While I don't do a lot of video, I am looking to do more in the future. I know to start an audio podcast you can get podcasting equipment for about the price of a nintendo Wii.

However with Video podcast you not only have to deal with a microphone, you need a Camera, and lighting. In the same way that the microphone is important in audio, the lighting can make or break your video. The other thing that can sink your video is bad audio.

In terms of a video camera, I recommend getting a camera with an external microphone. If you have this feature then you can avoid the whole audio synchronization. A very popular camera right now is the Kodak Zi8

When I do produce video (using a Flip video that has no external microphone), I use an external microphone and then I synchronize the audio with the video. Consequently, I count to four and hold up fingers as I count. This makes synchronizing the video and audio a snap.

In looking at some video on youtube, I found some great advice at an affordable price. This includes

Softbox Lighting Kit Light Set $189

What is Green Screen?
Green screens are used to create a solid green color behind you (again, lighting is key). The point of having a solid green color that you can later go into software and tell the software where you see this color replace with this (which can be a picture, or another video, etc). If you just want to talk in front of a set, you don't need this. You can get very creative with a green screen, but it does add time and editing.

Support System Compact with 9′ Crossbar by PBL$64.99

Photography Backdrop Chromakey 6'x9′ background $18.89

3.75″ Muslin Clamps, Bag of 6 $8.49

You will need to take an iron and get out ALL the wrinkles. If you have shadows on your green screen, when you have your software remove the color of screen it won't work as the green with the shadows will be a darker shade. Once the wrinkles are out you hang it on the cross bar, and take the lighting kit to light the green screen.

I'm amazed at the equipment at Amazon.com where you can pretty good deals on packages. For example I found a CowboyStudio Photography Video Studio Triple Lighting Light Kit with 3 Muslins Backdrop Black White Green 10′ x 12′ and Background Support System Background Stand for $188.

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
2 comments on “Video Podcast Starting Costs
  1. Max Flight says:

    I’ve been using a borrowed Kodak Zi8 at work for a little video project. I’m an audio podcast guy, not (yet) a video producer, but my biggest issue with the Zi8 is that the zoom is digital, not optical. Zooming will degrade video quality, and I have a big problem with that even if the degradation from light zooming is hard to detect. It just goes against my grain.

    So as a video newbie, I like the Zi8, but for my own first camera, I’d look for something with optical zoom. What that might be, I have no idea. Yet.

    Thanks for the great podcasts!

  2. Dave Jackson says:

    Great feedback. Thanks.

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