating new revenues via digital brand extension products and services 
Alice Ting, VP Licensing & Syndication, The New York Times, USA

Session 6: Challenges and Opportunities in Digital Advertising 
11:00 Unlocking brand connections in the connected world 
Deepika Nikhilender, CEO - GEMS, Mindshare Asia Pacific, Singapore 
David Jeffs, Insights Head APAC, Yahoo! 
11:30 Using social media engagement, crowdsourcing and big data to help clients 
with their digital campaigns 
Russ Shepherd, Chief Data Scientist, Rappler, Philippines 
11: 50 Using scientific pricing engine to maximise challenged advertising margins
Arunabh Das Sharma, President, Bennett, Coleman Co Ltd, Times Group 
12:10 Building a loyal digital audience 
Parin Mehta, Head of Strategic Partnerships SEA, Google 

Session 7: Innovation: From Idea to Impact 
14:00 Presentation of WAN-IFRA Media Innovation Hub
Stephen Fozard, MIH Manager, WAN-IFRA 14:10 Partnerships with start-ups and research centres for placing innovation at the 
heart of media 
Kim Svendsen, Director, Stibo Accelerator, Denmark 
14:30 Solutions and ideas from the DMA Hack 2014 

Winners of DMA Hack 2014 

15:00 Rap News: An innovative approach to win young audience’s hearts 
Le Quoc Minh, Editor in Chief, Vietnam News Agency 
15:20 Presentation of Asahi Shimbun's Media Lab 
Hiroshi Nozawa, Producer, Media Lab, Asahi Shimbun, Japan 

Session 8: Embracing the News Media’s Mobile Future 
Session moderated by Jeremy Wagstaff, Chief Technology, correspondent, Asia, 
Thomson Reuters 
16:10 Embracing Mobile News: Usage and Advertising trends, focus on APAC 
Fabrizio Lo Cicero, VP Asia Pacific, News Republic, USA 
16:35 Lessons from mobile-only news ventures: a peep into Yahoo News Digest 
Marc Lourdes, Managing Editor SEA, Yahoo! News Digest 
17:00 Make money on mobile and TV. Can we match the top players? 
Kalle Jungkvist, Senior Advisor, Schibsted, Sweden 

17:30 End of conference 

How I got smooth motion video for the Berlin Wall multimedia package with my iPad mini.

Here I am filming my longform multimedia report from the Berlin Wall 25th anniversary celebration featuring a woman who escaped the STASI just days before the wall fell.

Filmed over two days, the report was filmed, reported and updated in real-time from the path of the wall that divided Berlin.

The story of one amazing East German’s path to freedom.