In case you wanted to record yoga videos or other instructional videos for YouTube or sites like Vimeo, I wanted to document ALL of the details around video, audio and lighting that I use. I had a ton of trial and error over the span of a year in figuring this out. So if this helps to save time for someone, then I am happy to type up this info and share it.
Please note, depending on how you want to record, you can utilize your existing cell phone, gather lamps from around your home and not use a wireless microphone. This is just the route I took since I wanted to make high quality content and I knew this is how I wanted to teach going forward. Everything listed below was a huge investment, it was close to $2000 in total. (Even just to use Vimeo is $240 per year) I want to be blunt and honest about the cost of AV equipment since it is important to figure out if this is just something you want to try or if you are certain that you will be doing this for years to come.
Camera = Canon EOS M50
- Important note for all cameras, there is a limit to the length it will record video. This camera is around 29 minutes and then it turns off. This happens with most mirrorless digital cameras. If you really want to record for longer, there are ways around it like some Sony and Panasonic Lumix (which I believe records for 100 minutes). If I researched before buying, I may have gone instead with the Panasonic Lumix. I just knew I enjoyed Canon before and wanted a camera that I could use for recording yoga videos but also one that I would enjoy for photography.
- How do I get around the 29 min limit? I like the camera as close to me as possible when filming. So after positioning the tripod, I record the warm-up part of the class near the floor. I stop the recording when I am in a paused position (child’s pose, seated, etc). Then I move my tripod further away and up higher and pick up from that same position (as close as possible) and continue from there. The final part is ending downward facing dog, malasana or a seated position and stopping for a final time. I move the tripod to the original spot and film the cool down close to the floor. I end up making 3 pieces of video that I need to edit and then paste together for a full yoga class.
- Memory card = SanDisk Extreme Pro, 128GB
- Lens = The kit lens is 15mm-45mm which has aperture of f3.5. I went with a new lens since I wanted the f2.0 aperture since my videos were too dark. I wanted them light and bright. The lens I purchased separately is the 22mm and it is a very small pancake type lens. It is easy to manually adjust to get a clear picture and I can get my f2.0 aperture, meaning more light gets into the lens to achieve the brighter image. However, the downside is that now I needed more distance between myself and the camera. So if I stayed with the kit lens of 15mm, I could get away with having the camera literally closer to me. With the 22mm lens, I had to move the tripod further away from me. Currently the distance is 9 feet from the camera to the middle of my yoga mat when I am recording low to the ground. When I am seated in a chair or standing, I have to move the tripod back even further, about another 1.5 feet.
- Shooting Mode (select manual mode, otherwise while you are moving, the camera auto-focused too often)
- Shooting mode = Manual
- In order to have a balance of video quality, but also not have too large of a file size, I selected FHD 23.98P
- ISO speed is set to 100
- In order to make the picture bright (aka pull more light into the lens), I adjusted this on the touchscreen to F2.0 which is the aperture. Note you may or may not need this depending on the level of light in your room. Again, I could only get this with the separately purchased 22mm lens.
- White balance = Daylight
Audio = Rode Wireless Go
- I had to make some adjustments since directly out of the box when connecting to the camera, there was a loud white noise sound in the background. Very noticeable when I was silent.
- Receiver = Connected via the cable provided to the mic input (3.5mm) on the camera. Note that I had to adjust the receiver setting labeled “dB” button to the medium volume. The unit itself sits on top of the camera.
- Transmitter = Nothing to do here but turn it on and clip it to my top while recording.
- Camera settings =
- Sound recording = Manual
- Rec. level = I moved this to be one quarter of the way from the left
- I don’t recall changing this but the other setting was under wind filter/attenuator and the setting for attenuator is set to enable.
- Side Note = If you want to utilize this wireless microphone with your cell phone, you can do that as well. You just need to purchase an additional cable which is different than the one you use with your camera. The cable is Rode SC7 which is a TRS to TRRS Patch Cable. One end is gray (that is the one that connects to your cell phone’s headphone jack) and the other end is black (connects to Rode receiver). Note that not all cell phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so this might not work with yours.
- 2 light boxes from brand Fovitec. They are on adjustable stands but I tend to leave them at the same height if I am filming seated or standing. The top of the rectangle light box is the same height as the top of my shoulder.
- I went with the 2000W Fluorescent Studio Lighting Kit on Amazon. 20 by 28 inch softboxes, 10 bulbs, 2 light stands.
- The important thing about this kit, not only does it come with the 2 lights, but each of them holds 5 light bulbs so I get a large amount of light from each box.
- Plus, the unit has three switches on the back so I can turn on 1, 2 or all 5 light bulbs at the same time. So depending on your room, you can adjust the light intensity.
- I always film with all 5 light bulbs running (aka all three switches turned on).
- The bulbs are very large 45W fluorescents.
Recording with the help of a Computer Monitor
- When filming, I cannot see the small camera screen, even though it does flip outward to the side.
- I am around 10 feet away so I cannot see the timer for recording or if I am in focus or not.
- I use a computer monitor (I went with Dell) and hooked up via HDMI on the back of the monitor to the mirco HDMI on the camera. So when I am filming, the image goes to the computer monitor instead of the camera monitor.
- I just had to buy a cable which is micro HDMI to HDMI to connect the two together.
- Note that if you want to play back a recording, you can use the monitor to view the video. But you will not hear the sound since the monitor does not have speakers. So to check the video and audio together, unhook the HDMI cable and play the video back to check both the video and audio together via the camera touchscreen.
- When editing, I trim the video to remove the start and end. Meaning the part where I am going up to the camera to start and stop recording. I then use OpenShot Video Editor to piece the videos together.