Where to begin, where to begin?
That’s the problem, isn’t it?
When assembling a toolkit to build your video marketing machinery, it’s easy to get bogged down by the sheer volume of choice. This isn’t helped by the fact that many of us don’t necessarily have technical backgrounds.
Another stumbling block is the fear of the cost of video content creation. Yes, video equipment can be expensive, but for your purposes, it doesn’t have to be.
We can help you get started with the equipment you need to create video content that can boost your business and brand visibility. And you won’t have to get a loan to do it!
The goal is to do this as inexpensively as can be managed with equipment you can learn to use in a fairly short space of time.
Starting with the basics
The ideology behind No Fuss Video is rooted firmly in a do-it-yourself philosophy. We share the fundamentals of video with small business owners who need to take charge of their content creation strategy themselves.
You can start producing videos immediately with three simple tools:
So what camera, tripod and microphone?
If you don’t have the budget for a dedicated camera, you probably have one in your pocket right now that will do just fine. Most smartphones nowadays can shoot exceptional footage with a bit of know-how.
Here’s an important warning, though. Relying on your smartphone’s audio recording capabilities isn’t the best idea. Neither is depending on your arm as a tripod.
If you’re taking the time to go on camera, you might as well shoot for good quality. Your videos should be sufficiently professional-looking, not amateurish.
Here are the basic accessories we use to get the most out of our smartphones:
- The Joby GorillaPod – This table-top tripod has flexible legs that make it extremely versatile.
- Glif Quick Release Tripod Mount – This is an attachment with which you mount your smartphone to the tripod.
- Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone – This microphone is compatible with the iPhone.
- Rode VideoMic Me – This microphone is compatible with both the iPhone and Android smartphones.
There are many other accessories to consider, including smartphone lenses, to beef up the creative prowess of your phone.
For the time being, a modest investment in the add-ons we’ve shared can give you the look and sound you want in your video marketing content.
Other camera options
If you’ve got a bit more breathing room in your budget, you may want to consider different camera options depending on your needs.
As mentioned earlier, today’s smartphones shoot exceptional video. However, there are reasonably-priced camcorders that can produce better quality footage. That’s because most camcorders have larger sensors than smartphones.
Consequently, some camcorders tend to reproduce more lifelike colours and perform better in low light than your phone.
We’ve used the Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder and it is still part of our video toolkit. Coming it at about $200, it’s a good buy, all things considered.
What we like about the camcorder is the continuous autofocus feature. As a DIY shooter that means you don’t have to worry too much about appearing sharp and in focus in the frame. The camcorder takes care of that for you, which is a huge plus.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of camcorders is that they are relatively easy to use right out of the box. That’s not to say you’d throw the manual in the trash, but you can get up and running in a short space of time because they’re easy to learn.
The DSLR camera
We’d be nuts if we didn’t dedicate a bit of space to the DSLR camera.
An acronym for digital single lens reflex, this type of camera is ostensibly designed for taking pictures.
As video features were added to DSLR cameras, they put tremendous video quality in the hands of ordinary folks at prices that, not long ago, seemed impossible to contemplate.
Now, we’re going to say something that might sound like heresy in today’s age, but the DSLR can be a real pain in the neck to work with. Before you go lighting the torches to burn us at the stake, just bear with us for a moment.
As longtime video content creators, we could not have accomplished much of what we did without the mighty DSLR. The price point, undeniable quality and creative flexibility enabled us to stay within our clients’ undersized budgets and outsized creative vision.
For the newbie to video, on the other hand, there’s lots to know about operating a DSLR effectively. If you can invest the time to learn how to work the DSLR camera, it will be well worth it for your small business.
If the goal is to get a video marketing machinery off the ground in the short term, we’d suggest starting with something simpler like your smartphone or a camcorder.
When you are ready to step up your video content creation game, though, here is a DSLR toolkit that will serve you well:
- Canon EOS 80D DLSR Camera
- Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Zoom Lens
- Azden WLX-PRO Lavalier Microphone
- Rode VideoMic Pro Shotgun Microphone
- SanDisk 64 Gig SD card
Now, these are just options. We’ve basically pulled from our toolkit to help point you in the right direction.
DSLR cameras have really come down in cost and gone up in quality and features. As your DIY video marketing ambitions grow, so too will your interest in boosting the look of your content.
Need Help Using Video to Grow Your Business?
Check Out Our Mastering Video Series
The most important gear
Writing about gear to power your DIY video marketing goals isn’t the easiest thing to do, we have to tell you. There are so many options available and it’s difficult for us to know what your objectives are and what kind of budget you’re working with.
We’ve kept it simple, focusing on the basics to get you started.
In the beginning, getting your image stability and sound quality sorted should be a top priority. Everything else will fall into place as your video abilities blossom.
There’s a lot to be said for starting small.
It isn’t just a question of money. We strongly recommend that you invest as much time and energy learning the principles of DIY video content creation as you do choosing your gear.
The most important gear is really what’s in your head.
With the know-how and an emphasis on storytelling, you can do wonders with the recommendations we’ve laid out.
Give your voice the power to connect with customers in a way that makes them sit up and take notice.
Check Out Our Camera Confidence Course below!