Creating original video content doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a handful of affordable video tools to help you build a budget-conscious video studio and up the quality of your web and social content.
Editing Software: We use the pro version of Hitfilm Express for video editing in-house, however the free version has everything you need to get started. Plus, since it’s open source there are multiple title and overlay templates you can download for free, or cheap, and plenty of YouTube tutorials that will teach you all of the basics. Anybody proficient in audio editing can teach themselves how to edit video, it just takes time and effort.
Lights: Smaller ring lights are an affordable way to improve the quality of zoom calls, selfies and webcam video. But, jumping up to a slightly larger 18” ring light with an adjustable tripod will suffice for any live stream or single-person hosted video. If you’re looking to diffuse harsh light in an existing room and eliminate shadows go for a softbox.
Green Screen: There are countless inexpensive options for greenscreens. If you already have something to attach it to you can simply by the green screen itself. Or here’s a whole kit that comes with the stands included.
Microphones: A lavalier lapel mic is the easiest way to elevate the audio quality of your videos. For single camera, stationary videos you can save money by starting with an inexpensive wired lavelier mic like this one from Shure. If you need to go wireless, I would caution you to be leery of cheap, wireless lavalier mics. But, here’s a reasonably priced remote lavalier setup from Rode.
Camera: Obviously the camera is the big-ticket item for any video studio. Professional, broadcast quality video cameras are anywhere from five to ten thousand dollars or more. However, unless you have someone on staff trained to take advantage of all the bells and whistles they offer, it will be a huge waste of your money. We’re currently in the process of upgrading our video studio and adding a Sony XDCam Exmor. But, as of right now we still film the bulk of our videos for web and social on a Canon Vixia HF R80 that only costs $250. Then, we partner with a video production company if we need something more high-end. Also, for stationary cameras to use in on-air studios you can’t beat GoPros for the price and quality.
The only other accessory you’d need to add is a good quality tripod and you’re rolling. If you need someone to handle all of your video content creation, supplement the video content you create or just give you a few custom open/closes for your station, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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