Equipment for Videos or Better Quality Photos/Selfies Using Your iPhone or iPad

ipad-training-ad-bluenoregister-highres-peggy-duncan02I’ve been recording and editing how-to videos for years. And I’ve recently started an Instagram page with selfies of outfits I find when bargain hunting and thrifting. I’ll use either my iPhone, iPad, or a Logitech Webcam.

Here is a suggested list of what you could use to get started. These links are either Amazon or to a post right here on my blog, and I use everything listed.

NOTE: I’m on Instagram posting photos I’m taking myself with my iPhone, tripod with mount, and Bluetooth clicker. Check me out here and see my various fashion choices. Follow me!

Microphones/Headsets

Plantronics Headset-Microphone (for your computer only). I didn’t think this  relatively inexpensive USB microphone with headset would produce good enough quality sound, but it does. I use it as much as anything else. I use it when I record how-to videos on my computer and for SKYPE calls.

iRig microphone is made for iPhone/iPad and plugs into headphone jack. This microphone is designed specifically for the iPhone and iPad. I’ve been very satisfied with the quality. (See below for tripod mount – microphone arm – I use.)

Movo Lavalier Microphone. Depending on your video setup, you might also need a lavalier mic that will clip to your clothing. I purchased this one, but have only used it a couple of times during a speech.

Order the windscreen that you’ll see with it. This helps to reduce wind interference when you say words beginning with “p”, for example.

Logo Mic Flag. In the photo above, you’ll notice the mic flag around my iRig. Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your brand while all eyes are on you. I created my own labels using Avery labels. I might at some point get this done professionally.

Bluetooth Headset. I use this headset so I can hear while the microphone is plugged into the headphone jack.

Tripods & Mounts – Desktop and Floor Model

Microphone arm for desk. You’ll need something to hold the mic, either a stand, tripod, or desktop arm. I’m currently using this space- saving mount so I no longer need a floor tripod.

Desktop Tripod for the iPhone or iPad. In addition to this unit, you’ll also need a tripod mount to hold the device (see below).

I also use a floor-model tripod by Velbon (get a good quality for stability).

Tripod Mount for iPad: Whether you use an iPad or iPhone or a desktop tripod or floor model, you’ll need a unit to slip the device into so it’ll attach to the tripod. I have the iPad 4 and use this tripod mount.

Tripod Mount for iPhone: I use the Puroma Universal Tripod Mount with my iPhone. It easily adjusts to portrait and landscape.

Remotes to Snap Camera App

Bluetooth wireless remote. This Bluetooth wireless remote will start and stop the Camera app without your having to tap your device. These less expensive units didn’t work consistently so I opted for something better (see below).

(Dollar Tree has the wired remotes that work consistently.)

Better Wireless Remote. If you have a multimedia remote for doing PowerPoint presentations, check to see if it has multimedia capability with Bluetooth. I have this Satechi remote, and can also use it to operate the camera/video function on my iPad and iPhone remotely. Very reliable for every shot. And sense this uses Bluetooth, it leaves your headset jack open in case you decide to use an external microphone (such as my iRig Mic described above).

OTHER

Mirrored Phone Case. I’m using the rear-facing camera on my iPhone 6s because the quality of the photos are much better (12 megapixels as opposed to 8 megapixels with the front-facing camera). I solved the problem of not seeing my image from the back of the iPhone with a mirrored case by Ringke. I place the phone backwards in the tripod, and the rear-facing camera will take whatever is in front of it. (There are apps that will use voice to let you know when the rear-facing camera sees you, but I prefer the ease of the mirrored case.

Note: To take a selfie with the rear-facing camera, put the camera in selfie mode as you normally would, turn the back of the camera towards you, and snap. It’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing, but you’ll show them.

TelePhoto Lens. If you need a photo or video and want to capture more of the scene (e.g., a group family photo), the telephone lens that snaps to your phone will help. It fits perfectly over my mirrored case.

Targus CleanVu Cleaning Pads. Keep your device screen clean with this pad that fits on your hand.

Logitech Webcam. If you choose to use a Webcam instead of an iPhone, iPad, etc., you’re going to look better a high resolution Webcam as opposed to the one installed on your computer. I have this Webcam from Logitech.

Green Screen and Studio Lights. Are you considering taking things up a notch with Chroma Key (changing the video background with high resolution images or video), you’ll need more equipment: a green (or other color) screen and the right lighting. If the lighting is not right, the Chroma Key won’t work. There are tons of YouTube videos on how to Chroma Key, and I won’t get into that here, but here are links to my purchases. Full lighting kit with screens. Lots of choices so shop around. Portable green/blue screen for smaller space that I’m in now. It’s green on one side, blue on the other. I also have a clip stand for this to hold it up.

App – Grab Photo Frames from Video. You can grab that perfect frame from a video and get a high resolution photo from it with the app, Video2Photo. Check the App Store.

As with everything you do, having the right equipment will make the job easier. Look your best and you’ll do your best.

PEACE.

 

How to Set Up a Teleprompter for Videos Using Equipment You Already Have (with video)

Most of my videos are screen recordings that show tips and tricks in software. But recently, I’ve started getting in front of the camera. I’ve wanted to use a teleprompter, but didn’t have an iPad and didn’t want to spend any money buying a traditional one. Here’s what I came up with.

First, I wrote my script. The key to writing a script for the teleprompter is to write exactly the way you talk. Then practice, practice, practice until you don’t sound like you’re reading.

Second, I composed the text in Notepad, saved it, and pasted it on http://www.CuePrompter.com when I’m ready. This is a free online teleprompter service.

Third, I put my laptop behind my camera, just above it. This way, I can see the scrolling text on my laptop, and it looks as if I’m looking right into the camera’s eye.

Finally, I had to figure out a way to control the laptop when it’s not in front of me (e.g., to start the cueprompter, start and stop the video recorder for my webcam, etc.). My Logitech Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad is the perfect solution.

So I’m all set, and here’s the video on this setup. 

 

Are you using a teleprompter? If so, what’s your setup?

PEACE.

 

Loving My New Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 (with video)

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording (960-000764)I’m not the chick with 200 pairs of shoes. I’d much rather spend money on tech gadgets and gizmos for my business. My latest toy is this Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. The video on this Web camera is far superior to my internal Webcam, and is even better than my iPhone. It also has a built-in microphone that sounds pretty good (I’ll use a separate mic though. Here’s my Samson C03U when I want the absolute best sound quality).

I was surprised at how small this Webcam is (about 4×1 inches). I can use the built-in mechanism to clamp it to my laptop, a monitor, or a tripod. I can capture videos or photos. One thing that surprised me was that the .MP4 format was audio only when I inserted it into Sony Vegas for editing. I ended up having to convert the video to H.264 format first. (I use software called Movavi Video Converter for that. There are other products on the market, but this turned out to be the best one for maintaining the level of quality I want).

The first part of this video was recorded with my iPhone with its built-in microphone. The second part was recorded with the Webcam. Be sure to click the Quality Wheel to see the video in HD.

I’m so totally obsessed with doing videos. See some more of my how-to videos on my YouTube channel. I’m also creating new videos for a membership Website for solopreneurs that features full tutorials to help you manage and market your business.

What are you using to create videos?

PEACE.