If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, what’s a moving picture worth? Blog World 2009 speaker Cali Lewis of GeekBrief.tv posed that question at the convention yesterday, and it really made me think…
The answer depends on the quality of the video, right?
I’m on a mission to improve the quality of my videos (not just for the blog, but for home/travel videos too), so I sought out the sessions on video yesterday and took copious notes.
Tip 1: Write a script
When it comes to video, material trumps production quality, but watch any random 10 videos on YouTube, and what do most of them have in common? According to Sara and Lee O’Donnell, the couple behind Average Betty, the most popular short-form food entertainment web series online, most of them weren’t made with a script.
It doesn’t have to be fancy — even a few notes scribbled on index cards — but working from an outline or script can really make your videos stand out.
Tip 2: Choosing the right camcorder
“Buy a camera with the biggest lens, best glass and best sensor you can afford,” says Cali. Of course, that’s more for professional setups. Serious home movie makers and beginning web videographers might take a look at the Kodak Zi8 (about $180). Not only does it shoot in 1080p high definition video, but it’s image stabilized (less shaky in your hands) and has an external microphone jack (more on that later), too.
If you’re willing to spend more, both Cali and the O’Donnells mentioned the $550 Canon VIXIA HF200 HD Flash Memory Camcorder. It can do everything the Kodak Zi8 can do, does it better and does more.
For help choosing a camcorder, check out camcorderinfo.com.
Tip 3: Use an external microphone
Poor audio can ruin even the highest quality videos, and the microphones built into most small camcorders just aren’t very good. They struggle to capture clear voices more than a few feet away from them, and they tend to pick up too much background noise outside.