Yes, you can use a web cam to produce a choppy online video with horrible sound, but you're likely to lose credibility in the first few seconds. You can get a big edge over the average video blogger by choosing a good tripod, microphone and camera for the web.
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This time on tips and tricks, we’re gonna look a little deeper at improving the content and understanding some of our options when making online video.
The first thing that we’re going to want to look at is the type of video camera that you’re using. It doesn’t have to be the best. It doesn’t have to shoot high definition video. You can use any type of camera that you want. Just remember that you need to capture your video to computer and there are some things that you should look for. Number one, make sure that it comes with a mic input. People tend to be willing to sit through bad video, but they are not willing to sit through bad audio. Having a mic input allows for more clarity when capturing voice overs, Foley, and sound effects.
There are a few different mics that you’re gonna wanna look at and decide which one is right for your needs. A lavalier is a small mic that attaches to the shirt or collar that are generally used to pick up subjects voices during interviews. A shotgun mic focuses on a certain subject by picking up audio in a given direction. A cardioid mic is a standard microphone used by reporters and picks up audio in a heart-shaped pattern. When using a mic, remember that closer is better.
Number two, make sure that it has the ability to hook up to your computer. Most older camcorders have a firewire input and most AVCHD camcorders come with a USB input. If you end up going with a flash camcorder, be sure that your computer has a SD card slot.
Number three, use a tripod. With three legs of support, using a tripod creates shots that are stable and eliminates bad, shaky video. There are multiple different types of tripods and camera supports to choose from that you might want to consider. A monopod is a single staff or pole used to support a camera. People generally like to use monopods if they want the ease of a handheld shot, but the support of a tripod. It’s lighter and much more convenient if you’re on the go.
A gorilla pod is a smaller tripod that has bendable supports, which allow for it to mount onto a tree branch or an otherwise hard place to put a full size tripod in.
In terms of lights, it all depends on where you want to take your video. They say that a painter paints with his brush and a videographer paints with his lights. This means the better you light your scene, the more professional it can look. You can also add elements of style based upon how you light. The foundation for all professional shoots is known as three-point lighting, essentially placing one light source in front of the subject, another light off to the side to fill in the shadows, and a light in behind the subject to separate them from the background. The same technique can be applied with normal house lights. Simply place one in front of the subject and one behind the subject. Sure, it’s not as good, but some light is better than no light.
In terms of editing, Mac users can go with iMovie and PC users can use Windows Movie Maker. These have enough to them to make sure that you are cutting out the bad and just using what you need. When shooting your videos, be sure to use multiple takes from different angles to give yourself the most amount of options to use later on in the editing process.
And lastly, in case you’re unaware, you must have a fast internet connection to upload videos online. This means dial up isn’t going to help you much and broadband is the way to go. You’re looking at a 768 kilobits per second minimum to upload video, which can be found in a cable modem service or DSL.
Now that we know what to use to make better online videos, it’s time to go out there and apply these techniques on your next video shoot.
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