My Road Kit for Rapid Video

I often get the question “what equipment do I need for rapid video?” This is for creating short little clips to be used for social media, bite size clips for the web or even inside eLearning. This is a tough one to give a straight answer too. Mostly because I am addicted to buying toys. My wife says if it wasn’t for her I would be on that TV show Hoarders. Not because I would pile up papers or empty food containers but because I LOVE gadgets. I just GOT to have it! Don’t worry I will always find a way to justify it. The Amazon truck stops by my house quite often. Needles to say this means I have a few options on what type of setup I use for video. I will try and walk you through a few of my favorite setups.

When the Flip came out it created quite a buzz. My friend Mark Chrisman had one and was creating short little youtube style videos and posting them on the T-Mobile internal training sites. They where fun and an affective way to share information. I was using a Sony DV cam to create training videos at the time. Marks approach was so simple I decided to try. Of course that meant I needed to buy some gear…no problem. I did some research and ran across the Kodak Zi8. There was two features that I liked about that device, it had removable memory (Standard SD card) and you could plug in an external microphone.

I also have used my iPhone to produce rapid video. It has a great video camera as long you have good lighting. The audio is a bit week for interviews because of the position of the mic. It is on the bottom of the phone, this means I was loud because I was close to the phone and my subject was faint as in my interviews at mLearnCon 2012. After this near miss I started looking for a microphone and found this cool toy, the Fostex AR-4i Audio  Interface for iPhone 4. The device comes with two microphones but you could also use a shotgun mic or lavalier mic. I cannot say enough about how happy I am with this little gem. Multiple microphone inputs, level control, tripod mount in either portrait or landscape.

Those are my current favorite options for hitting the road to do my interviews or rapid videos. There are more out there. The key features I look for are:

  • HD Video
  • External microphone
  • Tripod mount
  • SD card memory
  • Headphone jack

Next I will walk you through my gear for the high end production. So stay tuned!