All the gear mentioned below can be checked out from the IT service desk on the first floor of the library building. Bolded items are the easiest and simplest items to create a video with (items vetted by Ben W. '16).
Canon Vixia: Point and shoot handheld. Easy to use, easy to upload. Will shoot in 1080p and give you mediocre audio straight from the camera's microphone. Its benefit over the smartphone is that it's a designated camera, it allows for easy file transfer, and it has an attachment for a tripod mount on the bottom. This is a good option if you're not trying to be fancy.
Canon t5i: The DSLR option. This camera gives you creative control over all the camera settings, in particular depth of field and exposure. This means you can get better looking footage, but it's at the cost of knowing how to use the camera and taking that little bit of extra time to think about your settings and test them. The audio out of the mic on the camera body isn't going to be good and you'll definitely need to use an external microphone.
Cell Phone: Any easy option for anyone with a smartphone. A phone has slo-mo, high res video, and pretty good audio straight out of the box. This makes it easy to use. One suggestion is to make sure you stabilize the shot somehow: when handheld, lighter cameras show more shake. Whether you find a phone tripod or use a table, having stable footage will make your video much more enjoyable.
Microphones come in a lot of different shapes, sizes, and directions of recording.
Blue Yeti & Snowball Microphones
Are you doing voiceover? Then these are probably for you. The Yeti and Snowball sit on your desk and connect to your computer via USB, recording to software on your computer. You can sit in front of your computer, read your script, and record your voice. These two mics probably aren't how you want to do interview audio unless you're going for the radio look.
Rhode Shotgun Mic
If you're recording audio while shooting video, this is your best option. If you're looking to get the sounds from the subject you are recording, the shotgun will do the job. It shoots directionally, meaning if you point it away from the noise source it won't pick it up—so make sure it stays pointed at your subject with your camera. Shotgun mics have a shoe that will attach to the top of most cameras.
Digital Voice Recorder
This handheld mic is going to work pretty well for just about anything. It records semi-directionally with good quality, is easy to move around, and can be separate from your camera. If you're trying to be fancy, recording the shotgun mic's audio onto this recorder via AUX cable will give you some of the cleanest audio you can get.
You can't really go wrong here. If the tripod is steady and holds your camera, it will do the job.
The IT service desk has two brand choices available that are very similar.
Neither of these will fit a smartphone.
Further questions about gear or filming?!
Contact Justin Counts in IT!