The Minimum Equipment Requirements to Get Started With Video

The type of equipment you need matters when it comes to recording videos, but this shouldn’t stop you from getting started. Generally, I have three main video equipment requirements and they are the quality of your

  • Camera
  • Lighting
  • Audio

This is an interesting decision point for you because there are ways to do all of this without spending any money. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars getting video equipment that you may need a degree in order to use. So let’s get started with the first item on our list of video equipment requirements you’ll need.

Start With a Good Camera

There is an axiom in photography that says that the best camera, hands down, is the camera you have with you when you see an opportunity for a photo. A lot of times that means it’s your smartphone. Your fancy camera doesn’t make sense unless it’s with you when you see the opportunity.

The same goes for video. You most likely have a camera built into your computer. The question becomes whether that camera is high enough quality for what you want to do.

Sure, you probably don’t want to be posting low-end cell phone videos all over social media. Maybe they look like you took them with the wrong settings or took them with an outdated phone and it’s super pixelated.

On the other end of the spectrum are 4k videos. These are high-quality, uber professional videos that tend to end up on the background of a billboard or something like that. You probably want something more in the middle.

If the camera you have is only a few years old, it’s probably high quality enough but if it’s not, you do have a few options.

Video Equipment Requirements For Cameras

Logitech has these great webcams that produce really high-quality 1080P output. They’re great.

I actually use a Canon camcorder for my videos and then there are other things you can do too.

If you’re going to take cell phone videos, turn the phone horizontally so make the phone look like you’re playing a video game – not like you’re scrolling through your feed. If you do a tall video, you get these alleys and they just make it harder to edit the video and make it look high-quality.

Spend under $1,000 and you will get a very good video camera. If you get 1080P, you are not going to bump up against the, “oooh, this is not high quality enough for me.”

Right now, my camcorder is 1080P (not 4k) and it was under $1,000. I know that 1080p will work for a very long time and 4k videos have very large file sizes anyway.

When you’re thinking about video in terms of content marketing, you need to think about the most often used case. That’s going to be social media ie. YouTube so make sure you have something high enough quality for YouTube and you should be fine.

Pay Attention to Lighting

Again, you can spend a lot of money on lightning and you can spend a very little amount of money on lighting. The best tip I got from a videographer when I was getting started was to sit near an open window.

This way you have natural light coming in on all your videos. I also have what is used in photography to avoid having to use a flash when you are taking low light images. A ring light also works since they’re lightweight and less expensive.

Quality Audio is Key

You do not want to sound like you’re in a car or on the freeway or under a waterfall in your videos. Get a good mic. Make sure you have one that’s better than the built-in earbud mics.

If you’re on a budget, start with one on the lower end of the spectrum costing less than $100. It’s an ATR 2100 and it’s one-directional. I used to have a Blue Yeti and that picked up all the background noise and I often have children in the background so that wasn’t good.

Right now, I have a one-directional ATR 2100 and that works great for anything that I need. Again, it’s not very expensive. It sits on a stand. I hide it because I don’t like how it looks in my videos. You’re supposed to look at me. Not my mic!

People Do Pay Attention to What’s Going On in the Background

Once you have those 3 video equipment requirements, you’re basically set. The last thing I’ll only bring up because we’re all working from home is your background. I moved my desk so that I would have good natural light, but also so that I would be in front of a blank wall. On the other side of my office is an open bookshelf, which is distracting.

I want people to focus on you when you are creating videos – not whats going on in the background. So yes, you do need some gear to meet basic video requirements in order to create professional-looking videos. But you don’t need a studio. You don’t need to spend a whole lot of money.

Again, you can probably get away with your using your webcam for a little while until you see that this is something you want to keep doing. Maybe you don’t want to spend the thousand dollars on a camcorder. Maybe you don’t want to buy a better webcam from Logitech.

But what you want to do is make sure that you are offering and creating the highest-quality videos that you can. I feel like that might sound counterintuitive, based on my premise, which is that you should be able to do these videos without scripting. They should seem natural, and you should just be talking to your ideal client.

All of that is true, but people believe people more when they’re not even thinking about the quality of your video.

So, focus on making the quality so good that they’re just focused on you.

One Final Tip

Make sure you are visible. Not all of you though, as this is not a fitness competition. But your head and shoulders should be visible in your image and you want to take up more than half of the display. Make sure that you’re doing that and then get to work.

It’s much more important to have videos than it is to have the perfect setup. If you want help getting started, we offer one-time strategy sessions as well as ongoing full-service video content marketing. Just click here to book a call.

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