So… you decide to launch an online business. Yay! 🎉
And you start hearing everyone and their nephew talking about how important it is to show up on this social platform and that one.
Create videos, write blogs, record audio! Maybe you decide to start a YouTube channel or *cough* a podcast.
Now what? What recording equipment do you need?
Well, friend—we got you! We asked our videographer friend, Alex Minor to dish the deets.
Check out these Camera, Microphone, & Lighting recommendations from a pro.
What videography equipment are you adding to your wishlist? Tell us!
You might also like to listen to:
Where SEO & Video Strategy Intersect w/ Alex Minor
Choosing Your Digital Marketing Channels w/ Latesha Lynch
Audio SEO w/ Kim Tradewell
Connect w/ Alex Minor:
Connect w/ B: YouTube,
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Well hello and welcome to SEO shirts a private podcast by the very same co host of the simple and smart SEO show, Brittany and Krystal.Crystal Waddell:
Here you can experience way more actionable episodes, give them as many SEO masterminds. Each week, we'll be walking you through a different tasks that support your SEO strategy,Brittany Herzberg:
you will learn exactly how to take simple and smart action with step by step walkthroughs. And quick explanations of how your effort will impact your business's search ability.Crystal Waddell:
And now it's time for this week's SEO short.Brittany Herzberg:
Talk to us about the camera that you have. And then like what other camera recommendations you might have for those of us who aren't willing to drop like status.Alex Minor:
Okay, so there's when it comes to cameras, there's a bunch of things that you can do to upgrade your image quality. I'm using one of the cameras that my company actually uses for video production. It's called Sony FX 30. It's a cinema camera, one of their newer ones. With tax, you can get it for just under two grand. But I don't recommend everybody go that route. There are much cheaper options out there. So for all of my clients, if you want to stick in the webcam realm and you don't want to drop too much money, I recommend the Logitech BRIO, it's a 4k webcam can give you a really good image, it's only around 120 $130, something like that, there we go. It's got a software so you can tweak the settings, you don't just have to depend on auto, which I don't ever recommend anybody depends on auto. And it's just a really good camera. That's my baseline recommendation. If you want to go a little bit fancier, then my next level up would probably be a Sony ZV one, which is like it's a little point and shoot pocket camera, but it punches way above its weight will say it like that it shoots 4k So you can actually use it for creating content as well as using it as a webcam. And it runs about $600 You don't need to buy any separate lenses or anything. It's a point shoot, so it's all in one. And it's even got a microphone input for when you're shooting content, which is really good. You always want a camera with a microphone input. Next, above that would be the Sony ZV e 10. That's an interchangeable lens camera. So it gives you the potential to upgrade it over time. If you buy it with a kit lens, which for most people is going to be fine. It runs around $700 before tax. And you can also use that as a webcam just by plugging in a USB. And it shows up as a webcam in your software. So it's very easy to use similar to the z v one. And those would be my recommendations for like really leveling up your camera image and with the ZTE 10 The advantages you can buy fancier lenses later, which upgrade the camera even more.Crystal Waddell:
Love it. Okay, so I have a question when you said not to use the auto settings. Yeah. Okay. Can you tell us why and do you have like just super quick on what to do instead?Alex Minor:
Yeah, so the reason I tell people not to do auto when you're setting up your webcam is because you're letting the camera software make all the decisions for you how bright the image is supposed to be where it's supposed to be focusing even the framing of the image because like with the Logitech BRIO the software will let you change the frame of the image. So normally, it's a super, super wide image, like most webcams, but it usually looks a little bit better. If you make it punch in a little bit. It's not quite as wide. Maybe you're hiding that laundry that's on the floor background, you ain't gotta love as much stuff to make it look like you're in like a good setting. There are distinct advantages to this like part of camera magic is all the stuff you don't see. Exactly. So when you can pick your frame and make sure that people are only seeing the parts of the room that you want them to see. makes life a lot easier. You would not understand the amount of calls I've been on where people are like, Oh my god, your setup is so fancy. In behind me, it's likeBrittany Herzberg:
the past, right? You don't want to see any of this. What about it looks great. Yeah, it does. Well around the topic. I'm gonna totally take advantage of this podcast, Mike. Okay, talk to us about some options there.Alex Minor:
Yeah, podcast mics, and I actually have to make a video about this. I have to make a series of videos about this. So with podcast mics, there's one important word that I want you to look for in the description of the microphone that you use, and that is dynamic mic. Okay dynamic and why you want a dynamic mic versus what you more commonly see which is a condenser mic is B condenser mics are way more sensitive. So that'd be your blue yetis your blue snowballs and a whole bunch of other microphones that are out there. And normally, a sensitive microphone is a good thing, but because of the way people are doing podcasts, you really want a dynamic mic because they're less than incentive, they're more directional, and you don't have to go padding out your space doing a whole bunch of soundproofing, hanging up blankets, or tucking into a pillow being in a closet, all these types of, you know, DIY tips that you see a lot of, you know, people telling you, and there's nothing wrong with doing those things, because they can help your sound. But why doing if you don't have toBrittany Herzberg:
write, we have a Podcast Producer friend who helps us with the private podcast. And in one of my conversations with her, she ended up saying, oh, yeah, you want a dynamic mic instead of a condenser mic. And I was like, Crystal, we missed that.Alex Minor:
And the thing is, Blue has, especially since the start of the pandemic, their marketing has been fantastic. Oh, really. IBrittany Herzberg:
mean, it works. SoAlex Minor:
everybody runs to the blue yet, like they did the right thing. They put it in the hands of tons of YouTubers. They promoted on social media, they've got it in Best Buy. So it's easily accessible. So they're marketing. Yeah, that's fantastic. They did a great, exactly what they were supposed to do capitalize on the market people. They filled it, what's theBrittany Herzberg:
real audio like they understood the assignment? Exactly. So do you have any recommendations? I think we've heard a couple of recommendations. But I would love if you have any like off the top of your head for dynamic mics.Alex Minor:
Okay, so if you want a USB dynamic mic, which is probably what most people are going to want to go to, because otherwise you need some additional equipment to get the signal into your computer. I usually recommend. There's this mic by Samsung. I don't remember the model number right now, but it looks like a handheld mic. But it's an it can function as a handheld mic. It actually can function as a regular handheld mic, but it also functions as a USB mic. And it's less than$100. It's I think it's usually on sale for around $69. And it's like the Samsung see something I can't remember the model number. Yeah, but I even gifted one of those to a client.Brittany Herzberg:
Oh, that's so that's so nice. And you know, like,Crystal Waddell:
okay, so you know what I'm taking away here. I have that mind. By the way. What is it, I'll get you the link or whatever, because I took Pat Flynn's podcasting course, before I started my first podcast. And so that was the mic that he recommended. And I've got a boom arm and everything like, this is my downstairs, I have an office upstairs with a really pretty background. But I also have a dog who are cool, we get those up pretty bad grades.Brittany Herzberg:
She always knows that she's like, I've got a really lovely office upstairs.Crystal Waddell:
Maybe I'll move up there as soon as we're finished with this part. But I used to have that but the boom arm didn't connect to my desk. Well, it messed up my desk and I really didn't understand how to use that. So I went Blue Yeti because it's got this nice little stand, you know, and okay,Alex Minor:
well there, there are other mounting arms options out there that aren't necessarily expensive and will be much better than that mounting arm that probably came with that microphone or in that package. ButCrystal Waddell:
okay, I probably should check that out. But I love being able to move this up and down the stairs though from my office. Yeah, that's convenient. So, but thank you. And the other thing I wanted to say is you are just reminding me of why we pay professionals to do things, because like you said, you've got a $2,000 camera, so I didn't choose to try and do some stuff myself. But it's like, I don't have a $2,000 camera and if I wanted to make it look like yours, I would have to start with a $2,000 camera and then try to figure out how to use it and all the others toAlex Minor:
let me stop you real quick. The $2,000 camera is not the secret sauce. Okay, the lighting is by turning off all the lights in my studio right now this camera will look like booty. And that's where a lot of people mess up. They think I've got to have a great camera I've got to have, you know the best equipment that money can buy and make no mistake $2,000 Sounds expensive to you when it comes to cameras. For me. It's not this is like very middle of the road. A lot of people will consider in you know, the film industry or media production will consider the camera that I'm using as a prosumer camera. Even though it is marketed to professionals, and a lot of professionals are using it myself included. But in terms of cost. This is like at the low end of the pool the shallow end, cameras can easily get like the big brother this camera costs between three and $4,000. The next step up from that one cost like $6,000 There are cameras that just for the brain of the camera not even talking about the lens doesn't even come with a battery $10,000 Plus, and I'm saying and those are still kind of considered baby cameras by some people, the cameras that they shoot movies on like literally you can be paying hundreds of 1000s of dollars for a camera. Cameras you can't even buy you can only print them, like the companies that make them are like Nah, you can't own them. but you can rent it from us.Crystal Waddell:
Now that you have it. Okay, so last question for this piece and unless B has something else, but if it's not the camera, then what's your lighting secrets,Alex Minor:
you need more. And what I mean by that, and I made the same mistakes when I first got into videography, and creating setups like this is most people underestimate the amount of light, they need to get a good image. So a lot of people are working with their built in laptop webcam, a lot of people are working with their cell phone. These are really tiny camera sensors, you know, like smaller than a chiclet. So my camera sensor is several times that size. And my camera sensor still requires a lot of light. So if mine is, you know, several orders of magnitude bigger than the one that's in your cell phone, it's in your webcam, requires all this light to look good. How much do you think yours needs a lie, a lie. And so people will just make common mistakes, just because they don't know the simple principles of a good lighting setup, they don't have enough light on them. Because that's the number one thing you want to make sure you have enough light on you. And then they'll make mistakes like sitting in front of a window, but with their back to the window. So they look like shadow, or they have the camera on auto and they're someplace where there is enough light, but it's too much light. And because the cameras making its own decisions, they get washed out. You know, the reason why you know iPhone videos and cell phone videos that you know you shoot outside usually look pretty good is because the sun puts out way more light than these. And you know, that's the easy solution to getting enough light is, you know, be by a window or be outside because sunlight is free, you get plenty of it. The only part that sucks about using sunlight is it's inconsistent. clouds passing by you got changing weather, you know time of day. So it's better to have a setup where you control the light. And you can make the decision about how much light do I need what's going to make it look good. And that's the also the reason why I say don't work on auto because even if you have good lights and you're shooting on auto, your camera can still make some wonky decisions. It'll change the exposure, which is you know how much light the camera is taking in based on how close you are to the lens, how far back you get from the lens. So your camera might do all sorts of crazy things, just from you doing your normal human movements. So instead of that, take the guesswork out of it. Set your camera at the certain sensitivity that is going to be good for your setup and dial in the light to the appropriate level.Brittany Herzberg:
I love this mini masterclass and videography.Crystal Waddell:
Yep, I was totally going into my settings just to see if there was anything I could switch and make him like a theater but I have to dig into that later. So but Thank you, Alex, that was amazing.Brittany Herzberg:
That was awesome. Right? You're well on your way to being the answer to even more Googled questions. Thanks so much for joining us this week.Crystal Waddell:
Have you noticed some SEO wins since listening to SEO short? We want to know email us at Hello at simple and smart seo.com Or share an episode conversation thread