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How I Built A Cheap Video Set Up

Each year I try to learn something new and this year I wanted to take my videos to a more professional level. For fun I put together Youtube videos and little videos for the station but nothing too fancy. Well I want that to change, I want them to be SUPER fancy now. Last night the final piece of my setup arrived and I am pretty confident that things will slowly get better. By the end of the year I should be making TV commercial quality videos.

So if you would like to have the setup I have, I’ll show you what I bought after researching everything in my price range (which was low). This all took me about 3 months of saving and a new credit card to get everything I needed but for my job I truly believe its worth it.

Let me just say that I learned everything I know now from watching an insane amount of Youtube tutorial videos. So if you don’t know ANYTHING about any of this stuff, neither did I 6 months ago. I’m still learning as I go, but I think if you are looking for a step in the right direction this is where to start.

CAMERA – First thing I needed was a camera that could shoot high quality video. Sure my phone works good but it can’t do all the things I need it to do so I had to upgrade. After researching all of the lower end DSLR cameras I found that the Canon T6i had everything I wanted. The main selling point for me was the screen being able to flip around so that I could see it while I was filming.

MICS – I hate wires because they are very limiting. I was planning on shooting interview type videos where we were going to be sitting 5 feet away from the camera and I don’t need wires strung across the room. These were tough to research because there are a ton of cheap options that had poor quality reviews. Being in radio, mic quality is really important to me but so is my money. So I saved a little and bought the Comica Dual Lavalier set up.  The come in a protective case and are encased in metal so they are durable. Most importantly the mic quality is really good and the range maintains a great connection the whole time I’m shooting. And my interviews last up to an hour.

LIGHTS – This is the piece that arrived last night and I can’t wait to use them! After playing with them on my phone I know that they are going to improve the video quality immensely. Again, after some research I decided to go with LimoStudio 700W softbox lights. They were cheap and did exactly what I needed them to do. Light up stuff without OVER lighting stuff.

SOFTWARE – Of course to put all of these videos together and make sure all of this effort doesn’t go to waste I needed to upgrade my editing software. For $20 a month you can subscribe to Premiere Pro which has everything you are going to need for basic videos with some cool simple effects. Then I spent a month watching tutorial videos on Youtube learning tricks and tips just to get my videos to a basic level.

BONUS: Computer Stuff.

I have a Macbook Pro from 2011 and it wasn’t the fastest thing in the world. So I also upgraded my hard drive to an SSD and increased my RAM to 8G from 4G. It’s still not the best computer for Premiere Pro because I can’t upgrade my video card but it definitely gets the job done.

Again I acquired this all piece by piece and I made some concessions on stuff before I ended up with this setup. Some times I needed to buy lights that were cheap and “got the job” done instead of the ones I should have just saved a little more and bought from the beginning.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask! Here is the latest video I made using everyting except the lights.

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