Gear – Following Up From DEVLEARN 2019

Everything You Need to Make Awesome Training Videos for Under 400 Bucks


A bunch of folks approached me after my session, at Devlearn 2019, asking what specific camera I recommended.  So I promised to put together some specific recommendations.

Remember, my focus for most training situations is to buy the cheapest gear that does the job.  So, avoid buying expensive equipment with all the bells and whistles.  (Unless you just like to play with toys and that’s cool too.)

As long as your gear has the basic functions we talked about during the session, and you learn the skills of using these functions, you’ll be on track.  Learning these skills is easier than it sounds.

The following list of gear has everything you need.  And here’s the good thing – all the gear you need to film awesome training videos will cost you less than $400.

The Canon camera below is the unit I have been recommending to clients and using with clients for years.  When it’s used correctly, it gets awesome results – so make sure to learn the basics of video production.  This is not a shameless plug to bring one of my workshops to your organization because you can self learn these skills. But hey, if you want a jump start and get up to speed fast, let me know!  🙂

So, here are my recommendations, as of October 2019.  All the best as you do the work of training through video!  Let me know how you get along with your video!



Use a camera tripod to steady your shots

Video Tripod

I’m not so fussed about what tripod you use, so long as it has a spirit level, a fluid head and is solid.  CLICK HERE for a good option.  ($80)


Use a camera with manual functionsVideo Camera

I recommend the Canon Vixia.  It’s the cheapest camera on the market that offers all the manual features I think are critical, plus it has an external mic input.  CLICK HERE for the specific model.  ($220)

Lav mics are good for sit downs and talking head shotsMicrophone Option #1: Lav Mic

If you’re doing interviews, sit downs or talking head videos, I suggest you use a lavalier.  You’ll need one that has a mini phone plug – like the plug used in headphones. CLICK HERE for my recommendation  ($21)

Shotgun mics are great for 'run and gun' video projectsMicrophone Option #2: Shotgun Mic

If you’re planning to shoot audio with multiple people or people moving around, or moving from one location to another to quickly acquire video (often referred to us “run and gun”) I suggest you use a shotgunCLICK HERE for my recomendation.  ($41)

Editing SoftwareOther Stuff

Make sure you have a set of headphones – ear buds will work fine.  Also, we’re talking about video gear here.  You’ll also need editing software.  If you’re just starting out, Camtasia is great.  if you want more effects, Premier or Final Cut would be good.


Please note that these link to products on Amazon.  Jonathan Halls LLC may get a commission on some of these links which supports us in publishing content to help trainers make media content.  If you would prefer, type the name of the product into Google and you can find other places to purchase the equipment.  These recommendations are based on our experience and made in good faith.  However, please remember that any purchases are between you and the supplier and we always encourage you to do additional research on our recommendations.