caseyrigOne of the things we have been experimenting with here at is how to capture thoughts that we might traditionally record using text or audio, and turn them into a video blog, or vlog, or just some kind of regular video published on YouTube.

Without a doubt one of the most successful and respected Youtubers currently practising their craft is Casey Neistat.  His particular style works incredibly well to tell his stories – one that we wanted to emulate.  Whilst our budget did not extend to the awesome DJI Phantom 4 drone which he uses to capture the sweeping aerial shots… or the Samsumg Gear 360 camera to produce 360 degree immersive video and audio experiences… they are still on our wish list!

What we did do however is build a simple but effective camera and most importantly microphone set up for our daily vlog – inspired by Casey!  Over the next few months we will be building up video content for a number of our different ventures focused on niche topics.  We wanted to ensure we had a reliable and robust solution that could be used to shoot high quality video, and most importantly high quality audio as well.

Here is our shopping list to build that you can use to build your own Casey Neistat video blog set up:

  • Camera: The Canon 70D or 80D.  Both a great cameras capable of high definition (1080p) video.  We purchased our 70D a few month ago before the 80D was released… but if we were starting from scratch today the 80D would have been our primary camera.
  • Lens: The 18-135 kit lens that you can get with the 70D or 80D works well (pictured above with our 70D) if you are on a budget, but for wider angle shots (or if you have short arms or a big head!) then you will need to invest in either the Canon 10-18mm or 10-22mm lens.
  • External Microphone:  The most important part of this rig as far as we are concerned.  No matter how nice the video is unless the audio quality can match it, then your video efforts will be a waste of time.  The Rode VideoPro with Rycote Shockmount attaches using the hot shoe on top of our Canon 70D DSLR and connects using the external microphone port… and gives clear audio for when you are talking directly to camera.  We have played around with the audio settings on the camera to leverage the gain available from the Microphone itself, improving the quality of the recording.
  • Tripod:  The Joby Gorrillapod Focus with Ball Head… adds a bit of weight to the rig which will minimise shake.  The flexible nature of the tripod means you can use it handheld to shoot yourself talking straight to camera, or set up your camera handing from a tree, a rail, or any weird or wonderful location to get that perfect Casey’esque time lapse shot!