I recorded nearly 20 interview videos in the exhibitor hall at Podcast Movement 2019. I was pleased with the results and I wanted to share the gear I used to make it possible.
The one thing I would have wanted to change is to use a smaller mirrorless camera, like a Sony A6600, instead of the bigger and heavier Canon DSLR.
A DSLR is an affordable way to capture high-quality HD video with all the versatility of detachable lenses. I started with a Canon T4i and it has lasted well.
The Canon T7i includes the latest image processing, a flip-out screen, and works with all EF-S lenses.
Where to buy the T7i:
For video interviews or handheld-microphone recordings, the Electro-Voice RE50 is a fantastic choice! The RE50 is designed for hand-holding with internal shock protection and a durable design. The dynamic mic capsule is omnidirectional, which is far more forgiving when you might accidentally be off-axis from the mic.
Where to buy the RE5ON/D-L:
RØDE RØDELink Newsshooter wireless kit
I used to record audio for videos separately from my camera. While that saved money, it also created more work and was more prone to mistakes.
The RØDELink Newshooter kit doesn't include any microphone, but it's versatile for connecting either to a handheld XLR microphone, or a 3.5 mm lavaliere mic. So you could use a single wireless kit for different kinds of videos.
Both the transmitter and receiver can be powered by AA batteries. The 2.4 GHz digital connection is robust and subject to less interference; but if there is interference, RØDELink will automatically switch to a better channel.
For mobile video lighting, you need something small and battery-powered. The Aputure AL-F7 is my preferred mobile LED light! Aputure LED lights are known for having excellent CRI ratings (for accurate color rendering).
The AL-F7 offers adjustable, flicker-free lighting. And what makes the AL-F7 even more versatile is that you can adjust the color temperature from 3200K to 9500K in order to match and complement existing ambient light! So you could, for example, adjust to around 5500K to complement neutral sunlight, drop to around 3400K to complement warm incandescent lights, or try around 4100K if you're shooting around fluorescent lights. Or use the AL-F7 as a discreet accent light for special effects!
You can power the AL-F7 with Sony-NP–style batteries (or an adapter), or even any USB battery pack over USB-C.
Where to buy the AL-F7:
Save money and reduce waste by using rechargeable batteries! Panasonic's Eneloop batteries are some of (if not the) best! All Eneloop batteries come precharged and are available in AA and AAA sizes, and you get can spacers for C- and D-sized needs.
The newer “Advanced Charger” charges each battery individually, so you don't have to stress about pairing batteries of the same discharge level.
These normal Eneloop batteries can be charged up to 2,100 times! And of the dozens of Eneloop batteries I've purchased over several years, only one has truly died. I've saved hundreds of dollars this way!
Eneloop batteries are available in many different packs and quantities, as well as higher capacities, but I've found the Super Power Pack to be the best value and for starting.
Where to buy the Eneloop Super Power Pack
For advanced video productions, Adobe Premiere Pro is a powerful industry standard! If you're already using Adobe Creative Cloud (especially Audition and After Effects), you'll be pleased with Premiere Pro's deep integration. For example, jump quickly into Adobe Audition to run advanced audio enhancement, or bring in After Effects text animations for easily lower-thirds and other motion graphics.
Motion graphics add a lot of professional flare to videos. This could be in your opening, closing or transitions. It's also great for creating lower thirds, especially in combination with Adobe Premiere Pro. With these two programs, you can seamlessly embed any After Effects project with text into Premiere Pro, and then change that text as necessary in Premiere Pro without ever having to change your master After Effects project! This is great for lower-thirds, alone!
Adobe After Effects is quite advanced to use, but there are many helpful tutorials and even prebuilt templates or friendly plugins to make special effects easy!
Compression, loudness-normalization, and noise-reduction can be daunting in nearly any audio-editing app. But Auphonic makes it as easy as it could be, with even some extra control if you need more versatility!
Auphonic is available in two editions: a web version with monthly free and paid-subscription allotments of audio-processing hours, and a one-time-purchase Desktop Leveler app for Windows and macOS. The web version gets the latest technologies first, and is actually slightly superior, but the Desktop Leveler is faster and you only pay once for unlimited use.