Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Amateur snappers to get their reward....

A report from the BBC website has given the opportunity to justify (but only to myself) why I carry around a pocket digital camera.

I have carried a Canon Ixus with me wherever I go for the last couple of years, in the car mainly just incase I see anything interesting or newsworthy, interesting things (like buildings, cars, aircraft or vistas - views to you & me) have happened with
regularity, newsworthy stuff only happened
occasionally & only got used by the media twice.

Various pocket sized digital cameras are available from a wide number of manufacturers. I have a couple of Canon Ixus stashed away in various places. Image quality varies through the model range, but the latest incarnations, the Ixus 750 & Ixus 800 have 7.1 Megapixel with a 3x Optical zoom or 6.0 Megapixel with 4x optical zoom respectively. These are easily capable of giving better results than my earliest Digital EOS D30 SLR at close quarters. Don't fall for the sales patter of "2x optical zoom with 6x digital zoom" giving anything like decent image quality at full stretch, stick to higher megapixel options with good optical zoom of 3x or 4x. Or, if you can find something secondhand like I did recently - an Ixus 400, with 4.0 megapixels with 3x optical zoom my advice is to snap it up - it was a bargain for £65 from my local camera shop.

Members of the public who have shot newsworthy images could get their reportage recognised by a new award.

Backed by Nokia and the UK's Press Gazette the Citizen Journalism Award will spotlight people who found themselves witnesses to events that made the news.

The competition is open to anyone that has shot stills or video that has been printed, broadcast or appeared online in the last 12 months. Working journalists are excluded from entering.

To be eligible the footage or stills must have been shot between 1 May 2005 and 30 April 2006.

Although citizens have always been caught up in newsworthy events, the advent of camera phones that can instantly send images to websites or on to news organisations has prompted talk of "citizen journalism".

Many news organisations, including the BBC, now solicit images and video from those at the scene of big events. In the UK, the London bombings in July 2005 and the Buncefield oil terminal fire are just two events coverage of which was expanded by contributions from citizens.

Amateur snappers have until 30 June to submit entries.

Link to story on BBC website

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