Equipment to Create Video Courses

LLR-Toobox-Icon-smIf you want to create video courses you need to have the right equipment. In some cases, that may mean using screencasting software to capture video and audio from your computer screen, Or, it may simply mean recording a Webinar or Webcast.  In many cases, though, you are going to want to create video courses – or at least parts of your courses – from shooting live video with a video camera. On this page, I cover the options you may want to consider for that scenario.

Keep in mind as you read that you do not have to have the most expensive, top-of-the-line equipment to create high-quality video. Nor do you have to hire a professional crew or go to film school. These days, you can create excellent video with very modestly-priced equipment and some basic knowledge about how to use it effectively.

Create Video Courses: Shooting

One of my main tips when it comes to shooting video is to make it absolutely as easy as possible. So, if you are going to be out and about – say, at a conference or other event where you can capture content – keep a simple, lightweight “kit” packed and ready to go.

For “studio” work – i.e., video that you capture in your office or home – try your best to keep a permanent place set up with the most essential equipment. Often time, having get set up is barrier to simply capturing short video that you can add into a course or use for marketing. Having said all that, here is a run-down of essential equipment

Video Camera

When your aim is to create video courses of the highest quality, it can be tempting to blow a lot of money on a fancy video camera, but these days, it’s really not necessary to spend a lot to get excellent, high definition video. Consider the following options:

  • Your phone – If you don’t already have a video camera, this is where I would start. Smart phone phones – particularly iPhones – have gotten so good with video that you may not need anything more.
  • Canon Vixia Series – If you do decide to step up to a dedicated video camera, take a look at the Canon Vixia series. I use a Vixia for a lot of my video and have found the quality to be excellent. The Canon VIXIA HF R700 is a great all around choice for under $300, or you can jump up to the Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD if you are really looking to be a video pro (and still achieve amazing quality for far less than the high-end Canon video cameras).

Lighting

While having a good camera is important, good lighting is the essential element that will enable you to create video courses that look truly professional. In general, always try to shoot video in places where there is plenty of light, preferably natural light. To the extent that you need to add in light, or simply have better control over it, consider:

Image of LimoStudio Light Kit

LimoStudio Light Kit – Good Low-Cost Set Up for Shooting Video for Online Courses

Microphone

Your camera will, of course, have a microphone, but using the camera microphone is usually not the way to get the best sound in your videos – particularly if you are filming in a place that has background noise.  To get better sound, consider using either a shotgun microphone – a highly directional microphone that picks up only what it is pointed at or a lavalier/lapel microphone – a microphone that clips to the lapel or some other part of the clothing of the person speaking. Here are some options:

Essential Accessories

With a good camera, lighting, and audio, you are pretty much set. There is, however, one absolutely essential accessory that you need: a solid tripod.

Create Video Courses: Editing

Note: I’ve stuck with lower end desktop packages here. If you need more editing capabilities than these provide, you are probably better off hiring a pro. Also, keep in mind that there are starting to be some very cool options for creating and video on the Web. The YouTube editor, for example, can handle a lot of basic editing tasks, and check out sites like WeVideo and Magisto, which can help you transform PPT and still images into video, along with other types of editing.

Hosting Video

Many online course platforms are going to provide hosting for video. If you want to host your video independently from the course platform, consider:

The links on this page go along with The Learning Revolutionary’s Toolbox, a free eBook.

If you have questions, or want to share your own experiences with any of these tools, or if you use different tools to create video courses, please comment below.

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