The iPhone 4 as a mobile multimedia suite for journalists

Looking beyond the hype that normally accompanies news from Apple, the new iPhone 4 has the potential to put a multimedia production suite into the hands of journalists.

One of the most significant improvements is the 5 megapixel camera, with the ability to shoot video in 720P HD.

The more powerful A4 processor and the new screen resolution will also make it easier and faster to edit video on the go.

At the UBC Graduate School of Journalism where I teach, we have been one of the journalism schools trialing multimedia editing apps created by Canadian company Vericorder.

The latest version, called 1st Video, offers the ability to record, edit and send video, as well as photo slideshows and audio.

Using an external mic, such as this mini mic sold by Vericorder, the quality of the sound recording was very good.

A device that you carry all the time loaded with a mobile multimedia editing suite is a powerful combination for a journalist, let alone people caught up in news events.

Oone of the main limitations has been the quality of the video that the iPhone 3GS could record. At best, it was 640 by 480 resolution.

The new camera addresses this limitation. Of course, there are still questions over the actual quality of the video and it is not going to replace professional or prosumer HD camcorders.

But it might just out of the newsroom the pocket HD cameras from Flip or Kodak, with a quality good enough for broadcast.