My Rapid Video Blogging Gear

Since Gideon Shalwick of Rapid Video Blogging made a video about his blogging gears and setup, I figured I would do the same. My video blogging gear is a bit different from Gideon’s but they both achieve the same thing in the end, which is to make money!

Unlike Gideon, who uses a Flip Ultra HD digital camcorder, I use a Canon SD980 digital camera. For finer work, I will use the Canon HFS100 AVCHD camcorder.

Editing the video is handled by a 13″ or 15″ Macbook Pro using iMovie 09. When I need to do a screen cast, the program of choice is Snapz Pro X by Ambrosia Software.

I do not use any studio setup with fancy lighting or green screen. All my videos are shot on location with whatever lighting is available at the time. When I am traveling light, I will just bring the SD980. If I require higher quality or if I’m filming in low light situations, I will use the HFS100.

The following video was shot while I was visiting friends in Bellevue, Washington and was filmed, edited and uploaded to YouTube in less than an hour. It really is amazing how far video has come in only a few years. It wasn’t very long ago when it would have taken days and cost tens of thousands to be able to shoot a video like this.

33 thoughts on “My Rapid Video Blogging Gear”

  1. Dino Vedo says:

    Video is one thing I still haven’t yet been doing on my blog. Seems like I should start soon!!! 🙂

    1. Yes, Dino,

      The same is true for me.I haven’t used video consistently at least.

      I’ve made some steps towards it recently and very soon I’ll have more videos on my blog.

      I do have a few there now but haven’t added any for a while.


    2. PPC Ian says:

      It would be awesome to see some video on your blog! I have been following your blog and it’s great to see your traffic ramping on Compete. Keep up the great work!

  2. Trampoline fun 🙂

    Haha.. Microsoft kids like jumping on trampolines

  3. I keep meaning to setup with video on the website, what plugins do you use on your wordpress installation to connect with youtube?

    Also can either you or any of your commentors reccomend good PC based video editing software?

    1. John Chow says:

      Abode Premiere is the standard for PC video editing but it’s very expensive. For screen casting, Camtasia by TechSmith is the program to use.

      1. What was the cost of that small digital camera.

        I know its not from IXUS but its looking like as IXUS range …

        1. John Chow says:

          I think it is an IXUS. In Canada and US, is call IXUS are call PowerShot.

  4. Paul avery says:

    Soon an iPhone will (or maybe it is now) will be a good option.

    1. John Chow says:

      It may take another generation or two before iPhone video is ready for prime time. It lacks zoom and optical image stabilization.

      1. So far you never compare the quality of digital camera or camcorder with the mobile phone.

        Do not know about the future though …

      2. KB says:

        Actually, the video from the iPhone 4 is pretty amazing.

        With the OWLE Bubo ( ) it becomes a VERY viable alternative especially with the ability to shoot, edit and upload all from the same device from anywhere in the world.

      3. the iphone as it is now has tons of cool features. I agree that iphone video is not the greatest but then again it supposed to be a phone. video media is excellent selling feature.

    2. Hani Mourra says:

      Hey Paul,

      iPhone 4 is a powerful video blogging tool. The HD video is pretty decent I must say. Check out this post which as completely written on the iPhone (including screenshots), video shot, edited, uploaded to YouTube also video iPhone.

      iPhone 4 makes video blogging a lot more accessible!


  5. KB says:

    I’m using the Kodak Zi8 because it has a microphone input.
    People will forgive so-so picture quality but if your sound sucks, they’re gone.

    Yeah, a lot of digital cameras can produce pretty good video especially for online video that is going to be compressed.

    1. John Chow says:

      The Kodak is a great option and I really like the mick import. I might try Gideon’s solution and use a separate recorder to record my voice.

      1. KB says:

        yeah, that could work for some things but then you’ve got to worry about syncing them up. He doesn’t really talk about that.

        When you are close to the camera and the sound and video sync of someone talking is slightly off it can be ugly. If you are a good distance away, not so much of a problem.

        For Voice-Over style videos it’s great because you can record it later while watching the video and not have all the “uhhh..” and “ummm..”s that you usually do when you are shooting something and trying to narrate at the same time.

      2. Hey John,

        The Ultras HD has a good sound when you are close to it.

        I like the Gideon is using a separate mike too but for now I’ll rely on the built in mike.

        I’ll test at what range the sound is unacceptable.


  6. James says:

    Gideon’s report is really good. I think video has a lot to offer internet marketers/bloggers.
    I’ll admit you’re frequent videos here got me to do some a while ago. I haven’t put too much effort into it but one video has over 10k views. The related post is one that gets a majority of the traffic on my old blog.

  7. I been doing videos for five years now and been able to get millions of views from my at home videos.

    Nothing special at all, just me in front of my Sony HandyCam which I love very much. I do as many videos I do as post I release on my blog.

    To be successful in another way as blogger, I do an video for every post I realese, so this gives my readers word content and video entertainment content at the same time.

    So if your not using videos to get you point across, than I will suggest getting into the new age.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    1. That’s pretty impressive. Maybe you should release your own online video course 🙂

    2. What are your YouTube channels? You sound like you should be able to teach even guys like Gideon and John.

      Are you really that good? I’d like to see your video channels and the number of views you claim you’re getting.

  8. Dean Saliba says:

    12.1 mega pixal? Christ and I thought my 5.1 mega pixal as decent! 😛

  9. Do you have any kind of microphone set up John? Or do you just rely on the sound built into the camera and computer?

    1. John Chow says:

      The HFS100 has a dedicated mic setup. The digital camera doesn’t.

  10. Jason says:

    I really like your setup! You’ve given me the idea to get a mac. I’ve always been a PC guy but, I’m gonna be getting a mac real soon.

    I looked up the prices on both your video recorders too. The Canon SD980 is priced around $250.00 and the HF S100 is around $750.00, not bad prices considering the quality that they give you.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. I like John’s set up too. I was surprised to see the what he uses for screen capture. I’ve never heard of that one before. Only Screen Flow and Camtasia aside from the free or really cheap ones.

      The Canon SD looks good and is perhaps better than the Flip HD because it can also take still pictures. John says it’s smaller but I’m not sure about that.

      We’ll have to compare them side by side. The FlipHD fits nicely in my vest pocket and shirt pockets.

  11. d3so says:

    Pretty neat setup. I wish iMovie would be usable on the pc.
    Another reason for me to get a mac.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      That is for sure! My wife used iMovie to edit all my PPC Ian videos. It’s really great and I can’t say enough great stuff about Macs. Now, I just need to get an iPad!

  12. Glenn says:

    Are you working on the 15 inch by itself right now when you’re at home as well or do you already have it hooked up to a monitor. I love Apple laptops but the screen size is limiting to me for long periods of use.

  13. light tent says:

    Nice gear! I always enjoy watching the videos that you post, so please keep at it!

  14. Krystle says:

    Thanks for giving us a heads up on the gears you use. They seem very efficient. iMovie is the one for me, too.

  15. I would love to see your whole set up … including your desk.

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