How I create my videos
Article updated by Jay Kay 22 March 2017 09:03 pm | Motoring
I often get asked the question "which camera are you using" or "what do you use to mount your camera" from the YouTube community so I have decided to explain what I use and why!
During the course of the year, I've been asked by a lot of people which kit I use when it comes to creating my videos. It's a fair question because it is a minefield when searching for the best action camera you can afford. I personally wanted the best of the best, but soon got smacked down when I saw 4k cameras can be over £500. Do we really need 4k video on YouTube??
So after doing a ton of research, and after sitting on the fence a long time, I finally took the plunge and invested a sizeable chunk of my money into my YouTube hobby and I don't regret it for one second!
With that in mind and because I know some of you will only be interested in certain parts of the YouTube videoing process, this article will be split as follows:
For filming I use the Sony HDR-AZ1 mini action camera. This is a good enough camera for my needs as I really don't see the point in filming in 4k UHD. It offers full HD (1080p) recording @ 60 frames per second while using Sony's excellent XAVC S format at a bitrate of 50Mbps which means you will be recording video in pretty much the highest quality HD available.
The camera also records sound in stereo (where my iphone 6s records in mono!!) using a built in speaker as well. I can confirm the sound quality is brilliant. I should add that this is a MINI action camera which means it is quite a small device as can be seen in the photo below. It measures at 1.8 inches (4.59cm's) tall and approx 3 inches (7.65cm's) in length.
I opted to buy the camera complete with the live action watch and this has proved very handy. You can connect the camera to your smart phone using the Sony action camera app, but I prefer using the live action watch. The watch comes into its own when im on dealer test drives, needing to be able to setup the camera position correctly, quickly as usually dealers do not have much time to waste.
I really am pleased with it and after owning it for over a year, I still think it is a gorgeous bit of kit. It manages to pleasantly surprise people whenever I meet to record driving videos as well. I personally chose this over the equivalent GoPro Hero partly because of its looks and partly because I've had a lot of Sony items in my life over the years, and have never had a problem where reliability is concerned. My Sony Mini Disc player still works and that is donkey's years old! It still looks cool too.
You can buy the Sony HDR-AZ1 mini action camera by clicking here: Sony HDR-AZ1VR Mini Action Camera with Live View Remote Wrist Strap (Image Stabliser, Wi-Fi and NFC)
I mentioned earlier that this camera records in Sony's high demanding codec format and so because of this, you will need a capable micro SD card. This is probably the most confusing of all because you can easily be fooled into buying what seems a high performance card but is in actual fact a low performer. It is best not to skimp on these as apparently it can lead to unreliable video storage if using cheaper cards. You can potentially burn a card out as well if it isn't fit for purpose.
So with that in mind and after a lot of research I decided on buying the SanDisk extreme pro micro SD card. The good thing about this card is that not only is it capable of recording high quality HD film, but it is also capable of recording Ultra HD film at high speed too (AKA 4k video). This is a very good thing because it means that when I upgrade to a 4k camera, I will be ready for action thanks to this card.
The other important aspect of this card is that it also lets me copy huge videos from the camera onto my computer within minutes. So what this card offers then is very high WRITE speeds and very high READ speeds. And that is where it can get confusing when buying these things, because sellers tend to highlight one speed without mentioning the other! Several times I almost bought a Micro SD card which had fast Read speed but very low WRITE speed and vice versa!
You can buy the SanDisk extreme pro micro SD card here. SanDisk Extreme PRO 64 GB microSDXC Memory Card + SD Adapter up to 95 MB/s, Class 10, U3, V30
Now I recently bought the official Sony spare battery and battery charging kit for this camera because I intend to film some road trip videos, but I purchased this camera in February 2016 and found that the battery life lasted long enough for my needs (which is just over 60 minutes).
You can buy the official spare battery and recharger here: Sony Battery with Charger for Action Camera .
The Sony HDR AZ-1 action camera comes with an action camera accessories mount (pictured below) which means that you are able to mount it to pretty much any action camera accessories available. I personally bought the kit shown above from amazon and use it for my test drive videos and vlogs.
A tip I can give you is that for the centre cockpit POV, I use the selfie stick (provided with the kit linked above and below) and that works like a charm! However it is important to note that this setup is not track regulation. If you want to film track days, you will need to buy a proper headrest mount. If you saw my 2015 Golf R DSG test drive video, you will have seen that the camera POV is staring at the wheel. The mount used for this shot was a chest camera mount which also comes with this kit.
You can buy the action camer accessory kit here: Luxebell® 14in1 Accessories Bundle Kit for Sony Action Cam HDR-AS15/AS20/AS30V/AS100V/AS200V/Sony Action Cam HDR-AZ1 Mini Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Cameras, Helmet Mount / Chest Mount Harness / Bike Mount / Selfie Stick / Head Band/Floating grip/Suction cup/Tripod Mount
When it comes to editing my footage, I have a maxed out 2011 MacBook Pro. The hardware consist's of the Solid State Drive by Samsung - a renowned industry leader in performance and reliability.
Before owning this drive I had the OEM 3200rpm HDD and 4GB of ram setup. The only reason I upgraded was because of pressure from a close friend of mine, as I really do hate spending money! He also made me upgrade the memory, maxing it to 16GB of RAM and since doing it i've regretted not doing it sooner!
As you can hopefully see from the picture above, the memory I chose was "CORSAIR", again a brand with a reputation for offering quality performing RAM. What this upgrade has led to is a MacBook which boots up and running in under 30 seconds. A machine which renders video in my software within minutes rather than hours!
You can buy the SDD here Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB 2.5 inch Solid State Drive
You can buy the CORSAIR macmemory here Corsair CMSA16GX3M2A1600C11 Apple Mac 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL11 Apple Certified SODIMM Kit
Finally the software I use is the Adobe Creative Suite. I mainly use Adobe Premier Pro for my video edits but also use Fireworks for the odd graphical addition. I should tell you now that my eidting skills are very crude so I could probably get away with using a much more cut down piece of software, but I got this software so cheap, and the more I use it the more im learning, so I have a very powerful editing program there if I ever need it.