MY VIDEO/PHOTO STUFF
A lot of my YouTube and Twitch viewers have asked about the video equipment that I have, use, and like the most for my channels and other video work. So, let’s get to it!
To shoot my videos, I have the Panasonic HDC-SD800K 3 MOS Twin Memory 3D Compatible Camcorder. I bought this a number of years back and really like it. It is a higher-end camera and does so many groovy things. I’ve never used it’s 3D feature, but at the time I purchased it, that really wasn’t a big thing.
The newest member of my family is my Panasonic Lumix G85 4K Mirrorless Camera. I consider this my first real professional-quality camera for both still photos and video. It shoots fantastic photos and video and has a ton of features. I bought it in a bundle which includes G Vario 12-60mm lens, Rode on-camera mic with shock mount, a 128GB SD Card, Battery and Dual Charger, a nice backpack, 58mm lens set and a tripod bundle. It was a terrific deal!
For live streaming and other quick video work, I have a Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. It shoots HD, wide-screen video at 1080 and also takes photos. I also use this web cam when I’m shoot gaming videos for the Old Nerd Gamer YouTube channel or my channel on Twitch. While really good, if I had to do it over again, I would have opted for the C922. ** UPDATE ** I entered a contest and ended up winning the C922 and, as I suspected, I like it more than the 920.
BTW, if you are someone who live streams, the Elgato Stream Deck is, IMO, a must-have! Controlling my entire stream from scenes and triggering events to multiple cameras switching to social media all with the push of a button is a life-saver. Being fully programmable, you could easily set it up for gaming as well.
Also for streaming from game consoles, I got a HDMI video capture card. I attach it from my Nintendo Switch to my computer and I'm all ready to stream Animal Crossing: New Horizons or whatever else I choose to stream that day. It's really that drop-dead easy and I am thrilled with the quality!
I also have a nice GoPro alternative sports camera that I use for more on-the-go type variations. The best thing is, I wasn’t shelling $300 or more for it! It’s the KingCool WiFi 12MP Full HD 1080P DVR Camcorder 2.0 inch 170 Degree Waterproof Sports Action Camera, comes with a good dozen or more mount types (ones you would pay extra for with a GoPro), and does a great job.
With good video, you need to have good sound. Although my main camera gets great sound, sometime I need even better. That is where my Zoom H2 Digital Microphone comes in. Portable and easy to use, it can pick up and record stereo sound from the left and right or both front and back. It records in WAV format, the battery life is great (I use rechargeables), and I just need to use the USB cable from the mic to the computer to grab the sound files. It's one thing that I quickly learned was a must-have for me.
To get my POV (Point of view) videos shot, I have a couple different things I use. I have a pair of iVUE Horizon 1080P HD Camera Glasses Video Recording Sport Sunglasses and a pair of Pivothead Durango HD 1080p Video Glasses. Both of these are great video glasses with good sound and video. Also, very easy to use, solid, nice features, and as good a battery life as is out there.
To do my reviews in the car, I have three Arkon Windshield or Dashboard Camera Suction Mounts. I have them positioned on my dash on my right, left, and dead-center. I use whichever one, or a combination, depending on the video review and if I’m doing a collaboration with someone else or not. They can also be mounted on the windshield. They serve me well! ?
For any reviews, done in my home, I use the Panasonic camera and a number of tripods, depending on what I need or just am in the mood to set up.
My primary desktop tripods are the RetiCAM Tabletop Tripod with 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head and HDE Mini Camera Tripod Flexible Spider Leg Video Web Cam Stand Camcorder Mount. They both work well and do what I need them to do. I especially love the RetiCAM. It's solid and just wonderful!
There are times where I am having to do a video for a client and the script they have for me is a lot longer than I can comfortably memorize. That where my Mini Teleprompter R810-10 with Beam Splitter Glass comes in! It fits on a regular tripod or I set it on the upper level of my desk. Regardless, this can be used with a tablet or phone and some free teleprompter software. It’s nicely put together (very solid construction!) and works well. This is a life-saver and makes me feel a lot better when doing longer scripts.
For more control and a few more groovy versatile features, I have a Bontend Flexible Tripod with iPhone and Smartphone Holder. This has a convenient bubble level to make sure the camera is level, extremely flexible and has very sturdy wrap-around legs. It can hold a regular camera, a Go-Pro or alternative, or a mobile phone. All adapters are included.
For unboxing videos, I use my Panasonic camera with one of the tripods above and also mount my GoPro alternative camera to one of these bad boys: A Clamp Mount, which Includes a Clamp Mount, Ball & Socket Mount, 10″ Gooseneck, Tripod Mount. I clamp it onto an upper level of my desk and then twist the gooseneck to give my audience a top-down view on whatever I’m un-boxing. When I get to editing the video, I simply alternative views so they have something extra to look at.
Speaking of editing, I have used the same software, albeit different versions, for an easy decade now. I use Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite 12. There is a newer version 13, but I didn’t care for the cosmetic changes they made to the GUI on that one, so opted to stick with 12. It’s inexpensive, has tons of features, and has always been able to do a lot more than I even need. Solid piece of software! The suite also comes with Sound Forge Audio Studio 10. If you’re not a Movie Studio user already, you may want to consider starting with 13 or above. The cosmetic change won’t be an issue then.
** UPDATE **
I got a copy of Vegas Pro 15, which is a more robust upgrade of the Sony Movie Studio, and I'm loving it! It was pretty intuitive since I was already using Movie Studio, but since it's a more professional video editing software, there was (and still is) a lot of great new enhancements to learn. I use it exclusively now.
Back to the hardware!
My apartment never had the best lighting, even with the shades open, allowing natural light in. So, I have three NEEWER 160 LED CN-160 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Digital Camera / Camcorder Video Lights. These allow me to set up a nice three point lighting system to get some brightness going on in here, while controlling the lighting at the same time. I use three inexpensive tripods to mount them on and a couple umbrellas to even out the lighting nicely.
To keep things charged on the go, I have two Portable Power Banks. These have nice battery lives, charge my devices up quickly, and I never have to worry about running out of juice.
If you'd like to see the really nice computer that I upgraded to, you'll find that blog post HERE.
Other than all this, I have a few miscellaneous things here and there. That’s the majority of my video work equipment. I hope it helps give you some ideas for things you may need for your own video recording adventures.