TV Station Goes 100% iPhone in the Field – Sales of Selfie Sticks to Skyrocket

by Hugh Brownstone5 Comments

It’s not in the U.S. – the station is in Switzerland – but it’s not the first and won’t be the last station to switch exclusively to iPhones. After all, isn’t this simply a continuation of the demand Canon originally tried to meet with its 5D Mark II eight years ago? The question is: is this a good thing? Latest in our continuing series about adoption of the iPhone by pros, especially in news gathering. 

Sure, this is about cutting costs.

But what if in cutting costs TV stations can get an immediacy and honesty in their news reporting not happening any other way? Isn’t that what Swiss news director Laurent Keller means when he speaks of the “grammar of the image,” and isn’t this exactly what John Lasseter of Pixar meant when he heralded the arrival of the iPhone as a legitimate storytelling tool?

planetMitch adds this note: I was teasing about selfie sticks in the title (i added it, not Hugh) but I should also add that I was sent a SoloStick and have really enjoyed using it! I used it at NAB and have used it a lot since. Tho I would think that the image below would have a lot of shake? Maybe the new iPhone 6s will take care of that with its stabilization 🙂

Station Ditches Cameras, Will Only Use iPhones

Via FTVLive:

A local TV station has decided to shoot their news using iPhone.

Is it a sign of the future, or the sign of a really cheap TV station?

The local TV news station that has gone “100% iPhone” is not based in the U.S., but is Switzerland.

TV station to shoot news using Iphone

Over the summer, Léman Bleu outfitted each of its reporters with an iPhone 6 kit to shoot their stories and to use for live shots.

News director Laurent Keller says Léman Bleu actually isn’t the first station to convert to iPhones; a Scandinavian outlet apparently has done it too. And he’s candid about the reasons why. “It’s a search for lightness and responsiveness, but also a way to reduce the costs of producing a newscast,” Keller told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

What about quality? Keller says iPhone video is different but not necessarily inferior to what a standard TV camera produces. “It’s up to us to reinvent the grammar of the image, to learn to shoot differently,” he said. The technology allows the station to go live at any time from anywhere, either on the air or on social media. That’s important to a small regional channel that broadcasts only a few hours a day.

Read full article at FTVLive “Station Ditches Cameras, Will Only Ise iPhones”

(cover photo credit: snap from the FTVLive)


  1. I spent almost 13 years in Television news as a reporter (did some anchoring, sports and weathercasting too).  The old joke about news video used to be, “as long as it’s in focus, birght enough and more or less white balanced, it’s good enough for the news”.  That, however, really was a joke.  The news cameramen I had the pleasure to work with really cared about what they did and how the video looked.  We all knew, better video helped us tell a better story.  Bad video was distracting or could even force a viewer to tune to a competitor.  We knew this from extensive research of viewer prefrences.

    Let’s face it, it is really all about money!  All the experienced TV journalists I know were fired long ago from their TV stations just because the companies that owned the stations didn’t want to pay them decent salaries, period.  I say “decent”.  I never came close to getting rich working in TV news.  I just loved it!  I know a few reporters today, just out of college.  Good kids but kids nonetheless.  You can see in their reports how much they DON’T know by how the stories are reported, the questions NOT asked, angles not covered, lack of knowledge of local history, etc.  They have talent but lack experience and this isn’t just in small markets like Tyler, TX, it’s in the larger markets too.
    Today I shoot high end production videos as a DP for an advertising/marketing agency.  We’re a small company and I sometimes struggle with having to shoot, run audio, a jib or gimbal stabilizer, etc.  If had to be the talent too the end video would probably look like crap, or the audio would be bad or something else would be wrong.  I believe this is all part of the continuing greed of big business and the dumbing down of our society.  It’s part of the “Good enough, is good enough” mentality, profits come first.  But, look at it this way, would you be OK with your local hospital saying, “To cut costs we fired all nurses, orderlies and housekeeping staff…the doctors will now do all of it.”  Assuming doctors would even go along with something that crazy, what kind of medical care do you think you’d receive?

  2. stantod It’s easy for me to agree with you about several things, especially when you write: “I believe this is all part of the continuing greed of big business and the dumbing down of our society.”

    But I don’t believe that’s the whole story. 

    To use your medical metaphor, the healthcare system in the U.S. is both leading edge AND profoundly broken, yet the role of physician assistants is a positive step: they cost much less than full MDs yet can often do much of what they doctors do as well or better (drawing blood, for instance!). In other words, where high end is needed, high end should stay. If you haven’t already seen or read it, I recommend Professor Clay Christensen’s “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Companies to Fail.” 

    Skill is always the true differentiator, and I suspect your skill set is such that you could get great footage from an iPhone under the right set of circumstances.

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