Go go gadgetry: phones inject MoJo for mobile video enthusiasts

Posted on August 21, 2013


Muddy Waters Mojo

There comes a time in every journalist’s life when he or she has to embrace MoJo, or mobile journalism. Anyone can do that, I hear you say, and that is the beauty of it, but it’s a little more complex than point and click. To get the best results you need either some cheap work arounds or some extra kit. A whole industry is now devoted to accessorising your mobile so you can take great stills and smooth video.

That and the fact that manufacturers have caught a whiff of a growth market seems to have resulted in two game changing mobiles. Firstly Samsung launched the S4 with its ‘iPhone5 killer’ credentials. Mixed reviews, but a step move nonetheless. Now Nokia has thrown its hat into the ring with the attractive looking Lumia 1020. 41 megapixel sensor with a Xenon flash, it offers excellent control of your shot using an on-screen virtual dial. Up to now you’ve had to cope with imprecise pointing using the screen, then relying heavily on the mobile’s autofocus function to pick out the details.

Nokia has set up its virtual control so you can set the focal length from 15cm to infinity, really useful for shooting close ups, people moving or in bad light – assuming you know what to do with focal length of course – though you can’t control focus during video recording (that would be revolutionary). Have a look at it in action at Gizmodo or take a gander at this hands-on review video below.

Data journalism plays a part in the 24/7 MoJo’s news gathering arsenal these days, though I’ll admit I’m not as up to date as I should be. Perhaps we’ve all just been waiting for the GetBulb app – launched by an Irish start-up company, it allows you to choose from several visualisations and then drag Excel data into the app (launched in the Chrome Browser) to be converted instantly. Get an invite for the app now at getbulb.com.

Finally, something for the photo or video journalist to aspire to. Adrift is a beautiful series of time-lapsed shots of San Francisco and the bay area from Simon Christen. Simple and stunning.