HOW TO Improve Video Quality The Cheap Way





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Uploaded on Apr 19, 2007

Here is a list of video equipment that will help improve your production quality:

I'll be doing a live chat next week: http://www.stickam.com/profile/smpfilms

Clip Lamp (Cheap)
Bulb For Clip Lamp (Cheap):
Work Light (Slightly Cheap):
Pro Soft Box (Not so cheap):

If your going to shop, look at all the camcorders in your price range on cnet.com because they give the best reviews in my opinion. Just remember, sometimes cheaper isn't always better.

Starters: Use a cheaper camcorder to learn with between the prices of $150 - $400. MiniDVs are the best because you may need the tapes for future TV opportunities. Stay away from SVHS, DVD, and Digital8. If your buying your first camcorder, but you don't have much money then buy the Canon ZR500:

Pros: You have 2 choices here... realistic or film-like. For a realistic look, I would recommend the Sony DCR-VX2100 (that's what I use):

If your making videos to be shown on TV, then go with the film-like camcorder. For this, I recommened the Panasonic AG-VX100B (nearly every major TV network is using this for mobile projects):

If your going to buy a camera, shop around. Think about the types of videos you plan on making and focus on finding the features that suit you. For example, if you want to shoot at night, then get a camera that is better in low light. If you plan on shooting more day time, then get a camera that has good color (the bigger the lens, the better the color). Ebay isn't always the best place to purchase cameras though because there are people who will scam you there. Trust me, I learned from experience.

Normally you should adjust the white balance your camcorder before filming, but not all cameras can give you the right settings. So for this tutorial, I added a little bit of brown to my video in editing to show you an example of what white balancing does.

Here's a good site I found on how to make a portable one. However, I just baught some cheap bright green fabric and tacked it to my wall, lol... Hey, if it works!

SIDE NOTE: In this video, there is a shadow around me when the background is white... I put it there myself as an effect because I used a lot of shadow effects in this video, so no, it wasn't a green screen or editing problem.

I've always recommended the Pan Pilot, but I've also got a cheaper alternative method for keeping your camera steady while you walk. You can always buy a tripod with a handle on it and open the legs up. The legs will act as weights that will steady your camera as you walk, yet it's not as smooth as the Pan Pilot

Definately look into this if you plan on recording indoors a lot:

WIRED: If your camera picks up too much other noice (like echos or unwanted environmental sounds), then consider getting a directional mic. I have this one, but I didn't use it for this video so you could hear the echos. Otherwise, it would have been clearer.

WIRELESS: First off I'd like to say that Sony's wireless mics suck, here's what I'm talking about:
Do not buy that!

STARTERS: If you're going to spend that kind of money on wireless microphones to do candid camera stuff, try this... buy a smaller camcorder (for example, that Canon) and put it in a place that is out of view of your candid cam, but within range of your audio. The Canon is very small so you can hide it in a bag or a large pocket. You could then film with one camera from a distance and at the same time, use the Canon to record your sound. When you go to edit, just take the sound from the Canon and add it to your candid video footage. Wala! Plus, you'll own 2 cameras in case you ever want 2 camera angles.

PROS: If your camera doesn't have any XLR ports (for better wireless or boom mics), then consider getting an XLR adapter:


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