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Professor documents AP photojournalists in action with AVCCAM HD camcorder

Ken Kobré, professor of photojournalism at San Francisco State University, profiled 12 Associated Press photojournalists in action around the world for his new documentary, "Deadline Every Second."

Kobré, who shot the documentary with Panasonic's AG-HMC150 AVCCAM HD camcorder, took two years and traveled to three continents to captured footage of the AP photojournalists as they covered everything from clashes in the Middle East to the Tour de France race.

Initially, Kobré borrowed an AVCCAM camcorder to shoot the documentary, but he soon purchased his own. The camcorder's ergonomic, lightweight design, simple interface and SD media allowed Kobré to keep shooting for hours without difficulty.

The one-man-band operation required Kobré to act as lighting and sound technician, director, producer and cinematographer all at once. He was surprised by how much he could rely on the automatic settings of the camera while caught up in the action.

"When shooting a documentary by yourself, it's hard to control all the technical activities and ask questions simultaneously," he said. "The automatic focus and sound level features on the camera allowed me to shoot but still concentrate on my subjects."

Kobré also took advantage of the AVCCAM's professional audio features, especially its two locking XLR inputs with switches for mic/line. The sharp eye piece helped him focus accurately, and the flip-out screen allowed him to work on the fly and still maintain control over his shots. The documentary was edited on Final Cut Pro.

"Deadline Every Second" premiered on Long Island-based public television station WLIW in April and will air on PBS flagship New York station WNET in July.