These are the tools I use to record videos at off-site locations, in my home-office, and at my client’s locations. You too can get the same setup and do your own recordings – it’s easy! Lights, Camera, Action – let’s do this!!
Lavalier Microphone & Extension Cord
I like the RODE SmartLAV+ Lavalier Mic. (approx. $80) It’s great for field work, plugs right into your SmartPhone, and can easily be hidden under clothing.
The RODE smartLav+ is a broadcast-grade wearable microphone designed for use in a wide range of film, television and broadcast scenarios, or wherever broadcast quality audio is required in a discreet, portable format without the complication and expense of additional wireless equipment.
I also recommend buying an extension cord if you need more than a few feet between you and your subject.
CAUTION: I purchased TWO different extension cords that didn’t work correctly on a consistent basis. I met the Rode guys at a camera show and they explained to me that RODE products “don’t play well with others”. So if you buy an extension cord make sure it’s a RODE product. I like the RODE SC1 TRRS extension cable which is 20′ long and costs about $25 on Amazon.
To mount your SmartPhone camera to a tri-pod I recommend the ShoulderPod Smartphone Rig. ($35) It is extremely durable, ultra portable and easy to use tool for serious Smartphone Photographers and videographers. Compatible with virtually any smartphone model; this mount holds your device tightly thanks to its adjustable pressure-screw and its wide rubber pads. This handy tool will also mount directly to a tri-pod or selfie stick!
You’ll also need a sturdy tripod to keep your camera steady. Amazon offers a 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag (approx. $25) that has adjustable-height legs and rubber feet. Compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, smartphone adapters, and scopes.
Limo Studios offers this lightweight, easy to assemble kit for less than $50! The Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit by LimoStudio includes the following:
- (2) x LimoStudio 86″ Tall Studio High Output Umbrella Flash Strobe Light Stand
- (1) x LimoStudio 28″ Tall Studio Quality High Output Accent Light Table Top Light Stand
- (3) x LimoStudio Studio Single Head Photo Lighting Fluorescent Light Holder
- (3) x LimoStudio Digital Full Spectrum Light Bulb 45W Photo CFL 6500K, Daylight Balanced, Pure White
- (1) x Convenient Umbrella Carry Case | (1) x Bulb carry bag
That’s the basic DIY Video kit. Excluding the cost of the camera, you are looking at a modest investment of only $200!
Of course, the most important tool is your camera. I use a Canon video camera for formal projects and the iPhone 6s Plus for quickies. (approx. $1,000) Features include:
- 1080p HD video recording (30 fps or 60 fps)
- True Tone flash
- Slo-mo video (120 fps or 240 fps)
- Time-lapse video with stabilization
- Cinematic video stabilization
- Continuous autofocus video
- Take still photos while recording video & Improved face detection
- 3x zoom
- Video geotagging
When you are ready to graduate from using your cell phone you might give Canon a try, their DSLR cameras are amazing. I was able to snag a refurbished Canon Rebel T5 for <$250 through one of Canon’s email promotions. Pictured here is the super cool Canon EOS 70D. Features include:
- Digital AF/AE single-lens reflex camera with built-in flash Recording Media
- 1920 x 1080 (30 fps/25fps/24fps)
- 37 min. with IPB compression
- Manual or Auto Focus using AF point selection
- Face Detection plus Tracking AFFlexiZone
- TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor with Touch Panel LCD (capacitive type)
- Tons of quick control functions and it’s compatible with other Canon EF Lenses