Thursday, July 9, 2015

What Equipment and Software Do I Need to Create a Decent Quality Video?

First, you need a high-definition (HD) camera. The funny thing is that the high-definition camera on your phone is probably good enough for what you need to do. And while the HD camera on your phone is good, you can get even better ones for less than $100. In the grand scheme ofthings, this will probably be the last year I mention that your camera must be HD as it is simply becoming the standard.
Actually, more important than the video is the audio quality. I’ve seen people who have $50 phone cameras, but $200 or $400 audio rigs, because the audio is actually more important than the camera image.
Do you need that high-definition camera? Yes, you do, because you want to upload in high-definition quality to YouTube so that the consumer takes you seriously. Even so, audio is still more important. There are several great microphones for under $100; you can do your homework by visiting a site like Amazon and looking for the most highly-ranked equipment. My favorite options are listed in the “Paul’s Favorite Tech” chapter ofthis book.
The next most important thing is the lighting; you want to have great lighting. Ifyou can afford it, examine three-point lighting, which you can search for in your favorite search engine (YouTube has video after video that explains how to utilize this method).
One alternative, ifyou don’t have good lighting, is to go outside to Mother Nature where there is good organic lighting (though obviously, don’t go out shooting in the middle ofa storm). However, know that lighting is the second most important aspect ofyour video production behind audio.
A decent quality video option can also be a screencast video, which is a video recording of your screen. Screencasting is a technique commonly used in how-to videos. The video that I initially created for this book was a screencast video that’s been extremely profitable for me. With screencasting, I don’t have to worry about lighting, I don’t have to worry about cameras, I just need software and a microphone. It is certainly a great option for you.
The microphone I use is the Blue Nessie, purchased for under $100 on Amazon. In terms of screencasting programs, you have two major software options: Camtasia on the PC and Screen Flow on the Mac. Both ofthose programs have 30-day trials that you can utilize ifyou wish, and you can produce great videos with them. They even have the ability to input video editing ifthat’s something you need.
Finally, in terms oftraditional video editing, iMovie on the Mac works well. Whatever version of iMovie you have is great, and you can download it from the Apple store. Ifyou are unfortunate and saddled with a PC, I would not recommend Windows Movie Maker. Sony Movie Studio on the PC, however, is a fine product; and you can usually get that with a coupon for under $100.
What about the higher-end video editing products? Right now, my recommendation is that once you need that kind ofwork, hand it over to a professional - or consider looking for a book on video editing (versus on one YouTube strategies).
So the action item is simply to get over the tech and grab a high-definition camera for under $100; or, alternatively, realize that most likely, your phone will do the job. Next, invest in decent audio, set up quality lighting and get to work on making your videos. Then put them on YouTube and see what ind
ofresponse you get. There is no better way to pay for a new camera than from the monetary success ofyour previous videos.
That’s all the equipment and software you need to make a decent quality video. Get to work!

Ultra HD? 4K Video?
In the “What’s Next” chapter I talk about the new 4K, or Ultra HD, video standard. There are some cameras that you can buy right now that offer that level ofquality at some surprisingly reasonable prices. At this point, editing 4K is a considerable undertaking that is not to be underestimated. Consider your comfort and ability level with significantly larger files and make that decision accordingly.
In short, you can produce stunning video with a good HD camera and a decent microphone - quite possibly using the phone in your pocket and a microphone you pick up for less than a hundred bucks

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