Many ask–what should I use to capture and convey stories that need to be told? Which camera? Which software?

Though the answers will depend on your focus and finances, GNI encourages people to use what they have–whether that’s a little mobile device or a big camera rig.

That said, four main categories of gear are becoming popular with Grassroots reporters:

  • DSLR Cameras – these high-definition powerhouses have dropped the price of pro quality footage and photography. With an added field recorder, shotgun mic or lapel mic–you can capture it all and then edit your story on a computer capable of editing your media. Canon and Nikon DSLRs with HD video are recommended.
  • Micro 4/3rd Cameras – this newer category is like a DSLR with no internal mirror. They are generally cheaper and can shoot longer video clips than DSLRs. The Panasonic Lumix GH2, GH3 or GH4 or Canon are recommended. Other options are available here.
  • iPods / iPhones – these popular mobile devices make it possible to shoot, edit and upload with extreme portability. Other smart-phones can also shoot HD footage. But for now, only iOS devices have apps for editing the layers of video and audio needed for most stories.
  • GoPro Cameras – these extreme sport video cameras are growing in popularity with GNI reporters. However–additional sound equipment is needed. Again, a field recorder with a shotgun mic or lapel mic is best.