The Royal tour of southern Africa, 2019: Some of my shots and thoughts on the Sony Z90

Here is a short compilation of some of the footage I have filmed of Prince Harry and Meghan over the last two weeks while working as one of the broadcast pool.


For those interested, I used the Sony #Z90 for all of these images. It packs an amazing punch and in my opinion, is the perfect news camera for people who need flexibility while also traveling light. If you are used to traditional shoulder cams such as the Sony PMW 500 just be aware that you are better using the “focus magnification” button for focus on the Z90 (or auto!) rather than the traditional “Zoom-in, focus, zoom-out.”

Dirico tented camp
In Angola, we stayed in a tented camp in an area called Dirico so that we could see the amazing work of the HALO trust.

For most of the events I shared pool responsibilities with colleagues from Sky and ITN but the shots in this short reel are all mine.

The logistics of the trip were punishing. We went to Cape Town, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Malawi and then finished in Jo’burg. I took 13 flights and had almost no time to set anything up. Editing was done while on the move and everything was shot in the harsh light in the middle of the day.

On a royal tour, you edit when and where you can. This is Nick Witchell and me in the back of an old Soviet truck in Angola.

But I loved the challenge and feel like a much sharper news cameraman and editor now. I feel like I have my news sense back after years of mainly just doing features and docs.

Some tips for anyone contemplating a trip like this:

  • Travel light. After the first day I jettisoned my second camera and gimbal.
  • Just get the basics right. Don’t try and be too clever. Be in the right place with decent exposure and focus, get plenty of tight shots and let the royals (or whoever) leave frame at least once in each sequence.
  • If you are using a Z90 then don’t be afraid to use the autofocus. It is brilliant and I used it for all of the moving sequences and it never once let me down. The only time I switch the camera to manual focus is for interviews or if there are a lot of faces in the background of a shot.


Just as we thought the trip was wrapping up a new story broke and we ended up doing late night lives from my hotel room.


One thought on “The Royal tour of southern Africa, 2019: Some of my shots and thoughts on the Sony Z90

  1. Thank you für the videos about the Z-90 and your work! Really appreciate it!

    In this article you stated that you barely used the auto-focus when it came to interviews or with (too) many faces in the background. Did you try the face-lock feature to stop the camera from switching faces?

    Best regards

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