October 1, 2020

Luther's Good News

Spreading the Word of God

Budget Camera Setup for your Church recordings

4 Item’s to start a budget recording system for your church

So you want to start recording your services but you need gear and you don’t have a budget. This is the setup I started with and I actually already owned all of this stuff so I didn’t spend anything. What it comes down too is the stuff you have is the best stuff to use. That is where I started and where I recommend anyone starting. If you don’t have anything that you can use, this is where I started and it works.

I am not getting paid for posting or recommending any of these and I do not get a kickback if you buy from my links. This is just for information purposes.

Camera

The camera I start with was the Canon VIXIA HF R800. As of today, the cannon is available for $209 from Amazon and it is prime free 2-day shipping. It can record in 1080-60p which is great. Low light is ok but not great. Zoom pretty good. For the price, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better video camera. As of today all of our videos are still being shot with this camera so feel free to check out the videos on the video page to see the quality. This is a great start to the Budget Camera Setup.

Tripod

I actually have 2 of these AmazonBasics Tripods. I like them a lot. They have a lot of height adjustability and a nice handle you can use to walk with it. The feet are really good too. Both of the ones I purchased are not great for panning. For $26 I can’t complain too much about it. You might be able to get some silicone spray and fix this issue also, just have not tried. Another great addition to the Budget Camera Setup.

SD Card

You will need an SD card to record your videos. I don’t know a ton about SD cards but get one that is decent quality. I had one but this one was listed as frequently purchased with the camera and tripod so it should work? Consider getting larger cards, you don’t want to run out of space and they are not very expensive. For reference recording, a full service which is about an hour-long takes up about 12 gigs. 

3.5mm Mic cable

One of the most important things about your video is the sound. While you want a great video, it means nothing if you can’t hear it. For this, I recommend hooking into your church’s soundboard. You can use this audio cable to hook into the soundboard’s headphone port and plug it directly into the camera. This is the cable I use. I recommend getting as long as possible. Be aware that this isn’t a great cable. I would recommend you try to find a better one. Read the one-star reviews, they are not wrong. Sometimes it has a horrible buzz and you have to play with it to get it to stop. I would look for something higher quality for your Budget Camera Setup.

Bonus

Get a set of 3.5mm headphones. You can plug these into your camera and you will be able to hear the audio you are recording. Trust me on this one, this is pretty important. The first time I used the above cable the entire service was buzzing and I couldn’t hear what was going on but didn’t know until editing. I have not used these headphones so I can’t recommend them from personal experience but they seem like they would work. Headphones are a must-have for your Budget Camera Setup.

Note: If you are running headphones on this camera, you will need to go into the settings on the camera and make sure it is set up for headphones, otherwise you will get a buzz in your headphones that are not part of the recording.