Investing in the right gear and tools for that first online course is undoubtedly at the top of many creators’ minds. Although any entrepreneur will tell you there will always be a handful of expenses to account for in your budget, there are a few areas you can tighten the purse strings and a few you can go on and indulge.
When it comes to investing in the best video gear for your online course, we’ve already explored some DIY workarounds for your home video set up and some budget-friendly video options, but we wanted to take it a step further.
To help you better understand where you should spend your money for video for your first online course, we tapped our very own Teachable:hq creators to see what video gear they use (and recommend) for creating and filming your online course.
Cameras and filming devices
Canon cameras came in as creator favorites for those who opt for DSLRs for filming and recording, with one camera getting a special call out. (Need to know more about shopping for a camera? We’ve got that handled as well.)
Creator suggestion: Canon 80d DSLR, $899 and up
Of course you don’t always need to invest in filming gear right away. Sometimes filming on your camera can be just as effective and still offer fantastic video quality. Creators at every level noted simply relying on their smartphones for capturing head-on footage and B-roll.
Creator suggestions: iPhone 12, X, XS
The same goes for computers or iPads. If you’re filming Zoom webinars or more simple recordings, you may be able to get by with equipment you already have.
Creator tip: “I use my Macbook Air for Camera and use an external mic for recording. I also use a tripod and my iPhone X for recording course intro videos.”
Of course if you want an option beyond your phone or computer but aren’t quite ready for messing with a DSLR, a webcam may be your match. Creators we spoke to tend to favor Logitech to get the job done.
Creator tip: “I bought a Logitech webcam and still use that for now when I teach courses that involve slide decks or demos; I'm usually seated at my computer, which is why the webcam has worked until now.”
Teaching a course that takes you outside or off the beaten path? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to your equipment too. Get those wide-angle and aerial shots with some unconventional filming gear.
Sound and mics
But great video is only as good as great audio when it comes to scoping out the best gear for content creation. Creators noted the importance of investing in the proper audio equipment to help make their course material, podcasts, and webinars stand out.
Creator tip: “As a podcaster, I started with a Blue Yeti back in 2015. I used that mic for my slide deck/screen capture videos for years. Now I use a Samson Q2U (similar to the ATR2100) that I bought in 2019, which works better when traveling and blocks extraneous sounds that the Yeti picks up.”
Although most anyone who has appeared on camera (or taken a selfie) agrees that natural light is best, that’s not always possible to recreate. But a few good lights can off the next best solution.
After lights, camera, and action, there’s editing. There’s no need to try to win Best Picture here, but budgeting for a few key programs will make it that much easier to create the look and feel you want for your course.
For course creation:
- For slideshow videos: PowerPoint
- For audio to go with slides: Audacity
- For scripts, manuals, content: Evernote
The extras—the bits and bobs that make your kit complete. These can vary from creator to creator but the following are some of the more common suggestions we noticed our community turning to time and time again.
- Green screen
- Echo dampening device aka a couple of pillows around the room and behind the mic
Whether you’re looking to spend $100 or $1,000 in equipment for your online course, the options abound.
If you’re a Teachable creator already, be sure to drop into the community periodically to see more conversations like this. And if you’re not creating yet, what’s holding you back? Drop us a line below to let us know what you want to see more of to help you prep for your launch.