If it wasn’t already crystal clear that dyed-in-the-wool photojournalists needed to add video to their toolbox, Apple News+ has just made the case even more pressing.
It used to be the case that photojournalists would shoot for that one awesome photo that would grace the cover of the magazine or sit on the page of the newspaper, maybe at times, a secondary photo. Then came the need to shoot entire photo galleries for the web as news hit the internet through the 2000s. Then came the rush to video, with many organizations pushing that extra task onto beleauguered photojournalism staffs as well.
Now, Apple News+’s video covers have added another wrinkle: photographers must think about both stills and video when shooting the cover of a magazine. Check out National Geographic’s latest cover on Apple News+ by hovering over it on the splash page. There’s a still version and a moving version.
This makes 4K (and even 8K) video capture seem all the more important. While you can repeat certain shots with about the same result in stills and video, that’s not going to be case for something that only happens once. With high resolution video capture (beyond 1080p), you can shoot video and pull a still from it later (though shutter speed will always be an issue this way, it’s better than nothing). This makes buying a camera without 4K video a tough sell for those who are looking to produce images for magazines in 2019. 4K video yields an 8 MP image, while 1080p video gives photographers roughly 2 MP images to play with, not enough to hold a magazine’s cover with any amount of cropping.
This isn’t the first time magazine covers have been animated. The now-defunct iPad magazine, The Daily, did it a few times, but when Apple does something, chances are the practice is going to go mainstream.
Looks like Canon picked a good time to add 4K video to its Rebel lineup. Canon and other companies already offer the functionality to pull frame grabs from 4K video in cameras such as the 1D X Mark II.
While capturing 4K video and pulling frame grabs seems like the best way to kill two birds with one stone, what are some other ideas that might help a photojournalist get photo and video at the same time? Leave your ideas in the comments below.