Friday, 6 July 2012

DSLR Cameraman with Chamois Leather Trumps Robot.

Here we go again. Now this time i'm not talking about the merits of this or that DSLR, smartphone or TV Camera. I've talked about that before and will probably do so again. No, this time i want to draw your attention to the use of robotic cameras, you know, cameras without a cameraman. NO CAMERAMAN..! Christ on a bike, we are all up shit creek without a paddle.

Earlier today, my attention was drawn to this article in, about Reuters and the innovative use of robotic cameras for this years Olympic Games in London. That's London, England... You know, the land of eternal sunshine. Now being a cameraman, i like technology, gadgets, and things that go ping... but have Reuters really thought this through...? I was reminded by my good friend and colleague Les Colyer of Razor Television of the TV debacle that was this years Jubilee, where robotic TV cameras were used... In the rain. I don't think they produced one single usable picture from the whole day, although the pictures had to be broadcast because they had no other choice. They were bad... really bad.

Go on... leave your camera out in the rain and then film or take a picture without cleaning the lens. Then take it to your boss and see what he thinks. It would look something like this...

And the winner of the men's 100 metre final is.... Oh fuck.

 Just imagine, the 100 metres men's final, London... in the rain. Or any other event outside... in the rain. I'm not saying it is going to rain, it may, it may not. But this is the UK, so it probably will, even in the summer. Those flesh and blood photographers and cameramen have a good chance to get good clear usable shots with the help of a chamois leather and other assorted lens wiping aides... sleeves, snot rags or a handy Olympic logo'd McDonalds serviette with ketchup on it. The robots though, well they will just have to sit there and hope it doesn't piss down like it has for the past 3 or 4 months in record quantities. Or a spider doesn't spin its web overnight revealing a spiders arsehole to the world when you switch it on in the morning.

I will wait with bated breath for the Olympics to start, and hope that the weather is on our side. The cameramen's side that is... Not the robots, the job stealing shitbags.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.