We believe that anyone can start a video blog or create video marketing with the tech they already have. A smartphone camera or even a webcam in your laptop will do! It’s that simple!
But to give your videos the edge over everyone else, you may think it’s time to invest in some new kit to make your videos stand out. We’re always refreshing our video marketing kit list, in fact, every time we schedule a corporate video filming day, there’s something new in our Amazon shopping cart!
But what video kit do you need to make professional-looking video marketing on a shoestring?
Here’s a rundown of the four essential things you need in your camera bag (plus a few bonus goodies) to make the video marketing your business deserves!
Choosing A Video Camera
You wouldn’t get far making a video blog or piece of video marketing without the camera! It’s certainly at the top of our video marketing kit list! Whether it’s your smartphone, DSLR stills camera with video functionality, a vintage camcorder, an action camera like a Go Pro or a webcam, these all qualify as suitable devices for making videos.
But how do you choose a video camera that’s right for you, especially when there are so many on the market? It depends on how you’ll be using it most of the time. If you’re always on the move, a smartphone is perfect. If you’re at your desk for most of the day, having a high-quality webcam will be perfect. A dedicated video camera, like a DSLR or camcorder, will produce the most visually superior results though.
If you do want to invest in a new camera, then remember this. The common misconception when choosing a video camera is that resolution is the most important thing. Sure, a camera that shoots in 4K is more likely to be better than one that records in a lower resolution. But the size of the image sensor and lens glass makes for an exceptional camera.
But here’s the thing.
The technical spec of the camera doesn’t matter.
Not a bit.
The maxim that I always preach when choosing a video camera is ‘the best camera is the one you have on you’. Whether it’s your smartphone or a DSLR, if you’re familiar with its functionality then stick with it! Think of this when starting to build your video marketing kit list!
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Choosing A Tripod
Next in your shopping cart for your video marketing kit list should be a tripod. A tripod is a portable three-legged stand used to support a camera, allowing you to lock your shots and reducing any shaky wobble that you may get from handheld shooting.
When choosing a tripod, make sure you select a ‘video’ tripod and not a ‘photography’ tripod. What’s the difference? A video tripod is built for the shooting demands of video, in that it allows for smoother horizontal and vertical movement. A photography tripod is made to help capture still images, so isn’t designed to be able to move the camera at all.
There are some alternatives to video tripods. A Gorillapod is a small, flexible tripod designed to sit on a desk or wrap around an object. It’s perfect for smartphones, webcams and any small camera.
The benefit of having a tripod is that you can keep your shots steady and you can operate the camera hands-free – essential if you’re a video blogger!
- Neewer Professional Aluminium tripod – Lots of pro features in this bargain tripod, ideal for most cameras.
- Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand for Smartphones – Fits most smartphones and can be placed pretty much anywhere!
- Webcam Boom Arm – Get a better angle with your webcam by fixing it to this boom arm!
Choosing A Microphone
While most video marketing shared on social media may be viewed initially with the sound off, that still doesn’t mean you should scrimp on a decent microphone! A Microphone is a device that translates sound into an electronic signal. All video cameras will have a mic built into them, but to get the best quality sound – buying a separate mic to use along with your camera is the best choice for building your video marketing kit list.
A mic, ANY mic, is better than the microphone built into the camera.
Microphones come in all different shapes and sizes. For video blogs or when delivering a piece to camera, a lavalier microphone (also known as a tie clip mic) is a perfect choice. Just like newsreaders wear, it’s small, discrete and as it’s positioned inches away from the speaker’s mouth, gives you brilliant sound quality and plugs in just like a normal pair of headphones. You can easily pick these up for a few quid and they’re the simplest microphone to use. Plus, with the help of an audio splitter cable, you can plug them into your smartphone’s headphone jack, and you’re set to go!
- Movo PM20 Dual-Headed Lavalier – Two lavalier mics connected by one cable, excellent for interview situations.
- RODE Wireless GO The full microphone kit with discreet mounts to hide the mic, perfect for phones, tablets and DSLRs
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A video camera sensor needs light to capture images, and using video lights in addition to the natural light in a space is the best way to add a professional sheen to your footage.
If you want to get that attractive, soft lighting look and avoid casting nasty shadows, go big or go home! By that, I mean the larger the light source is, the smoother the resulting light is and the cleaner the look. It’s our first rule when it comes to creating better video lighting, so don’t ignore it!
Softboxes that use fluorescent bulbs are excellent for beginners. It’s the first set of lights we used all those years ago, and we still recommend them now!
They’re cheap, portable, low power and give off hardly any heat. They’re easy to set up too. The colour temperature of the light is the same as natural daylight, so perfect for adding a natural looking boost to your images. Definitely worth adding to your video marketing kit list!
- Neewer® 700W Video Lights – A decent pair of fluorescent lights and a bag for around £50. Not to be barked at!
- Selfie Ring Light – A natty little ring light that attaches to your phone, perfect for on the go vlogging!
- PIXAPRO® On Camera LED – Attaches to the ‘shoe’ mount at the top of a DSLR / camcorder. Decent power in a small package.
Don’t Forget Odds & Ends!
Although it’s the big guns like the camera and lighting that most people think of buying when they’re spending their first few quid on video gear, there’s a lot to be said for the little bits and bobs that go into your video marketing kit list! We love shopping for new cinema lenses and bigger lights, but it’s often those little things that make all the difference!
Gaffer Tape (or Gaff tape or Gaffers tape) is a colloquial term for an indispensable strong, durable tape used on film sets. (Gaffers are the folk responsible for the practical side of lighting, by the way!) It comes in black, white, grey and all colours of the rainbow. Get a roll of black, and you’ll be thankful you did! You’ll never know when you’ll need it!
Translucent powder is a must for anyone going in front of the camera. A quick dab of this anti-shine makeup and even the most sweaty or follically challenged interviewees will look their best!
Extension cables, USB power banks, spare batteries, battery chargers – basically and anything else that helps draw more power to your kit is essential!