Using Your Field Camera as an Audio Mixer

October 2, 2007
Today’s photojournalists must exhibit many talents. They must possess the skills of a reporter, a photographer, a public relations expert, a video expert and an audio engineer. Often, they have to travel light and carry minimal pieces of equipment.

One of the primary tools for a modern photojournalist is the audio mixer. It’s certainly easy to carry around a mixer in the back of your vehicle. Occasionally, you might not have time to make a second trip back to the vehicle to get the mixer, or situations may preclude you from retrieving more equipment.

If you find yourself needing an audio mixer but don’t have one with you, most professional field cameras can be used as one. Professional cameras usually have balanced audio inputs, balanced and unbalanced outputs, metering, level adjustments, channel assignments, and can be utilized in either the line or the mic output modes. Whether you are recording from a “pool feed,” feeding an ENG truck, or providing a dub for a fellow journalist, the audio capabilities of your camera may just do the trick. Of course, your standard selection of pocket audio adaptors may still be required.

If you are unsure about the capabilities of your camera, don’t hesitate to study the operator’s manual or even call the manufacturer for help.

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