Chris Recommends

*Disclaimer: We have not necessarily used the specific equipment listed here, but they seem well reviewed and they hit the right price point as of publishing. They may not be up-to-date. We make no guarantees or assertions of any kind and your experience may differ. We may receive an affiliate commission if you purchase. We welcome your feedback so we can fine tune our recommendations.

Audio

“We’re in a visual industry so we might be forgiven for less-than-perfect audio, but you know what? We aren’t forgiven. If you can’t understand what I’m saying, you’ll get frustrated and check out. And if you paid money to be there, you may never forgive me. Get it right the first time: make sure you’re in a quiet environment, use wireless earbuds or a professional lav, and make sure your batteries are fully charged.”

  • operates as a clip-on microphone or beltpack transmitter for a lavalier/headset microphone
  • built-in omnidirectional condenser microphone delivers broadcast-quality sound
  • all-new Series III 2.4GHz digital wireless transmission with 128-bit encryption designed to deliver crystal clear audio under any conditions, even in locations with dense Wi-Fi and Bluetooth activity like shopping malls, conventions, hotels etc
  • up to 70m range (line-of-sight), but optimized for shorter-range operation in congested radio-frequency environments
  • easily connects to your device via USB or 1/8″ adaptor

Backdrop

“The right background is important. You want attention on you, not on your family pictures or whatever’s going on outside. A nice neutral non-wrinkled backdrop will keep focus on you, and with the right lighting your camera won’t lose any of the details of your work.”

  • 10′ adjustable muslin backdrop stand
  • easy set up and store
  • lightweight aluminum 3-stage tripods
  • premium quality interlocking support bars (4 pcs)
  • height adjustable: min 2.7 ft. to max 9.4 ft.
  • width adjustable: min 5 ft. to max 10 ft.
  • spring clamps included (4 pcs)
  • premium quality carry bag
  • 10′ adjustable muslin backdrop stand
  • easy set up and store
  • lightweight aluminum 3-stage tripods
  • premium quality interlocking support bars (4 pcs)
  • height adjustable: min 2.7 ft. to max 9.4 ft.
  • width adjustable: min 5 ft. to max 10 ft.
  • spring clamps included (4 pcs)
  • premium quality carry bag

Lighting

“Thousands of pages have been written about lighting. Thousands of hours of video. Cinematographers obsess over it. We try to keep it simple: you want enough light, but not too much. Today’s smart cameras will try to brighten what they think is a dark scene, so a dark background may trick your camera into overexposing your subject. And the inverse happens if your background is too bright. To make sure the camera auto-exposes for you and not the background, make sure your subject (you + your work) fills more than 50% of the screen. Also, high contrast lighting will cast dark shadows which hide your work (and make you look older). You beat that by using multiple light sources, and by making those sources big and diffuse (or “soft”). A wide source, like a picture window, makes for soft shadows. You can accomplish a similar thing by diffusing smaller bright sources. For more about basic video lighting there’s a good short explainer with some easy setups over here.”

  • 2x 600XB bi-color LED panels
  • 3200K to 5600K with 95+ CRI color accuracy
  • 15.7″ x 15.5″ x 3″
  • easy lighting adjustment controls
  • 2x light stands: spring cushioned, hold up to 9 lbs, and reach a maximum height of 8’3″
  • 2x barn door sets: control the light spread and direct it exactly where you want it
  • 2x filter sets: clear to protect the LEDs; and opaque for a softer light
  • 2x AC power adapters: multi-voltage for use anywhere in the world
  • 2x LED panel carrying bags