If you need to record your own video content then the advice and guidance below will help you create the best possible content you can using domestic equipment.
Camera: Any of the following should provide you with 'good enough' quality video: -
- Digital video camera (or stills camera with video capability); these provide best quality video (especially if HD or 4K enabled)
- Mobile phone; we recommend using the rear camera wherever possible (as it usually is better quality than the front camera) however, if you are filming without any assistance, it may prove more difficult to set up and frame your shot. If you prefer to use the front camera then it's worth checking the resolution/testing in advance
- Webcam; we would only recommend using a webcam if recording via Panopto or a dedicated Camera app on your computer. If you are using Zoom, Teams or Canvas then we strongly suggest using another method to record as the quality of the recording is significantly poorer and the audio may record out-of-sync
Microphone: Digital video and still cameras usually have good built in microphones, however you may want to consider using an external microphone if you are a too far away from the camera. Most mobile phones have high quality microphones which are suitable for most video recording.
Tripod: Using a tripod will enable you to frame your shot easier, and ensure it remains steady whilst filming is in progress, and you can easily adjust theheight.
Setting up your camera
Set the camera's resolution as high as possible (1080p or 720p) and, if you've got 4K, use it! Anything less than 720p will result in poor quality video.
Some phones let you choose the option to set the file format. Please choose high compatibility rather than high compression. If you're using your webcam or laptop camera, then please record in MP4 format.
Turn any autofocus settings off, otherwise theres a chance your video will look blurry if you move, or the camera tries to focus elsewhere.
Set your camera to landscape orientation, not portrait. Position the camera close enough to get the shot you want, rather using the camera’s zoom. Set the lens roughly to eye-level, so you are not looking down on it or up, but straight through the lens at the audience.
Sit or stand in the middle of the shot, and leave a little bit of room between the top of your head and the edge of the frame. Try and get the top of your torso in the shot.
Look directly down the lens of the device you're recording on to engage your audience, don't look at your computer screen if you can help it.
Find somewhere quiet and film at a time where there will be no interruptions.
Any light source (e.g. a window or lamp) should be facing you, not behind you, but not too bright, otherwise you could end up in a shadow or looking washed out. Natural light is better than artificial light.
When you start recording, give yourself a few seconds to settle into your position before talking. When you are ending your filming, wait a few seconds without moving before you go to stop the recording
If you make a mistake, rather than restarting mid-sentence, start at the start of the sentence you were on or rewind a whole paragraph or go back to the start of the slide. Give a nice clear point to say you’re starting that again and it can be edited out.
If you're standing, keep the camera lens at eye height and try to stand still. If sitting, maintain a good posture. Don't slouch, spin or sway in the chair. Again make sure the lens is at eye-level.
We strongly recommended that you record some test footage for a few seconds to test your audio levels, lighting and composition.
For more detailed information, watch this video where Matt Horne, Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager, demonstrates the advice and guidance above.