Finally, if you record in your room or office, you might still be able to get away with using a webcam, just as long as it’s a good one. Logitech’s Brio sets the standard for 4K webcams, in much the same way that the Logitech C922 did for HD video before it. These are best used for things like overlays on Twitch streams (where you don’t need as high a resolution, so you can fudge it a bit), but if you’re on a budget a good webcam and some decent lights can do wonders.
Have a Plan to Handle Your Audio
We’ve already got a full guide on how to level up your audio recording setup, but if you’re planning to shoot video, it’s important to give some consideration to your audio situation. For starters, the audio interface that’s best for you might be different if you plan to change where you record.
While most home audio recording setups will use an audio interface that sits on your desk, a portable interface like the Zoom H6 (which I use) gives you the freedom to use any mic you need without being tied to a desk. It can record audio directly to an SD card, but can also pass the audio out to your camera’s input. Using this method can be tricky, but if you get it to work right, you can sometimes save yourself the hassle of syncing audio in post. And if not, you’ll always have the regular recording on your portable recorder.
Use an External Monitor to Review (or Record) Your Footage
If you shoot alone or have a complex setup, it might not be enough to look at the display on your camera to see how your shot looks. This is where an external monitor can come in handy. If your camera supports HDMI output, you can run the live video output to a small display that you can use to check to make sure everything looks good. It might seem silly buying an external monitor for your camera, but you’ll thank yourself when you catch a shot that’s out of focus before you record instead of after.
Some monitors also allow you to record the video output from your camera, which offloads the most strenuous part of recording. If you have a DSLR that’s prone to overheating, recording on an external monitor can sometimes let it run a lot longer, which can save you huge amounts of time during your recording sessions. Just keep in mind that some cameras put overlays (including things like battery level and camera info) in their video outputs, so make sure you turn these off before accidentally including them as part of the video you record.
Give Yourself Plenty of Storage On Your Editing Machine
One trick I like to use when making my videos is shooting in 4K, even though I edit in 1080p. This lets me crop in or reframe shots in post without getting that pixelated, choppy look. The downside? It means every video I shoot—even though it’s all going to be in 1080p in the end—is shot in data-gobbling 4K. It’s a massive increase in data use just for this technique.
So I recommend getting some extra hard drives.
Traditional style HDDs will give you tons of space for comparatively less money. However, it’s also a good idea to use an SSD, at the very least for your system drive, where all your editing apps are stored. SSDs load data much faster, and if you’re planning to edit 4K footage, you need all the speed you can get (or else learn how to make proxy files). If you can get an SSD to use for the project you’re currently editing and HDDs for archiving footage, then all the better.
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