Hardware for Shooting Video

I presented these slides at LavaCon 2015. My hope is that people will comment with their experiences and feedback. I’d love to hear of any resources to add, especially if it comes from small businesses.

Video Hardware
Various hardware for shooting video

High Points

  • You don’t need fancy equipment or a lot of money to get started.
  • Unpolished is great; you don’t need movie-quality.
  • Video equipment is at the top, microphones on the bottom, devices in the center because they do both.


Let’s go over some basic hardware tools for capturing images and sound.

The good news is that not everything has to have “the studio effect”. Audiences have a lower threshold; unpolished is just fine as long as you have good content and still meet basic usability standards (being able to hear and see).


Consumer-level cameras ($300 or cheaper, to $1,000): Point and shoot cameras with video option, camcorder, GoPro, web cams, and mobile devices have automatic settings that allow you to record and go. Quality of content > Quality of production (create short tutorials, introduce staff, answer questions)

Prosumer-level cameras ($1,000 to $5,000) are when you really need to look professional (produce an explainer video, shoot excusive interview, etc.) Recommendations: Canon T4I, Sony VG900, Nikon D5100 (Credit: VidYard Video Production 101 E01)


Lavalier or lapel mike (iMic, or turn a standard headphone w mic into a lavalier), shotgun microphone ($30-$50), headset (even a gaming headset) with mic ($30-$60), other portable audio recorders.

If you’re shooting a person, you’ll also want to consider lighting. Good audio and lighting aren’t noticed if it’s good, but can be very distracting if it’s bad.

Photo credits:

  • https://pixabay.com/en/camera-photo-digital-objective-462528/
  • https://pixabay.com/en/gopro-camera-photo-photograph-630232/
  • https://pixabay.com/en/camera-photography-canon-lens-542783/ https://pixabay.com/en/camera-video-camcorder-digital-1840/
  • http://pixabay.com/en/tablet-screen-monitor-phone-pc-313002/
  • https://pixabay.com/en/earphone-music-listener-ear-316753/
  • https://pixabay.com/en/headphones-mic-headset-microphone-390337/

For further reading:

  • VidYard Video Production 101: Episode 1 The Video Camera http://videos.hubs.vidyard.com/watch/CvKrk0bCHAuRrLNBqgbpDQ
  • VidYard Video Production 101: Episode 2 Importance of Audio http://videos.hubs.vidyard.com/watch/Ywxsx-eRv33_8_4zqv7RjQ
  • VidYard Video Production 101: Episode 3 Lighting 101 http://videos.hubs.vidyard.com/watch/sFAVrq7c0aUukxLszIwhww
  • BombBomb Webinar: Pros and Cons of 5 Camera Options http://bombbomb.com/blog/video-email-marketing-camera-options-pros-cons-choice/
  • BombBomb demonstration of their best (but still simple) setup http://bombbomb.com/blog/video-email-camera-camcorder-microphone-tripod-how-to-shoot-videos/

Simple search on DIY Lavalier

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DXGNGuwkCI 12 minutes but also includes demo on how to mix lavalier sound with camera sound in a video editor. He even writes in his comments that he should’ve shortened it. (or broken it into two videos)
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHqDcKc1rRc It’s a kid doing a great professional job.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nITukcOL44M 10 minutes? People aren’t likely to click on that from a list. Break it up into smaller segments. But good thumbnail. Great summary in his notes, too.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4HlG8k2NO0 Experienced vlogger with over 100 episodes. Good tip about clapping to sync your video and sound later.