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The equipment needed to produce stock

When you decide to go into stock footage, you need to have a clear idea of what kind of equipment to use and, consequently, how much you need to invest in order to produce enough video of market-level quality.

One of the classic questions that many people ask themselves is whether it is better to use a camera or a video camera.

Cameras vs. video cameras: which one to choose?

It is not really possible to give a clear answer to this question, because various aspects have to be taken into account.

Generally, the substantial difference between the two tools is that the video camera is designed to record long videos, such as entire movies. As a result, video cameras are equipped with systems that reduce overheating. While until recently this aspect was the exclusive prerogative of video cameras, today, many cameras are also equipped with new-generation sensors and updates designed to make them suitable for professional video shoots.

In addition, there is no need for long shots to make stock, especially as most stocks accept clips that last less than a minute.

Low-mid budget video cameras generally have less versatility than cameras because they are not full frame and have fewer interchangeable lenses.

High-level video cameras, however, such as Red, Alexa, etc., have no such problems and outperform any SLR currently available.

Their limit, rather, concerns maneuverability: depending on the type of shooting you choose to do, you might feel much more comfortable with an SLR camera.

In our video course, we will discuss in depth how to make the most of the features of your tool, taking into account the type of clip you want to produce.

Lights and other useful tools

To create a good clip, it’s not enough to just choose the right tool to shoot with: it’s also important to consider the lights and other useful tools for shooting.

Light is an essential element for good shooting, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy the lighting tools: you may just need to use what you already have.

The best solution is to learn how to make the best use of natural light, without overdoing it with outdoor lighting, which, besides being expensive, is not always easy to manage.

Home light bulbs, reflective polystyrene panels, low-cost LED panels may be enough: in these cases, generally speaking, the less lights you use, the more likely it is that the clip will turn out well. There are also some little tricks you can learn. Baking paper is an excellent substitute for photographic frost, which is used to soften light: its cost, however, is considerably lower.

There are also other tools to consider, such as color gels, easels and smoke machines.

Gels today are very low cost and can be a very good way to give a different identity to the environment. All it takes is a set of gels to provide a completely new atmosphere.

Smoke machines are also not too expensive and can create highly unique environments.

Various models at affordable prices are available: the difference between the various models consists mainly in the jet power, the smoke density, the duration of the smoke emission, the recharge time and the size of the liquid tank.

Investing in new equipment: yes or no?

Another question that many people ask is whether it is worth investing in new equipment and, if so, how much to invest.

There is no single answer to this question either, because a lot depends on the initial budget, experience and skills of the individual, as well as the budget available.

In general, it is a good solution to start with some basic equipment and then gradually increase the available tools: it makes no sense to invest immediately in equipment that you are not yet able to use. It is better to invest little by little by making informed choices.

You should also take into account that the investment that will have to be managed does not only concern equipment, optics, etc., but also, for example, the actors.

If you do not have suitable people for the clips, for example family members or particularly photogenic friends, you will have to allocate a part of your budget for actors. This is not a secondary concern: actors are very important in the sale of clips and can determine their success or failure.

Another component not to be underestimated is the PC. It is obviously essential in the post-production phase to have the right hardware and software tools available: learning how to manage RAM memory, graphics cards and programs will allow you to solve most technical difficulties at a lower cost.

What equipment is essential?

If you want to become a stock footage expert , you need to know what basic equipment cannot be missing from your initial set.

Have you ever wondered if it’s better to use cameras or video cameras for your stock footage?

Want to figure out how to juggle the features of the SLR?

Want to learn the tricks to improve the lighting in your environments without investing too much money in expensive equipment?

Interested to know which equipment is a must and what you can do without?

Want to learn how to manage RAM, video cards and post-production software?

In our video course, we talk in depth about the basic equipment and how best to invest your budget over all equipment.

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