Home Frequently Asked Questions How Do I Make My Videos? My Camera Gear etc.

How Do I Make My Videos? My Camera Gear etc.

by Derek Cullen

What camera, recording and editing equipment do I use?

Here’s what I will cover in this post:

  • Cameras
  • Audio Recorder and Microphones
  • Mavic Mini Drone
  • Tripods
  • My Computer and Editing Equipment
  • Lights, Background etc in my new Home Studio

You can check out my exact microphone here

My Camera – Canon G7X Mark II

I bought the Canon G7X Mark II a few months before I started my hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m about to replace this camera with the newer model (G&X Mark iii) because this one is in very poor condition due to so much rough ‘n’ tumble on my trips. I did buy a Canon M50 recently but it’s a little too big/inconvenient for the way I like to use my camera and so before using that camera, I’ve decided to send it back and exchange for a new Canon G7X Mark iii.

Some things I like about it: Small size, quality video, good in-built stabilisation, good sound, flip screen.

Some things I don’t like about it: No output for external mic, you can sometimes hear the lens/sensor adjusting while recording.

Check out my exact camera here

Backup Camera – iPhone 7

I often use my smartphone for taking photos and making short videos. It’s not as good as the Canon for cinematic shots etc.

Check out the iPhone 7 here

My Drone – Mavic Mini

I haven’t had a proper chance to use my drone. But at this price-point, I felt the Mavic Mini was decent value and worth having for occasional shots from the air.

Some things I like about it: Small size, quality video, good in-built stabilisation, affordable.

Something I don’t like about it: Too light to fly when its’ windy.

Check out my drone here

My Vlogging Tripod – Polarduck Mini Tripod

I recently picked up this tiny Polarduck tripod and really loving it so far. It’s very versatile and reasonably durable. At such a small price-tag, I think this is a nice little piece of kit for anyone that likes to shoot on the go.

Tall Tripod – Amazon Basics 60-Inch Tripod

I’m kinda lazy when it comes to setting up a tripod. But occasionally, I need this tall one to capture a specific shot. It’s very light which means the tripod can tip-over quite easily – especially in the wind – so be careful with it!

Check out the Amazon basics tripod here

Zoom H1N1 Audio Recorder

I have started recording my video and sound separately. It takes a lot more effort in terms of logistics and editing but it’s worth it. This is because the sound from a purpose-built audio recorder is far better which makes a big difference when it comes to recording the sounds of nature. The Zoom H1N1 is on the beginners end but it’s small, lightweight and easy-to-use.

Something I don’t like about it: It takes AAA batteries that run out pretty quickly.

Important note: You need this cable to use a rode mic with the Zoom H1N1.

Check out the Zoom H1N1 here

Rode Smartlav Microphone

I’ve started “lavalier” (clip-on microphone) which also takes the sound to the next level for a podcast or video. While I have yet to use this mic outdoors, it will reduce the amount of interference caused by the wind. I also have a cheaper version – the Boya lavalier – but I have yet to use them enough to say which one is better. The Rode smartlav gets better reviews.

Important note: You need the Rode SC3 cable (adapter) to use a rode mic with the Zoom H1N1.

Check out the Rode Smartlav Mic here

My Portable Video Editing Device & Software

iPad Mini 4 & iMovie

Believe it or not, I have been using an iPad Mini 4 and the free version of iMovie to edit all of my videos since 2017. It’s great for editing on the trail and can handle basic tasks like putting clips together or adding music etc. However, I’ve also been using this iPad at home because I simply couldn’t afford anything more/better. I’ve always wanted something more powerful.

Some things I like about it: Easy to carry on the trail, surprisingly good for editing simple videos, last a long time!

Some things I don’t like about it: Limited editing capabilities and my iPad mini will often crash in the midst of editing and sometimes wipe out several hours of work.

Check out my exact iPad mini here

My Home Editing Machine and Software

Mac Mini with Apple M1 Chip

(16GB Unified memory & 500GB SSD Storage)

I’ve been watching a lot of videos recently about the best laptops/systems for video editing. Most of the new iMacs and MacBooks were out of my budget but the new Mac Mini offers an incredible performance for much less. It’s still very expensive and a large chunk of my savings but I had to look at this purchase as an investment in myself. As for the editing software, I have started using the free 3-month trial for Final Cut Pro.

Check out the Mac Mini here

Portable Hardrive – WD 1TB Elements

I used to keep all of my videos, photos and files on my laptop which eventually slowed down the performance. From now on, I will be using this portable hardrive to store my videos etc and try to keep as much space as possible on the Mac Mini to ensure the system is fast and working properly.

Check out the hardrive here

My Home Studio Setup

White Brickwall Backdrop

I use this polyester backdrop to create a nice background inside the cottage. You might think that any auld wall is good enough but that’s rarely the case.

Check out this backdrop here

Photography Backdrop Stand

You need a reliable and sturdy setup to keep a backdrop in place. I’ve seen video creators using hooks on a wall etc and that also seems to work.

Check out this backdrop stand here

10″ Ring Light on a Tall Stand

This light is placed behind the camera and at a 45-degree angle to my face.

Check out this ring light here

Softbox Photography Light

This light is used for the rest of the room and will be used in my next video.

Check out this soft box light here

That’s it, folks!

Any questions? Let me know in the comment section below as I rarely have time to respond to emails.

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