My Backpacking Filming Setup

Over the summer this year, I decided to take filming more serious. Independent travel videos are growing but I don’t feel it has yet grown up to its full potential. With the fast growing community of videos itself, affordable camcorder options, and easier than ever video editing – it doesn’t seem like it’ll take long before it’s used more often in blogs. I want to get in early.

Destination based videos are getting old to me. There’s enough of that on the Travel Channel and throughout the internet. I enjoy videos based on travel experiences with the interaction of people, therefore, that’s what I film. I try to communicate with people as much as possible.

Equipment

Canon Vixia HFM31: Captures beautiful videos. Small, portable, and sleek. Includes a 32gig internal memory which is plenty in most cases since I backup my videos often. It has so far been able to handle the roughness of my travel.

Canon WD-H37 II Wide Conversion Lens for 37mm Filter Diameter: It seemed pointless to buy the camcorder at all without buying this attachment. It’s a lot easier to record myself turning the camcorder around and other situations like buses and trains where I’ll be recording up close.

Canon BP-819 Lithium Ion Battery Pack: Since I’m always on the road, it made sense to me to buy an extra and extended battery.

Rode VideoMic Directional Video Condenser Microphone w/Mount: The quality of the sound this mic records is incredible for the price. It’s like night and day in comparison to not having it. The mic is as big as the camcorder itself though making it a lot more obvious and not as portable. Still, it was worth it by far. The sound is just as important to me as the video itself. Because Canon decided the need to be special (much like Sony), a mini-shoe to a regular hot shoe is required to mount the mic. Amazon had a few options but I found B&H had it cheaper. I’m not sure on the exact model that I bought.

Headphones?: The last few headphones I had broke or was lost so I’m looking to get a new set soon. I’m a fan of the cheap Sony MDR series headphones.

The total was about $1,000.

I haven’t had time to edit anything professionally (I use Adobe Premiere) but for now I’m taking loads of videos that will later be made into something. A surprise in the coming months.

Camera man Mike @ Top of The Rock, NYC

Camera man Mike @ Top of The Rock, NYC

12 Comments

  1. Andi Perullo on November 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I would love to learn how to make awesome travel videos. Can’t wait to see yours!

  2. Andi Perullo on November 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I would love to learn how to make awesome travel videos. Can’t wait to see yours!

  3. Luisatieso on November 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Your equipment is very professional and before buying I’m sure you looked at the best quality for the best price for what you need, however, traveling and always on the go how do you keep such an equipment safe from theft? How do you film in an unsafe neighborhood?

    • Michael on November 5, 2010 at 3:55 am

      Just using common sense really. Not much I can do. Always being polite to the people I record and keeping it very close to me. Most people love being recorded but they are very shy.

  4. Luisatieso on November 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Your equipment is very professional and before buying I’m sure you looked at the best quality for the best price for what you need, however, traveling and always on the go how do you keep such an equipment safe from theft? How do you film in an unsafe neighborhood?

    • Michael on November 5, 2010 at 4:55 am

      Just using common sense really. Not much I can do. Always being polite to the people I record and keeping it very close to me. Most people love being recorded but they are very shy.

  5. Steph on November 5, 2010 at 12:46 am

    A surprise! Can’t wait to hear what you are up to… 😉

    • Michael on November 5, 2010 at 4:02 am

      Sshhh. You’re going to spoil it!

  6. Steph on November 5, 2010 at 1:46 am

    A surprise! Can’t wait to hear what you are up to… 😉

    • Michael on November 5, 2010 at 5:02 am

      Sshhh. You’re going to spoil it!

  7. Chefs Run Wild on March 6, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Nice! I had the same mic as you too. The sound is pretty good. Too bad a massive monkey ripped it off our camera and ripped it to shreds. Upgraded to the videomic pro. Half the size and pretty good as well!

    • Michael on March 6, 2014 at 9:58 am

      I haven’t updated this article in awhile but my old Rode broke as well (not by monkeys though). I’m kind of glad it did though because then I bought the newer one and it’s SO much easier to carry around and looks less ridiculous.

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