San Diego, CA—The Associated Press (AP) officially announced their switch to the Sony Alpha camera system. Much of the news and corresponding photos and videos seen from various news outlets comes from the AP, an independent global news gathering organization.
With hundreds of staff photographers and videographers around the world, and thousands of freelancers who contribute, the AP is a massive and trusted source; moreover, it covers both the expected and unexpected.
Sony spoke with AP Director of Photography J. David Ake and Deputy Managing Editor Derl McCrudden to find out what the AP decision means.
The Associated Press on Its Switch to Sony
“The AP has always been at the forefront of new technology and new photography technology,” explained Ake. “We’re always interested in being the cutting edge of photography; as mirrorless has evolved, we’ve been very interested in shifting to that.”
“We’re also always assessing new technology and the cameras, of course, are just a core foundational part of what we do,” added McCrudden. “Speed is at the heart of everything we do; but so is quality. Not only do these cameras tick both those boxes for speed and quality and how they fit into our workflows, they also give us new opportunities for working way more flexibly in the future. We’re always developing what we’re able to do and how we’re able to push the boundaries so that we can cut corners with speed.”
McCrudden added that the switch is an investment in the future of visual journalism. “This is the biggest investment in cameras we have ever made,” he said. “It’s a really clear statement of intent about where AP sees the future of visual storytelling, both in terms of photography and video.”
Stills & Video
The ability to shoot quickly and flexibly is very important for photographers and videographers of the Associated Press. Switching to the technology provided by the Sony system brings a number of benefits for both still and video shooters working in fast and varying environments.
“We’re excited to switch to this new technology partly because it can operate quietly; this makes it easy for us to go places that before the noise of a shutter was distracting. Now we can go places and tell stories from different perspectives that we couldn’t before. We also like the fact that what you see is what you get in the viewfinder. So, if your color balance is off or your exposure is off, it is apparent immediately. We also like that it’s light weight,” said Ake.
“Moreover, for the very first time, we’ll have interchangeable lenses between some of our video cameras and some of our still photography cameras. That’s extraordinary. We’ve yet to kind of really plot out what the effects of that will be to us at a year’s time or two years’ time; however, we know we’re going to be able to work in a much more flexible, nimble way,” said McCrudden.
“It’s not just the fact that we’re switching to mirrorless, it’s that the visual teams of the AP will all be working with the same equipment,” said Ake. “Why that really matters is, if a still photographer is producing still images that might go with a video for a multimedia piece, the colors will look the same. Everything will be consistent.
“I think photojournalism is critically important today, probably more so than ever,” Ake added. “We are a very visual society. Skilled visual journalists that can use the things they have to tell the story—lights, lensing, approach, thinking about how to tell a story in a photo or a series of photos—I think that’s more important now than ever. The AP really believes in that. We are supporting that across both platforms. Telling the world’s story visually in a world where visuals are everywhere, on your phone, on your laptop, on billboards. We have to have skilled photographers who can tell stories.” sony.com