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Small Company Corporate Video Camera

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Jacob McConnell
Small Company Corporate Video Camera
on Feb 22, 2017 at 8:10:52 pm

Hello, I have been asked to find a couple options on buying some video equipment so we can shoot some corporate videos. We are a manufacturing company, so it would basically be machinery running, and then some interview type stuff in a conference room, etc. Wasn't give an exact budget, was just told to come up with maybe good, better, best options.

Would need a tripod, and a mic of some kind to record the "interviews". Camera has to be easy to use as none of us are videographers. We have a basic editing program, Wondershare Filmora.

I would appreciate any information you could give. Be great if there was a package with camera, tripod, mic, etc.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Small Company Corporate Video Camera
on Feb 22, 2017 at 10:49:26 pm

I'm going to give you two answers.

Answer one: this is a bad idea overall and your money is better spent hiring a guy or gal who already has good gear to come in and shoot on just the days you need them. A side benefit of this approach is you can stand next to them and learn by watching them do their thing, without risking making an ugly mess of the actual project. So that eventually, you WILL be able to take over for less and keep quality high.

Ask: "is it cheaper, really, to make our own crappy product because we're working outside our area of competence, to make a product that represents our company in public, everywhere?"

When it looks like crap, and someone from a prospective buyer to a CEO asks why it looks like crap, does the answer: "but we saved 400 dollars doing the crap version versus a pro version" actually GET you anywhere? Beyond fired, I mean? How many board meetings do you know where someone says: 'It's crap and an embarrassment, but at least we didn't spend a lot on it." I don't know of any.

But people that ask these "what to buy" questions never seem to take the good advice. Maybe you're exceptional. Hope springs eternal....

Second answer, to the point of your question, without the fatherly advice, from someone who has seen people fail at what you're about to do...

For something as rudimentary as what you are doing, where you can't count on expert operators, but still want to do it yourself... A Canon Vixia series camcorder will be fine. It has great full-auto results that are idiot-proof, yet retains manual setting capability for someone that knows what they are doing. Most Vixias come with a jack for an external mic input, and you definitely want that. Vixias run between $200 and $400. Budget another $150 for media cards.

Get a battery-powered, wired lav (tie clip) mic and cable to reach 25 feet. The Vixia is of little use beyond that distance. Lav mics of quality will run from $80 to $200, wireless lavs are more, but you really don't want one at this stage.

Any tripod will do, because you're not going to do pans and zooms: you will set a shot and then leave it alone, change the shot and then leave it alone, etc. and fix it all in the edit... But if you can't help yourself and want pans and tilts and zooms, a light DSLR tripod with a decent fluid pan head runs North of $200 and can go into the thousands.

Lighting is something you really need to make vids better than home movies. I suggest one of the Lowell Rifa lights or the cheap knock-off imitations that run on Fluorescent bulbs; you can find these on ebay for around 50 bucks. What these big, soft lights are good for is making a CEO, interview guest or presenter look good during interviews at close distances, anywhere, without a lot of work or ability. Just plant the light at a distance of 2 times the diagonal size of the diffuser, set at a 45 degree angle above and 45 degree angle to the left or right of the person's face. This is a classic starting position; adjust from there if needed but it often it works fine just like that.

None of these make ANY difference though unless you spend some time on a good script. Your best investment may not be in any gear, but in hiring a consultant to write your script for you. They don't cost money: they MAKE it, by making a product people are interested in watching and listening to.

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Jacob McConnell
Re: Small Company Corporate Video Camera
on Feb 23, 2017 at 7:04:12 pm

Thank you for the information Mr. Suszko, I appreciate it.

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Tim Kline
Re: Small Company Corporate Video Camera
on Apr 21, 2017 at 8:21:14 pm

My short answer...

1. Camera: Lumix Gh4 or Canon 60D Both have a learning curve but once its all set up its push play and done.

2. Lavalier Mic: Sony UWP Plugs right into both cameras

3. Light LED: Generay 400W

4. I would suggest Imovie at the very least for editing. Super User Friendly

Timothy Kline
Production Manager
Hilo Motion Pictures

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