6 Must-have gadgets for journalists

The handheld video camera is the cornerstone of any multimedia journalist’s arsenal and the Sanyo VPC-HD700 is bringing high-definition recording to the party. The small and sleek camera records HD video and doubles as a high-powered still camera. It comes with a remote control, has in-camera editing abilities and saves files to SDHC memory cards. It doesn’t have a dedicated audio recording feature, but with a little ingenuity and conversion, that can be resolved. The HD700 is available for $350 at Amazon.

For high-definition video without the HD cost check out the Aiptek A-HD 720P High-Definition camcorder, which retails at Amazon for $134.99. The viewfinder is small and the zoom is not much help compared to other handhelds, but its great for newsrooms on a budget (which is to say, almost everyone).

The Tony Hawk HelmetCam is a tiny camera that can be strapped on to any helmet and is great for capturing elusive action shots (I wish I had one for a project on downhill skateboarding). The compact camera is great for recording from the viewpoint of a staffer and records 640 x 480 video in a range of formats. The HelmetCam is available from Amazon for $30.

With all the useful and cool gadgets available, it may be easy to run out of room in your proverbial backpack. There is, however, always room for the ZRAD Super Mini SPY Cam. The tiny camcorder is about the size of a pack of gum and record up to two hours worth of video on a single charge and can store up to 33 hours of video. The video output is not broadcast quality and is barely web quality, but is useful for capturing spot news on the fly when a larger camera is impractical. The SPY Cam is available from Spy Gadgets for $129 (please refrain from actual spying).

If size is not an issue and pitch perfect, broadcast quality is what you’re looking for, look no further than the M-Audio MicroTrack II. The battery operated audio recorder has two-channel WAV and MP3 recording and playback and stores to Compact Flash cards. It records up to four to five hours on a single charge and connects with a USB cable for quick uploading to the web. The recorder also has input jacks for professional and consumer microphones and headphones. The MicroTrack II is available for $300-$500, depending on where you get it from.

Recording phone calls with sources can be a pain, but the Teleport 2.0 makes it a little easier. The gadget connects your telephone to your PC’s USB port, and records incoming and outgoing calls. It also keeps a log of calls made and is compatible with any telephone set. The Teleport 2.0 is available for around $70. A friendly reminder from 10,000 Words: remember to check state laws before recording phone calls.

Also on 10,000 Words:

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Inexpensive gadgets for backpack journalists