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Making a video is a slippery slope because it is an art. Big budget movies employee hundreds of people to get “that look.” So, what equipment will pass if you want to share your expertise with the world and not get a ton of flack for how your videos look?

Below is a list of my tested equipment that will get your great sound and image for informational content. When you ready to go to Hollywood, we can discuss different options:

Keep Your Video Steady With A Tripod

I have been experimenting a travel tripod. In the past I would choose the cheapest one with good reviews until I learned how much more this tripod will do.

MACTREM 62″ Camera Tripod

Another good choice: Abithid 65″ Travel Camera Tripod

Good Lighting Makes All The Difference

Get a ring light if you just are filming yourself

There are many schools of thoughts on lights so I actually popped into my local video store and asked some really picky experts. This ring light was their recommendation for quick, good lighting. This option is low profile and you can attach your phone directly to it. I learned that for interviews, sometimes people will actually just get two of these. The next step up gets complicated with a 2-3 light setup. They said, this is great “information lighting” (meaning interviews, etc).


Best (and tested) product choice: https://amzn.to/2Fc2QOk. One step down would be this option: https://amzn.to/2XFy73l

Get a three-point lighting kit if you need more control


Lots of people are buying LED lights because they are light and small. The problem is that you need a lot of them to get the same effect as a lighting kit. fluorescent lights also don’t generate a lot of heat. Get this kit for under $200.

When you combine these lights with this color balancing disc you will get great images:


Get this for under $50.

Diffusing your light

The top lighting option I suggested allows you to dim your light, but sometimes you just need to diffuse it.


Best (and tested) product choice: https://amzn.to/2EFeYpH

Record Great Sound

There is a big difference in camera or smartphone audio and what you need. This can be solved with either a lapel or shotgun mic.

Lapel mic

Lapel mics attach to your collar and get you great sound. Get one that is wired because wireless opens up a whole host of problems.


Best (and tested) product choice: https://amzn.to/2IS7ogx

If you go with this option, get some moleskin to attach the mic to you to prevent noise: https://amzn.to/2C8WoWu

Shotgun mic

Shotgun mics are great if you aren’t going to move a lot out of frame because they will only pick up the sound that is pointing at you. This is great if you don’t want to have a wired mic. Also, many experts claim it is just as good as the $150 name brand.


Best (and tested) product choice: https://amzn.to/2TiWYLR

Shotgun mic add-on

If you buy the ring light above, you will need to get this little tiny adapter to connect it to the ring lights tripod.


Best (and tested) product choice: https://amzn.to/2HBkJHR

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Backgrounds

There is a big difference in camera or smartphone audio and what you need. This can be solved with either a lapel or shotgun make.

Background stand support system


Get this system for under $40.

Add dollies to your stand support system


You will want one of these for each tripod

Popout green background


I chose instead of fabric because no matter what you do green fabric always gets wrinkles. Get this for under $50.