Video and Audio SetupHave you been thinking about doing videos for your business? But perhaps it seems a bit overwhelming?  I felt like that too, but decided to dive into it and video marketing is awesome.  I’ve had so much fun over the past six months getting creative, shooting, and editing videos.  I had a lot of people ask me what video and audio equipment I use for the videos I’ve been shooting recently, especially from yesterday’s post on closing more sales.  

A while back I was really excited to learn about video marketing, and wanted to get a high end look for doing videos on Youtube and Vimeo, but without breaking the bank.  Also I did NOT want to have to hire someone (yet), so I did the research and found the best stuff I could find to get me professional photos and videos and just get to work!  Videos like this one from Alex Ikonn inspired me to get to work and create my own!  Below, I will share the BEST video and audio equipment and resources that I have found, so you can just get to work on awesome content. Video marketing is such a powerful tool for your business and the faster you get into it, the more you can connect with your audience and have fun doing it!

Have a look at this video I shot outside with a blurry background and noise of traffic going by.  I used all the equipment I have listed in this post to make it happen.

I will be writing a blog post on Journaling tomorrow, so make sure you are on the list

I did a ton of research and watched countless video tutorials over about six months – checking out videos, reading reviews, comparing prices, testing equipment, etc.  I also looked at all costs based on necessity as well as long term use.  I bought some of the lower end stuff because I wanted to save money and see how I would actually use the stuff.  Mainly because I can get totally obsessive over having to have the most expensive stuff – this was a lesson in willpower to not buy the shiniest of objects!  Below are all the products I recommend to buy.  I bought all my stuff through amazon because price points were awesome and it saved me time from going out and shopping around at stores.  So I made it easy for you if you want to get started doing video and photo for your business.

Disclosure.  The links below are affiliate links, which means that when you purchase using the link, I get a small commission.  That would be awfully swell of you to use the links and share them.  I would appreciate the support!

Must Have Video and Audio (Less than $1000)

  • T3i Camera ($525)
    • You can get the high end look without breaking the bank!
    • Great SLR camera – both photo and video.  Can get pro photos for your business with this as well.
    • Great price with all the high end features of expensive cameras
    • Excellent reviews
    • The major difference between this and the T2i is the articulating LCD screen that you can rotate and point towards yourself for self-shooting.  Very useful for framing shots.
    • The T4i and up, just have more features that don’t really make a big difference for amateur photographers and videographers.
    • Have a look at this tutorial
  • 50 mm 1.8 lens for Canon ($120)
    • They call this the “Nifty Fifty”
    • People are looking for that shallow depth of field with a blurry background.
    • This is the lens that gives the shallow depth of field that blurs the background and makes it look like pro film.  You can pretty much shoot videos anywhere, even if the background is busy.  Blurring it out gives it a real cinema look.
    • There is a 1.4 and 1.2 version as well and the prices go up dramatically.  They don’t make that much of a difference for basic videos.   This lens rocks.
  • Lens Filters ($17)
    • When you shoot video in the sun with a high aperture (like using the 50 mm lens), the video gets overexposed.  The lenses in this kit correct the overexposure, so the video looks the right color as you can see in the first video.
    • Also, everything I read recommended just keeping the UV lens on all the time so that would help prevent your normal lens from being scratched. If you scratch the lens filter, you just cheaply replace that!
  • Extra batteries ($30)
    • Grab a couple cheap replacement batteries so you can keep shooting.
    • Nothing kills the mood faster than having to recharge batteries.
  • SD Cards ($25) – but buy TWO
    • You need memory and the videos will definitely take up space
    • I use two of them and just transfer them back and forth, so that I ALWAYS have one in my camera.
  • Tripod ($25)
    • Everyone should have a tripod.  There are some WAY more expensive ones, but I would say just get a basic one to experiment with and get your bearings on what you will need down the road.  I use mine almost every other day and it works perfectly
  • Lapel Microphone ($40)
    • You need to have BOTH video and audio to make it look pro.  Audio is one MAJOR key to great videos.
    • This one is a great mic.
    • This one is wired, but has a super long length.  Most you get at the store, need an extension for it
    • Also, you may want to pick up a spare battery for it.  There is a little on/off switch that is close to the actual mic.  That is where the battery is
    • FYI, I also bought this pair of WIRELESS mics for cheap, but they are not that good.  I would not rely on them for anything important.  I would rather save and spend a few hundred on a GOOD set
    • You can even see it in my video with crazy amount of wind at fifteen feet away working
  • Lighting ($62)
    • Lighting is the other major factor in great videos.
    • I use this three way light for everything!  I originally followed the AWESOME tutorial from Wistia in this video:   but the cowboy studio kit was way better, and looked cool too!

That’s it!  You can achieve a pro look without breaking the bank.  If you want to get more creative or add some helpful resources, read below.  Also, since I bought the equipment, I have been asked to do work for other people and actually that work has more than paid for the cost of the equipment!  So maybe you and a few entrepreneur friends have thought about doing your own videos, so why not get together, split the costs, and crank out some awesome vids?

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If you want to kick it up a notch, check out these extras:

Extras to Think About

  • Corel Video Studio Pro X6 ($100)
    • This is the video editing software I currently use, but if I was to choose I may have gone with:
  • Adobe Premier Elements 12 ($100)
    • This one seems most common out there as I have been looking for tutorials and this comes up a lot.
  • External Hard Drive 3TB ($200)
    • Don’t run out of space as you start to grow your video database.  Think storage early!
    • This hard drive is awesome!  Fast and great price.
  • Backdrop ($118)
    • Great way to do a white backdrop or a green screen.  Can also use a large white paper roll instead of the muslin.  There are also various sizes of muslin
    • You may also want to get a steamer to remove wrinkles in fabric
    • This option combines the backdrop AND lighting kits.  I would have rather done it this way from the start, but it depends on if you will use it.
  • Fisheye lens ($60)
    • This is not a REAL fisheye lens, but can make some great shots that look like they were shot with a $500 lens.
    • Gives you some fnu shots for perspective for a low cost
    • You can see an example shot on
  • Books ($10)
    • Great book to get your learn on to make the most of the T3i technology and get some pro shots!
    • Might as well learn how to use the awesome equipment you bought!
  • Battery Grip ($42)
    • This has the extra battery compartment right in the handle to double your shooting time and allow for continuous shooting.
    • Great option to have!
  • Best Webcam ($113)
    • You may not need to go high end, but if you want to do quick, high quality videos, this one is the best.
    • If you have been thinking about doing webinars, check this service out
    • Glass lens and dual microphone
    • The files are right on your computer, so you don’t transfer memory cards back and forth.
    • Fastest, most efficient way to create nice videos. 
    • I use it in conjunction with the SLR camera. 
  • Best Mic for recording computer audio ($100)
    • I use this for my audio recordings and you can absolutely hear the difference.
    • I would suggest getting it with a pop filter ($6)as well to keep your sound super clean.
    • Click these two links to have a listen to the difference between the computer mic recording and the Yeti mic recording.
    • I sometimes set up the webcam and mic, rather than breaking out the SLR set up. That way, it records right onto my computer for editing

Other Stuff

  • Video bumber – that video that appears at the beginning of videos. ($5)

Stay tuned for MY training programs, but for some great tutorials, go to:  The guys are awesome!

I have shot a ton of video these past few months and have been trying to get it right, so stay tuned for more videos and also a bunch of how-tos over the coming weeks and months.  Post your comments below on the types of things you would like to know about video marketing.  And I will get those resources to you!

Joe Girard
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