What basic kit do I need? Quick Start
by Michael Brook
One of the most popular questions regarding product or course creation, I get asked is, what kit do I need?
This isn’t really any surprise, because like many of the people I speak to, I’m genuinely really interested in kit. It seems to be something that we get drawn to like mice to cheese.
However, whilst some of us are drawn to the prospect of buying new equipment, finding out about new stuff… paradoxically it’s actually the issue that gets in the way the most too.
For some they feel like they absolutely have to have the right kit and this can causes an issue because they just don’t know what that kit should be.
It can cause an issue for others because the right kit can appear to be expensive and may be too expensive for their budget.
Both these scenarios of course cause problems.
Another problem with the issue of ‘the right kit’ is some people get confused by how to actually use it to make their online courses.
And of course that becomes an even bigger issue.
Some people in this space will tell you that kit absolutely doesn’t matter, however the truth is some kit is absolutely necessary. But it certainly doesn’t need to be expensive and it doesn’t need to be complicated.
So the purpose of this video is to simply show you the basic kit needed. Actually show you the kit that is absolutely necessary to ensure you can get your own online courses and products created and taken to market… which after all is what you need – isn’t it?
I came into the world of product and course creation from a background of film making for businesses and before that having a successful training business – so the knowledge of how to make video and what kit is necessary was something I took for granted.
But as I work with more and more of you, people who are keen if not desperate to make courses and products – I appreciate how much consternation it can cause…
Well by now I’m sure you realise that if you want to be successful your courses and products need to be video based. That’s just the way it is for now.
So that’s where we will start – at the image recording part of the process.
What is truly amazing is that you can actually record any video footage you need with a modern cellular smartphone. I’ve mentioned this many times before the video capability of the phone in your pocket is truly amazing. Many of the more modern phones have within them a 4K camera which is literally more than you need.
That said some people do like to use equipment that is designed to do what it’s designed to do so we need to talk about cameras.
Any basic DSLR camera that shoots HD footage is good enough. And of course there are some real advantages of using a purpose built camera over your phone.
My recommendation would be any starter level Canon DSLR camera. I started making all my videos with a Canon 60 D. This is a Canon 70 D which has now been superseded by the 80 D. But if you can pick up a second hand canon 60 D or 70 D this will be all the camera that you need.
Now If you do choose the DSLR option you can have to think about a lens.
These cameras have separate lenses. Which will help with the cinematography aspect of your filming (which we will cover in a separate video), but that’s an advantage of the camera over the phone option right there.
Quite often you can buy these cameras with what they call a kit lens. This is often a zoom which will cover a range of focal lengths. Certainly when you’re starting out the kit lens will cover a range of 28 to 70 mm for example would be absolutely perfect for most settings and situations.
Of course you’re going to need to record your video onto some media. If you are going to use a DSLR or most video cameras these days, they use these SD cards. Unless you are shooting in 4K then once again you can pick these up on Amazon quite cheaply. Don’t go too cheap though and do use a recognised brand. The last thing you need is for you to lose your footage due to a dodgy card. I recommend Transcend or Sandisk.
Whichever camera you choose to use you need to keep the camera stable. Handheld footage will not be suitable for your online course or product. So you’re going to need a tripod. Once again this does not need to be expensive at all. Take a look on Amazon and I would certainly recommend any of the Manfrotto or Benro range of tripods… I have both and they have given many years of image stability and you don’t need to spend loads.
Unless you are very lucky with the space you’re shooting your video footage in, the chances are you will need some form of lighting.
Once again please don’t think you have to spend a fortune on lights, even if you use specific video lighting. I would recommend LED lighting. These days LED is cheap and is easy to use. I’ll go into how to set up your lighting in future video but are going to need 2 or 3 lights. I’ve had these from aperture for four or five years now and they’re still going strong and if you could pick these up second-hand they would certainly do the job.
The chances are you will need something to pop your lights on to keep them in the right position, so you will need some light stands. Amazon is full of reasonable quality and cheap light stands.
OK, so I think we sorted the image part of the process
A major probem with DSLR type cameras, is whilst the images are amazing the audio on the whole is rubbish. Of course they were designed to create photographs
So you will need a way of recording the audio and or getting good sound into your camera.
You are going to have to consider buying an external microphone. I’ll come on to talk about how to get perfect audio in a later video, but one of the rules of thumb is the nearer the mic is to the source of the audio the better.
Having an on camera mic like the Rode Video Mic Pro would be a really good investment. Once again I’ve had these versions of the Video Mic Pro for a long time they’ve really stood me in good stead and with a few accessories you can even get quite close to the source of the sound.
When it comes to a backdrop or a setting, a plain wall will do. I would always recommend trying to get some distance between the subject (you) and the wall. If you do use the wall of course you don’t need to buy any background but you might also consider using a pop-up background if you don’t have the opportunity to shoot in a room where you got clean wall. Once again these are quite convenient and portable.
You might also consider creating a set that reflects you and your personality or business, which of course is great – but don’t think you have to… just filming in your own lounge would be just fine… just check to make sure you don’t have plants or ornaments coming out of your head… off putting for the audience!
Once you have shot your content for your course or product, you need to edit your footage.
So you need to get your footgae off the camera or off the card and into the computer.
Now if you’re very adept with mobile devices you might be able to edit your footage in your iPhone or mobile device.
However, for the purpose of this I’m assuming you’re going to use a computer. This does not need to be special. It can be your laptop or your desktop computer – no need to buy a special or indeed additional computer for this.
You will however need some software – editing software. Some of this can be downloaded for free if you have a PC and the Mac of course comes with iMovie.
So that’s the basics!
Watch out for some more videos from me where I explain in more detail how to use equipment or how to go through each stage of the product creation process.
I gives you some ideas about the equipment that I like to use.
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