I’ve always enjoyed making videos and recording things, and with the current lockdown there’s a lot more opportunity to use video and audio to communicate with folks. In particular in my role as the president of the board of our regional trail running non-profit. In the past couple weeks we’ve done some videos to promote a virtual run that we’re doing, and it gave me a chance to try out some tools I haven’t used before.
I’ve had my Sony mirrorless camera for a long time now, but it’s only recently that I’ve been using it more and more for video. I have a beautiful 50mm/f1.8 lens that gives amazing results in just about any lighting condition, with a great bokeh to the background. I’ve been using this for my “talking head” segments in the videos.
iPhone 11 Pro
What can I say about the iPhone 11 Pro except that it’s an amazing camera and video tool. The video it takes is great for something that fits in your pocket and that you can take anywhere. I used the iPhone for the on-the-trail shots in the video and it worked great. I know a lot of people prefer a GoPro, but I haven’t broken down and gotten one of those yet. Maybe sometime soon, but for now the iPhone works just fine.
Blue Yeti Microphone
One of the biggest improvements to my video quality is a good microphone. For a while I was borrowing my son’s Yeti, but finally broke down and got my own when it was on sale last week. This thing is amazing, and I can’t believe how good the quality is from something that’s just over $100. If I ever get more into podcasting, this mic will be key.
For videos, what I’m actually doing is using a USB adapter to plug the mic into my iPhone and then recording the audio on the Voice Memo’s app. It’s a quick and dirty solution to get better audio quality than I can get from my Sony’s built-in mic. I use a simple clap to sync the audio later in post production.
DaVinci Resolve 16
Since my current iMac is too old to run Final Cut X, I had to use what I could, and that led me to DaVinci Resolve 16. I had heard great things about this tool, and when I finally tried it out, I understood why. It’s pretty quick to pick up and learn, especially if you’ve worked with video tools before, but it’s got incredible depth. The free version is good for most basic usage, and if I ever needed to get more in-depth, the $300 version would cover anything I could ever need. I’ve only scratched the surface though and I’m super happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish.
So that’s what I’ve been using to keep myself busy with some new creative outlets. I’ve got another project for my trail organization coming up soon, and then I need to start working on more videos for St Croix 40, and hopefully eventually Fire Tower.