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Suggestions on a camera and programs for interviews?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Ubersheist, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. A few friends and I want to start a podcast-style show to upload to youtube or google. We'll need to learn a lot, but we're hoping to at least get a quality as good as the early Epic Meal Time guys (before they started being able to afford better equipment), for example (has adult language). We know protools, What would you suggest for a camera?

    After that, what's a good, consumer level video editing program to edit together the camera's field interviews, as well as a few 2- or 3- camera couch interviews, maybe some iphone video, too. We'd want to add in audio. Any suggestions?

    Also, I don't think we really know where to start. Any suggestions on a crash course to learn basic video editing?

    Thanks in advance, TB'ers!

    Caution - Strong language

  2. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005

    And iMovie is very simple

    And don't forget lighting (she's using pro quality lights, but you can get away with cheap lights if you understand the basics of 3-point lighting)

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
    Ubersheist likes this.
  3. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    1) Lighting is critical. Notice the shadows in the kitchen shot of the video in the OP. They have strong lights producing big shadows, and notice that skin tones look better than in the store. The crappy light in the grocery store is awful. Their lights are too harsh in the kitchen so they could use a diffuser, but bright lighting definitely helps. Consider the 3 light kits with high CRI CFL bulbs and diffusers. If you get one of the cheap kits, they won't be as durable (the stands may break easily) especially if you're moving them around to different locations, but they will still work ok as lighting.

    1a) Along with lighting, audio is important. If the audio sounds bad, the video will be bad. An omni lapel mic or a shotgun mic will almost certainly be better than the on-camera mic. The guys in the video could have used one. If your camera supports external mics, then you can just plug them into the camera, but if not, something as simple as a Zoom H2n will really help. You'll have to sync the audio in your software, but most programs should support this.

    2) The guys in the video could use a tripod. Notwithstanding their approach, I got seasick watching the camera weave around.

    3) If you have a Mac, iMovie. The version of iMovie on an iPad will work, but doesn't have the same features as on an actual Mac, last time I looked. If you have a PC, consider PowerDirector for price/performance.

    You might want to look at HitFilm Express, which is free, but leaning toward editing+compositing so it may have more of a learning curve. They give you the editing software, but the cool effects/add-ons are extra. You should be able to do a youtube video with the free version, nonetheless.

    For video editing, your computer should have 8GB RAM minimum, but more is better. CPU helps, but when you bump into the limits of RAM, you'll hate editing. For rendering (last step in outputting the video), CPU does matter, but you can start it and come back when it's done.

    4) Way down on the list, the camera. Most consumer grade camcorders will be fine if you have solid support, good lighting, and good sound. The camera on your iPhone is good, but having some way to mount it on a tripod will really help. I wouldn't use a GoPro for most shots because it has a fixed wide-angle lens. Could be used for some shots, but not for the interview style that you're talking about.
    Ubersheist, Pilgrim and Stewie26 like this.

  4. Film school guy here. Good advice from INTP above. Yes, lighting is one of the most important items if you want to look pro. Also, purchase a consumer camera with a mic input so you do not have to rely on the built in camera mic. Sony makes a good one, model HDR-CX160. The audio in your kitchen shots have a lot of room echo. With an external mic on a boom, close to the person speaking, a lot of that echo can be tamed. The Sony HDR -CX160 as been out for a few years so you may find a good deal on a used one.
    Ubersheist, 48thStreetCustom and INTP like this.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    After 40 years of video production, I can't add much to what INTP said. I'll just note that there is no excuse for bad audio. Learn good mic technique for clear audio and make sure to treat the production area so there are no obnoxious echoes.
    Ubersheist likes this.
  6. Excellent suggestions, everyone. Thank you!