What kind of video camera is necessary ?

Sound is more important than video. You can have so-so video but not so-so sound. Pick a recorder that has a microphone input. This way you can hook your own mic up to it. Never buy one without mic input.
Video-wise any HD recorder does the trick. Some do 720p HD, some 1080p. Don’t let it confuse you. Both are good enough. If you can pick one with the option of manual focus, that would be golden. But you don’t have to.
I would not buy a camera that records to tape or DVD. It takes to long to put that in the computer.

How to record the sound well.

Try the mic that’s on the camera first. If thats good enough, you are set. If not, I would use a lav mic: one that you clip on your shirt. Most churches already have that. Those mics have a sender and a receiver. Just plug the receiver into the mic input on the camera. Plug headphones into the camera to check what it’s hearing.
Now if you have more than one person presenting, it’s a bit more complicated. You would need a mixer to combine the sounds of the two lav mics before it goes into the camera. But mixers are complex. You can also use a boom mic, which is a mic on a stick that records all sound in the room. This mic will pick up environment sounds, so you will want a quiet studio. If the studio is not isolated, you must stop recording when you hear a train or a loud airplane. Make sure computers, refrigerators and air-conditioning are turned off. Boom mics hear those. Always have the camera man wear headphones to see if the audio stays good.

How to put powerpoint in the video?

It’s hard to try to videotape a monitor or a screen next to the presenter. Don’t. It will most certainly look bad. I would edit the slides in later, with the editing program. Make the slides full-screen so it’s readable. Doing it in the editing software is easy. In powerpoint, export your slides as separate pictures. Then, drag those pictures into your editing timeline. (About editing software: Mac comes with iMovie and Windows comes with Magic movie maker. I believe both free programs can do this. If the latter can’t, purchase pinnacle studio. It’s easy to use on windows.)

Is a camera recording good enough for quality?

It depends if you want it to look professional or more like youtube. For a great look and feel, you will want to edit the colors and audio. Put it in the computer, change the colors a bit in your editing program and put a noise reduction over the audio. This takes hums and hisses out.
If you want to go pro, consider this:
- Lighting is a must. You can light the presenter’s face with normal house lights, but they need to be pretty close to the face. Have one from the front left, one from the front right, and possibly one behind the presenter (a bit off to the left or right, not directly behind). That light would be visible on the camera. Just make it part of the set, if possible. You’ll want the 3 lights to be the same, so that the colors are not different. A beautiful way to light a face is to put the presenter next to a window. But clouds do change that light, so only do it if it’s completely cloudy or completely cloudless.
- Don’t zoom too much. Actually, don’t zoom at all. It looks cheesy. Just don’t go too far away from the presenter, and not too close. Make sure the faces are big enough to see.
- Put some plants and fun stuff near the left and right edges of the frame. Don’t make the edges empty. You may not want to make them exactly the same either.
- It usually looks better if the presenter’s head is not exactly in the middle, but slightly towards the left or right of the middle. It makes it more alive.
- To go fully pro, use two cameras. The second does not need to record good audio, just use audio from the first. It can be a bit tricky to sync both cameras up in your editing program. You would need semi-professional software like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut pro, Avid, Sony Vegas.
- Have fun!

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One Response to How to make good-looking teaching videos

  1. Awesome tips man! Thanks for posting these for everyone.

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