- It's perfectly reasonable to use an inexpensive, Flip-style camcorder to shoot a videoblog, and the results are much better than using a webcam. The camcorder I chose was Sanyo's VP-CG102. It's priced about the same as a Flip, but it has a monitor that folds out and turns 180 degrees, so that I can check framing and focus without jury-rigging mirrors.
However, I ran into problems with the Sanyo when I shot some green-screen footage. The footage looked fine by itself, but when I composited it with a background image in iMovie '11, it looked terrible. Noise levels were very high.
- iMovie '11 is a great video editor for its price, but there's very little control over "trick features" such as green screen mattes. You get what you get. Rather than move to a more expensive editing package, I did some investigation and purchased FXhome's CompositeLab Pro. It offers much more control over the quality of mattes and only costs $149. (If you're also interested in video effects, take a look at their VisionLab Studio, which combines the green screen compositing of CompositeLab with visual effects and color grading, for $349.)
That improved, but didn't eliminate, the noise problems. The real solution will be to replace the Sanyo with a better camcorder.
- Singular Software's DualEyes is a real life-saver. It allows me to record audio on a separate recorder and sync the audio tracks from the recorder and camcorder automatically. Manually syncing the tracks would have taken hours per episode.
- If I were starting all over, knowing what I know now, I'd spend the money on a better camcorder. I probably could make do with iMovie '11's green screen capabilities, and could record usable audio directly from the camcorder, eliminating the need for an external audio recorder and DualEyes.
- Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks (creating graphics, title slides, lower thirds, etc.)
- Adobe Audition (editing audio tracks, noise reduction, EQ, etc.)
- Apple iMovie '11 (video editing)
- Apple Keynote (displaying title slides)
- Singular Software DualEyes (synchronizing camcorder footage with separately-recorded audio)
- FXhome CompositeLab Pro (compositing green screen footage)
- There has to be more visual interest than just pictures of products and text slides. The comment that I got most often was "Why can't I see you?". I went to a narration-only format after a few episodes, but viewers like to see people.
- I've been doing everything myself, but it's much easier if you have at least one other person helping you.