Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tools for spontaneous video capture

Video capture of celebratory or learning events is increasing with greater access to mobile devices.

These are some tips I've picked up.

Lavalier wearable microphone

Mobile phones and tablets

Audio: Mobiles generally have good microphones for close recordings. A lapel mic can give high quality audio if required.

Tripod: Keeping the mobile phone still improves video quality and reduces the file size. Tablets can often be stood up using their covers, books or nearby walls. A number of small cheap tripods are available including the one below on the left that can grip a wide range of objects.

Readily available tripods for phones

File size: Mobiles and tablets often record in HD (1080) which can lead to very large file sizes. 10 minutes of video can be over 1GB which can quickly fill mobile storage and take a long time to transfer to other devices.

Audio quality is often more important than video quality - depending on the purpose and audience for the video. A number of apps are available to dramatically reduce the video file size on the mobile device - for example Compressor for iPhone/iPad (free).

Audio recording: Mobiles will generally allow recording with a built in app but better quality audio and transfer options are available with apps such as Voice record Pro (free).

Voice Record Pro allows easy wireless transfer to a range of popular cloud storage services.

Sharing video: For mobiles with a wireless connection (3G/4G can be expensive) it is possible to save and share video to online services such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Gmail accounts come with YouTube video storage. YouTube Capture (free) is an app that allows simple video editing and upload to YouTube. Videos can be uploaded as 'unlisted' so only those to whom the link is seen can view the video. Videos can also be set to 'private'.

Vimeo also has an app to upload videos.

Laptops and desktops

Videos can be recorded using webcams. Video and audio quality can be a challenge - good microphones are important. Videos can also be recorded directly to YouTube using My Webcam or to Vimeo

Powered microphones: A powered microphone is usually required for recording in larger spaces. Powered microphones can be mounted onto video cameras or be a stand-alone device that records audio onto an SD card.

The Zoom Handy Recorder is a stand-alone powered microphone (plug in or battery) that captures quality audio over larger distances.

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