Which Camera to use for Promotional Video recording

You may or may not have yet decided to record with the face-to-camera or Voice-over method.

To help you with that decision, it’s a good idea to look at the different types of camera you’re able to use.

Always keeping in mind that the rationale for this Do-it-yourself Video series is to make use of the equipment you already own, keeping an eye on what can be achieved by adding a little more equipment that will make a big difference.

I’ve set 4 categories for this tutorial and then in the following set of 4 tutorials I will show you how to use each of those to make your promotional videos.


a/ Webcams

b/ Cell phone


d/ Voiceover

They all have their Pros and Cons.

I’ll look at the simplest and likely to be the lowest cost alternative.

You will most likely have a webcam already attached to your computer or laptop.

To use the webcam to make videos you will need a screen recorder software app on your computer.

If you’re a Mac user, you are in luck as “QuickTime Player” comes with your Mac.

If you are a PC user there are free Screen recorders available, look at OBS Studio and FlashBack Express.

I use Filmage screen for my recordings as it allows the capture of audio from my screen, more on that later in the video.

I’ll be concentrating on Apple’s QuickTime player in this tutorial.

I use “Filmage Screen” for my recordings as it allows the capture of audio from my screen as well as the microphone audio for my voice. Quicktime does not record the screen audio without some complicated workarounds.

Back to the Webcam itself,

There are some things you’ll need to find out though, to evaluate the potential results. like what resolution does it record at, does it have a microphone built-in.

You will find this in your computer’s specs.

You are looking to see if the webcam records at 720P or 1080p

720p is just OK, it will be a bit soft, you really want at least 1080p.

If your computer doesn’t have a webcam or microphone, you will need to purchase those.

I will cover what is available in a minute.

Equipment costs are at the bottom of this blog

First Let’s assume you do have a webcam and a built-in microphone in your computer.

1080p will record a full HD video which will be good enough. 4K is becoming more accepted, but that will require you to buy a 4K webcam, as I don’t know of any computers with 4K webcams built-in.

My suggestion for 4K resolution is a Logitech Brio or AverMedia 513 for a 4K webcam with a suitable Microphone attached: high US$200. There are lower cost alternatives - I have not had any experience with those.

Whatever you consider, let me emphasise at this point that a built-in microphone on your computer will not cut the mustard for a professionally sounding promotional video. The Mic in the Logitech Brio will be just OK.

The key to getting good sound is to have the microphone as close to your mouth as possible.

This means no microphone will give optimum sound when it is attached to your computer because of the physical distance.

In my mind, if you are using a webcam to film you need a USB microphone or Lavalier Microphone (lapel Mic) that you can position close to your mouth.

Amazon has USB Microphones from US$20.00


If you only purchase one item, I suggest that a microphone will make the biggest difference to quality of your promotional video.

With that said don’t skimp, something in the $50/60.00 range at least and if you can stretch to it buy the Blue Yeti. You will notice the difference.

You are also best to include a Foam Mic Windscreen, and a pop Filter, Consider a Scissor Arm Stand - many mics ship with these items in the package for under $100.00

Also consider a USB Lavalier Microphone as this will clip on to your lapel - hence the common name: lapel Microphone.

Be sure to check that your PC will accept a USB Microphone. All recent Macs are fine.

You’ll’ be able to use the Free Teleprompter software - I will discuss that in the next tutorial which will look at How to record from a webcam using QuickTime Player.

Using a Cell Phone

Let’s look at using a cell phone to record your Face-to-face video.

As with webcams, the resolution of your phone’s camera is important. Particularly the Selfie camera, as this will be the optimum way to record.

Older Cell phone cameras will have a set focus point so you would need to find out what is the optimum distance from your face and mark the spot for future filming.

Recent phone cameras have auto focus built-in, and some manual controls.

You may decide to use the rear camera but you’ll not be able to see yourself while you are recording. Which makes it hard - not impossible though.

There is a different advantage in using the rear camera as it will be 4K on recent phones, whereas the Selfie camera probably is only 1080P

On the balance, I suggest you should consider the selfie camera, as the ability to see yourself and the added benefit of having the facility for a teleprompter, outplays the drop in resolution.

I’ll talk about the teleprompter in minute.

First let’s look at what you need to use your phone’s camera.

A small cheap tripod is necessary. Nothing special needed, and you most likely have one already.

You also need some device that will grip the phone like a Tripod Mount for Phone - $5- $10.00

Now let’s consider Audio. It’s actually more important than the video.

The audio recorded from your phone will not be up to scratch because of the distance it will be from your mouth.

Hence the need for a separate audio recording device like Lavalier (Lapel) Microphone that plugs into your phone so the mic will be close to your mouth.

Be careful that the plug suits your type of phone: 3.5 pin for PC and Lightning cable for iPhone.