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Question :
I am looking to take short video for use on my charitable organisation’s social media feeds. I will put in a funding request for a suitable video camera and am seeking advice about the best one to buy. Also the best video editing software for a lay person to use. Thanks so much for any and all advice. 

Question submitted 28/05/20 @ 12:36pm
Industry: Digital and Technology
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  • Morena Joanna – let me ask the team at Manaaki – a number of the team have personal equipment for their side projects – will get you some suggestions, Nga Mihi, Hammy

    The staples of a basic video and editing set up are camera, audio, lights and a laptop or desktop computer with editing software. So let’s start with the camera, a lot of people over-spend here because they think they need a camera thats more expensive than whats actually required for the type of footage you’re going to be producing.

    Most amateurs go with a DSLR which can shoot video and photos, both Canon and Sony make good versions of these. The big benefit with these cameras is that you can change the lenses to get different looks and styles of image. Photogear have great range:

    https://photogear.co.nz/shop-by-department/cameras-lenses/dslr-cameras/

    Once you’ve selected a camera you’ll need an audio set up if you intend to capture decent audio. Basically your two options here are for a shotgun mic, or a lapel mic. A shotgun is going to enable greater flexibility, while a lapel will be better for interview type situations:

    https://photogear.co.nz/shop-by-department/audio/on-camera-microphones/
    https://photogear.co.nz/shop-by-department/audio/wireless-microphones/

    In terms of lighting you want a basic portable three light kit that you can use in a range of situations, LED panel lights are the basic go to and can be used for most interview scenarios:

    https://photogear.co.nz/aputure-amaran-hr672-3-point-light-kit-2-flood-1-spot-daylight/

    Computer: If you’re shooting high res imagery like 4k and creating videos any longer than a couple of minutes in duration you’re probably going to want to go with a desktop computer, if you’re looking for flexibility and you’re aiming to produce shorter social media type content then a Macbook Pro is probably gonna do the job. In both instances you’ll need to spec the machine so it has enough ram, memory and a good graphics card. A lot of amateurs get caught out here when building their production kit because they under spec their machine and it ends being way to slow and editing becomes a nightmare.

    Editing Software:
    You have two choices here Final Cut or Adobe Premiere. I personally prefer Premiere as you can sign up for a mthly fee and I’m pretty sure they have special pricing for social enterprise and NFP. But basically if comes down to preference. Premiere has the benefit of being part of the Adobe Creative Suite of Applications which include After Effects and Photoshop etc. Best bet is to go online and watch a bunch of tutorials on both to find out which one you prefer then download the trial versions and have a play.

    Good luck

    Thanks so much for such a fulsome reply. I very much appreciate all the detail and that gives me plenty to work with.
    What a great service.

    Hi Joanna – my contacts on Twitter also added:
    1) Davinici Resolve is great – free version does pretty much anything you could need. iPhone will be fine if you don’t need cinema quality or specialty lenses.
    2) iPhone and a decent gimbal does the trick.
    3) Go Pro or iPhone and edits with iPhone splice app.

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