Jen Morilla is the founder of Social Girl Traveler LLC. She teaches and coaches others on how to create a personal brand online and here she shares her top 10 tips on choosing the right equipment for your Zoom or videos.
#1 Start with a good phone
Don’t rush out to buy a whole kit. There’s a lot to learn about running a YouTube channel but all you need in the beginning is a good phone that has a good camera.
You don’t need to start uploading videos right away, take your time to practice fine-tuning your presence on camera.
#2 Don’t make a video like a selfie
Use the camera on the back of your phone, not the one on the front. The camera on the back is 10x better.
If you’re out walking, then the front camera is fine because you’ll see if you are out of frame but that’s the only time the front camera is recommended.
#3 Filming For YouTube
Turn your camera horizontally because the algorithm will pick up the view of the camera as being just like a regular camera. You should use a tripod so your phone is in a set and stable position.
If you want to check you are in frame and your background looks good, use the selfie camera before turning the camera around.
#4 Record in HD or 4K
YouTube’s algorithm will recognize the quality, and your video will look a thousand times better so check your settings.
#5 Keep Video Files Small
4K is a lot of data so transferring them to your computer can take a lot of time. Try to record in 10 minutes sections and transfer small files. You can Airdrop them or upload them to Google Drive. Anything longer will take twice as long to send.
#6 If you’re ready to invest in a camera try a Sony ZV 100
Of course, it takes great photos, but it’s also made for video and has an inbuilt microphone. The screen comes right out so you can really see what the camera sees and there’s ‘dead cat’ on top so if you’re outside it takes away the air and the static noise. It works indoors too if you have noisy neighbors!
#7 If you choose one thing to invest in, invest in sound
With Youtube the picture quality is important, but studies show that if the sound quality is bad and people can’t hear you, they won’t watch.
#8 Lighting for video
Nothing will look as good as natural light but when natural light isn’t possible a ring light will allow you to film at different times of the day in most places. Use your eye to decide whether the room needs bright light or warm light by turning on your camera and playing around.
You get what you pay for with ring lights but a mid-range light that allows you to change the color from cool to bright to warm will work well.
#9 Put a comforter over your head
If you don’t have a soundproof booth (let’s face it, most of us don’t), and you need to do a voice over for your video, then use this trick. It will help diffuse echo and sounds.
#10 Pick your background
Lighting is more than lighting your face. If you have a direct light against a dark background all people will see is your face with no depth to the shot. So for basic lighting, make sure you have three points of light, the front and the two corners behind you.
Do think about what’s behind you. Your background will say as much about you as what you’re talking about, so clear your desk and the laundry basket!
Ideally, find a plain wall or blank background that you can easily change for when you are filming by taking off the notice board for instance. Virtual backgrounds can work for hiding mess but if you’re moving a lot the image can get blurry.
If you want to use virtual backgrounds, and they can look really great, you could invest in a green screen for a crisper image. You should make sure there are no wrinkles for the best results.
Getting started making videos or using Zoom regularly for your business can feel overwhelming if you think you need to spend $$$ just to get started but as these tips show, all you need at first is a camera, a little know-how, and you.