Cellphones are terrible for… what?


For the past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to appear on a weekly tech segment on CTV News Channel. It’s affectionately called Sync Up in honour of the site that serves as its inspiration.

It has been an amazing experience and though I sweat bullets before every taping, somehow it all comes together. That’s thanks to the talented production team at CTV News Channel who, against all odds, manage to make me look good.

But every now and then, the nerves associated with being on-the-spot get the better of me and I say something that doesn’t come out right at all. Take a look at last night’s segment and see if you can guess where I make my blunder:




I didn’t even hear the problematic statement after watching it twice over, but a few loyal watchers caught it.

Yup, it’s right there at the :40 second mark: “They’re really terrible for high-quality video.”

I’m referring to shooting video with a cellphone. I say they’re really terrible. For video. Wow.

If I had been watching another tech presenter as those word were uttered, I probably would labeled the person a putz and promptly changed the channel. Sigh.

So, just for the record, let me now tell you what I was trying to say but was apparently too dazzled by the studio lights to articulate properly:

Today’s smartphones have amazing video and photo capabilities – some of them can record at 1080p which is high-quality no matter how you look at it. But they don’t have optical zooms, they possess virtually no image stabilization, and their audio capturing is basic. None of which is a problem when you want to do spur-of-the-moment video under good lighting conditions and with a subject that is only a few feet away. But in scenarios like the one I go on to describe (recording a child’s play in a darkened gymnasium from 40 feet away) cellphones just don’t cut it. For these types of events, you really need a dedicated camcorder like the Sony model I show in the video.

Thanks for your ongoing support – I value all of your feedback as I continue to hone my TV skills.