We have talked to many individuals who are hesitant to commit to a professional web video but recognize the importance of video in communicating their message and for SEO purposes. Also, we have a large client base that likes to use a mix of both professionally produced video and personal video to help build their presence online. In fact, we strongly recommend that practice, to maximize your exposure online and keep your content fresh.
If you are ready to begin building your online video presence but want to try it out independently we have found an inexpensive option for you to explore.
While there are several very inexpensive and convenient mini-cameras now available, many of which offer HD resolution, their have relied on an internal microphone that provided poor audio quality. For instance, the extremely popular Flip HD camera records in 720p, can be carried in your pocket, and purchased for around $180 new. Honestly, I have to admit that the quality is pretty amazing for what you pay for it. However, as mentioned, the Flip camera always gives itself away by the poor audio output.
The Kodak Zi8 solves that problem by having an audio-in jack that accepts an external microphone. Like the Flip, it sells for $180. Now- unless you are willing to invest in a microphone to go with the camera, there is no advantage to the Kodak over the Flip (in my inexperienced opinion, this is not an article arguing the quality of either product).
The Good news is we have found a $40 microphone to use with the Zi8, the AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR3350. It is a wired omni-directional lapel mic with a 20 foot cord.
Using the camera and the microphone together, you have a perfect solution for at home video production for just around $220. As a video production company, we do not feel that this is enough to completely replace your need for professionally produced content (we do edit personally recorded footage for clients, however)- but think it is a great way for one to begin exploring and benefiting from the rapidly growing world of online video.