7 Must-Have Tools Every Beginner Videographer Should Have
Every videographer has his or her favorite and must-have tools to take on video shoots. From microphones and lighting to tripods and gimbals, each tool takes your videos one step further toward them looking more polished and professional. Start with this short list of tools to get you creating videos that impress clients, customers and your mom (because she’s your biggest fan, right?).
- Smart phone – My iPhone is my number-one tool on a video shoot. Believe it or not, most new smartphone cameras are nearly as good as using a professional camera like a DSLR. Especially if you’re shooting strictly for social media, a smartphone is absolutely an acceptable way to capture video. On the flip side, if I’m shooting DSLR, I use my lavalier microphone and my Voice Memo app on my iPhone to record voiceovers.
- DSLR – If your final product will be used for anything larger than social media, such as TV video or in a presentation, you should consider shooting on a camera with higher resolution capabilities than a smartphone. DSLRs are an easy and affordable bridge to help you move from recording on smartphones to using a more advanced camera option. They are very user-friendly and there are tons of online tutorials for how to properly use them – or sign up for a beginner class!
- GoPro – GoPros are another camera option that is affordable, intuitive and shoots in HD. They’re rugged and built to go tough places, so consider using a GoPro when creating action scenes, wide-angle shots or if you may be in a dusty, wet or overall messy environment. Their point-and-shoot design makes them easy for anyone to use and their small size means you can easily pack them in your gear.
- Microphone – If you only buy one tool for videography, buy a lavalier microphone. Having clear, crisp voiceovers for your videos is the easiest way to elevate your video skills without much effort. Inversely, a video with bad sound quality can easily ruin the viewing experience. You can purchase one that plugs directly into your smartphone or invest in a cordless mic if you don’t want to mess with cords.
- Tripod – The next best way to make videos look more professional is to steady them. When interviewing, a tripod is a great tool for holding your video camera steady so you can frame the shot and focus on getting a good interview from your subject. Most tripods include adapters for both smart phones are larger cameras. You’ll want a sturdier tripod if you’re using a larger, heavier camera, but an inexpensive one works great for smart phones.
- Gimbal – Another tool that be used for shooting on both smartphone and DSLR, gimbals steady video while moving. They allow you to capture smooth footage and dynamic angles by pivoting to stabilize your phone or camera with your movement. This is an easy way to eliminate shaky video and take your videography skills to the next level.
- Lights – Particularly when shooting indoors, lighting can make a big difference in video quality. Whether you purchase professional stand lights or a ring light that clips to your smartphone, consider adding a light or two to your bag of tools. Of course, the free option is to use natural light to your advantage, but that’s not always an option.
Whether you’re looking to get started in videography or have been wanting to up your video skills, consider investing in these seven tools to take on all of your video shoots.