Camera & mic for small business web site?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MattBaker, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. MattBaker macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2008
    Can I ask for some advice on what kind of gear I should buy?

    I need to do three things:

    1. Short professional-looking product demos on my business web site. Roughly youtube quality but I want my products to look good. Shot indoors in a controlled environment.
    2. Outdoor talking head stuff, also to be used on my business web site. Still youtube quality, but not shot in a studio. Often with a noisy/windy background, so sound quality may be a problem because I want people to focus on what the talking head is saying.
    3. The occasional random home movie stuff when my girlfriend's cat is doing something cute. Sound quality not important, but low light might be a challenge.

    I talked briefly with a pro who said:
    • "Don't bother with High Def."
    • "Final Cut Express will do everything you need."
    • "Get a cheap shotgun mic for the outdoor stuff-- shouldn't cost you more than $100."
    • "In the studio, lighting is more important than the camera. Get a couple of softboxes."

    I think this means I should look for a camera that is
    1. Compatible with FCE without going through weird translation software (like, for instance, the JVC Everio seems to need)
    2. Able to connect an external mic (so that I can use a shotgun mic)
    3. I like the idea of a hard drive. Am I wrong?

    Bottom line:
    • What camera?
    • What mic?
    • Softboxes?

    Budget is as little as I can get away with and still do a good job. I'd like to do it for under $1000 but you tell me.

    Thank you.
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    You keep mentioning YouTube quality. It is very important to remember that to end up withe decent YouTube quality, you'll need to start with MUCH better quality. If you start out with YT quality, by the time you compress it for uploading and YT does it's conversion to Flash, it will look like total crap.

    If you want your products to look good (and be recognizable on the web) start with the best acquisition format you can afford. Good camera and lens, good lighting (very important) and someone that knows how to use both to maximum advantage.

    Next is editing. Editing is a garbage in, garbage out proposition. If you start with good quality, you'll be much more likely to end up with good quality. If you start with crap, you'll end up with worse crap.

    The final step is compressing the video for uploading. Compression is often called a dark art. Learn how to get the best compression results with the software tools you choose ... or hire a specialist to do it for you.

    Once a video file is uploaded to YouTube, it gets converted to Flash automatically. You'll have absolutely no control over that step so you'd better be uploading a good quality file.

    Remember, if you're hoping to sell products on the web, they need to look the best possible. If the video looks like crap, your sales will suffer.

    You can usually find some reasonably priced softbox hot lights on eBay (new or used) oo try


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