Video Recording Setup

When it comes to a professional video recording setup for your business’s marketing needs there are a ton of options in several different price points and budgets. The purpose of this post is to go over a couple of setups for under $3000 that can get you professional video and audio to get started.

Understanding Your Goals

When trying to decide what the best setup is for your scenario you have to determine what is the features you need the most within your budget. At Cahaba Digital we believe video and audio quality is king in the features and therefore the number one priority for a proper professional video recording setup. So what are your options in this budget?

DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera)

A lot of people lean towards buying a DSLR for their setup to be budget-friendly. This is because you can not beat it for budget-friendliness. They are powerhouses loaded with features and the ability to customize your lenses for whatever your needs are at that moment.

So, what is a DSLR? A DSLR is commonly referred to as a digital camera. The important thing to look for with these is that they have changeable lenses. If you are looking to get more bang for your buck this is a great option. So, what are the pros and cons of this setup?

ProsCons
Changeable lenses that allow your camera to grow with you and change with your needs through time.30 minute recording time limit before it shuts off. You can start recording again after but if you are planning to film longer clips this is no the ideal setup
Ability to record in high definition without breaking the bank.Cost of the additional lenses
Lightweight for traveling
Can also double as your photography camera
Easy to use

Camcorder

This camcorder market has come a long way since the days of old when dads would record the family Christmas videos. Now they are smaller, have tons of features, allow for much longer record times, and they can record high-quality video if you get the right one and don’t go for the bargain.

Now when we talk about camcorders we are not talking about your average run-of-the-mill hand cameras you get at the store. You will want to spend the bulk of your budget to get to the professional consumer or professional market if possible. So, what are the pros and cons of this setup?

ProsCons
Continually record until your battery dies or you fill-up the memory card High point of entry in terms of cost to get equipment that will serve you high quality
Usually, multiple SD cards can be usedLearning curve to get going
Easy to use once setup for your situationVideo Only
Ready for professional audio equipment
Professional Line Only:
Changeable lenses that allow your camera to grow with you and change with your needs through time.

So What Setup Fits The Budget

Now that we know the pros and cons we want to suggest a setup for under $3000 for both types of cameras. In these setups, we will break out a core list of equipment and an optional list of equipment. Also, we are going to assume in these scenarios you do not need lighting or a tripod. These lists are about getting the best video and audio capabilities given the budget.

DSLR Equipment List:

This setup will get you some of the best video and audio quality if you can deal with the 30-minute cutoff a DSLR brings to the table. This equipment needed is pretty straight forward so we will get right into it.

EquipmentQuantityLink
Camera1Camera Kit With Lens
Memory Card2SD Memory Card
Microphone2Shotgun Microphone
Microphone StandSame as number of micsMicrophone Boom Stand
Stand AdapterSame as number of standsMicrophone Stand adapter
Battery Grip1Battery Grip
Power Adapter1Power Adapter
Microphone Splitter1Splitter
Microphone Cable Extensions2Cable Extensions
Sand Bags For Stand1Sand Bags

So What Is All Of This Equipment And What Does It Do?

To get a full picture of what each item in the above list is we have broken down each item below with an explanation of what it is for.

Marketing Cahaba Heights | Video Equipment Recommendations
  • Camera – The camera is the device that is the workhorse. This device is where everything goes to be recorded and creates the image you see. In this scenario, this is a DSLR or Digital Camera which will be useful if you need video and photos. This would be a 1 stop for both needs and would have you set for a long time on both sides.
  • Memory Card – Memory cards are used to store your files from video, audio, to normal images. These are very important and it is exceptionally important to get high-quality high-speed cards like the ones listed above. We do not think you can ever truly have enough memory cards but we believe in having multiples for backups the ideal scenario we have found for video is 2 more than the number of cameras recording. This just gives you extras for the different stages a video goes through as well as gives you extra should you lose or break one.
  • Microphone – The microphone in this budget range is chosen for portability and top quality. The reason we want to go for two here is to allow yourself a backup audio source in the event one fails or one has a section with bad audio. The hope is that if one fails the other got something decent. Having 2 mics will also allow a setup for true stereo audio.
  • Microphone Stand – These stands will be used to bring the audio source closer to you or your talent who will be speaking. This allows for better noise isolation and better over all sound.
  • Stand Adapter – Most microphone stands have a different threading than what is required this allows us to mount on-camera mics to the stands.
  • Sand Bags For Stand – These weigh our microphone stands, lighting, and tripods down to keep them from falling. It is a very cheap “insurance policy” better to spend the little money here than in replacing a lens, light, or microphone.
  • Microphone Splitter – This will allow us to record 2 channels from one input jack and create our two sources or steer recordings
  • Microphone Cable Extensions – These cables are pretty self-explanatory but they allow us some distance from the camera to the mics which allows us to get better audio by being closer to the subject.
  • Battery Grip – This battery grip will make the camera a little larger and give us additional battery capacity. It’s also a plus that it comes with two extra after-market batteries.
  • Power Adapter – This power adapter allows up to record without batteries which is really convenient when you know you are not going to be moving around much. We do however using this as a back up not the only power source.

Camcorder Equipment List:

The equipment list for a camcorder is similar to a DSLR but it looks a little different based on the needs of this style of camera. This will produce a professional-level video and audio without the drawbacks of the 30-minute cutoff.

EquipmentQuantityLink
Camera1Camcorder
Memory Card2Memory Card
Lavalier Microphone1Lavalier Microphone
Shotgun Microphone1Shotgun Microphone
Microphone Cables1Cables
Microphone Stand1Microphone Boom Stand
Sand Bags For Stand1Sand Bags

So What Is All Of This Equipment And What Does It Do?

To get a full picture of what each item in the above list is we have broken down each item below with an explanation of what it is for.

Marketing Cahaba Heights | Video Equipment Recommendations
  • Camera – The camera is the device that is the workhorse. This device is where everything goes to be recorded and creates the image you see. In this scenario, this is a camcorder that can only be used for video.
  • Memory Card – Memory cards are used to store your files from video, audio, to normal images. These are very important and it is exceptionally important to get high-quality high-speed cards like the ones listed above. We do not think you can ever truly have enough memory cards but we believe in having multiples for backups the ideal scenario we have found for video is 2 more than the number of cameras recording. This just gives you extras for the different stages video goes through as well as gives you extra should you lose or break one. With a camcorder, the camera can hold 2 cards at one time.
  • Lavalier Microphone – Also known as a “Lapel Mic”, this is used to get better quality indoor vocals. The model we have chosen is a wired lavalier because it allows us great quality on a lower budget.
  • Shotgun Microphone – This microphone will serve as our backup audio when recording indoors but primary when recording outdoors. These mics are made to be useful in a variety of situations but excel in noise outdoor events.
  • Microphone Cables – This cables are pretty self-explanatory but they allow us some distance from the camera to the mics which allows us to get better audio by being closer to the subject. With a camcorder, these mics do not come with cables to connect them to the XLR ports on the camera so these are needed to actually connect them to the camera.
  • Microphone Stand – These stand will be used to bring the backup audio source closer to you or your talent who will be speaking. This allows for better noise isolation and better overall sound.
  • Sand Bags For Stand – These weigh our microphone stands, lighting, and tripods down to keep them from falling. It is a very cheap “insurance policy” better to spend the little money here than in replacing the camcorder, light or microphone.

Optional Equipment

EquipmentQuantityLink
Preferred Tripod1Preferred Tripod
Budget Tripod1Budget Tripod
Equipment Hard Case1Camera Equipment Hard Case
Equipment Soft Case1Camera Equipment Soft Case
Budget Soft Case1Budget Friendly Soft Case
DSLR Bag1DSLR Backpack
Headphones1Studio Headphones
Backdrop1Backdrop

So What Is All Of This Equipment And What Does It Do?

To get a full picture of what each item in the above list is we have broken down each item below with an explanation of what it is for.

  • Tripods – Tripods are stands for cameras. We have given a preferred and budget option both are great for travel and the preferred is very durable.
  • Hard Case – This is for the camcorder if you go that option. While you can get it for a DSLR the camcorder just needs more room for everything.
  • DSLR Bag – This is for your Digital Camera or DSLR to fit everything in the list above for travel.
  • Headphones – The headphones are a great choice to be able to listen to your audio feedback before hitting record. It is always recommended you do this and we believe these are some of the best balanced clear headphones.

We hope you found this helpful. We tried to break everything down as best as we could but if you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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