Recording Interviews, Podcasts and Videos

Sometimes you will want to record events, or make videos and podcasts, etc. Here is a short guide to some cheap and more mid-range recording equipment.

(prices approximate for Nov 2015, store links are to give an idea of the range, you still need to shop around)

Video Camera

Make sure its bright enough to record video where you will be, but not too bright, you will see the results yourself as you experiment.

I recommend a decent HD Camcorder with a good optical zoom, but expect to pay around €200 for one. Zooms of 30x and above can be used for close-ups of far away action, and even the moon craters.

Optical zoom is preferred because it keeps the full HD quality, as opposed to digital zoom which divides the megapixel quality as you zoom in.

Another option would be a bridge camera, with a decent pixel count and good optical zoom, but you get what you pay for so check them out before you invest.

If your using a DSLR for movies, you may want to switch off the auto-focus, as it sometimes interferes with the video.

Its a misconception that people have to buy expensive phones to be able to record video. You can get a smartphone for under 100 euro that has a 5 megapixel camera.

  • Digital cameras on the high street are better quality in recent years, you can get a 16 megapixel camera from around €30 in your local argos (or online or equivalent).

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Sound Recording

Digital cameras have microphones built-in which are usually adequate for sound in videos, but sometimes you want a recorder for just sound on its own.

MP3 recorders start at under €40 (maybe cheaper online), and go all the way up to portable recording studios for several hundred euros, but make sure that your durable AA batteries don't get a chance to leak in your equipment, remove them when not being used.

You need to protect your microphones from rubbing against clothing, and from handling, as the extra sounds can interrupt your recording. So keep your hand-held and clip-on mics and recorders away from any movements if possible.

  • I'd have to recommend the Zoom h1 recorder at €100 from Waltons, if you want good sound from a very portable recording device. Some of its features ....

adjustable quality setting (mp3 and wav)

low pass filter (for wind)

manual and auto record level

fits on a camera tripod or pole

capable of holding a 32GB microSDHC card

can record for 10 hours on a singe AA battery

small and light enough for a shirt pocket

can be used for interviews, presentations, journalism, podcasts, videos, etc

has studio quality mics

all the controls are normal buttons, and record/stop is the large one

mini jack sockets for audio in and out

can be connected to a computer

and it even has a tiny speaker in the base so you can hear your recordings straight away

Some links

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