Smartie Pants Gear
Just, let's look at all this gear and I know Ann over here, she looked at it and she said to us, "Man, that's really intimidating." For those of you that it is intimidating, don't get scared by this before we get into it.
That's a good thing to say.
So go ahead, Amy.
Yeah, yeah, okay. Well, let's start with the least intimidating, hopefully. Ann, you have a smart phone.
Yes, I do.
Good, okay, good. So that's at least relatable for the moment, so let's start there. Smartie Pants, you've got the smart phone, you're like, "Fine, if I'm going to do this, "I'm gonna use what I've got." What do we got?
We like Apple, these are the Apple iPhone 7s, 7 Pluses?
7 Plus, get it right.
7 plus, so that's what we have, but any smart phone will do. Really, we don't have any other device. Who's got an Android device? I just want to see how many, okay.
Plenty of people have an Android, yeah.
[Woman In Audience] Samsung.
Samsung are honestly killing the ga...
me when it comes to color, their 4K capabilities, those Galaxies are very impressive. But, Apple's still keeping up there. But between them, Samsung's a little higher.
I mean, he mentioned 4K, you guys can watch this. You guys can watch the Creative Live and I don't know if this is a 4K but you can watch 4K on your televisions, right? I mean this camera's in here, in your Samsungs, they have the capability to do that, whereas some people are looking at, "Oh man, I need to have one of these to do "high-quality or I have to have something "bigger to have high-quality." I mean, and Amy talked about it earlier, what we have in these cameras now, is far superior than what anyone had before, even in larger cameras, right? I mean, Amy started with a Canon Elph PowerShot, whatever it is, I don't even know the name. And in what, short seven years, eight years, whatever it is, we've got that times 100 in these. So the Smartie Pants, we like to call it, is for those who are on the go, for those that want to just get started. And remember, Jason talked about this earlier, Amy always talks about this, you have to get started. You have to have content, you have to have something to talk about. If you're afraid to do this, walk around and talk to your camera, I guarantee you, you are not going to want to grab one of these and do this. (audience laughing) All right?
And also, I do wanna mention, we have the capability in that little thing to do 4K. I don't want to watch myself in 4K, I don't know about you, but 720p, 1080p, is absolutely fine. HD is probably where we're gonna be minimally, but you have that in the smart phone option, you don't have to do that investigating, because it's already being built in for you with these devices so we want HD but not that HD, right?
Well, there's a lot to think about too, I mean shooting in 4K is, and Blake can expand upon this but, shooting in 4K or the higher definition you shoot, the more storage you need.
Oh my gosh, the storage.
The longer it takes to edit, the more processing power you need on your computers. I mean, it's a process. It turns into, how many people watch Casey Neistat, 'cause Jason brought it up earlier so let's just- all right, so some of you are familiar with Casey Neistat.
A lot of people would call him the "Vlogfather." (audience laughing)
How many people watch YouTube in general, like do you guys watch YouTubers, you know, big- okay, so some of you watch YouTube. When Casey was doing daily vlogs, he was spending, and I kid you not, actually you tell them, it was like 16 or 18 hours?
A day. Between filming and editing. That leaves six hours to sleep, eat, shower, do anything else. I mean, that's your life. And that's because you're just capturing so much footage. Do you wanna capture it in 4K on one of these or you wanna capture it in your 1080, you actually wanna carry it around in your pocket, 'cause I know I'd rather do that, unless you have someone like him following you around all day long. (laughing) Then it's a whole different story. The only thing you should be thinking about with any camera at all is just your content. So having content, having a story to tell, what is your day gonna look like, are you going through daily vlogging? I mean, Amy has shot some videos where, even in the apartment or she shot them just with the iPhone, just to prove a point.
The first video that you saw here today, the opening video was on smart phone, it was on a 7 Plus. And I wasn't looking at the screen, I was looking at the backside of the phone, can you display the backside of the phone? And so, the key thing there, this is always going to be the better camera of the two. You can use front-facing, but it's tough when you're just getting started too, a lot of people, even I know people that are making video for many eons now and they still tend to look at themselves instead of the lens and so that's the struggle there with the smart phone is you really need to remember, I'm looking at Charlotte, Charlotte's in the lens, Charlotte isn't Amy, Amy is in the frame, okay? Right? So it's nice to have that reflection, but it's not going to be the higher-resolution camera most of the time, and the one on the back is great. And actually, a video I posted recently called "The Vlogs I Made This Week" 'cause I just wanted to go real simple on that title, you actually see how I used smart phone with the right side of the camera, the back, and airplane it so I could just make sure that I was in-frame 'cause I was filming myself so it is possible to not drive yourself crazy and film. The other thing is, the key thing to keep in mind and the fact that this is so convenient is, you just turn it on. The thing is meant for anyone to pick up and use effectively. Those things over there, different story. You have to have a lot of know-how in terms of what the right settings are on those cameras. This is a great camera, the smart phone is a great camera. But you don't have to be a cinematographer to figure it out.
True, attachments, some of you may ask about attachments. This is a question that Amy gets all the time in her videos so I know 'cause I watch all her videos. And I read all the comments. Lavalier mic, what else?
Yeah, I mean, attachments in that sense, lavalier mic, and the road mic, you know. If you're going for this big setup, go with the road mic. It is a beautiful mic, crystal-clear. You cannot go wrong with it.
For the smart phone though, there's actually attachments for the microphone, so if you find yourself outdoor, that can be a little bit of a variable on the audio side. Has anyone ever heard a wind-blown video before, maybe you've taken one?
[Audience Members] Yes.
There are absolutely attachments for that, the one that I like is the Rode smartLav+ I don't think we have it here today but that's a really great option for, plug it in, clip it to you, and I used that in the opening video as well. So you can actually tell the difference in the living room because I have that lavalier on, and what usually would be a little bit of echo, because the room is hardwood floors, and there's not a whole lot on the walls, that kind of stuff, when the room was really big, and you don't have right audio, you can hear a lot of echoing happening, so that's really nice to keep in mind that there are attachments for the smart phone you can find very economically on Amazon that will help you take this camera to the next level audio-wise.
And the smartLav fits in your pocket, it's just a wire basically. You need an adapter for the iPhone 7, 'cause they don't have the right microphone jack.
Yes, it goes into a microphone jack, keep that in mind.
But there are also now specific ones if you do have an Apple device, and you don't have a headphone jack, you can buy them that are specific for this, but that's all you really need, I mean I wouldn't recommend anything else. If you just need to get started, and you need to do something, like a simple lavalier, like what we're wearing, it clips to us, it just clips to the phone, and you can shoot your video. Or they do make that shotgun style microphone for these as well. Some people, you know, they want that, they don't want to have to have anything attached to them, and that's fine too. There are a variety of options for you. Google's amazing, Google is like, you can find anything on there.
They're a big deal, maybe you've heard.
They're kind of big deal, yeah. And the best part about this, before we get over to the next setup is that I can just... And I have a camera on me.
It's pretty much this whole table put in your pocket.
Minus the drone.
Minus the drone, but you throw it up in the air, you can figure it out. (audience laughing)
But I think no matter what section we're talking about, I think the elephant in the room is lighting.
So can you talk about setting up the smart phone for success with lighting.
Yeah, face a window, that is your best friend without having to go spend a lot of money or anything like that, I know Amy does it in her house when she's shooting.
There's a big window right staying in front of you, do not put your back towards the window because it'll be blown out, you're dark. A window is your best friend. But simple lights, a lot things in the film industry now, video industry are going LED. They're not hot lights, they do not burn, anything like that. They're simple, little small, battery-powered lights you can pop up and put them right there. If you're in the window, put one to the side, another side, you kind of fill your face, get underneath your chin, gets rid of all the double chins and you look great. But that's your biggest starting out, just use the window. Window is your best friend.
Or get outside.
Or go outside.
Right. Obviously, while the sun is up. That's the point.
Yes, of course.
I promise you, natural light is how the majority, I have a lot of videos on my channel, so when I say the majority, we're talking about quite a few that were really just me sitting next to a window, so there's a lot of light coming in, and it was even and it looked pretty normal, like you were having a conversation with me in this room, before I went and got gear. Eventually I did have an LED that was kind of balancing the light on one side of the window was over here because that's the setup that I wanted. Would have been much better if I had just faced it. But it wasn't great backdrop-wise so just in thinking about these things, remember that, that natural lighting's gonna be a really good friend to you. If you don't have somewhere in your office or your home, wherever you plan to get started, it's gonna be conducive to that, going outside is going to be a great idea, just prepare yourself on the the audio front is important.
And so besides the window, I know she uses soft boxes, which are for, basically we called them beauty lights early in the industry. They make you softer, diffused, there's nothing harsh on your face, it's really a beautiful light. If you're looking to step up in the gear wise, go with a soft box, a beauty light, anything like that is great for YouTube videos and being in front of the camera for a long time.
I actually have something at home that I call "The Diva Light," I think you can actually search for that on Amazon and it's a ring light. You can find that link at savvysexysocial.com/shop but that's also a great option too 'cause it's very economical. Especially if you need it to take up a little bit less space wherever you are and you don't want to have to put it together every time, because I love our soft boxes. But I don't even try to put 'em together if he's not around 'cause it's just too much work. I'm like oh, I could just go stand by that window, that'd be so much easier.
So keep that in mind, I get it, if you need the light, but also keep in mind how much space it's gonna take up wherever you are.
Yeah, and there's plenty of it, again, you can buy plenty of attachments for your phone, there's lighting attachments, sometimes people think they look silly but again if you think they look silly and you're not gonna use it...
Then you have to address that issue. But you can attach microphones, you can attach lights, there's some many different things you can attach on a phone to make it a high-quality content creation machine.
So let's talk about some things that you're thinking about in terms of using your smart phone that might still be holding you up or if you have any questions. We have one right here.
[Woman In Audience] So a little bit off-topic but, I use the camera on my computer for Skype interviews.
And the quality's horrible so can you guys recommend a good webcam?
A Logitech 8910, I believe it is. (audience laughing)
Do you see, do you see why I brought them?
That's why I'm up here.
I'm like, oh yes, of course! The Logitech 8910.
The 8910, it's like $60, I don't have any affiliate links, so it's a Logitech 8910 I believe is the number.
There are quite a few Logitech webcams that are really nice.
It's between $50 and $60, if you want a good webcam, they're 1080, I mean they're high-quality, high-def.
And also, if you want something a little bit simpler, you can usually get some software, usually it's free or a cord, and hook up your iPhone, and your iPhone probably has a better webcam than your computer.
And it can sit right there, and it's 1080 usually on the front-facing camera, and that's kind of another best bet for you.
You might have to do a little bit more research on that front because the Logitechs are built so that you can plug them in and get those drivers going and make it easy to install. But that's absolutely a great option, that's a great option.
That's still an option, sure.
That brings up the topic of, let's say she's gonna do that and she's going in on the Smartie Pants game, she's not gonna want to hold her smart phone, I don't think we have a desk example up here.
We'll have one up here later, you'll see it.
Yeah, there's always those tabletop tripod options that can make it really easy and we'll be using one in segment three. So that's of course important for you, because you'll want to have that camera set up, but most people will as well, and not have to hold it all the time, depending on the format of the vlog at that point.
Same principles apply though, try and sit in front of a window, or in front of a light source so it's facing you. That's just because the only difference with a lot of these things, we could talk about sensor size and all that crazy stuff, is how well they interact with light, so these cameras, I can shoot in darker spaces, the smaller cameras, the web cams, the phones, they just need more light around them to give you that look, so that's all it is.
Did you have a question?
I think we have a few questions here.
Have you come across a good Bluetooth speaker that you can attach to the phone, not having to put a lav mic in there, that you can use for good audio?
Harman Kardon makes a really good Bluetooth speaker I have it's actually the size of the phone, it probably has the same footprint as this, this camera, it's very small. I don't know what the purpose, the reason for it is, but just be careful because sometimes when you connect the Bluetooth, it also connects microphone or other things. So you just want to be weary of whatever you're attaching.
Is it meant to be a microphone?
Yes, it is attached for microphone, because when you're using a stabilizer, attaching a cable to it sometimes is not very conducive. It just gets in the way, 'cause some of these stabilizers are meant to hold the phone with an attachment.
Wireless headsets, you could use any of those Bluetooth headsets, you know, the mic stays right here by here so it's pretty crystal-clear. I would probably recommend actually doing a headset rather than a speaker, you're gonna get better audio, you're not gonna get any reverb or anything like that, echos between 'em.
Yeah, I think the big thing with that is, always testing whatever you try from the Bluetooth side of things and making sure that the video and audio are linking up properly 'cause sometimes these things, if they're not quite on point, it'll be out of sync, and you do not want to go to town on that job.
I think there was a question first right before Ann.
[Woman In Audience] So I had a question about batteries.
Like, I don't know if I do a video, if my phone's gonna last enough time for things like that.
That's a great question.
So I do have them here, they're in the third room. We carry around-
[Woman In Audience] I'll be here all day. (audience laughing)
We will show you all of the things!
I always carry around, and you probably see, like you'll see a lot of individuals, they carry around battery packs, they're battery packs that connect to your phone, you could always carry those around and just plug it in while you're recording if you're worried about that. But honestly, if you've taken care of your device, I'm talking about your phone, you should be able to shoot, I mean you could shoot for quite a while, and I've live streamed hours of video, which eats way more battery than just shooting a video.
Yes, 'cause it's pulling signal.
And it'll last for a couple hours.
And if you're using, like you say, a headset or something like that with it, there are splitters so you can keep it charged the whole time while you're doing it, while you have your headset going, or if you a Bluetooth, there's multiple options, just keep it plugged in. If you're gonna be going for a 30-minute video like that, but you should be fine.
[Woman In Audience] Thanks.
I think just one more thing on that front, you know, try to be as charged as you can, and then plug the phone in when you're shutting down apps to kind of prepare. One thing that I think that people don't realize is how much is happening in the background when you leave some apps running and the phones are getting more sophisticated so they're not supposed to do that so much. But I try to shut everything down before I get started with a video on my smart phone. And that might help you with battery life.
I just want to get some online questions in.
I know we got a lot in the studio, but people at home have similar ones, they're probably similar to what you guys are thinking.
We got quite a bit of time.
We're gonna cover as much as we can, but we have several questions about stabilizing your phone for videos. So Alan wants to know, please talk about steady video, something that's going to not distract your viewers, and more specifically, John wants to know about, do you suggest using a gimbal for smart phone use, something that's gonna remove the shaking?
So we have two different viewpoints on this, he hates gimbals.
Okay. (talking simultaneously)
I have a less steady hand than he does, I like using gimbals. Go ahead.
I look at it the other way, for people who don't know what a gimbal is, let's start from there.
True, we should go there, go ahead.
A gimbal is a stabilizer, basically it's a weight balance. It counteracts with the weight of your phone and the movement of your body, so when you're doing this, it will stay perfectly stable the entire way. Or when you're walking, there's no bounce in it, it completely counteracts the weight inside your phone.
A good example of what a gimbal looks like if you're not familiar, is we shot a music video for the release of my book, and it was all in one take, which is challenging for both of us, 'cause first of all, I have to remember all the words to this song. And second, he was walking backward, filming me walking down a walking path, which can be really shaky, 'cause you're just trying to move, so the gimbal was really useful for us, you can get a feel for what that looks like, but if you see extraordinarily steady-moving camera, it may or may not be on a gimbal.
So there's a reason why these guys have wheels on their cameras 'cause they can roll those through the studio and give you a steady look.
It's more natural.
There's a reason why this is a gimbal, this drone, when this is flying, just for the gimbal question, when this is flying, that's why you get super-smooth video with a drone and you're not getting, like, the wind is tossing it around, but you're still getting very smooth, 'cause this is actually counteracting all of those forces so it's moving opposite to what this is doing, so this is doing this, it's doing the opposite and you're getting super-smooth video, like wow, that's crazy. So they have handheld ones that you can get for your phone, who makes a really good one?
Moby makes a great one, the kind of stabilizer, they're kind of leading the industry right now, people in the industry. My standpoint on it, for vlogging, things like that, I don't like it. I think it feels very, you know, unauthentic. I like when you're going around, that shows your life. But when you're perfectly smooth, it just doesn't feel real life in that sense. I think it has a time and place, music video, things like that. But real life, like walking around with a stick like that and it's all perfectly smooth, it just feels kind of weird to me. But that's my stance.
I would agree with that on the smart phone front for sure, now that being said, there are a lot of people using their smart phone, and just nervous, right? So that's still an issue. But I don't think gimbal's gonna be the right answer there, I do think that-
But I mean, you could always do this too, like-
A tripod or just finding a way to-
If you're standing in front of like, I didn't pay, I just put it there. So there's other ways to get around what you're trying to do, for the person in the audience that asked that question, even a simple tripod, even attaching it to something like this and just holding a tripod, so you're not touching the phone, is different. So stabilizers are-
Even your hands, they can be stabilizers. It's the way you hold your phone. If you're vlogging, don't just kind of do like this. Grip it, you know, put a grip around it so you have it, it's in your palm, you can use your back middle fingers to press it into your palm, keeps it more steady like this, instead of wobbling and doing like this.
Show the camera the grip.
So this. (audience laughing) This is the pro grip.
Everyone's gonna be working on their grips now.
This is a great grip for you.
That's what I'm always doing most of the time, but I also like my little tripods. We'll talk about this Joby in just a minute but, the bigger but short tripods are really nice for gripping onto but I think they're a little big, so the one that I like is just a very small, understated tabletop tripod and I actually like using that just for walking around, period, because I don't want to accidentally put my finger on the mic, or hit a button or something like that. So that can happen with smart phones sometimes, so these things, not just for stabilizing, but for just making sure you're not getting in your own way, are really nice.
So before we can move on, I just want to, so we'll take a few questions here, let's try to keep it to the smart phone tech for now, then we're gonna move on to some of the other gears, so let's take a few more questions about smart phone gear. Go ahead.
This is an anti-smart phone question, so I'm not gonna use a smart phone, similar to the other student over there who's using Skype, doing interviews. I'm hoping you can give me an excuse to buy a new iMac maybe. And you're throwing around a lot of numbers, and I have to plead my ignorance, you know, I don't know what, this number def, or that, I don't know any of that stuff, so could you-
That's kind of the point, right?
[Woman In Audience] So could you break that down, what's the minimus resolution or whatever the heck I need to ask?
I mean, 720p.
I think 720p, HD video is gonna be a really magic place for you because in terms of webcams, that seems to be sort of the place where they're hanging out, although there are 1080 available so you would shop for the same kind of resolution when you're looking for a television, that's why those just seem to roll off the tongue for us, but that's what I would recommend. As long as you don't read a specification that says "standard definition," which you shouldn't be if it's 2017, you should be fine with whatever, in terms of webcam upgrade. And then smart phones, definitely don't have that these days.
[Woman In Audience] So do I need a webcam upgrade or would a new iMac have this availability?
It'll have it, yeah, it'll have it.
Whatever the newer iMac has, whatever the newer Mac has, it's gonna be all set, you'll be all set.
But also look, web cams, 60 bucks, new Mac, $2,000, you know, kind of balance those. (laughing) (talking simultaneously)
You want the new Mac, I get it!
I understand, I just bought a new Mac, and I love it.
But from a "getting started" standpoint, that's why we say that, 'cause we don't want you to hold out for the new computer, but definitely, especially for things like, live interviews, you do want a really nice performing computer, because sometimes the live feeds can break down sometimes when you're filming. The newer Mac's gonna be great for that, yeah. Smart phone questions?
Yes, good morning, this is a smart phone question. The only issue that I have with using a smart phone is that, these days, the memory's not expandable, so I'm just kind of worried about, how much video can I push with what I'm using, I didn't get 128 gigabytes on my phone or 200.
Could you speak on that please?
Absolutely. So you have to be totally aware of that situation. You saw me kind of hem and haw when we talked about storage earlier. 'Cause it does get to be kind of crazy, you have to manage that really, really carefully depending on the size phone that you have, 'cause if you have the getting started phone, for iPhones luckily, they're growing that, because they realize these apps and the photos, all of these things are getting better, 'cause they're taking up more space at the same time, so depending on your phone, I think, in the same way that you're like, "Oh crap, I'm out of room to take a photo of my child." That's the kind of thing where you have to clean it out and really be aware of how you're backing things up. I like to get every vlog that I do off the device as quickly as possible, and I have outside storage for that, so there are things like the SSD or a hard drive, just anything that you can put on, especially if you're copying it over, it's nice to have a duplicate just in case anything happens to any device, but getting it off the phone, as quickly as you take it, and backing it up somewhere else, is my common practice. I don't know if you guys have more thoughts on that.
Exactly, I mean transfer as soon as you can, I mean, if you're editing the video anyway, you have to take it off the device, unless you are editing in your camera. But once you're done with it, it's very, you know, it's easy to either transfer it to something else, from the phones, you can transfer them to your computer, and then you can keep it backed up somewhere. There's cloud storage that you can buy, and it's getting cheaper and cheaper now, to have cloud storage. Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Drive, One Drive, I means there's tones of them, so that's very easy to just transfer it off, and get it away from your device.
So how much would a five-minute, high-def video, how much memory would I need?
To give you some, I'll back up a little bit, going into your settings and getting a feel for how much space you have left, your phones are gonna tell you that in terms of how much memory you have. But for, I think what we were doing here is testing what we're gonna do in segment three is like, how big is a 50-minute or a 20-minute clip? And because it's 1080p it's gonna be a little bit bigger but you probably will not be north of one gigabyte unless you're going longer than 15 minutes or 20 minutes, hopefully, I think I'm right about that because we did just look at it yesterday. But as long as you've got that much space on your phone, hopefully a lot more than that, so nothing's going to stall in operation while you're operating the phone. You should be okay.
I would also buffer for a little bit more, if you're just starting vlogging, because you're gonna have a lot of mess-ups, and there's gonna be a lot of extra footage that's just kind of sitting there you're not gonna use, but it's gonna take up a lot of space, so once you get better at it, and you can deliver takes two, the camera, faster, and in two takes instead of eight, you're gonna save a lot more storage so just keep that in mind when you're first starting out.
Yeah, if five minutes is your goal, you've probably shot 20 minutes of footage, right? To get to five minutes edited.
You'll see that in segment three.
Maybe more, maybe you've shot hours.
We just came off a project, we shot-
We shot, it was nine hours worth of footage, and the final video's gonna be four-and-a-half minutes, something like that.
Yeah so, and we had filled up maybe 250, 300 gigabytes of footage that's down to four. And that four-minute file is now, what?
A gig and a half, maybe?
You know what I mean? So just even with these, there's always those types of things you have to consider, we used up a lot of storage.
Also, there's only gonna be so much room that a smart phone video takes versus these other devices as well, so keep that in mind but another point to this, and we'll talk about this after lunch, is I see a lot of people start and stop, and so if that's your preferred practice, theN that's just fine. I like to let the camera run for as long as it takes, so you really do want to do your research on the front end if you end up with, you know, a two-gigabyte file, because we are gonna cut it down and it'll get smaller and it'll get exported and get smaller again, but, it is nice just to make sure you have that space.
And file size will be a little bit different between smart phone and here because smart phone will compress the file already a little bit, and so what a two-gig would be on here, may be a one-and-a-half on there.
So just play with it, run it, just run a video, just record air for five minutes. And then you'll know, you always know, all right, I did five minutes.
Or do a time lapse, that's fun.
Every five minutes I did this, then you'll know. That's easy for you to gage, wherever your phone is recording. Everyone's got a different phone, there's different settings, so just test what your settings that you like, and that goes with any device, just so you know, I mean you'll always know what that is.
And you'll probably get the best idea of what that size is by actually getting it on your computer and going into your file system and looking, like, oh, how much space did we add to the computer, yeah, so that's always interesting too.