Equipment

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People often ask me what equipment I use to make my food video content. I use the same equipment on my YouTube Channel, blog, and for Facebook video production.

 

Camera

I started out in video using my Canon Rebel t3. I found it to be limiting as it doesn’t auto focus or zoom. The sound quality was also terrible. Many bloggers start out in food video production using their DSLR cameras. They can produce beautiful images, but do have limitations. But here’s the thing….all cameras have limitations! Get to know your camera. Recognize the limitations of the camera you are using and then embrace it. You’ll produce much better video that way. The major limitation of all DSLRs is focus. Even if your camera can auto focus in video mode, you’ll still notice the image adjusting and focusing during the video as you move things closer to the camera. This is totally tacky and should be avoided. Know the limitation and learn to work around it. The other major limitation of a DSLR camera is that the audio is inevitably terrible. Don’t ever use the built in audio! As far as DSLRs go, I also now have a Canon 5DS. I very rarely use it to shoot video because I simply have better options in the many video cameras I own. 

For a dedicated video camera I use a Sony FDR-AX100 4k Video Camera. I love, love, love this camera. It shoots amazing video and has everything I want. I can manually adjust white balance, exposure, and everything you are used to adjusting on a DSLR. Having a camera that is built for video is a huge difference and I highly recommend it. You can’t go a step below this camera. You  have to get this one or better. Lower options won’t have the same kind of options for manual settings.

I also have several Sony Mirrorless A6300 with a E PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens. It also has manual adjustments for white balance, exposure, etc. but it’s a photography camera as well. I run this one through an app onto a tablet so that I have an external monitor (that’s also a remote!) which is super handy. I rate my cameras as equals. Each one has different advantages over the other. The most important part is that each of them has great continual auto focus which is something you just can’t find in your regular DSLR.


 

Lighting

This is my original lighting equipment that I used for 3 years. I used a set of 3 soft box lights with 100w daylight bulbs in them. I used all three lights when I am shooting videos for YouTube, and use only 1 of the lights as a fill light when I’m shooting Facebook videos. I utilize natural light as much as possible in my regular blogging photography, but when it comes to video a fill light is very handy. Unlike photography, it’s a little harder to be reflecting light to fill in shadows while you are simultaneously shooting a video. Fill lights are amazing. This was a great starter kit, though, and I have used it for years.

 

Sometime in 2016 I upgraded to these lights and love them. I use 4 for to film Facebook videos, two in back, two above. They are a true 5400k and it makes it easy to set white balance to the exact amount. They do need to run through quite a few layers of diffuse material, otherwise they are quite harsh.

 

 

 

Audio Recording

Great audio is important for YouTube. In fact, it’s one of the most crucial elements of good YouTube video production.
I started out using two items. A Sony ECMCS3 Clip style Omnidirectional Stereo Microphone which serves as a microphone that clips on to my shirt, and a Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder. The microphone plugs into the Zoom and I just slip it into my back pocket while I film. The microphone is inexpensive, but the sound on it is amazing. The zoom records the audio in Mp3 format which you can upload to your video editing software and sync with the video. I just clap at the beginning of each filmed segment and use that to sync the audio.

In 2016 I upgraded to this audio equipment. A Zoom H6 which can record up to 6 microphones at the same time. I never really do that, but it has a lot of great features for balancing out sound, checking levels, and cutting out noise before you ever even start recording. It makes editing a lot easier. With that I’m using a Sennheiser SEEW112PG3A
ew 112-p G3 Camera-Mount Wireless Microphone System with ME 2 Lavalier Mic.

Tripod

I often get asked about my tripod. This is it. The Vanguard Alta 234AP. You can swivel it straight down for overhead shots and it’s exactly what I use to make my videos. I know that there is a more expensive Vanguard tripod than this that has an arm on it for overhead shots. I bought a couple of those too, and guess what? I still prefer this one. The arm just isn’t useful to me.