We started making web videos with a basic point and shoot camera. We later upgraded to dSLR video. And they have had decent success.
But we have had some audio quality issues – especially for voice. It was time to upgrade.
Until now, we've been using both a new Canon point and shoot and an entry level dSLR for video creation. The video below was shot with our dSLR. The image quality isn't too bad but the audio is very inconsistent. From our office (a small room with little echo) it comes out okay but in a larger space the audio sounds distant and if there is any wind noise it's almost impossible to get good audio.
Because none of our cameras had audio input for mics (except the GoPro) we had to buy another camera. At first I was looking at the newer dSLR cameras that have audio inputs. But that was a little redundant. We already have two of these for photography. Instead, we decided to purchase a Canon camcorder with mic input. It cost much less ($249 compared to $800+)
Last week we received our new gear. Here's what we bought:
- Canon Vixia HF R500 ($249)
- Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Mics ($18.25)
- Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger ($26.99)
- GoPro mic adapter ($10.99)
I also ordered a 32GB Class 10 SDHC ($16.99) memory card.
Equipment we already had:
- Full Size Tripod
- Joby Gorilla Pod ($32.95)
- Greenscreen: for filming at home
- Editing software: Sony Movie Studio and Camtasia
We are going to continue to use the other cameras to produce videos, but when we need great audio we plan on using this new setup. The tripods are pretty crucial for video creation – especially for interviews and web shows.
Unboxing: Canon Vixia HF R500 & Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Microphone
View the unboxing on YouTube.
GoPro Audio Input
We also purchased the GoPro 3.5mm Mic Adapter which allows us to connect the same mic to the GoPro. I don't know if I've done something wrong but until now the sound quality has been poor on the Hero3. We are hoping that this adapter will give us another way to create video with great audio. The adapter goes from micro usb to 3.5mm audio jack. I'm not sure if we can split it and include two mics. We'll see.
Additional Canon Batteries (Wasabi)
The fourth item I purchased are the Wasabi batteries. Canon batteries are notoriously expensive. Wasabi makes compatible batteries for much less. They ship two batteries and a wall charger with car adapter (camcorder doesn't include one) for less than one original Canon battery.
The Wasabi batteries even last longer:
- Canon Battery: 3.6V 1790mAh 6.5Wh
- Wasabi Power: 3.6V 2900mAh 10.4Wh
We are using Wasabi for all of our cameras (GoPro, dSLR and point and shoot) and they all last longer than the original Canon. Because the Canon Camcorder doesn't come with a wall charger you have to charge the battery plugged in to the actual unit. This means you can't use it once the battery dies. With the extra batteries and wall charger, we are set for a full day of travel blogging, press trips and show creation – without any worry about running out of charge.
Read a recent video creation tutorial: How to create a GoPro timelapse video
We are going to be running some tests and publishing the results of the improved video and audio quality. Stay tuned for the full reviews.
And we are going to be using these tools to create our new web show on Gringos Abroad. This should be launching within the new month.
What gear are you using? What problems have you had with web video creation? Please share your problems and tips in the comments below: