Smaller-market TV stations face a constant challenge to produce compelling, cost-effective local news that builds audiences amid multichannel competition. For KRGV TV-5, in Weslaco, Texas, meeting that challenge combines award-winning journalism with affordable, ultra compact XA10 professional HD camcorders from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions. Equipped with infrared features for shooting in total darkness, the station’s hand-held Canon XA10 HD camcorders were instrumental in producing “The Battle in Brooks County,” a special report on the plight of illegal immigrants that won a 2011 Lone Star Emmy Award. Reporter Jordan Williams and photographer Mike Ortiz accompanied sheriff’s deputies on night patrols of vast ranchlands and used the XA10 HD camcorders to document the perils of illegal immigrants abandoned by human traffickers in the deserts of southern Texas.
“During the past decade, our area has seen hundreds of illegal immigrants cross the border, get lost in the brush, and die,” Williams explained. “We were out on patrol one day and found two men who were dehydrated and in very bad health. Mike had his shoulder-mounted ENG camera and I had the Canon XA10, and we did an instant two-camera shoot right there on the side of the road. The men told us their story and were suffering so badly they had to be taken to the hospital. It’s a sequence that will always stick in my mind.”
“We captured memorable footage at night as well, including interviews with volunteers who patrol the ranchlands in the dark looking for lost illegal immigrants,” Ortiz added. “The XA10 is small, versatile, non-intimidating, and it gives us great video. That’s what I need in my line of work.”
Capable of shooting in conditions with little to no ambient light, the Canon XA10 professional HD camcorder features infrared video capture and an infrared emitter with a diffuser, as well as a green or white color option to shoot HD infrared imagery even in complete darkness.
“The XA10 gives us the capability not just to have great night shots but also more shots during the day from different angles that you wouldn’t normally get,” Williams stated. “We keep both of our XA10 HD camcorders charged and we grab them whenever we are shooting a story that might lend itself to multiple angles. From a reporter’s perspective, that raises the bar of any story.”