I'm not sure, frankly, that anyone I've trained ever faced an ambush interview. I prefer a training ambush that's simple and silent: I just pull out my smartphone. No big lights, no camera operator. But I can leave my device on the table and record what's happening--whether in audio or video--then upload it and post it online in a matter of moments. So can anyone else. CNN just laid off photographers, citing the wide availability of broadcast-quality cameras that anyone can use. Here are some ways users can wield camera phones with even more savvy:
- Eyes in the back of your head: You can make your smartphone or video camera rotate in a 360-degree circle to capture what's going on around the room, using the EyeSee360 GoPano Micro for iPhone 4/4S for about $80 (there's a version 10 times more expensive for other cameras).
- Ear to the ground: Evernote's notetaking apps for desktop or smartphone include audio notes--all you need to do is hit the microphone button, and you're off and recording. Signing up with one of the Evernote-compatible transcription services means you can have a transcript ready quickly, for pennies.
- Share and share alike: Sharing video is easy from a Flip camera, but not as much from a smartphone--unless you use these sharing apps and advice. Worth reviewing.
As for quality, no less a photographer than Annie Leibovitz, when asked to recommend a good basic camera, pulls out a smartphone in the clip below--and remember, someone trying to ambush you doesn't need museum-quality video: