What is professional video
It is going to be a bit strange to start with a question, but it is necessary to ask it to be able to decide adequately what should be the next equipment to buy. Because it sure helps you see where your productions are failing.
A professional video is not only one for which you are paid, because you could record a clip with an iPhone and sell it to a media outlet, company, etc. Also a professional video is one where each and every one of the important aspects are taken care of in detail.
In other words, for us the difference between an amateur video and a professional one really is in the details. That practical background light, how the face of the person on camera is filled with a main light, the type of look of the video, the sound quality, the camera movements, etc.
So, knowing this and in order of priority, after years making videos for both the internet and other broadcast media, the truth is that if we had to come up with a list of products that allow you to face a more professional video production, we would possibly start with what we use in The Output.
So, if you make a video, you may be interested in finding out about new products and if not, maybe it will help you to know what we work with when making the channel’s content.
Sound is extremely important, yet it is one of the things that is most often left for last. What’s more, you may even think that you have to change cameras before opting for new audio recording equipment. And it shouldn’t be like that, because you forget that a bad sound takes you out of what you’re seeing.
Some communication professionals even go so far as to say, quite rightly in my opinion, that sound is so important that if you sound quality your speech will be even more credible. And they are right, it may seem absurd, but when you listen to a speech with radio quality sound it seems that it gains authority compared to the same audio recorded with the telephone microphone, external noise, etc.
That is why it is worth investing in this if you have the image issue half controlled. Our microphones and recording systems right now are these.
When recording a voice-over, many different types of microphones can be used, but during these months we have been able to verify that one of the best options is the Shure MV7. It is not as expensive as the popular Shure SM7B, you could really say that it is even inexpensive, and the sound quality is outstanding. In addition, being dynamic helps to control more the possible noises that are around you.
Rode VideoMic NTG USB C
Canon microphones are very useful for all types of content, both interviews and YouTube videos, etc., where other microphones such as lapel or table microphones do not want to be visible. This Rode mic is interesting because has a USB C connection And that allows you to connect it to your computer or mobile device, as well as directly to the camera via the classic 3.5mm Jack connector.
It also has interesting modes such as a security one that records on the left channel at one volume and on the right at another. Thus, in the event that the sound “stinks” due to a bad adjustment, the other channel can always be recovered to duplicate in stereo mono mode and solve the ballot.
Rode Wireless Go
When it comes to recording video of interviews or on the move, lavalier microphones are usually almost essential. Hence, if we can also opt for wireless options like these Rode Wireless Go, better than better. Because you will be able to get away without having to wait for cables that get bundled, etc.
At The Output we have used a wide variety of cameras during all this time, some of them very top like the Canon EOS R5, Sony Alpha 7S III or the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. However, in a profitable exercise we opted for a Lumix S5 and Sony a7C.
These two cameras include a full frame sensor that always offers advantages, although there are certain differences between one and the other, for which we prefer one or the other depending on which use case. The Sony has an AF system that works brutal, but the Lumix has a number of extra options that make the workflow very attractive, as well as its capabilities when used in conjunction with an external recorder to reach video recording. 5.9K.
These cameras have to be complemented by quality and bright lenses. Here we opted for Sigma lenses and minimum aperture f2.8 for the most off-road lenses, such as the 24-70mm zoom. Of course, do not be surprised if the lens is in comparison more expensive than the camera. But it is that its quality will depend on getting the most out of it or not.
Panasonic Lumix S5
The Lumix S5 It could be one of the most interesting full frames for price, but it is not its only strong point. Besides that you can grabar at 5.9K resolution with external recorders, also make use of ProRes and even BRAW for raw format recordings. And if all this is not enough, the stabilizer built into the camera body allows you to record freehand. As well as you also have the possibility to record 4K video at 50p to make slow motion (with sensor clipping).
This Sony a7C It is not the only camera of the brand that we have used, because for a long time the Sony a7 III has been one of the main cameras next to the Sony a6600, but the fact of betting on it is because it is still full frame, to its flip-up screen and the performance it offers when shooting at high ISO values and because of its AF system It is practically unrivaled.
If you add to that that it is very compact and easy to transport, for handheld recordings it is a real delight. In addition, the heat it brings to the content in relation to its price makes it very attractive.
The Sony A6600 It is another of the cameras that we use the most for the channel’s content. Despite being a proposal with APS-C sensor it is very versatile, the stabilizer works very well as well as its AF system and low light recording. For content where we need more agility, it is a high quality proposal, although for price it is so close to the Sony A7C that you should still consider taking one more step.
The quality of light can play a bigger role in the quality of your video than the camera itself. If you control the lighting, even with a mobile phone you can achieve professional results. We basically use three lights.
Forza Nanlite 60B
East Nanlite Forza 60B It is the main focus and among its many interesting characteristics we must highlight some of the ones that will contribute the most in your day to day:
- It is a very compact photo, easy to transport and with the option of using an adapter so that it is powered by external batteries and not a power outlet
- It is a very powerful bicolor light that up to 30% does not require activating the fan, so it is very quiet. And if you activate it, it is not an annoying sound either.
- VFX special effects
There are more details that give it value and make what it costs is not at all a bad investment or an expensive product, quite the opposite.
PavoTube II 6c
This little LED tube is from the same brand as the main spotlight and has almost the same options with the added bonus of being RGB. Thus, you can use cold or warm light, different colors and also effects such as police lights, flashes, fireworks, etc.
In addition, the Nanlite Pavotube II 6C It can be attached to others or placed on a tripod and even in any metal area because it includes magnets so that they are fixed without the need for any support. It is a very versatile light to fill, use as a practical and even main light if you do not mind that it is harder or using a diffuser.
Finally, this mini LED spotlight is like a Swiss army knife. The Aputure MC offers RGB lighting, special effects, control via mobile application thanks to its Bluetooth connection, wireless charging, built-in lithium battery, magnet systems to hold in metal areas, etc.
Extras that will bring you
Each video that you can see in El Output is recorded using all this equipment and some other that always contributes. Because if with a little ingenuity you can adapt, the truth is that there are another series of accessories that always give you an extra in comfort or final quality of the production.
For example, a C-Stand is basic to place the spotlight and if it has a giraffe neck you can place it however you want depending on what type of lighting you are looking for. Also to be able to position the camera at an otherwise complicated angle. And not only camera and main focus, also those lights that serve as practices or microphones so that they do not appear in the frame, but are close to the audio source.
Then there is the issue of tripods, such as the Manfrotto 055 that allows the column to be positioned at 90º to the vertical axis, or the use of a fluid ball joint to be able to make smooth and fluid pan and tilt movements. Or have a gimbal to be able to record on the move. All this without counting on props to have an attractive recording set.
So, yes, making professional quality video is not cheap to say, but as you raise the level you will enjoy much more, you will be able to do more things and that in the long run also translates into the possibility that your work generates more heat. and, therefore, more income for you.
All the links that you can see in this article are part of our agreement with the Amazon Affiliate Program and could bring us a small commission with your sales (without ever influencing the price you pay). Of course, the decision to publish them is due to the fact that it is the equipment we use, without attending to suggestions or requests from the brands involved.