Will breakthrough camera technology affect the entire atmosphere of press conferences? This White House photographer for the New York Times predicts big changes coming in just a year or two.
Doug Mills has been a longtime photographer for the New York Times, and for most of that time he has trusted Canon with his employment. Recently, however, Sony released a product that he just couldn’t pass up testing. The Sony a9 mirrorless camera has two monumental features for White House photographers like Mills: a completely silent shutter and continuous shooting up to 20 frames per second. In a recent interview with C-SPAN, he called the camera a “game-changer” for these features.
In the video below, Mills speaks on how the Sony a9 has helped his craft (from 18:08 to 25:26 are the relevant points).
The interview Mills had with C-SPAN spurred an article written by Erik Wemple for the Washington Post titled “Is the Sound of Clicking Cameras at the White House Nearing Extinction?” His observation on the subject of silent shutters was that it could lead to better sound quality of the people actually doing the important talking. It could also lead to more access for photographers, as limitations have been put in place to reduce shutter noise. “I would say that it’s significant to be able to capture images that we’d never been able to before, thanks to the new technology,” Jim Bourg, vice president of the White House News Photographers Association, told Wemple.
Below is a prime example of the disastrous audio quality when a room full of photographers are at work recording history.
Check out Wemple’s full article on the Washington Post website.
What are your thoughts on silent cameras in the White House? Do you see complete change coming as quick as a couple years as Mills believes?
Wemple’s article also suggests there may be some resistance in the fact that if it doesn’t sound like a newsworthy event, with non-stop clacking of camera mirrors, it may not be perceived as one. Former staff photographer for the Post, Lucian Perkins, said, “I suspect that press events might be a bit more boring without the cameras firing away and maybe they will have to add music to increase the drama.”