Media Training Worldwide

What kind of camera should I use?

BY TJ Walker

Frankly? It doesn’t matter. Sure, all things being equal, use the highest quality camera you can find. But most people waste way too much time trying to figure out the best camera. Instead, they should focus on creating as much interesting and compelling talking head videos as possible.

Personally, I use the built in webcam on my $300 lap top quite frequently. I also use my $200 Flip camera. Occasionally, I will use the video capabilities on my old Treo cell phone or on my Sony digital still photography camera.

Your cameras matter a great deal when you are shooting a movie and people are going to be seeing your face 60 feet high or for an ad on the Superbowl. But when it comes to creating simple talking-head videos for use in social media, I recommend that you have a variety of inexpensive cameras and use whatever is flexible and easy on a daily basis.

Think of it the same way you create email. Few people ask “what is the best tool for creating email?” That’s because when you are at home you probably have a home computer to write email. Then when you are in a cab, bus or car, you are sending email from your phone. At the office you might be sending email from your desktop. Similarly with internet video, use what is easy, simple, fast and convenient.

In my office, I have a couple of consumer grade HD Sony video cameras set up in front of my backdrop so I can walk in at anytime and tape breaking news commentary. When I am at home, I often use my laptop’s webcam. When I am on a train or cab and in a big hurry, I will often use a Flip Mino. Guess what, for the most party, no one cares. People care about my ideas and they judge me on those, as long as the audio is clear and they can see my face.

How you look is important when it comes to video, but don’t fall into the trap of obsessing over the technology. Sure some technology is better than others. But most individuals and businesses that really succeed promoting themselves through internet social media do so because they convey interesting ideas with passion, not because they have the latest and best camera.

If you are on a budge, and how isn’t these days, also realize that if people are watching you on small computer screens ,then the magic and beauty of $50,000 cameras won’t be very apparent. That’s why I typically use inexpensive consumer grade cameras rather than broadcast quality cameras, even though I have both. If you want to save money, then buy an inexpensive HD consumer grade camera ant then make sure you have a decent light or two and a good microphone. For a simple talking head social media video, good lighting, a decent mic, and having the camera at an angle so that it doesn’t look like it is shooting up your nose is all you need to come across professionally and competently.

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