We have so many choices these days for capturing video. What’s your favorite?
I use my Kodak Zi8 camcorder for most of my web video. I can take it anywhere and set it up in a couple of minutes…no muss, no fuss. And get a decent high definition recording.
Ease of use is key for folks managing their own video production. Take my friends at New Hampshire Family Voices for an example. They are a statewide nonprofit organization that supports families who have children with special health care needs and disabilities. They asked me to help them incorporate video into one of their projects.
I spent this past week in Concord, New Hampshire training their staff and project partners, shooting some video myself, and providing lots of technical assistance. These folks already had a few good pieces of video equipment, so I did some research ahead of time and sent them a shopping list of additional tools to round out their gear.
They had one iPad, a 3rd generation Model A1416-16GB, and a Cannon VIXIA HFS20 camcorder. Everyone has desktop PC’s and several people have their own iPad. They were about to purchase two more iPads, so I suggested they get ones with as much storage capacity as they could afford. They wound up with two 4th generation models, one has 64GB and the other 128GB. Here’s what I had them buy:
- 2 tripods ($39.99 ea.) bestbuy.com
- 1 stereo shotgun microphone ($79.99) amazon.com
- Dual lavalier microphone system for iPhone/iPad ($99.95) HDhatstore.com
- 2 iPad Makayama Movie Mounts with Wide Angle Lens ($99.90 ea.) HDhatstore.com
- 1 Photo Studio Premium 3-Light Kit ($108) cowboystudio.com
- 2 Headphones ($9.99 ea.) bestbuy.com
In addition to this production gear, I wanted to be sure they had ample storage. Video takes up a lot of space, so I also had them purchase a 32 GB SDHC High Speed memory card for storage on their camcorder, an Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, and a 1TB external hard drive to archive their video. A couple of audio extension cables, power cords, and a power surge protector rounded out the equipment.
I also had them purchase two apps for the iPads that I felt were essential: a camera app called ProCam XL (.99 at the iTunes Store), and an editing app called iMovie ($4.99 at the iTunes Store). The camera on an iPad has very limited functionality. The ProCam XL has a number of handy features that dramatically improve your video including, a zoom control and adjustments for focus, aperture and white balance. A great deal for only a buck!
Although iMovie is preloaded on Mac computers, it is not on the iPad, so they had to shell out a little money for the editing software. Beware…We also discovered that the user interface is different between the desktop and the iPad versions of iMovie and the user manual that you can download is only for the desktop version. There are a number of video tutorials that can walk you through the editing process for the iPad version, some are free and others are not. Apple also has an online user manual if you’d rather read instructions.
iMovie for iPad: how to edit your videos quickly and easily
Tutorial: How to use iMovie on the iPad
NOT FREE iMovie Editing Resources
Tutor for iMovie for iPad (30 how-to videos on iMovie for the iPad. $3.99)
iMovie for iPad Essential Training (Available with a membership to lynda.com)
Once we had everything in place, it was time to do some hands on training. We only had a little over four hours to go over everything from pre-production planning to uploading and sharing videos…a crash course to say the least! Challenging, yes and lots of fun. Stay tuned for my next post where I share the 5-Step Video Production Process I developed for this training class.