Written by StreamYard
The Video Podcast Equipment Guide For Every Budget
High-quality equipment for your video podcast is important for 3 key reasons:
- Professionalism: High-quality video and audio equipment can lend an air of professionalism to your video podcast, making it more appealing to both viewers and potential sponsors.
- Competitive edge: Let’s face it: The podcasting landscape is rather crowded. So, having superior production quality can set yours apart from the competition’s and increase the likelihood of your content gaining traction.
- Audience trust: A polished presentation with top-notch equipment will help you build trust and credibility, signaling your commitment to delivering valuable content for your audience.
So, let's delve into the various types of equipment required for video podcasting so you can make a better-informed choice that also aligns with your budget and content goals.
When it comes to video podcasting, choosing the right camera can make a huge difference in audience satisfaction because it will directly impact the visual quality of your episodes.
There are three main types of cameras that are suitable for video podcasting (that is, apart from your standard iPhone, Android, iPad, or small Bluetooth camera): DSLR, mirrorless, and camcorders. Let’s go through each in some mode detail.
Option 1: DSLR Cameras
DSLR (or Digital Single-Lens Reflex) cameras are quite a popular choice among many video podcasters. The main reason is that they offer excellent image quality, interchangeable lenses for versatility, and manual controls for customization.
DSLRs often provide a cinematic look and are capable of capturing high-definition video.
Option 2: Mirrorless Cameras
Mirrorless cameras share many characteristics with DSLR ones but are generally considered more compact and lightweight. They still offer great image quality, though, and in many cases, also offer interchangeable lenses and advanced autofocus systems.
Mirrorless cameras have become increasingly popular for video podcasting because they are portable and versatile.
Option 3: Camcorders
Dedicated camcorders are designed for video recording, too. However, they are much more compact, easy to use, and tend to come with features like built-in microphones and image stabilization.
While camcorders may have a smaller sensor compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, they are a pretty straightforward option for video podcasters, especially those who prioritize simplicity.
Bottom line: DSLR Cameras vs Mirrorless Cameras vs Camcorders
One of the main factors when choosing your camera will be your budget. The budget will significantly influence your choice because, while DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can range from affordable entry-level models to high-end professional options, camcorders offer a more budget-friendly choice (that is also better than simply using a webcam!).
Keep in mind that your video quality will be greatly affected by your camera’s resolution and sensor size. For example, a higher resolution (like 4K) will provide you with sharper and more detailed footage, and a larger sensor allows for better low-light performance and shallow depth of field - both of which will result in a more professional-looking podcast recording.
Before you select your camera, it’s a good idea to assess your needs based on the type of content you produce. Also, if you opt for DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, consider the range of lenses available for your chosen system. So, ensure the camera system you choose has a selection of lenses that suit your needs.
Best Cameras for Live Streaming and Recording
If you're looking for budget-friendly options, here are some good models:
- Canon EOS Rebel T7i (DSLR): An affordable entry-level DSLR known for its good image quality and ease of use.
- Panasonic Lumix G7 (Mirrorless): Offers 4K video recording, making it a great budget option for high-resolution video.
Some mid-range choices include:
- Sony Alpha a6400 (Mirrorless): Known for excellent autofocus and 4K video quality.
- Canon EOS 90D (DSLR): This will give you impressive video capabilities and compatibility with a wide range of Canon lenses.
And lastly, some high-end picks:
- Sony Alpha a7 III (Mirrorless): A versatile full-frame camera with excellent video features and image quality.
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (Cinema Camera): Designed specifically for video, this camera offers exceptional video quality and professional-level features.
In the realm of video podcasting, audio quality is as paramount as what you do with the image. So, a crystal-clear and rich audio experience can help you properly engage your audience and deliver a professional podcast.
There are various types of microphones that are suitable for podcasting. Mics matter because clear, high-quality audio keeps your audience engaged and prevents them from tuning out due to distracting background noise or poor sound quality. But that’s not all! Good audio quality also signals professionalism and dedication.
Remember: Your content's message and value depend on your audience's ability to hear and understand it. So, whenever possible, you should aim to give them a pleasant listening experience!
There are three main types of external microphones that are ideal for content creators doing video podcasting. These are condenser, dynamic, and shotgun mics.
Option 1: Condenser Microphones
Condensers are quite renowned for their sensitivity and ability to capture a wide frequency range. They especially excel at recording vocals and subtle nuances in sound and are often used in studio settings where ambient noise can be controlled.
Option 2: Dynamic Microphones
Dynamic microphones are durable and versatile, as well as less sensitive than condenser microphones. This makes them ideal for recording in environments with background noise - the reason why dynamic mics are commonly used for beginners and those recording live broadcasts and interviews.
Option 3: Shotgun Microphones
Shotguns have a pickup pattern that is long and narrow, so they are more suitable for capturing sound that is coming from a specific direction. This makes them a good choice for video production experts who want to capture targeted audio while minimizing background noise as well.
Bottom line: Condenser Microphones vs Dynamic Microphones vs Shotgun Microphones
When it's time to choose a mic, the first thing you should do is (just like we did with video cameras, but a little different) assess your recording environment. For example, if you have a controlled and quiet studio setup, condenser microphones may give you superior audio quality. In noisier environments or for on-the-go recording, dynamic microphones can be more suitable.
Microphones have different polar patterns, which determine their sensitivity to sound from various directions. Common polar patterns include cardioid (front-facing), omnidirectional (all-around), and shotgun (highly directional). You should always choose a pattern that matches your recording needs.
Lastly, consider how the microphone will connect to the rest of your recording equipment. For instance, USB microphones are user-friendly and plug directly into computers, while XLR microphones offer higher audio quality but require audio interfaces or mixers for connectivity.
Best Microphones for Audio Recording and Podcasting
Unlike we did with the cameras, we will make some suggestions based on your setup. So, if you have a controlled environment, some good options include:
If you work in a noisy environment, you could try the following:
And if you’re looking for a shotgun microphone, give these a go:
- Rode VideoMic Pro+: A popular choice for DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
- Sennheiser MKH 416: A high-end shotgun microphone often used in professional video production.
Lighting also plays a pivotal role in the world of video podcasting because it can seriously affect the overall quality and visual appeal of your content (even if you have the best camera and microphone!).
The importance of good lighting in video podcasting is all about ensuring that you and your surroundings are well-illuminated so viewers can see you clearly. Well-lit scenes enhance the video's visual quality while being consistent across episodes, creating a polished and reliable viewing experience for your audience.
Remember: Lighting can set the mood and atmosphere of your content. It can make you appear warm and inviting or create a dramatic effect! So, let's explore different types of lighting equipment suitable for video podcasting.
There are three main types of lighting equipment to consider. These are:
- Softbox lights: Softbox lights give you the ability to diffuse light evenly, reducing harsh shadows and creating a flattering, soft glow. They are versatile and commonly used in studio setups.
- Ring lights: Ring lights are circular lights that will give you even illumination from all angles. They are often used for portrait lighting and create a signature ring-shaped catchlight in the eyes, giving a pleasing, well-lit effect.
- LED panels: LED panels are energy-efficient and highly adjustable, allowing you to control the intensity and color temperature of the light. They come in various sizes and are suitable for different lighting scenarios.
When choosing lights, there are two main things to keep in mind: Color temperature and light positioning.
The color temperature of light is measured in Kelvin (K) and can vary from warm (e.g., 2700K, resembling indoor lighting) to cool (e.g., 5600K, resembling daylight). Consider the mood you want to convey and match the color temperature accordingly.
But the angle and positioning of your lights can also dramatically affect the look of your video. Key light (main light), fill light (to reduce shadows), and backlight (to separate you from the background) are common setups. Experiment to find the right balance for your specific setup.
If you need some recommendations, here are a few budget-friendly lighting options:
- Neewer 660 LED Video Light Kit: An affordable LED panel kit with adjustable color temperature and brightness.
- ESDDI Softbox Photography Lighting Kit: A cost-effective softbox lighting kit suitable for small to medium-sized spaces.
Some mid-range options are:
- Godox SL-60W LED Video Light: A versatile LED light with adjustable brightness and a Bowens mount for attaching modifiers.
- Elgato Ring Light: A popular ring light with adjustable color temperature and built-in diffusion for a soft, flattering glow.
And our high-end picks:
- Aputure AL-MW Mini LED Light: A compact yet powerful LED light with high brightness and waterproof capabilities.
- Kino Flo Diva-Lite LED Kit: A professional-grade LED kit known for its color accuracy and studio-quality lighting.
Tripods and Mounts
Let’s talk about tripods and mounts, those little helpers that can also make or break your podcast hosting.
Achieving stability and precise framing is really important when recording content. So, tripods and mounts are indispensable tools to capture steady, well-framed shots. In other words, they eliminate shaky footage caused by handholding, ensuring your videos look professional and polished.
These accessories enable you to set up your camera at the desired height, angle, and position, allowing for precise framing of your shots - a type of control that is crucial for maintaining consistency in your podcast's visual presentation.
More importantly, tripods and mounts free up your hands, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your podcast, like delivering content or engaging with your audience.
The main types of tripods and mounts are:
- Tripod stands: Stands are the most common type of camera support. They consist of three legs that can be adjusted for height and angle and are available in various sizes and materials, catering to different camera setups.
- Boom arms: Boom arms attach to a stationary base or a C-stand and extend horizontally. They are ideal for overhead shots, capturing unique angles, or positioning microphones and lighting equipment precisely.
- GorillaPods: These are flexible and bendable tripods with gripping legs that can be wrapped around objects like tree branches, poles, or railings. They provide versatile mounting options in various shooting environments.
Here are some of our recommended tripod and mount options. Our budget-friendly options:
- AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod: An affordable and compact tripod suitable for smaller cameras and mobile devices.
- Neewer C-Clamp Desktop Mount: A budget-friendly option for mounting cameras or microphones on tables or desks.
- Joby JB01507 GorillaPod 3K Kit: An accessible option to get started with a GorillaPod that opens up a ton of positioning options.
Some good mid-range options:
- Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum Tripod: A versatile and sturdy tripod with adjustable height and angle options.
- Rode PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm: A durable boom arm for precise microphone positioning.
And a couple of high-end ones:
- Benro BV10 Video Tripod Kit: A professional video tripod with a fluid head for smooth camera movements.
- K&M 23850 Microphone Desk Arm: A high-quality, adjustable microphone boom arm suitable for studio setups.
Lastly, accessories are the unsung heroes of video podcasting! Why? Simple. Products like pop filters and shock mounts help improve audio quality by reducing plosive sounds and handling noise, while lens filters or camera cases protect your equipment from dust, dirt, and damage, prolonging their lifespan no matter how much zoom you use!
Shock mounts are particularly popular among podcasters, as they are designed to isolate microphones from vibrations and handling noise. They are especially useful when using boom arms or handling microphones during recording, as they minimize the transfer of vibrations to the microphone.
Closed-back headphones can also be a good idea because you can use them to monitor audio in real-time. In fact, they help you detect and address any issues with sound quality, such as unwanted background noise or distortion.
Lastly, audio mixers are powerful tools for enhancing the quality and control of your video podcast. For example, an audio mixer will allow you to fine-tune audio levels, apply effects, and manage multiple audio sources.
Software and Editing Tools
We have covered the need for a good podcast microphone, camera, lights, and tripods. In the realm of video podcasting, though, the right software and editing tools can also be essential for crafting polished, professional episodes.
To ensure the best workflow, there are three main components to keep in mind: video recording, video editing, and audio editing. Let’s go through each, shall we?
- Video recording software: You will definitely need software to record your video podcasts and audio simultaneously. Ideally with a feature called "local recordings" to ensure maximum quality. Our recommendation is StreamYard, the easiest way to record video podcasts remotely from any device.
- Video editing software: Video editing software is crucial for assembling and fine-tuning your podcast episodes, too. These programs allow you to cut, arrange, and enhance your video and audio content.
- Audio editing software: While video editing software can handle audio to some extent, dedicated audio editing software offers more advanced tools for enhancing audio quality.
But did you know that there is one program that actually combines all of these AND can also be used directly in your browser? That’s right! Let us show you.
Combining All Capabilities In StreamYard
StreamYard is a professional all-in-one live-streaming and recording studio that includes several powerful tools.
For instance, you can record podcasts with remote guests and get separate audio and video files for each guest. We even have some basic built-in video-editing features like trimming & splitting so that you don't have to jump from app to app. You can even add your own branding — like your logo, colors, intros, and overlays.
So if you're looking to save time, start podcasting with StreamYard.
We have covered some of the best cameras, microphones, tripods, and accessories for producing high-quality live streaming and recorded content.
In terms of a camera, tripod, and microphone, you should remember that your choice should align with your specific podcasting needs and goals. So, it’s essential to consider factors like portability, audio inputs, and other features that may be relevant to your production setup. Additionally, investing in a quality pop filter or windscreen can further enhance your microphone's performance and reduce unwanted noise.
When choosing a lighting kit that can elevate the visual quality of your video podcast and enhance your professional image, consider your recording space, the type of content you create, and your budget.
However, hardware is just part of the equation — don’t forget software!
For optimal recording quality, try StreamYard!