Don’t waste time or money trying to find the right video gear for your video marketing efforts!
After nearly 40 years of working with cameras (and yes I am that old) and filming with the gigantic cameras of old (with large tapes/spools/film) to now be working with things as small as smart phone, no matter the project, it’s always been about having the right gear to get the job done.
Honestly, you DO NOT have to spend a fortune to capture a good marketing video nowadays. Although, you do not want to just grab your smartphone and start shooting, especially without having a proper plan and full knowledge of what your using the smartphone for. Otherwise, there is a really good chance that the final cut will disappoint you, as well and who it’s intended for. It’s like the famous quote that goes… if you fail to plan, you plan to… that’s right, fail. #FailBigTime
I recommend getting started with solid/fitting equipment that won’t break the bank and help you achieve your goals, while hitting a standard that will leave the impression of professionalism. When it comes down to it, and of we are being perfectly honest, don’t we all desire that on the other side of the google search? C’mon now, the answer is a resounding, YES!
So, you can either go one of two ways, one – opt to get cheeper gear and end up having to replace it in a short amount of time while getting the job done and experiencing a final cut that will leave you lacking. Or, two, go with a mid range “prosumer” (right between consumer and professional) purchase and learn to use the equipment well so that you will end up with a really high quality video to put out to your tribe… and something you can be proud of (BIG SMILE).
Now, before you go shopping for camera, think it through. Because, most people that come to us for advice always ask, ” is a DSLR, or Mirrorless camera the better choice”? Our answer back to them is always… what are you looking to accomplish? That is where you want to begin. Ask yourself the question… What is the end goal? And again, think it through.
Then, after you have squared off on that, you will be able to decide on the style of camera. But before I go there, I want to be sure to mention… don’t forget about the two other, VERY important, components for an awesome video capture:
- High Quality Audio!!! – Use the microphone input for an external microphone – I always say that this is NOT optional, because the internal microphone on any DSLR or mirrorless camera (or camcorder for that matter) is not what you want. When you get your gear you can do your own test using just the on-board camera mic and then with your external mic. Capture a short video, then listen back to a recording, and be sure to put headphones on when you play back the video and you’ll be able to notice a major difference.
- Short Potent Videos! Because they really perform the best. Also, because most DSLR and mirrorless cameras have a recording limit. Camcorders (or long format cameras) can record more than 30 minutes but are not as efficient with light (especially in shooting with lowlight) and sound.
Alright on to your first piece of equipment…
The recommended camera: DSLR camera – in this case a Canon T7i, or a Mirrorless camera – again, in this case the Panasonic Lumix GH5
To start, these cameras both have the external microphone input, and have HDMI output, which is useful for live streaming.
Lens options are great for both types of cameras, although I personally recommend Canon glass as the go to for more flexibility with each of the cameras. When mounting Canon glass on a Panasonic GH5 it requires the use of an adapter, which you can see here:
Something to think about when using a lens with stabilization capabilities, and combining that with the in camera stabilization, you can take advantage of both and end up with solid footage, and not have to spend a bunch of money on a hand-held camera stabilizer. That way if you decide to go outdoors (where daylight is shining) you can capture while you walk and still get smooth shots. Just don’t forget about the audio (wink).
You can find a kit for everything nowadays, which includes almost everything you need to get filming. On Amazon you can get a Canon camera a ‘kit’ for a few more dollars than the price of the camera body alone. One thing I will mention though, and that is that kit lenses are typically the low end lens (and a combo lens with both zoom and focus adjusters).
When purchasing a “kit”, be sure to check that it comes with an extra battery and an SD card. Some will come with an SD card reader, a second or even third lenses, a bag, and even a low quality tripod. I don’t recommend using those cheaper tripods with the Dslr or Mirrorless camera, whereas most will do fine for mounting your smartphone (using an adapter).
Canon t7i kit (click the link below with text and image):
Now, I have to mention that the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is definitely a step up in overall quality (in my humble/professional opinion) and that also means the cost will be more. There is a kit out right now that is actually a really good one, and include a ton of great stuff that you would normally have to shell out for anyway. The one thing that caught my attention was how this kit comes with a cine lens by Rokinon, a mic, a compact LED light and fast SD Card, and more… which in many ways makes this package well worth the purchase.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 (click the link below with text and image):
NOTE: The SD card that usually comes in most kits is not fast enough to record 4k video, so if you plan to film at higher rates than you will need to buy a faster card. When filming at 1080p or 720p, then the average card in the kit will do. In the Panansonic kit the card is a faster rated card and will work for 4K capture
The next thing you will need is a solid tripod to put the camera on for those times you want to deliver some dialog and have your hands free. So, when you have your camera batteries fully charged and ready to go, be sure to put one in the camera (wink), and then the SD Card and mount the lens. Now your are ready for the next piece of equipment and that’s… the tripod.
The tripod I recommend, is one that is not super heavy, and mostly for those times you want to take it outside but it will still be able to handle a light breeze, for when you do go outdoors. A great all around tripod is the Benro Aero 4 Travel Angel Video Tripod and this it a kit, which include the ball head, extension arm, carrying case (and adjuster tool).
Benro Aero 4 Travel Angel Video Tripod kit (click the link below with text and image):
Now we get into one of my favorite topics, sound! SO, let’s take a look at a good external microphone.
When it comes to audio, always go with a reliable brand and one that you know builds with quality materials. Rode is one of those brands. They make different models of external mics and the one I recommend is the Video RodeMic Pro.
Because my background goes deep in audio engineering, along with the studies that support this, the average video gets abandoned when there is low quality audio. So you can have amazing visuals, but no one’s hanging out if they can’t tell whats being said or if the sound is horrible. So please, take the time to get your sound right for your videos. Ok, my rant is over… Let’s get back to it.
I found a good amount of kit out there, and so I know you’ll appreciate the fact that in this package (link below), you get everything you need. It comes with the mic, the stand, adapter and cable and at just $239 (at the time of this post) you cannot go wrong.
The mic is excellent for video marketing and and easy to use approach. It has three audio level settings (nothing complex, you can increase gain, zero increase or decrease gain), and the on/off switch (which you can also use to cut low frequencies). Again, the kit comes with everything to set up and come in close range to the sound source (i.e. dialog, singing, your dog snoring :O) and , it can also be mounted on the top of the camera via the ‘shoe mount’. You also get a wind screen cover in the kit, which really makes a difference when going outdoors to capture your videos, because the minute there is a breeze… you can kiss your sound goodbye IF you don’t have one of these.
RODE VideoMic Pro R Studio Boom Kit (click the link below with text and image)
On that same topic… Sometimes, when you find that you are in a location where there is a good amount of wind and you really can’t get away from it (to be able to get that outdoor shot), I recommend using a wireless LAV, like one of these:
Rode RodeLink FM Wireless Filmmaker System – LAV Microphone (click the link below with text and image)
And last but not least, we come to the lighting. Of course nothing beats natural outdoors lighting but, when conditions don’t agree with you or you just want to set things up indoors so that you can get right to it with the same set up for your daily post, then here is what you’ll need. Lighting is very important, and so I do not want anyone to miss this… because there are so many lighting scenarios and types, I want to keep this simple for you. One thing I can’t stand myself is being bogged down with to many choices, and I think it’s key to hold to the number one rule I shared from the beginning, and that is…
get the right gear to get the job done. SO, here is what I see holding up to the test when it comes to quality lighting, sturdy build and decent pricing for what you are getting. My recommendation is the:
Aputure Amaran HR672C LED Studio Lighting Kit – with a high CRI of 95+, Bi-Color and Dimmable, Wireless Remote Control, Batteries and 6.5ft Light Stand (click the link below with text and image):
And that is a wrap! You now have all you need get creating and capture some awesome videos for your next marketing campaign!
Before I close this out, I will say that you don’t have to get all this gear to start making videos, all it really takes nowadays is a smartphone. But, if you want to up-level your video production, aka – bring the value of what you deliver to your audience up several notches, and you have it in the budget… then go for it!
One thing to note: these are affiliate links…
If you feel that this was worth your time and or want to give back for my time, energy and research when you buy your gear… by using the links and checking out within 24 hours, I get a little something for the recommendation and you pay the same price.