The key with producing content is to not prevaricate, to just get on and make it! It’s always really easy to think to yourself that you haven’t got quite the right kit, or quite the right space. There are always a million reasons NOT to start.
In a lot of cases you could make something work with a minimum amount of investment. So here is a quick little video recording equipment guide to help you on your way.
The assumption I’m making is that the content that you’ll be generating is a person talking to camera, known as a ‘Talking Head’. For anything more involved than this, we would need a lot more kit – therefore the price of setup will go up.
The ‘Talking Head’ is a certainly a good place to start for newbies to video recording for business.
A DSLR is absolutely fine. Any camera for video recording from a reputable manufacturer that can ideally shoot 1080 HD footage is what I suggest you look for.
Cameras like this have been around for a while now. So don’t necessarily think initially about buying a brand new camera. It may be that you could get a really good quality second hand camera, like a Canon 5D for example.
You don’t need to go for the latest version, either. Go for a couple of iterations previous. Effectively the video camera will still do what you wanted to do in this instance, which is take great quality video footage. By going for an older version you could pick up a lot of great quality camera for a more modest price tag.
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A really key part of a camera set up is the lens. A good lens can really elevate the quality of the picture. It is worth investing as much money as you possibly can afford to get the best lens for your chosen budget.
It’s best to get a lens that will work well at low light levels. Something that’s known as a fast lens. So you’d need to look at a lens of an F stop of around f3.5 / f4 would be great. Ideally f2.8.
I would caution against going for a lens with a long zoom length because frankly, in a studio set up, you’re pretty much going to be shooting things in one frame size. What I mean by this is avoid going for a cheaper lens which may have a range of 18-120mm.
You’re simply not going to need the range of this lens. It would be much better getting a lens with a smaller range, but that is a faster lens. You’ll find that the faster the lens, the better quality the optics in the lens. Therefore the pricier the lens will be.
Again, look at second hand lenses. Often you’ll be able to pick up a great quality lens for a really reasonable price.
A really critical part of the studio kit is the sound recorder set up.
If you’re going down the DSLR camera route, often you will have to find a sound solution that plugs into the side of your DSLR. If you’re going down this route, make sure that the microphone that you purchase is the best possible quality you can afford.
The other way to approach this if you’re shooting with a DSLR or indeed with a phone, is to use a standalone sound recorder, something like a ‘Zoom’. These are perfectly good quality, but this will mean that you’ll have a separate sound file that you’ll need to lay onto a timeline separately in the edit. The bottom line here is it can make it more complicated in the long run.
However you go about it, always make sure you are spending a decent amount of money for a very good quality microphone that has been well-reviewed.
Quite simply, if the sound is no good on your video, then no one will watch it. You will lose your audience really quickly with bad video sound. Here’s a tip on how to get better audio on your video recording.
For most situations where it’s a ‘Talking Head’ video, a ring light is an absolutely superb light to use. This is because it’s a very flattering and even light on the face. These are usually LED, so draw very little power and you can pick an LED light ring up for a couple of hundred pounds.
Do your research. As with everything in this video equipment list, check out reviews of people that have the kit. Don’t necessarily get swayed into spending lots and lots of money on video equipment.
Saying that, there really is a minimum point under which you can’t really produce decent quality video. So there is a sweet spot. Be realistic about this.
Ultimately, videos are a marketing tool. So by investing in this kit, you’re investing in your ability to produce marketing material for your business. Learn more on how to light your videos.
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Obviously you’re going to need to post produce your videos in some way – to edit them together. This I have covered in a in additional article, which you can find in the resources section here.
The key thing with all of this is to take action. Don’t let the video equipment become a stumbling block. Invest what you can afford, because you can always upgrade later.