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Lights Camera Action - Setting Up a Video Environment Without Breaking the Bank

Lights Camera Action - Setting Up a Video Environment Without Breaking the Bank

 AdobeStock_2836132.jpegIf you're dabbling in the world of online video and wondering about how to create an in home or in office studio without breaking the bank, you've come to the right place. You may find yourself at a loss with where to even begin. What kind of camera? How do I edit? I have trouble lighting my own living room!

Breathe. We are here for you. It's easier than you might think. 

Everything you need can be purchased on Amazon.com. Some people are even shooting their vlogs on an iphone, which lends a nice level of authenticity and doesn’t look overproduced or commercial. But if you are looking for something with even better quality and easy set-up, here are some additional options.


Step 1: Camera

A camera like a Cannon T3 Rebel ($375-400 costco/amazon) can work great. We definitely recommend using a camera, and with rare exception, not your computer camera. The quality of a stand alone camera is much better and the angle of a typical computer camera is not flattering on a person. However, this particular camera doesn’t come with a flip screen and that could be very beneficial to someone especially if you are shooting videos alone. With a flip screen, you can position yourself in the center on your camera, and watch yourself if needed. For a bit of extra dough, you can grab the the Cannon T3i ($400+), which includes this feature. The next level up would be something like the Cannon 5D ($700-1000). This is a camera that a lot of successful YouTubers use. All of these will give you a nice clear focused video, with a blurred background, which really makes you pop off the screen.

Step 2: Lighting

In this situation soft box lights work well. They usually come in a set of two, but even only one will work. You don’t have to go to crazy here, you can get these off amazon between $75-100. They give you really nice daylight/natural lighting.

Step 3: Tripod

This is a must. A simple tripod ($30 amazon) is easy to find and necessary in creating videos. You want to get one that’s tall enough to record you standing up.

Step 4: Editing

You will need some type of simple editing software. Final Cut 10 is super user friendly, most people can learn it really quickly especially when doing simple video editing. However it can run you about $350, so iMovie works great and comes standard on most MacBook’s, and Camtasia is also a good option. If you are really afraid of video editing, watch a few tutorials on YouTube to familiarize yourself with the process, it’s definitely not as hard as it sounds.

Filming Tip:

  • Consistency….Everywhere. Always use the same backdrop if possible, something clean and simple if you have it, like a grey wall. Stay away from white. If you plan on doing these videos regularly, I would establish a brand. You can higher a graphic designer to create a quick opening and closing moving graphic that plays at the beginning and end of every video. You can also get a custom “jingle” made, use a royalty free option, or use one offered through your editing software (and stick to it). A version of the jingle should also softly play in the background of the video to give it a nice effect.

Congratulations on deciding to join the video world online!