And in a bit of a rush, I might add. (Thanks Amazon!!) Why? I have something cool coming up...
First, I'll tell you about the video lighting I chose, shown there in the image. I ordered the ePhoto 3200 Watt Digital Photography Photo Video Continuous Light Kit after seeing it set up in Atlanta.
Credit goes to Monique Johnson of Both Sides of the Camera for the lighting setup recommendation. (Thank you!)
This continuous light set is actually a really good deal on Amazon right now. It's not top of the line pro quality, but rather ideal (and priced just right) for video bloggers, or shooting photos & video for the web. Lighting makes ALL the difference, no matter what kind of camera you're using - even if you're shooting with your smart phone.
It's amazing what you can capture with the right light!
This is the number one thing that affects the number of videos I create. For the last few years I've been limited by daylight hours, and the right angle and timing, after several frustrating attempts at shooting after dusk.
I've tried a number of lighting options, most of which are too harsh or too yellow or cast odd shadows. Definitely not the quality you get with natural light, or a "continuous lighting" kit like the one I (finally!) ordered.
What prompted me to finally order a proper video lighting set?
Two things: I finally got a decent recommendation (you'd be surprised how WEIRD some photographers and videographers can be! lol) and actually saw the ePhoto 3200 Watt Continuous Light Kit set up - and liked it. The second reason: Crystal Collins twisted my arm into doing an "after dark" Google Hangout with her.
You should join us!
Warning: There is NO telling what you'll hear when you put the two of us together.
I also decided to buy a web cam...
I already have a great camera that I love for vlogging (Video Blogging) and shooting basic videos. And I'm pretty sure I can hook it into either my PC or my Macbook and use it to broadcast live on Google Hangouts and Ustream. I haven't tried it yet though, and thought a cross compatible web cam might just be a nice mobile option to have.
My PC doesn't have a built-in cam, and the built-in cam on my Mac hasn't resulted in even "decent" video quality on Hangouts I've done in the past. I'm still going to test my Vixia - but you may not want to spend $1,000 on a "real video camera" when all you really need is a good web cam.
I decided on the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910:
If you want to buy a web cam, this Logitech is a great option. It's around $150 and high quality video - with dual built-in noise-cancelling mics for rich, clear HD-quality stereo audio. AND it's both Mac and PC compatible, so you can easily switch between computers or use it anywhere.
There's a newer version, but note that it is ONLY Windows compatible. That's the reason I chose the C910 model instead.
Looking for something cheaper?
I've heard good things about this Rocketfish Web Cam, and it's A LOT cheaper. It does have lower quality specs of course, but I'm sure it would work great for general use.
I'm looking forward to doing more "after dark" video and hangouts now that I have a decent video lighting set on the way. If you're looking to buy a web cam yourself, or need good video lighting for your home office, check out the links above. I did a lot of asking around, researching, and reading reviews - and am really happy with the choices I made...