This is the second of a three post series about different video setups for businesses and the ways they can meet varying needs for different budgets. In this post we will explore options for getting video equipment on a mid-range budget. The previous post will give you some ideas for video equipment if you’ve got to stick to a low budget and the next will focus on a high quality video equipment setup.

There are a lot of options out there for video equipment. Some of it can be pretty inexpensive, while other pieces are pretty costly. Depending on what you need for your business, your setup can vary. If you’ve spent a lot of time with a Flip camera or shooting from your iPhone, you may be ready to upgrade your video equipment. Here are some things we recommend for video producers looking to move up the chain:

Camera

video, camera, equipment,We recommended a basic consumer camcorder as our top-level camera in the low-budget video setup. They start at around $300 so they work well within budgets, but they can run up to about $700 depending on make, model, and functionality options. These are generally the cameras you see on display at an electronics store. Most of these cameras come with a great zoom lens, a large screen to see what you’re shooting, and external microphone ports to improve audio quality. They also shoot in HD 1080p; however, given the high variability between models, some video formats may not work with your editing program. Also, since you can’t change the lens, you need to make sure to find a good one. Overall, if you have a little extra money to spend, one easy way to bring your video quality to the next level without breaking the bank is to shop for one of the best-in-class versions of this camera type.

Lighting

light, equipment, video,For interviews, ambient lighting can really liven up a shot. Softbox lights can provide just this, and come with a stand, a carrying case, and a light bulb. They also work well to light small areas. For most mid-range video projects, a softbox light can likely satisfy your needs. They’re easy to set up, and inexpensive too (running $300-$700). It’s worth noting, though, that unlike on-camera lights, they don’t allow you to adjust the brightness without changing the bulb or buying a separate dimmer. They also usually use Tungsten bulbs that can get extremely hot. They aren’t battery powered, either, so you’ll need access to a power outlet to use them.

Audio

Given that your camera has an external microphone port (and it should, if you go with one of the high-end consumer cameras like we described above), a great microphone can make a huge difference in the quality of audio. Wealready mentioned shotgun microphones in the low-budget video setup, but they’re versatile and inexpensive enough to also mention here.

Another option for microphones is a wireless lapel mic. They have quite a range in terms of price ($250-$1,000), so you can probably find one that meets your budgetary needs. These are great for interviews, and the wires conceal easily behind a shirt or coat to keep it out of the shot. The wireless transmitter can be used with shotgun microphones as well. Keep in mind, though, that a lapel microphone isn’t really good for much but interviews, and they’re fragile. Also, with any wireless device, you run the risk of interference, which can ruin good audio in a shot.

A mid-range video setup can provide you with a lot more options and functionality over more basic equipment. Depending on your business needs, it may fit right within your budget, and can have you producing quality video content. If you don’t have much experience with a mid-range set up, be prepared to learn, but know that your videos will be better for it.