Well, it’s come to the final part of our how to series. This is where we tell you exactly how we’re pulling off our podcast with a list of all the equipment we use.
On both the ‘Screaming Dads’ and ‘What Are We Watching?’ podcasts, we record a video and audio version. This is because we feel video is the wave of the future (well the past by now) and getting the audio version is just a simple step of stripping it out of the already spliced and diced movie file.
We’re not going to go into too much by way of instruction, as we’ve already pointed you to some in Part One and Part Two. This is is going to be a product heavy list with notes on how we use each piece.
$670 New Canon EOS Rebel T4i DSLR
I love this camera. You get the picture quality of the DSLR (for stills and use on your blog) and the video quality of an indie short film camera. It’s perfect for vlogging/podcasting because it has a flip/front-facing screen and is easy to find any type of lens you need. I bought mine used on eBay with a kit lens for a steal.
This is just a great lens with shallow depth of field. You can also get a ‘Nifty Fifty’ for a few bucks less here: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens – Fixed
Your tripod is IMPORTANT. It holds your shot steady and keeps your camera safe. Previously, I used a lightweight, cheap tripod from wally World. I didn’t believe the hype.
I was wrong. There IS NO comparison. BTW, this is cheap by tripod standards. A Manfrotto could cost you thousands. I have done the research. Stop searching and buy this. but make sure you add:
This make you feel like you sliding your camera around on air. The stability of the D&S tripod mixed with this will have you thinking you’ve got a professional studio camera for a fraction of the cost.
An absolute MUST if you don’t have a friend or associate behind the camera. This allows you to click record and then focus in on yourself once you get in position. I have 2 just incase I misplace one (which I did once and it made life HELL) – BUY THIS REMOTE! Here is one for grabbing STILLS: Opteka RC-4 Wireless Remote Control for Canon
If you aren’t doing anything fancy, like Green Screen, this kit will serve you well. It’s a GREAT price. Easy to pack up and not too intrusive to leave out. If you ARE doing green screen (or just want bigger studio lights) check out our post and How-To here: HOW TO SET UP AND LIGHT A GREEN SCREEN
Stop using Auto White balance! I was doing it too up until very recently. We were both incorrect. If you’re in a studio environment where everything is set-up and doesn’t move, you’ll only have to do it once in a while (but just do it each time anyway… different clothing reflects light back to the camera in different ways).
Stop worrying if you have enough battery power for your segment. Stop unscrewing your tripod mount every time you have to switch your batteries. Get a plug in power source for your camera. It’s cheap and gives ease of mind.
Always, ALWAYS have extra memory cards. There’s nothing worse than having to transfer files off the card in the middle of shooting – or worse – accidentally deleting a file you needed, but thought you already uploaded. Yes, this has happened to me. Yes, it really blows.
If you can only afford one light or don’t have room to set up a 3-point kit, this, in absence of a natural light source, is all you need.
Sometimes we Skype into our podcasts or record interviews over the web. Sure, you can use the web cam in your laptop or tablet, but do you really want to? The answer is “NO”.
For shots on the go, or interviews where you don’t have room to carry your tripod, get this monopod. It gets rid of your shaky cam and is awesome outdoors with it’s convertible flat/pointy foot.
Whew! That’s a doozie of a list, right? But it will get you set to pull off one heck of a good looking Vlog or Podcast. If I could only pick ONE THING on the list, it would be the DSLR. Even with a kit lens, it will do wonderful things for your production value. Just make sure you learn how to use it properly. The Logitech web cam is a great low price alternative, but for goodness sakes, turn off the auto-focus and change the settings to get the color and brightness right for your room.
Video Extras Bonus:
We’ve recently started doing GREEN SCREEN ads to help pay bills (of which you can see we have plenty). This necessitated buying or building a teleprompter. Here are some details on that plus some other video extras.
$300 New/$150 Refurb Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet ( iOS 7,16GB, WiFi) Black 2nd Generation
Click the link and then click USED. I was able to buy a iPad 3, factory refurbished for $150. This is a steal. It’s my only iPad product, but as we discussed in part 2, it has some great apps for podcasting/vlogging. One of which is a teleprompter app.
You can definitely get by with attaching this to your tablet and mounting on your tripod, but if you’re too close to the camera, people are going to see you reading the text. That’s because you have to place it above, below, or to the side of the camera. I have one of these, but the perfect solution is next on our list.
$175 New/Half Price Used iPad iPad2 iPad3 iPad4 iPad Mini Teleprompter R810-10 with Beam Splitter Glass
Again, I bought mine USED. This time on eBay. I got it from a guy barely used, and I got it for half price. They pop up pretty often, so keep your eye out.
Just a great neck strap. I thought I’d include it.
This has become a must have for us. When the camera is far enough away to film three people, it’s hard to see that little flip out screen. This cable allows me to use HDMI out and have a Flat Screen as my monitor. It’s just wonderfull. Just be aware, you will probably be seeing a mirror image of yourself and it takes a second to get used to.
A mixer gives you added features, especially when used with a Zoom H4N. We have both the 1204 and the 1202 (at my partner’s house). I prefer the 1204 because of the sliders and the On/Off switches, but the 1202 is $50 cheaper. Check it out here: Behringer Q1202USB 12-Channel Mixer
Are there nicer, more expensive mic arms out there? Yep. Do you need them? Nope. This will serve you fine. We went the extra step of drilling a whole in our podcast table to insert the arms, ditching the desk clamps that come in the box, but that’s up to you.
If you’re gonna buy a mic arm, you might as well add a shock mount. You can even use this attached to your camera with a shot gun mic. Why did we not put a shot gun mic on the list? Because we don’t use one, but here’s the one to buy: Rode VMGO Video Mic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone Super-Cardio
We have a really nice Mic flag we paid $60 for. If you want the company’s name, ask below. When we needed a second flag, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much cash again. This mic flag and a quality laser printed label look just as good on camera as it’s more expensive predecessor.
Make you own and save that money for audio or video equipment.
This is the cable you need to run FROM your computer TO your mixing board or recorder for Skype interviews or live audio bumpers. Another must have.
Not all mic screens need to be black. Heck, we match the color of the mic screen to the cable running into the board. Now there’s ZERO confussion on who’s levels we’re changing.
I use this to where the Zoom H4N on my belt when using a Lav mic. I’m not connected to a desk, which means one less tripping hazard. Can you say Blooper Reel?
I went with a rig that had a solid graphics processor for my editing machine. I’m still not willing to spend Apple money, and I don’t want to learn a new OS. This works great. I used to leave a 30 minute video rendering all night. Now, it takes less than 30 minutes depending on how much post processing I’ve applied. Cutting video with this baby is a dream.
As far as software goes, we use Adobe CC. Premiere for video. After Effects for graphics and special effects. Photoshop for… duh, and Audition for audio. Like I said, we just pull the audio straight from the video file and BOOM! Two versions of your podcast.
Be sure Part One and Part Two for all of the microphone and recorder info. There lies the bones of podcasting: Good Sound. If you’ve found this information helpful, we’d love to hear from you. Make sure to share with your friends, and as always check out our podcasts at ScreamingDads.com and WhatAreWeWatching.com.
Christian has had many roles in life. He’s been a minister’s son, a poor student, a computer geek, a bible college drop out, a corporate suit, a traveling comedian, and a failure at much he’s tried. But he counts 2 huge successes in his life. He is husband to a wonderful wife, and father of 2 exceptional kids he wanted… and a third, ‘surprise baby’, who’s likability has has yet to be determined. He draws a web comic about their life at ForeverFamilyComic.com. Having just missed Aaron in college by a few years, they connected online, finding they had a similar sense of humor [read: DARK] and decided to launch PlaidDadBlog.