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Whiteboard Animation Video Q&A – Which Video Camera Choice is Best?

As more and more people become interested in whiteboard animation videos, I thought I would share some of the questions I receive from folks.  This one comes from one of my website visitors:

Q: I really want to make some white board video animations, but I haven’t found any info about what kind of video camera would be the best for it? Or what features should I look for in a video camera when I buy it? Can you help me out on this?

A: Great question!
First, full disclosure: I am not a professional videographer, nor do I play one on TV.
That said, I think the type of camera depends on the type of whiteboard animation video you want to create.  
Personal/Web Video
The “Flip” or personal use video cameras work just fine for simple web videos… recognizing that they are pretty much “point and shoot” video cameras offering limited quality and limited functionality.
If you’re doing a fixed shot recording, be sure that your setup is solid enough to keep your camera still.  The lightweight nature of these cameras makes them susceptible to motion and vibration, and that will show up in your footage.
The good news is you won’t normally be recording an audio track while shooting your video… so audio quality is a non-issue for this topic.
I own a “Flip” video camera and use it for my web videos.  Works fine!
Video For A Client
If you are selling that video as a professional service or product, then you should use professional quality tools.  For higher resolution video or greater control over your shots, speak to a videographer or professional camera supply shop for their recommendations on the best gear for your particular project’s needs.  (If I were researching this, I’d honestly start with B&H Photo, Video, and Pro Audio and go from there.)
Rent Or Own
Also, think about how often you’re going to do these videos… and if buying a camera is the right choice for you.  Depending on the volume of videos you expect to create, It may be more economical to rent a camera on a per-project basis… and then you aren’t tied in to a particular technology generation.  (I don’t know about you, but every time I buy new technology, it’s out of date by the time I get it out of the box!  :^)
What’s Helpful Either Way
Regardless of whether you use a personal camera or professional camera, the single-most helpful feature in a camera is its ability to connect to a display so you can see what – and where – you are drawing… from the camera’s perspective.  It will help you stay “in frame” while working, and it will help your video crew watch the shot unfold without everyone trying to look at the videocamera’s tiny display.
Play Your Strengths
Lastly, I don’t know what your role is in a whiteboard animation project.  Are you the party wanting a video for your company?  Are you the illustrator?  The videographer? The editor?  Are you wanting to promote yourself as a end-to-end whiteboard animation video provider?
Let your role help you decide whether or not you need to pick up a camera.  For example, my whiteboard animation work for clients is always shot with a professional videographer.  Being a video technology expert is not in my wheelhouse as a graphic facilitator or stick figure strategist.  So I do what I do best (work with the client to clarify their vision, storyboard their project, and do the whiteboard animation), and let the pros do what they do best (creating the script, shooting the video, editing the video, etc.)
Because a fancy camera may be nice, but the success of a whiteboard animation project really hinges on the brains behind the camera more than the camera itself!
Got A Question? Are you thinking about a whiteboard animation video for your business, and have some questions about what’s involved?  Send your question in to Jeannel…and it may be selected for the next Whiteboard Animation Video Q&A blog post!

Recorded Trainings: How to become a Whiteboard Animation Ninja!

Whiteboard Animation Ninja

In this 4-part recorded training series, whiteboard animation veteran Jeannel King teaches you how whiteboard animation videos are made…from script to storyboard to setup to shoot!
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