Video-based content is becoming more and more popular with this generation. It’s no secret that videos grab a lot more attention, whether it’s from the social media algorithms or just basic human nature. If you want to expand your target audience or just spread your message more effectively, it’s time to start creating and uploading videos.
Every content maker needs the right tools to effectively convey their purpose. Read on to learn about different types of videography equipment for beginners.
7 Important Videography Equipment You Need
- A good camera
Your career as a professional videographer revolves around one piece of equipment: a camera. This is the most essential out of all of your shooting gear.
The type of camera you choose can also help you decide what kind of peripherals and extra equipment to pair with it.
All it comes down to is basically just assessing what kind of camera best suits your needs. Do you need a high frame rate or a specific type of lens for your work? Here are some of the basic lenses you might use when you’re just starting out:
- Wide-angle lens
The smaller focal length will allow you to fit more objects into the frame, which is good for shooting scenery or b-rolls.
- Zoom Lens
The greater focal length allows you to capture images from a further distance or for a more dramatic effect. These lenses are great for capturing wildlife and sports.
- Macro lens
A macro lens will let you shoot close-up shots of your subject, which can be helpful in documentaries or nature videos.
A mid-range starting camera will net you anywhere between $500 and $850 so make sure you choose the right camera for you!
A durable tripod can help turn your videos from shaky and unprofessional, to a much cleaner look and feel. This will make video quality better post-production, and the overall output will be a lot smoother.
Make sure to buy a sturdy and adjustable tripod that’s compatible with your camera.
- Portable lighting
If you want to instantly make video quality better, investing in your lighting is always a good idea. One of the staple videography equipment for beginners is lighting.
Lighting rigs can get expensive, but you don’t have to start with the fanciest equipment right away. Just a reflector is enough to start improving the light in your videos. A professional videographer sometimes uses a basic lighting kit to bring to shooting locations.
A three-point lighting kit is one of the most basic setups you can use to start on your professional videographer journey. It uses a key light, fill light, and backlight to properly illuminate your subject.
- External microphone
A good microphone is another essential piece of videography equipment for beginners. You could shoot the most beautiful footage, but have grainy and low-quality audio to go with it: and that’s never a good thing. Just like what Daryl Cheong said, “Sound is the most overlooked element of videos, yet it is also the most powerful.”
Invest in a professional microphone, especially when you’re going to be filming anything that contains dialogue or speech. There are also different types of microphones for different case uses. Here are some of the most commonly used microphones:
- Wireless mic
If you’re working with limited manpower and can’t spare an extra person to hold a boom pole, a wireless mic can work the same way.
- Shotgun mic
Shotgun microphones are usually the best for capturing audio in action shots with several subjects in the same area. A shotgun mic can pick up sound from far away and has higher sensitivity.
- Lavalier Mic
A lavalier mic is good for filming interviews or similar footage. This allows for a lot of flexibility and convenience because they can be attached to clothing, picking up sound from only that person.
A gimbal has the same purpose as a tripod: to stabilize your camera. Tripods only work for steady shots, though. Gimbals allow you to shoot moving footage without having to worry about manual stabilization.
They work by using a combination of weights and electric pivots to stabilize your camera. This lets you make video quality better by avoiding blurry action shots. Shaky footage can be distracting and nauseating, so do your audience (and yourself) a favor by investing in a gimbal.
Gimbals can cost anywhere between $50 and $10,000. It’s not really an essential piece of videography equipment for beginners since you can improvise your own gimbal. If you like to shoot a lot of movement, though, a studio-quality gimbal is definitely a must.
- Reliable editing software
Not surprisingly, editing is an essential part of the videography process. Software is another type of videography equipment for beginners.
It’s important to choose a program that’s compatible with your workflow and editing needs. Here are some of the most popular video editing software and their pricing (as of 2022):
- iMovie (Free)
iMovie is a free editing software automatically included in macOS. Sadly, if you’re not an Apple user, you won’t be able to use this program outside of the ecosystem.
- Adobe Premiere/After Effects ($20.99/mo)
Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects are two of the video editing apps available with the Adobe Creative Cloud. The price listed above is subject to change depending on Adobe’s terms and conditions.
- Final Cut Pro ($299)
Final Cut Pro is another Apple-exclusive program, but at a one-time purchase only. This is a good option if you want to have a powerful editing program without having to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
- DaVinci Resolve (Free or $299 premium)
This software is for the professional videographer on a budget. DaVinci Resolve is an editing program that offers extensive features for free. You have the option to upgrade with a one-time purchase of a premium plan.
- Heavy-duty hardware
Once you’ve chosen your editing software, it’s a given that you should have the hardware to back it up as well. Editing calls for a lot of power to make video quality better. You can edit on any device, even your smartphone, but if you want a professional output you’ll need to have proper support with your hardware.
You don’t need an outrageous setup, just enough GPU to let you edit anything hassle-free. Having a powerful computer can cut down on rendering times or playback stutter, which will optimize your workflow.
Starting on your professional videographer career definitely isn’t cheap. Buying all of this videography equipment for beginners alone can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. But it’s a good investment for your business because all of this equipment will make video quality better.
Producing top-notch work is the most important thing you can do as a professional videographer. Aside from all of this fancy equipment, the best thing you can do for your career is to produce high-quality content that will make a lasting impression on your audience.
If you’re looking for the right balance of creativity, content, and professional skill, check out our studio services. At the Outside Collective, we can help you manifest these visions into your reality.
Alt text: A professional videographer operates a camera for an interview.
Alt text: The interface of Adobe Premiere Pro, a popular video editing program.
Alt text: A handheld microphone is placed on a stand for recording speech.
Alt text: A person holds a clapperboard while shooting a video.