On a typical week I just get a dozen emails on my recommendations for live and online video equipment. This topic is huge and there are many varying opinions and debates, including brand loyalty’s and other biased information. I am no different. The best I have done is researched on my own what is the best on the market at the time of purchase, weigh in the cost versus value factor, and make my decision.
I am upgrading to HD 4K resolution for a number of reasons, not only with my live video equipment but also with my video web players that I have developed. Awesome and cutting edge! Youtube is now supporting it 4k resolution. This is were we need to be. 4K Resolution is another phrase for UHD (Ultra HD). See below for more in this.
We need to be prepared for where online video is heading. We were all amazed when HD was introduced to online video. Now we are heading for UHD and 4K.
Thus, my video equipment gear list has recently been upgraded this past week. It was a painstakingly stressful process (I hate shopping) intermingled with sheer excitement at the thought of creating awesome live videos with my new equipment.
In the post I will outline my video equipment and software that I personally use:
For the longest time I have used a Sony Camcorder AVCHD. The problem has always been audio. Camera’s have lowsy built-in mics, and if you are at any distance, you will need some type of external mic to capture your voice.
To solve all these issues I researched and my decision came down between two cameras:
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4K 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera
I ended up going with the newly released 4K HD Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4.
Youtube now supports 4k resolution and I am updating my MemberPlayer, CovertPlayer Pro, Video Effects Press, and SalesPressPro Premium to be able to do Youtube HD preload in resolution, which is cinematic resolution at its finest. How sweet is that. See can this Youtube image here of settings:
Check out the quality of this Youtube video below in 4K HD resolution filmed using the Lumix GH4 Camera.
My main reason was that I did not like the bulky size of the Canon, and the Canon also does not have WiiFii. The Panasonic Lumix is smaller in size, richer in features, has WiiFii, is Mirrorless and has 4K Cinematic Video which Youtube now supports. This is a big thing moving forward.
A cool optional is to get the Panasonic DMW-YAGH Pro Audio Video Interface for LUMIX GH4 which gives you the ability to have XLR inputs microphone’s plug directly into your camera. This is on my wishlist. Most DSLR higher end camera’s have a 35mm audio input which is good, but not as great a XLR input.
Lens: Because I am simply using the camera close range videos I picked the f/1.4 lens:
2. Audio Capture & Microphone’s
Nothing is more important than your audio. Most camera’s have lowsy built-in mics, so you need a good external mic to plugin to your camera, or you can record onto an external device and sync your video and audio using video editing software. I do both. Syncing is a hassle if you want to be quick, but in the end has better quality because you can do a lot of manual filtering.
Here is my Audio Gear List:
- Sennheiser ew 122-p G3 Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System with ME4 Lavalier Mic – A wireless mic will give you the best audio.
- Rode Videomic Pro with VMP Deadcat Wind Muff – This boom mic is great for quick live videos and will focus on your voice at good distance of 10 ft. away.
- Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro On Camera Stereo Microphone – I got this because if I am doing a video outdoors and I want to also capture the environment sounds (birds chirping, etc), then this will do it.
- H6 Zoom Portable Studio Recorder – This is absolutely the best for audio recording. It has 6 XLR inputs. What I do is use my wireless and it goes into my H6 Zoom which then goes to my camera. Or, if I can save the audio on a SD card and then put in onto my computer and sync with the video with video editing software for really high quality. The great thing about the H6 Zoom is that it is portable.
- Blue Microphones NESSIE Adaptive USB Condenser Microphone – I use this to record from my desktop computer if I am doing a screen capture video using Camtatia 8. This is the best for this purpose. It is the first adaptive USB Mic and has a built in Pop Filter and Internal Shock Mount .
- Sescom LN2MIC-ZMGH-MON 3.5 Line to 2.5 Mic 25dB – To hook my H6 Zoom Recorder directly into my Panasonic GH4 Camera I got this specialty cable (yes, you need it).
- Cool Lux MD3000 Light and Sound Bracket – the bracket goes on top of your camera so that you can put your H6 Zoom and Wireless Mic Receiver.
3. Lighting and Green Screen Backgrounds
Proper lighting is crucial for your live videos. Shooting indoors will require you to have proper lighting. Additionally, with most video editing softwares, like Camtasia 8 by Techsmith, you can edit out your background and replace it with anything you want. The key is the have a background that is solid and that is nowhere found on your body (or your body will be edited out as well). Green Screen’s are great for this purpose and are relatively inexpensive.
For my purposes I have these in my arsenal:
- PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT – I choose the 2 light kit, as opposed to a 3 light light which for my needs would be too much..let alone the size of your room you need to make it all fit.
- Green Screen Background Kit – There are lots of these around. Fairly inexpensive and does the job really well.
4. Video Editing Software & Converters
- Techsmith Camtasia Studio 8 for PC – I do basically everything with this.
- Adobe Premier for Mac – I personally use a PC for 95% of my tasks, but if you are a Mac user, this is your video editor pick.
- XMedia Recode for PC (video converter) – this is the absolute best for converting and compressing your videos to different formats.
So there you have it…my gear list. For around $5k you can have a complete set up for the ultimate videos.
Tell me your thoughts for live online videos. What are your favorite pics?