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Travel Video Tools and Gear

I was going through some boxes and found old movies of my grandparents’ travels through Europe. My grandfather was a hobby movie maker and could always be found with a movie camera in hand. Like then, today when people travel, they usually take photos to document the experience or have their own home movies. With today’s technology, filming and editing has become easier for the common traveler to make their own travel guides or mini travel movies.

Affiliate link to JVC Everio HD Camera that I use for travel videos

  • Video Camera or Smartphone – I have an extensive collection of electronics, including a JVC Everio HD DVC and an iPhone 4. The JVC offers a better quality video that even works for television news, if needed. The iPhone 4, however, is convenient and is easy to carry around in my pocket. The video capabilities are decent, but the sound is where I have issues.
  • Microphones – I use a traditional size microphone to make some of my videos seem more newsy. With the iPhone, I need a microphone input adapter for any mic to work. Thanks to Tom Martin, I was able to easily find one for around $20. ThinkGeek.com also offers a mini iPhone microphone for less than $10. Regardless of your camera choice, you will still want to look into stepping up your audio.
  • Tripod – A tripod keeps the shot from being shaky, especially when recording landscape or still shots. You’ll also need to invest in a good tripod if you plan on being a one mama (or papa) show. You can set up the camera, hit the record button, and step into your shot to start recording yourself. The Joby Gorillamobile for AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4(affiliate link) is a popular choice for many. If you’re doing things solo and on the go with any other video camera, you may want to check out the XShot Pocket Telescopic Camera Extender. Of course, there are tons of tripods out there to choose from.
  • Lenses – Again, thanks to Tom Martin, I found out about PhotoJojo.com, which offers a variety of iPhone lenses. Who knew? For my JVC, I use a variety of lenses and filters.
  • Lighting – It’s important to have good lighting. If you are indoors and filming editorial or interviews, be sure to bring along extra lighting. If you don’t have portable lighting, take advantage of what’s available by utilizing onsite lamps without the lampshades.

These are just a few of the basic travel video tools and gears you’ll need in your travel video supply kit. Use your imagination and be creative while having fun making your travel movies.

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One Comment

  1. Hi Shannon,

    Thanks for the shout outs… especially agree with the audio comment. I’ve had some friends using the iRigMic ($50 at Mac stores) which is a handheld mic that works with iPhones… but if you want to get really fancy, can’t beat a wireless lav. They’re not cheap – I think mine was $350 but I’ve gotten every bit of value out of it so far.

    Had to laugh at the lighting tip (lamps with no lampshades) as I just did that last weekend on a few videos! But be sure to use at least 2 — one to light and the other to fill and set them about 2 feet or so away from the subject. Leave the lamp shade on the “fill” light and it goes pretty well.

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