So you’ve dabbled a little bit in online video, or maybe you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can go with your current equipment. Maybe you’ve been to a conference and heard me speak about how to make great instructional videos. Or maybe seeing yourself on video still scares you but you want to know what I use to make my videos. Below is a list I’ve put together, with some of the gear that I use, some of which, is a low cost alternative to brand names but all of the items below are an investment in tools that you can use to make better videos. The items below (affiliate linked) are all items that I currently use, or have used and find them to be great tools to use.
If your ready to move up from your iPhone to a higher capability camera for video consider the Panasonic GH4. Well regarded as one of the top interchangeable lens SLR style cameras for video, the GH4 and it’s older sibling the GH3 make good video quality easy. Don’t be afraid to go for the past models who often have all of the features you need, for a discounted price. Make sure that whatever camera you get, has an input for an external microphone. The built-in mics are pretty much never good enough for quality videos. The ability to adjust ISO (sensitivity to light) is super helpful when shooting in different lighting conditions. Many SLR style cameras still do not have Autofocus for video The GH3 and GH4 both have good autofocus which makes them more useable like camcorders of the past.The Panasonic cameras while they shoot excellent video, can’t compete with other SLR’s when it comes to still photography.
If you’re looking for a camera to pull double duty as a still camera and a video camera, consider the Canon 70D. Canon has always been well known for its still photography quality and the 70D adds great video as well.
Maybe you already have a tripod, an easy way to make it work with with video is to add a fluid head. The CowboyStudio EI717A fluid tripod head is a solid low cost option for getting the support you need for video.
Good Audio is critical to quality videos – you’ve heard me say that over and over again. A great and low cost tool for good audio is a lavalier microphone. The Audio-Technica ATR-3350 is a good quality low cost lavalier that has a 1/8″ output plug which will plug into many current cameras. It also has a long cable which allows you to have plenty of room to move around in front of the camera. Recording good audio is simple with this mic.
If you don’t want to be tied down, or you have more than one person to capture then you might consider a shotgun mic like the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R with Rycote Lyre Shockmount. This mic, mounts to your camera’s hotshoe and plugs into the 1/8″ microphone input on your camera. If that mic is out of your price range any of these will work. There are so many options!
If you’re using a shotgun mic outside you’ll quickly find that the foam cover windscreen does not cut it if there is any breeze. The Micover windscreen is an excellent choice for the ‘dead cat’ style
- Heavy duty double construction offers stability and durability.
- Self-aligning metal quick-flip leg locks offer fast set up.
- A mid level spreader adds additional support.
- Black anodized finish gives a classic professional look.
- A High-quality, padded carrying bag is included to help protect your investment.
I have had a lot of people ask me what extension arm I use for my top down food videos.
Here it is:
- The eXtender consists of three basic components:
- A universal clamping device which would allow it to be affixed to almost any existing traditional tripod
- An enclosed counter-weighted, heavy duty aluminum telescoping extension
- A quick-release ball head for mounting the camera
I am able to use my Nikon, the iPhone and my GH3 on it with out counter weights. But as always, use caution and be aware of your equipment. No one wants a camera ending up in the food!