Our Video Gear

We have learned a lot about best Video practices including DSLR Video, Audio and Video editing.  We thought we would share the tools we use to create our videos.

Steven Johnson
by | Posted: November 16, 2011 | Updated: April 1, 2014
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Camera & Lenses

Canon 60DCanon 60D

Using a DSLR for video has come a long way and the Canon 60D was the perfect choice.  It gives us full 1080P video with a full range of lenses in a small compact form. The LCD screen can be rotated so that the subject is able to view themselves on screen.

Available at Amazon | B&H Photo

Canon EF-S 17 to 55Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS

The EF-S 17-55 is perhaps the sharpest zoom lens for the Canon 60D or any other crop body camera. In addition to the incredibly sharp focus it has a constant f/2.8 appeture making it a very fast lens, allowing in lots of light in low light situations.

The IS stands for image stabilization, a a strong factor in this lens purchase.  Image stabization helps keep everyting nice and smooth.

 Available at Amazon | B&H Photo

Sony hdr-550vSony HDR-550V

For shooting, we decided to go with a camera that was built for shooting high quality HD video for a low price. We chose with the Sony HDR-550V. It’s a great first camera purchase. We chose it primarily because it has decent adjustable manual settings, it has a built in hard drive (Which saves capturing time), shoots 1080p AVCHD (A high quality HD format), and has a headphone output.

While working with this camera, it indeed has it’s benefits. It’s simple and easy to use. At first that was exactly what we needed. However, after we got more involved with our setup, we found it was a little hard to get the settings adjust right. Some time’s spending 30-40 minutes doing tests to ensure the quality looked perfect on a computer playback.

Available at Amazon | B&H Photo

Camera Accessories

Sekonic L358Sectonic L-308 DigiCiniMate Light Meter

This is a great light meter.  It has all of the functions of a light meter as well as several video specific functions.  You can set the frame rate as well as use it to ensure that the backdrop is evenly lit.  It can be a real time saver and help ensure you get the perfect lighting

Available at Amazon | B&H

davis and sanford provista 7518 tripodDavis & Stanford Provista 7518 Tripod

For what we do, we need a very sturdy tripod. There are many different types, but the type that is built for a studio setting is what we wanted.

Our cameras are relatively light and really benefit from a sturdy tripodAlso, if we ever get a camera that is more than 5 pounds, it will be safer to keep it balanced with the heavy tripod.

Available at Amazon | B&H Photo

Transcend 16GBTranscend class 10 Memory


These are pretty much the industry standard when it comes to media to record on.

Available at Amazon | B&H Photo

Black Rapid RS Sport SlimBlack Rapid RS Sport Slim Shoulderstrap

from time to time we need to take the camer off the tripod or Mono Pod and the the Black rapid RS Slim sport strap is the perfect strap to keep the camera safe and accessible

Amazon | B&H Photo





Audio Technica ATR3350Pro Audio Lavalier Microphone


We found a great, wired, lavaliere microphone. For the money, it is one of the best you can get. This is assuming you have a human subject that you want direct sound from. Otherwise you will want to pick out a unidirectional microphone. The camera we use has a 5.1 microphone built in.

Zoom H4NZoom H4N for on site and studio audio

this is a great device

Audio Technica AT2020Audio Technica AT2020 USB for Voice-over

You need a microphone. If you are going for quality with your videos, you definitely need to keep the sound well maintained. The best way to accomplish that is by having a mic that picks up sound with minimal background noise and process different volumes without distortion.


Bose Quiet Comfort HeadphonesBose Noise Canceling Headphones

Almost everyone has heard of Bose.  These headphones really come in handy when listening to audio both as it is being recorded and in post production

Available at Amazon | B&H Photo

Samson CH700Samson CH700 Studio Reference Headphones

Hearing your sound before you shoot is like a small gift from the video gods. After years of video, most professional videographers will tell you that hearing the sound BEFORE you shoot, saves a lot of time a resources.

It is necessary to have great headphones to hear sound. Especially for people new to video. Once you have a feel for what kind of flaws can happen, a trained ear can pick it up rather quickly. A professional videographer would tell you to always check your levels and make sure the sound will playback well on a computer.


If you’re a photographer or artist, you understand just how much lighting affects an image. Getting this right takes practice, but is also very logical. Not sure where to start? Just make sure you can see all the detail in your subject. As a rule of thumb, you should never have an absolute black or white (unless it’s purposeful). Detail in the shadows and highlights are what most people will miss

Alzo Digital Pan L LiteAlzo Digital Pan L Lights

These are a great alternative to the expensive KinoFlo lights.  We have sets of these lights that are primarily used to light the backdrop.  They get the light nice and even and the barn doors give us all of the direcitonal control needed.

We purchased these lights as a set which included the lights / stands / carrying case and all needed cables.

Available at AlzoDigital

PB Softboxes

Our set up includes a set (2) of 1000 watt fluorescent lights that light up a pure white background (That we purposefully overexpose to absolute white. Like the Apple commercials).

To light the subject we use a set (2) of 200 watt flourescent lights with diffuser umbrellas.


For our background we bought a kit. It came with adjustable width support beam that allows us to set up anywhere from 3 ft to 12 ft background. It also came with 3 clothes: White, Black and Green. We think this is a great because it gives us an easy way to get our ‘infinite’ white background while having the option for black or any other color (using the green clothe as a greenscreen to key in any color we want).

Computers and Software

For computers and editing we chose items that streamline the process. Also, we wanted something that reminds us to keep things simple. When you shoot a professional video, it becomes easy to get carried away in editing; spending to much time editing minor details that will be overlooked by a majority of the audience.

MacPro with 4 monitors.

Apple Macbook Air13" Macbook Air

This is very helpful when reviewing video or Pictures on location. The computer is solid state with not moving parts, powerful, small and light weight.  Perfect to carry around and use on location.

Crumpler Macbook Air FUGCrumpler 13" FUG Protective Sleeve

With the Macbook Air you need something to help protect it.  This is where the Crumpler Fug comes in.  It is a protective sleeve made of neoprene.  It is very well made and fits like a glove check our our full Crumpler Macbook Air Review.


Screen Capture - ScreenFlow Pro

Also, we wanted software that allows us to easily capture video from a computer screen for making tutorials (Called “Screen Capturing”). The software we found to accomplish this is called ‘Screenflow’. It is Mac only software. If you’re using Windows we have heard good things about Camtasia.

Screenflow as worked very well for us for the most part. At it’s early stages of use we had trouble using imported movies. It will handle most formats well, but take note that it is primarily built as a screen capture editing software.

Video Post-Production
Post-Production is a fancy term for the work that is done to the video after shooting. Editing, color correcting, sound effects, etc... are all considered post-production.

Transfer video to computer
Modern cameras, like the Sony HDR-550V that we have, use a USB cable to transfer files to the computer.

Organize clips
As soon as you get the files to your computer, it is good to sort through the files and rename them so they can be found quickly for editing. Some editing programs will let you enter in ‘logging info’ which allows you to keep important details inside the file. Renaming the file names works just as well.

Re-encode files if needed
Because we use an editor that works primarily as a computer screen capturing software (Screenflow), it takes a little more effort to get the raw video files into the program. We use a encoding software like, Handbreak and Quicktime to get the files to format that is compatible with Screenflow.

Edit video
Once we have the clips shot and imported into our video editor, we use a template that we created. We drop in the new clips, make appropriate cuts, adjust color, sound, etc..., and add product information to the title screens.

After editing the video is reviewed and simple adjustments are made and final touches are added.

We export the video at 720p using the Quicktime h.264 codec. This compresses the video to a small file size while preserving the quality of the video. There are settings that can make the file size very small, but you will lose quality in the compression.

On the export of our file we upload it to youtube and embed the video on our site. It’s a quick process compared to who many high-end production houses work. If you have more questions about video please contact us!

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