New cameras in Media Services gives community chance to experiment with video

Posted on: May 15, 2014 | By: Casey Brown | Filed under: Tech Tips

Montage_d'une_Gopro_HD_sur_un_masque_de_chasse_sous-marineRecently, the Media Services department acquired two brand new cameras, the Canon XA20 and a GoPro, for students, faculty and staff for check-out. Media Services assistant Jenn Grimmett previews the newest cameras and the ways she hopes the cameras can be used by the Elon community. Grimmett explains that the growing need in the Elon community for high quality and accessible equipment motivated Media Services to invest in the new cameras. “A lot of people outside school of communications have been requesting video resources,” Grimmett said. “We wanted to give the students, faculty and staff an opportunity to use high-end equipment.”

The new cameras

Grimmett explains that the GoPro is a lightweight personal camera that allows users to shoot video in situations where a traditional video camera would be cumbersome or dangerous. “It has an adventure slant to it,” Grimmett said. “It is meant for action shots. It’s a compact, hand-sized camera meant for adventure. There are accessories like head mounts and chest mounts. It has a lot of shooting features, some where you can do time lapse shots.” The Canon XA20, by comparison, is a more stationary camera that will work well for high quality recordings of events and presentations for storing or reviewing. “It’s a really sharp camera,” Grimmett said. “It’s a nice camera to shoot recitals or student events. It’s self-supporting, [as in it doesn’t need someone behind the cameras at all times during filming]. It can be used to capture things for group archives. It would also be interesting to use for critiquing presentations or recording during performance rehearsals. It comes with a nice boom microphone and a headset. Its quality is in the upper range for folks to take nice quality shots [as well].”

Using the cameras to the fullest

While Grimmett has a few ideas of her own for ways to use the camera (she would love to lend the GoPro to a graduating senior to get the graduate perspective of commencement), she says she’s excited to see what ideas the Elon community has for these cameras. “The most exciting thing is that people will have an opportunity to experiment with their own creativity and give us ideas,” Grimmett said. “If you have an idea for what can it be used for, tell us. We want it to be very user-driven. We’re looking to the community at large as the eyes and ears on cool stuff to do with [the cameras]. Tell us what you need.”

The training

These camers have more features and accessories than previous cameras available at Media Services. In order to check out this advanced equipment, users are required to complete an online training program that will teach them about the equipment. “There is a list of tutorials, screenshots, and straightforward instructions,” Grimmett said. “We cover how to operate, turn on camera, shoot – all those basic needs. It starts with basic concepts and builds out depending on what they need. It ends in a proficiency quiz to demonstrate they know what they read.” After the training, a user will have to meet with a Media Services employee to reiterate some basic rules and have an opportunity to ask any final questions before he or she is cleared to check out the equipment. Since the training is a relatively new program, Grimmett encourages users to give feedback on the process and how it can be improved to benefit participants.   If you’re interested in the Canon XA20 or the GoPro, follow these steps for training registration. To see the equipment, call Media Services at (336) 278-6598 or visit their office on the first floor in Belk Library.   Image by Calcineur (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Casey Brown

Casey Brown is the Writing Intern for Technology with Elon University's Teaching and Learning Technologies Department.

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