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How to Build an Affordable DIY Video Production Studio

how_to_build_an_affordable_diy_video_production_studioCreating your own videos is one of the best ways to build a business or otherwise making your mark on the world. With the sheer number of people producing online videos today it’s harder to get your voice heard than ever before, but it’s also easier to access quality video production equipment than it ever has been.

Of course you can still spend a fortune on equipment, but you no longer have to. If you know what to look for you can find plenty of affordable equipment.

#1 – Video Equipment

  • High quality webcam – If you want to get into the world of video game streaming and reviews, this is the option for you. Make sure you choose one that will record with at least 1280 X 720P, which is the minimum requirement to be considered HD.
  • Capture card/utility – This is the other tool you’ll need to stream any kind of video game playing. On a console you’ll use a screen capture card. On a PC you’ll use a screen capture utility like Fraps.
  • Camcorder – Most people will be fine purchasing a basic video camera at least for their first few videos. The Panasonic HC-V750 is an excellent option that’s affordable for most budgets and offers good image stabilization and quality. When you’re first starting out there’s really no reason to buy a camcorder that’s much more expensive.

Test Footage from a Panasonic HC-V750

#2 – Audio Equipment

  • Quality USB microphone – Your camcorder or webcam might have pretty good sound but a dedicated microphone is always better. The Yeti Pro from Blue is one of the most highly recommended, costs $250 (a relatively small investment) and sounds great right out of the box.
  • Good headphones – When you’re editing video and especially the audio portion, you’re going to need a pair of really high quality over-the-ear headphones so you can hear everything properly. If you’re on a budget try out the Polsen HPC-A30 Closed-Back Studio Monitor Headphones.

#3 – Software

Many companies choose to outsource the editing phase of the video production, to achieve a more professional finished product. However, if you are opting for the DIY option, you’ll need two main pieces of software: video editing software like Adobe’s Premiere or Sony’s Vegas software, and audio editing software like Audacity (which is FREE).

Eventually you may also want to invest in and learn other programs like After Effects so you can do some minor visual effects, but only the video editing and audio editing software are absolutely necessary.

#4 – Lighting

The right type of lighting is an important aspect of ensuring that your business is portrayed in a professional manner. Obviously, poor quality video, which low lighting contributes to, is a bad initial sign to prospective customers so you want to get the lighting part right.

sunset-video-lighting

The good news is; you only need to take notice of a couple aspects to ensure the right type of lighting. First, there are several types of lights that you consider and in general, standard lights from around home (such as lamps) or offices are actually more than enough to prevent low-light. You can look at getting a lighting kit from an online retailer and these will usually cost you somewhere around $100-$200.

If you are looking to keep costs down, then paying attention to the time of day, along with weather conditions, that filming is performed in is a great idea. The best time to shoot outdoors is during what is called “the golden hour”, which is the 1 hour right before sunset.

In general, it’s best to avoid the brightest times of the day between 12noon and 3pm as the excessive light can impact on the overall quality.

Remember, the hardest part to success in just about anything in life is simply the act of getting started. Take your time to consider the tips above and you will be well on your way to successful video shoots!