Buying the right camera gear will make your life easier and more importantly lift your video production to the next level. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune.
Of course, the first item you need will be a DSLR camera, smartphone or video camera. Which one? Well, this essentially comes down to your budget and what you need it for.
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Now let’s get started with the TOP FOUR other items you’ll need…
The secret to good quality audio is to have the microphone as close to the person speaking as possible. In most cases this will be using a wireless lavalier microphone.
There are many on the market but the one I often use is the Rode Wireless Go with an extra lavalier microphone as opposed to just using the in-built mic.
This system can be plugged directly into your DSLR camera (make sure you adjust the recording level) or paired with your smartphone. To make it work with your phone, you’ll need a handy little RODE adapter called an SC-4.
There are plenty of options out there at different prices BUT the main points to look out for are –
1. A fluid head which means you can do smooth pans and tilts
2. A head which sits on a ball so you can easily make sure the horizon is level without having to adjust the legs. This is so useful and you’ll never have to go through the endless cycle of minor adjustments to get the camera level.
There is a difference between a photography and videography tripods so make sure you get the latter and it should have these features.
You always want to use the best available light so have your interviewee face the window if possible. However, a light with a soft-box will throw a lovely soft light across their face and add a ‘catch light’ in their eyes. Immediately your videos will look more professional.
The textbook light set-up is called ‘three-point lighting’ and this will give a very polished look but I’d certainly recommend at least one light.
LED lights are easy to use as they are light-weight, pack flat and can be powered with batteries.
The lights I use are called ‘Amaran’ by Aputure.
At some point you will need a light stand. If you are using small lights, such as the Amaran model, then your light stands do not need to be heavy-duty.
There are cheap options available in camera stores or on eBay but my personal favourite stands are made by Manfrotto. They pack together to save space, are air-cushioned and are tall enough for most video shoots.
The Complete Equipment List
I am often asked what kit I use and where you can buy certain items. Here is a list to help you find certain products.