If you are already an established podcaster, it’s probably time to upgrade to video podcasting.
Video podcasting is a great way to engage more audiences and earn more with the same content you already produce for your podcasts.
Simply convert that into a good video, and you can open up new opportunities for yourself.
By investing in proper gear to make your podcast available in video, you’ll be opening yourself up to growing on multiple platforms, especially YouTube. On top of that, Spotify has also recently added support for video podcasts, which makes the decision to make your podcast in video format even more enticing.
Before we dive into the best video podcasting equipment, let’s first understand video podcasts in detail.
What is a Video Podcast?
A video podcast is simply a video version of your podcasts. People love to have a visual experience. You can hook up their attention in a better way when you give them faces or visuals to watch.
A simple audio podcast may not have that effect and may fail to grab the attention of your audience, but a video captures them and makes them watch and listen.
YouTube and other social media channels have become a hub of marketing and business. You can open up a whole new world for your podcasts with its video version that you can play on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other mediums to engage more audience.
You don’t have to do much to run a channel if you are already into podcasting. You can make videos of your podcasting content. So a video podcast can engage more audiences and hence may open up new financial possibilities for a content creator.
If you are just about to start a video podcast or toying with the idea, here is a complete list of things you must have to give a professional look to your videos.
Things to Consider before You Buy Video Podcasting Gear
Before you check our list here, are some of the important things to consider first:
• Type of Video Podcast
It is important to consider what type of videos you will be creating. Will the video mainly show your face while you are podcasting? Or are you planning to add special effects to your video?
• Live Streaming
Live streaming requires the best gear you possibly can as you can’t edit or process the video quality. You will need everything from lights, mics, and a good camera for live streaming. You can play around with the idea of a live feed to engage more viewers, like taking live questions and interacting with them.
• Recorded Videos
Recorded videos are easy to control. You can record them as per your convenience and later tweak them with different audio and video editing tools. In this case, you can get podcasting gear that will make editing your podcast videos easier.
• Where You are Recording
It is important to know whether you will be shooting in a studio or out in the field. For recording out in the field, you may need a few more accessories like a windshield for the microphone, or a gimbal stabilizer for the camera.
For indoor studio recording, you don’t need a fully furnished studio. A simple desk and chair with a green screen for the background will do the job.
• How Much to Spend?
If you are a beginner, you may find it difficult to invest much at this stage. So go slow and spend as much as your budget allows. Almost all gears are available at affordable prices, but if you aim to build a professional space for yourself among hundreds other than better spend on good quality gear.
• Format of your Podcasts
Different formats may require special needs. Like if you have a format of interview for your podcasts, you may need more than one mic for recording audio. So it is important to know how many people you will be recording at a time.
Video Podcasting Gear
With all that said, let’s move on to the best video podcasting equipment that you can get for your setup.
A great computer is the core of any great podcasting setup and is an essential video podcasting equipment you shouldn’t skimp on. Your computer will store all of your podcast files, and you’ll be relying on your computer’s processing power to record, edit, export, and publish your podcast as efficiently as possible.
Make sure you get a computer with ample storage, processing power, and great connectivity. If you mainly record at home or at a studio, you should get a desktop as it gives you more performance for the money. For this, we highly recommend the Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 Desktop if you are on a budget or the Apple iMac if you have more budget to spare and prefer working with macOS.
If you want to use a laptop for your podcast instead, the best option by far is the Macbook Pro 16”. It’s a solid laptop from Apple that offers fantastic build quality and performance, along with speakers and microphones that blow the competition out of the water.
The 16-inch version is the one you’d want to get, as it comes with redesigned microphones that have been acoustically tuned to capture incredibly full-bodied audio – some YouTubers have even used it to record a full interview and the audio was close to a dedicated mic. This can come in handy whenever you want to quickly record audio or if your mic is not available to you for whatever reason.
The whole point of a video podcast is to see the person behind the mic clearly and their expressions or gestures – hence a camera is important to properly immerse the audience in your video podcast.
It is absolutely fine to start with recording with your smartphone camera, as smartphones these days have some amazing cameras. But if you are a professional and have plans to go a long way with your video podcasts then you need a dedicated camera.
If you don’t already have a DSLR or camcorder, we recommend investing in a good quality digital camera.
The best camera for video podcasting is the same as you use one for vlogging. Podcasts are long, so make sure you invest in a good quality digital camera for recording the long sessions of interviews or discussions.
Those who are looking for a premium option should consider Sony ZV-1. It’s a premium option designed for vloggers and content creators. The camera opens up new opportunities to express your creativity.
With a flip screen, you can easily monitor the video feed even while you are on the podcast. You don’t have to figure things much to make videos with this camera as it is very simple to use. It comes with plenty of modes for recording videos, and switching between modes is hassle-free.
The camera features Face Priority AE that keeps the faces prominent and gives a backlight in dim conditions.
It also comes with a lot of useful accessories that will help you do your job conveniently when out in the field. It features a windscreen, windscreen adaptor for outdoor video recordings. It’s a premium option with a high price, but perfect for professional use.
The Sony ZV-1 is perfect for all your content creation needs, but it is very expensive. For those who have a limited budget, we recommend Sony DSCW800. It’s an affordable digital camera from Sony that captures detailed and rich photos. You can record 720p HD movies with this camera as well. While it isn’t the best in terms of video quality, it gets the job done at an accessible price point.
The importance of good audio should not be undermined even in video podcasting. You can get away with a bad video but not with bad audio. No one will bother to watch a video clip that is inaudible or have a lot of noise.
So the video podcasting requires clean, crisp, and perfect audio. In fact, if you are recording video, you need to be careful of the visual presence of the microphone as well.
USB or XLR Mics
When choosing between the microphone, the first choice you need to make is between a USB and XLR mic. Both mics are great and offer clear and distortion-free audio.
USB mics are simple to use and offer a plug-and-play setup. All you need to do is to put the USB cable into your system, and you are ready to go. For studio recordings nothing beats Blue Yeti, it gives great audio, comes with multiple pick up patterns, and looks great on your videos as well. Beginners who have a limited budget and cannot afford Yeti can go for Blue Snowball. That comes with slightly fewer features but offers good audio, and three picks up patterns as well. While you can’t go wrong with either option, do check out our in-depth comparison on the Blue Yeti and Blue Snowball if you are on the fence between the two options.
Also Read : Blue Snowball vs Blue Yeti
USB mics are easy to use, but for professionals who need a lot of processing and mixing, an XLR mic would be more suitable.
In XLR mics, you can buy Audio-Technica AT2020. It’s an affordable cardioid condenser mic that is ideal for podcasting and studio recordings. The mic offers high SPL handling and keeps your upper notes clear and noise-free. It has a high dynamic range and can be used in a versatile manner.
Lavalier mics are something you must have, especially if you have a co-host or an interview pattern of the podcast. The mic can be clipped to your shirt and helps you provide better audio for your live sessions and video podcasts.
Lavalier mics are easy to carry, very affordable, and gives a great boost to your audio without much hassle. Rode SmartLav+ is our best pick for lavalier mics. The mic can be plugged into your smartphone, iPhone, of digital camera and gives broadcast-quality audio. It’s a high-quality omnidirectional mic that picks up audio from all directions. The mic can be used to record the environmental noise and gives more realistic audio to your podcasts.
With a microphone, it is important to have some essential accessories like a windshield, pop filter, or a shock mount. So always check whether the mic you choose comes with the accessories or you can buy these separately as well.
• Sound Recorders
Digital sound recorders are perfect for interviewing or when you are out in the field without all your video and audio gears. You can record the video and audio separately. You can record the audio in these simple voice recorders and later sync it into your video files.
Zoom H-series offers a range of useful sound recorders that you can buy. They come in all different price ranges, so you can easily pick one that fits your budget. For the basic needs, we recommend Zoom H1. The recorder features XY stereo microphones for picking up clear audio. It comes with useful options like playback speed control, Voice Emphasize Filter, and Stereo Overdubbing features to help you record professional quality audio for content creation.
• Video Editing Software
You can go a long way in creating quality content if you know how to edit your videos for better effect. That gives an edge to recorded videos over live podcasting. You have better control over your content, and you may add in different effects, make cuts, enhance audio levels, and tweak your videos in any way you like.
There are many free video editing software like Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie allows you to record, edit, and create videos. You can save time and record the video and then export it as an audio-only file and release it as audio podcasts as well. This video editing software is easy to use, and you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create some impactful videos with little background audio or music.
• Capture Card
If you have a DSLR or camcorder, you need a capture card for live streaming through your computer. You can send the live feed through a non-HDMI camera. A capture card will send the UHD signal source to the HDMI input of video capture with an HDMI cable.
You can buy an Elgato Cam Link for connecting your DSLR camera with your computer. It’s a premium option and an expensive capture card, but it provides ultra-low-latency technology, and you won’t have any lag in your live feed. It even allows you to record the footage directly to your hard drive without any time restriction. There are some affordable capture cards available as well if Elgato Cam Link does not fit in your budget.
Whether it is to interact with your viewers or to monitor your audio in real-time, a pair of high-quality headphones is an essential part of your video or audio podcasting setup.
If you want professional headphones with large-diaphragm, then you can invest in Sony MDR7506. It’s a mid-range headphone with neodymium magnets and 40-millimetre drivers for powerful and detailed sound.
It’s a wired headphone and has a noise-cancelling structure. The headphone has a rugged build, and you can carry it around conveniently. Its long chord seems a little problem, but it is manageable.
A good video needs plenty of lighting. You cannot rely on natural light or the normal lighting in the room. Special LED lights are available in the market that are designed for illuminating your videos. You can invest in LED lights. The LED light rings not only illuminate your videos, but enhance the facial features and to put into simple words, give an aesthetically appealing look to your videos.
For making tutorials, professional photography, and even for shooting personal videos, ring lights are used.
The ring with multiple LED lights throws the light from all sides, leaving no dark spots or shadows to ruin your video. It’s helpful to provide good light when you are shooting makeup tutorials or other videos for YouTube.
For ring light, we recommend a complete kit. You’ll need a flexible light stand that keeps the ring at an optimal position. So investing in a complete kit is excellent.
We recommend the Neewer Ring Light Kit as the best option for beginners. It’s a complete kit, so you don’t have to worry about buying light stands or other necessary equipment separately. It comes with a flexible gooseneck tube for setting the light to your required angle. It’s a dimmable light so you can adjust the brightness level as per your requirement. You get two colored filters with this ring light, so it pretty much covers all your basic lighting needs.
• Audio Interface
For XLR mics, you need to have an audio interface. An audio interface works like a mediator between your computer and microphone. XLR mics record audio as analog signals. An audio interface is used to convert that into digital signals.
Different types of audio interfaces are available in the market, but we choose Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It’s a USB audio interface in a compact form. The audio interface works video podcasting for beginners. It comes with two mic preamps and provides high-quality audio conversion. Using Scarlett 2i2 is easy, and sound quality remains very natural. With all these, it’s a very basic unit at a reasonable price. However, if you need to connect more than two mics, you better look for an audio interface that provides more preamps.
Also, if you are not ready for a full XLR setup, you can easily get away with a USB audio interface instead. Check out our guide on USB audio interfaces specifically if this applies to you.
Also Read : Best USB Audio Interfaces for Podcasters
An audio interface is good for a basic level of audio processing and digital conversion. But if you want to have better control over audio levels, inputs, outputs, or other processes, having a mixer helps. Especially for live streaming, having a mixer is mandatory.
We chose the Behringer Xenyx Q502USB as our best pick. The 5-channel mixer provides low-noise audio and does not put many constraints on your budget as well. The mixer renders a musical quality to your audio with its 2-band EQ. It’s a basic mixer that should serve most people well. If you’re looking for more options on mixers, do check out our full guide on that as well.
Also Read : Best Podcasting Mixers
• Tripod Stand
Whether you are shooting from a camera or a smartphone, you need to set both at a perfect angle to record videos. You need a tripod stand to hold the camera securely to help you capture the best moments conveniently. We recommend UBeesize Tripod S, as a perfect tripod stands for both indoor and outdoor shootings. The tripod works well for both smartphones and cameras. It’s lightweight, easy to carry, and you can use it in versatile ways. Simply set the camera in the tripod, and you can record your high definition content for your vlogs or video podcasts.
• Mic Stand
Same as a tripod for the camera, you need a mic stand as well. Some mics come with their stands. You can skip it if you already have a mic stand.
A good mic stand should be sturdy and stable. It should be able to hold the mic in the right position. It should have the load-bearing capacity to keep the mic stable in any position. For video podcasts, you need a mic stand that is visually appealing as well. So unless you are buying a Blue Yeti or Snowball that come with their stands, invest in a good mic stand with a shock mount.
Even the best mics have to be close to the talent for capturing good audio. You can do well with a mic stand in studio recordings, but for shooting videos in the field, invest in a boom arm scissor.
Video podcasting is an excellent idea to rejuvenate your podcast episodes and utilize the content for different social media platforms. No doubt, a visual experience is richer and more engaging than audio. What is interesting is that with just a little more effort, you can utilize both video and audio podcasts in a better way.
You don’t have to buy everything on the list to start a video podcast. This one is a comprehensive list, and you can tailor the list to suit your needs. Don’t worry if you can’t afford everything right now. With a little creativity, you can get the essentials to publish your very first video podcast.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.