Audio and video equipment is expensive. And it seems that as soon as we invest in it, something better is released with enhanced and more efficient features. But that’s not the only thing that adds to the cost—dedicated audio/video hardware often sits idle, dwindling the return on investment.
Investing in dedicated A/V equipment is not always a bad idea. The problem is that all too often, the investment is made too early. Just because we know that we need video to improve our practice or engage learners in different ways, doesn’t mean we have to go all in and buy all the latest A/V hardware. We can easily get started with the cameras we have in our pockets—our phones. Because today’s iPhones and iPads produce such high quality video, in many cases, we may never need to invest in more equipment. In addition, they can be used for other purposes, minimizing the time they sit idle, and therefore maximizing the ROI.
Their ability to run various apps extend their capabilities and usefulness. For example, our Vosaic app can help you mark important moments in the video as it is being recorded. It’s a functionality that would not be possible with traditional A/V equipment. Another benefit is that iPads, and other mobile devices, have been around for awhile now, and most of us are already familiar with their video recording capabilities. The learning curve to get up and running with them is practically non-existent. To get off on the right foot, the only thing missing is some video recording best practices.
Tripods allow you to have a steady shot from a height that ensures you have an unobstructed view of the subject.
Depending on your room layout you may require one of two types of tripod:
- A traditional tripod that stands on the floor, with an appropriate mount for a mobile device.
- A smaller tripod designed for mobile devices that sits on top of furniture.
If you don’t have a tripod, Ravelli Light Weight Aluminum Tripod with Universal Smartphone Mount is a great option.
If you already have a traditional tripod, you’ll need an iPhone or iPad mount for it. Vastar Universal Smartphone Adapter for iPhones is only about $8 on Amazon or Ulanzi iPad Tablet Tripod Mount is less than $10 on Amazon.
Your iPad footage will look best with when you shoot with lots of light. If your room has windows place your device in front of them, or next to them. Avoid shooting into the window as that will result in backlit footage. Even with a natural light source it’s recommended that you turn on any additional lights available to you. Just make sure to check your footage for over/underexposure and adjust the placement of the device and/or light sources until you have the best result.
Depending on how well your voice projects through the room, the iPhone will pick-up the sound pretty well. To save money, you can certainly start recording without a microphone, however you’ll get much better results by investing in a mic.
Apple AirPods are great for getting a good quality audio for your videos. But there are also other options.
For example, Sony ECMAW4 Wireless Microphone has worked great for Vosaic customers. Important: In order for this mic to work with mobile devices you’ll need to purchase this 3.5mm Jack Cable Headset Adapter Kit.
One thing that iPads and iPhones are lacking compared to camcorders is the ability to zoom out and and get a wide shot of the subject(s). This is especially important in small rooms and tight spaces. Thankfully there are many inexpensive add-on lenses you can purchase to help solve this issue.
One option is AMIR Camera Lens Kit. The lenses in this kit include a wide, fisheye, and macro lenses that are made of high-class glass, professional HD lens reduces glass flare & ghosting caused by reflections.
Investing in an iPad for recording videos may have a much greater return on investment because the quality of the video recorded is more than enough for performance discovery, and compared to dedicated A/V equipment, they can be used for other purposes. By paying attention to lighting and a few simple add ons such as a tripod, wide lens, and a microphone you can improve the quality of the recording to a point where you may never need to invest in more A/V equipment.