New Home Forums Course Creation Resources My Equipment for Filming

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by  Bradley Morris 8 years, 1 month ago
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    JoAnn Turner

    I haven’t done any video filming and editing, other than casual videos of my cats playing, which never got edited. So doing any level of filming and editing is new to me. I said I would talk about what I bought and why, so other people who feel like video filming is too challenging can take heart form my example!

    What I chose is specific to the type of course I’m doing, which requires me to film my hands on a tabletop from above, doing art. This means I can’t really use a smartphone or iPad to do that. I need to be able to angle the playback screen or monitor so I can see what I’m filming as I’m doing it, so that was part of why I chose the camera I did.

    I got a Canon Vixia HF R62 camera, which has a small flipout LED screen I can angle so I can see myself as I film. It’s a pretty basic camera. It has enough features that if I want to get fancier later, it can do that. It’s not a totally entry-level camera, but I can do point and shoot, and it even reminds me to open the lens cap! I did a ton of research on video cameras, got all overwhelmed, then just made a decision so it was done and I could move on. My understanding is that the camera itself is not relevant to film quality. The lens is the key. And good lighting is also a big factor, but you can do that with lamps or even daylight.

    GoPro is a bit cheaper than the Canon Vixia, but it uses a wide angle lens and doesn’t zoom as well, so I went with the Canon Vixia.

    My camera needs a self-powered microphone, so I got a Vidpro XM-L wired lavalier Microphone with a 20 foot cord. I’ll be close to the camera when I film so I don’t need a wireless mic. Most video cameras don’t need a self-powered mic and I’ve heard from a lot of people that the Rode VideoGo is a great microphone. It just won’t integrate with my Canon Vixia.

    I already own several tripods, but I needed an extension arm to place the camera pointing straight down at a tabletop. I bought a Manfrotto extension arm and Super Clamp that attaches to any tripod, to let the camera be mounted horizontally and still have the bottom of the frame be at the bottom (it’s very difficult to rotate a video if you didn’t film it the right way around to begin with! Another learning curve!)

    And I got a very inexpensive studio setup that comes with an adjustable framework for mounting the backdrops, 3 backdrops (black, white and green) and 2 lighting standards with white diffuser umbrellas and black reflectors, depending on what type of light you need. It comes with 2 lightbulbs as well, although those are either too bright or not bright enough, depending on what you need! This cost $179 from Amazon, and here’s the exact description from their website: CanadianStudio Photo Studio Continuous 2-Head Umbrella Lighting Light Black/White/Green High Key Muslin Backdrop Stand Kit.

    I ordered everything from because of where I live. It would cost me quite a bit of money to get to where I could do this shopping.

    I checked and you can go to their website at I didn’t see this all-in-one setup there, but I didn’t poke around a lot. You could just buy whatever you need a la carte and it’s not terribly expensive. The setup I bought got good reviews for being easy to use, doesn’t take up much room, and it doesn’t cost a lot. You could also buy just the backdrop muslins and hang those up somehow, but the framework setup makes it simple, and the crossbar has 4 sections, so you can make it any width up to 10 feet. If you’re in the US, I’m sure there are other alternatives.

    For video editing, so far I’m using iMovie because it’s right on my computer, and I’m a total newbie at this. I watched a few videos on YouTube and figured it out. It’s basic but for now, that’s all I need.


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Thanks for taking the time to share all this.

    I hope you’ve been having fun playing with all your new gear.

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