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Hollywood or Bust

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I’ve wibbled in previous articles about the importance of video marketing and explored some of the planning theory and the types of content that you can create, but it can be an intimidating prospect if it is a completely new thing to you and your business.

It can also be an expensive thing to outsource, so I’m going to give a run down of some of the kit and software that you can use to give it a whirl yourself and you will hopefully be relieved to see that it doesn’t have to break the bank.

The most important part is the actual camera itself. You can spend a heck of a lot of money on this if you so desire, but often a lot of the features of a high-end camera are surplus to requirement when it comes to making online videos.

You do not need a 4k camera. Mobile phones, tablets and even basic to very good quality TVs will not support proper viewing of 4k video for quite a few years yet, so stick to something that gives a good 1080p HD picture and slice hundreds and hundreds of pounds off the cost.

If you are looking for suggestions, then here are a few to take a close look at:

Canon EOS 1300D (£299)
Nikon D3400 (£370)
Canon EOS 200D (£490)

If you really must be budget aware then the best entry level at under £200 is the Panasonic Lumix TZ50 (£199). Anything less than this and you may as well use your smartphone if you have a new model from the last 18 months as they are getting better and better each year and are already a very good option if you want to give video a whirl without a big outlay upfront.

If you can stretch to the Canon EOS 1300D then you will have absolutely everything you need. I am using the EOS 200D and this will last me for a few years yet and is the best piece of kit for cost per use I have spent Secret Pie’s money on in a long while, and it is also very good for normal photographs which will help in other areas of content creation.

If your camera supports it then an external microphone is a very important piece of equipment and look no further than the Rode VideoMicro Compact On Camera Microphone, which costs around £40 on Amazon. It’s very, very good value and very easy to set up and use. Any of the cameras mentioned above though will give you good enough audio with their built-in microphones. That extra £40 is money well spent as it provides excellent sound as opposed to good.

A decent camera and that microphone and you have addressed pictures and sound and it comes as no surprise that almost everything that is important in video production is now covered!

That said, you MUST get a tripod. You can spend £15 or £150 on one of these, but to get you started just get a low cost one that fits your camera and is able to be extended to be as high as yourself as it is just easier to stand behind a camera and film rather than crouch or stoop. A tripod keeps a steady consistent picture whereas holding a camera introduces shakes and wobbles.

If the place where you are likely to record most of your videos needs a bit of extra light then a continuous lighting kit will be useful, and these are the lights that are attached to a stand and you can pick up a perfectly good one of these for £30 and that will include the softbox fabric that goes over the bulb if you want a ‘warmer’ lighting effect.

That’s your lot…you can get kitted out perfectly well for under £300 or spend under £500 and have an almost professional setup.

The difference between a good video and a great video lies in the editing software and the skill of the person using it. There are lots of very expensive video editing packages out there and some of them need years of dedication to be able to master…but slice through all of that and investigate Filmora by Wondershare. I have given up spending hundreds and hundreds of pounds on software and now exclusively use this package…and it costs $60 to download for a lifetime licence!

There are plenty of online tutorials from Wondershare on how to use the software and a complete beginner can pick up the basics needed in an afternoon. It is the BEST piece of software vs price vs learning curve I have ever encountered and has never let me down. It even allows you to create videos with an aspect ratio of 1:1 which is a perfect square for use on Instagram.

Buy the kit, download the software and dive in…it really could make a difference to your business.