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Videos... Video Equipment

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This is some of the equipment I've used to film my videos. I review my experiences using the items and provide purchase links. There is an example video for each item. I also discuss the software I've used to edit the videos.




Canon EOS 100D / Rebel SL1

Video Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1McE26ScNg

Purchase: Amazon USA | Amazon UK

I'd been having issues filming with my bridge camera, so I did the obvious thing and grumbled about it. The next thing I knew this dusty relic was placed in my hands. After cleaning it up, it turned out to be a Canon EOS 100D. This is a SLR with a compact design. It films in Full HD (1080). There are controls to set things like exposure and focus. External microphones can be used with it. This was a massive improvement on what I had before.

There are some pros and cons to the small size. An obvious advantage is for outdoor use, as the small size makes it very portable. It's also light enough to attach to tripods and ring lights at odd angles, such as pointing straight down. A disadvantage is one of the things dropped to make it small is a moveable screen. It is fixed on the back, which means it's not visible when standing in front of the camera.




Fujifilm FinePix XP130

Video Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP5QoI-KSr8

Purchase: Amazon USA | Amazon UK

This is an action camera. It doesn't have many features for video, but it's able to go to places that other cameras can't go. It's waterproof, dustproof, freezeproof and shockproof. The audio often needs editing to really work, but given the price of underwater microphones, it's not a bad place to start. I've used this in fish tanks, swimming in the sea and in Eden's rainforest biome. It's great to have a camera where I don't have to worry about rain and mist. I do suggest getting a floating strap when taking it into the water, as the camera doesn't float.

I have the older XP130, which records in Full HD. The next version up is the XP140, which films in 4K.




Blue Yeti Microphone

Video Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN0Ft3xKinc

Purchase: Amazon USA | Amazon UK

I have a basic Blue Yeti. There's no difference in function with the various colours, but I chose the blue one, as it seemed more appropriate given the name. This microphone is a decent USB stereo microphone. It has a few recording patterns to choose from (stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional and bidirectional). It also has a gain control. The stereo option is ideal for the sort of sensory ASMR / videos I wanted to do. It's also very suitable for things like singing and other music.

The sound is clear and the microphone hiss can be sorted in editing. Given that it's sensitive, I've found the best way is to place it on a different surface to the one I'm filming and to place a towel under the stand. This helps avoid vibrations being recorded by the microphone. Fancy shock mounts and the like are an option, but I don't have one.

Another piece of advice, having seen many YouTubers get this wrong, is to make sure it's actually set it to stereo and not bidirectional by mistake. Stereo has two overlapping circles. Bidirectional has two touching circles, so it looks like an 8.




FalconEyes RX-8T LED Light

Video Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edTiRVhl_rY

Purchase: Amazon USA | Amazon UK

This is a flexible cloth light, so the light can be directed by rolling the cloth. It's daylight (5600K) and can be attached to a tripod or directly to the camera. It can take a battery, though doesn't come with it, so I run mine directly from the mains. It's a handy little light. The only downside is the reflection is a whole bunch of little LEDs in a grid pattern, so it's not the best light for using with reflective items. It's more of a hard light than a soft light.




Viltrox RB10 RGB LED Light

Video Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz9zcpVAj48

Purchase: Amazon USA | Amazon UK

A small LED light box. The basic mode allows for different colour temperatures and brightness. The RBG mode allows for different colours and has a mode that cycles through the colours automatically. It can be attached to a tripod or fitted on a camera. It also comes with a cover that diffuses the light, for a softer light. I've found this useful when filming things in difficult corners, such as spiders, as it's very portable. The colours are also fun for lighting effects that go beyond the basics.




Audacity

Download: Official Site

Audacity is an open source audio editor. It's what I use for all my audio editing, it's completely free, and there are loads of tutorials for it. I also recommend downloading the noise gate plugin, as this is particularly useful for bringing down the background hiss a little without trying to completely remove it. The default noise reduction tool can often distort sounds in ways that aren't desirable for sensory videos.




Shotcut

Download: Official Site

I tried a lot of video software, before settling on Shotcut. It has a reasonable number of features and a profile for exporting YouTube videos. However, I wouldn't recommend trying to sync your audio in this program. I sync my audio in Audacity, so that it matches the uncut video audio. Then I import everything into Shotcut and trim it down there.




VLC

Download: Official Site

This is a basic video player. It's good for watching edited videos to make sure everything is fine before uploading it to YouTube. It can also be used to test subtitles files and to extract audio from video files. It's a useful tool to have around. Also make sure to open something near Christmas, because the traffic cone logo gets a little festive hat.

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