Video-blogging is a very effective way to attract and convert new clients, and a great way to engage with existing clients who regularly visit your blog.
The Challenge: Blogging Regularly
We like to keep publishing blogs on a predictable, regular basis. However, as the business has grown, it has become more challenging to find time to keep on a regular blog production schedule.
We sell a professional service so it is important that the videos show our professional talent in a good light. This means that we have to record with high quality cameras and audio equipment. As a result, video blog production has been a very slow process.
Accelerating the Video Blogging Process
I have been looking at new ways to speed up this process while keeping the production quality high. Recently, we started to use the new iPhone 5S to capture video and audio.
I am very pleased with the results. The time devoted to shooting the video-blog has decreased while quality has remained high. The main time saving comes from the time devoted to setting up the cameras and the audio gear. I find that the iPhone is a high quality point-and-shoot video system, whereas the DSLR requires some set up time.
I also find that people are less intimidated in front of an iPhone compared to a DSLR camera. They tend to be more relaxed and natural.
The Required Gear
Video-blogging with an iPhone requires more than just the iPhone. You need several pieces of equipment to produce a high quality video – ready to share with your clients and followers.
Here is the gear I use.
The nice thing about the iPhone compared to a DSLR camera — like the Nikon D7000 — is that the iPhone is small and compact.
It is also easier to transfer files into your video production software. You can either connect to your computer via the iPhone cable or upload the videos to DropBox over wireless and download them onto your computer from there.
The iPhone 5S has a great video camera built in. The quality is quite amazing and a significant improvement over the older iPhones (such as the iPhone 4).
You can also play back the video to the talent to see if you need to do a retake.
However, it does not give you the degree of control you get compared to a DSLR or a video camera. I like to control the aperture and shutter speed when I shoot so that I can compensate for any light changes. I also like to manually control the colour balance.The iPhone does not provide this level of granularity.
As a result, you need to be careful when you set up your lighting for your shots.
The iPhone does not provide much depth-of-field. However, there are third party lenses that can be attached to the phone.
The iPhone does not manage backlighting well and can cause silhouetting (unless you overcompensate by increasing the amount of light on your subject).
Manfrotto 701HDV Head with Tripod
I use the Manfrotto 701HDV video tripod head to support my iPhone. Manfrotto has discontinued this product and replaced it with the Manfrotto MVH500AH.
The 701HDV allows me to pan and tilt the camera (or iPhone) smoothly and create interesting video effects.
Joby GripTight Mount and Ballhead for SLR-Zoom
I attach the Joby Ballhead for SLR-Zoom onto my Manfrotto 701HDV, and then use the GripTight Mount to clamp in the iPhone. This makes for a secure and stable mount for the iPhone.
The level on the Ballhead tells me if the image is aligned.
Audio-Technica ATR3350 Lavalier Mic
Nothing beats a lavalier mic when it comes to recording quality audio. I use the Audio-Technica ATR 3350 to mic my subject. It is a very inexpensive and reliable way to record.
The only downside is that there is no visual indicator of battery life. Your battery could die during a recording and you will not know until you play back the recording – after the job is done.
KV Connection iPhone Adapter
The iPhone has a single proprietary mini audio jack. The jack accepts the Apple iPhone headset for audio output and input, but will not accept the Audio-Technica jack for audio input. You will need an adapter to convert the signal.
I use the KV Connection iPhone Adapter. This adapter is only available for sale on the KV website. The site is pretty hokey. But don’t worry. They will send you the product after they take your money and the product works.
Post Production Software
I use Final Cut Pro X for all my video production. The iPhone files are imported without transcoding. This speeds up the production process.
I do not have to do much editing except for adding a filter to sharpen the detail and a small boost to the audio.
I use natural light as much as possible. I have tungsten lights but find them hot and a pain to set up. They operate at a lower temperature than natural daylight so I find I am restricted when and where I can use them.
I might consider daylight balanced LEDs sometime in the future once their prices come down and they become more affordable.
Here is a video I recently shot using the iPhone 5S. The results look pretty good.
This article is part of my Digital Marketing guide.