We use a lot of content creation video gear in producing all the blogs, videos, podcasts, and reports we do each week for the RV Lifestyle platform. We recently constructed a studio at our Southwest Michigan 10-acre homestead to make it easier to do all our videos and podcasts.
And we also have a mobile setup we use when traveling in the RV.
In answer to the many emails we've received, here is a tour of our studio and the gear we use. If enough express interest, we can do a follow-up report on what we use on the road.
If you want to look at the gear, check out the companion video below from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel.
Starting our Video Podcast Studio Tour – My Computers
We begin with the computer system. For my main video editing and studio work, I use the Mac Studio with Apple’s powerful M2 Chip. It has 64 Gigabytes of RAM and a terabyte of SSD Memory.
My Mac Studio has been a powerhouse for me, very compact, and able to handle even the most demanding edit projects. My only regret is I wish I had bought more storage capacity… 2 Terabytes or even 4.
I shoot so much video that I fill up the 1 terabyte SSD drive on the Mac Studio. That’s no big deal, but for convenience's sake, I wish I had 4 terabytes of internal memory on the Mac Studio.
The reason it’s no big deal is because of this…the 4 GB SanDisk portable SSD drive. I just move those files from the Mac to the portable every month or so. And when this is filled, I’ll just get another.
When we are on the road, I do everything on my 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 Chip. It has 64 gigs of RAM and a terabyte of SSD memory. I used to have an external monitor, but on the road, it was overkill, and the MacBook Pro’s screen works just fine.
Video Podcast Studio Tour – Monitors
For monitors, I have three. My main one is the LG Ultrawide 34 inch with a slightly curved screen. It lets me see everything on big editing projects. I also have a Samsung 27-inch monitor I use for my amateur radio transceiver and a HP 24 inch monitor for the Mac Mini M2 computer I use exclusively for email and web browsing in the studio.
All of my monitors are on AVLT swivel desk mounts that can be tilted and moved to any position.
For audio monitors, I have the Edifier Powered Bookshelf Speakers. They work wirelessly through Bluetooth, or, as I did, you can plug them directly into your computer’s audio output jack. It comes with a remote control and fills my studio with excellent sound for post-production work as I edit my videos and podcasts.
Next up – Mixers and Microphones
Next, let's talk about the audio mixers and microphones.
I am a huge fan of the Rode Podcaster audio production console, so much so that I have two of them, one for the studio and one we take in the RV and on location. I have version 1. The one I recommend now is Version 2. It has four inputs, a nine-channel broadcast quality mixer with processing and fades and customizable buttons for triggering audio and effects.
Our main studio microphones, both on adjustable boom arms, are the Rode PodMic dynamic cardioid broadcast mic, both plugged into the Rode Podcaster. In the RV, we use two more PodMics, on deskstands, plugged into our second Podcaster, which we always keep in our Fifth Wheel.
So that’s how we handle the audio.
The Cameras We Use in our Video Podcast Studio
We use four video cameras in the studio. They are the Sony A6100 mirrorless camera with a 16-50 mm lens.
Also in the studio, I have a Canon EOS R mirrorless camera with a 24-50 mm lens that I also sometimes put in the mix as a fifth camera.
On the road for vlogging, we shoot with a bunch of different cameras. The workhouse is the Canon M-50 Mark II Mirrorless camera with a 15-45 mm lens. I have an older M-50 I use for backup.
Lately, we’ve added the fun Insta360 X3 action camera that shoots in 360 degrees. It really offers some interesting perspectives and has the ability to make a long selfie stick disappear when shooting overhead. This camera can make shots that look like they were taken by a drone.
I do have a drone. It is the DJI Mavic Air with the screen remote controller. I keep it in a hard shell case with extra batteries.
Also in our on-the-road kit is a GoPro Hero Black model 12 with the media mod and a bunch of different mounts for sticking it to various surfaces. I have a bunch of older GoPros that we sometimes use for dash cam shots.
Our Video Switching Gear
Okay, back to the studio. With four cameras providing our video, a switcher is essential. I use the Atem Mini Extreme from Blackmagic.
It takes my mixed audio from the Podcaster and has nine inputs for my various cameras and even the computer screen. I wrote a macro program that will automatically switch from camera to camera at various intervals and I can take any camera at will with just the touch of a button.
For the RV and remote shoots, I have a smaller version of this that I can use, the Blackmagic Atem Mini Pro.
I have a small 13 inch monitor from Niuto that I have attached to the Atem Mini Extreme to show me each of my camera shots and the one that happens to be live at any given minute.
One of the most important parts of our studio is the lighting system. Besides some standard overhead room lighting, we have recently added a very versatile two-point studio panel lighting system from a company called LumeCube. I have two Studio Panel Lights on adjustable 70-inch stands that can be remotely controlled and precisely adjusted to differing brightness levels or color temperatures.
Our Tour Continues with Studio Lighting
Both lights have adjustable barn doors that allow you to focus and shape the light. They have made a huge difference in the video quality captured by our cameras.
Lume Cube also makes a small LED circular desk light on an adjustable swing arm. We have it mounted just abve the monitor between the studio lights.
Lastly, we also sometimes use a pair of LumeCube mini tube lights that can provide various colors to enhance the mood. The studio lights and the tube lights are all battery powered so they can be taken on location if we need to set up a portable studio.
There will be more to come…
So that's what I'm using in 2024. I'm sure I'll be replacing some gear and adding new in the months ahead and when I do, I'll come back and update this report.
One last note: If you are just starting out, you don't need all this to start making content. Start with what you have. Today's smartphones do an amazing job. Then, add as you can.
Our 2024 RV Predictions is one of our latest video podcasts – so you can see how it all comes out in the end using all of the gear and cameras.
And like I said at the beginning, if you'd like more info on how we create content on the road, use the comments below to let me know.