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My Blogging and Podcasting Gear

My GearPeople often ask me for recommendations about the blogging and podcasting tools and gear that I use in the production of Singularity Weblog and SingularityFM. Below you will find a list of all tools that I have used or still use and recommend.

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Nikola

 

For On-line Recording I use:

Evaer Professional to record Skype interviews. If I have a technical problem with Evaer I use Zoom as a backup alternative – it records lower audio and video quality but it is much more reliable.

Most of my original Skype podcast episodes were recorded with the Logitech 9000 Pro Webcam

Eventually I switched to using the Microsoft LifeCam Studio Webcam. Most recently I bought Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, which is the best webcam I have used so far, though this webcam does not work well with Evaer.

Most of my podcast episodes were recorded with the Rode Podcaster USB microphone kit and the BSW RE320POP Filter, which is not designed for but does fit on it. [A good and cheap alternative, which comes with the pop filter and mic-stand included in the box, is the Rode NT-USB. If you want something better check out the Apex X USB Mic] I myself recently switched to the Electro-Voice RE320 mounted on the suspension shockmount and into a TASCAM UH-7000 USB Preamp.

 

For in-person interviews I use:

One of my first in-person interviews was with Ray Kurzweil. It was recorded with the Canon Vixia HF G10. That was a couple of years ago. So today, if you want an easy to use fire-and-forget all-in-one camcorder, I recommend the Canon Vixia HF G20 or G30

For even better quality video while having absolute control over settings and either know or are willing to learn how to use it, I recommend the Panasonic GH3. [I started with this camera and totally love the picture quality. Also, today it has dropped to half the price that I paid for it.]

For the ultimate in portable video quality I have recently switched to the Panasonic GH4 – it records 4k, takes gorgeous still images, is very fast to focus and totally awesome to use.

I shoot my current videos with at least 3 cameras – one on each person with a portrait lens like the Olympus 45mm F1.8 or my favorite portrait lens – the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm F1.2. [See my full lens video review here.] The third body usually gives us the wide-angle shot of both me and my interviewee. For that I use either the 25mm F1.4 Panasonic Leica or the 15mm F1.7 Panasonic Leica which are both fantastic.

If you don’t mind manual focusing and prefer de-clicked aperture, super-fast and sharp cine lenses for the M43 format, I highly recommend the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 as well as the 42.5mm F0.95 lens. [Their 25mm F0.95 lens is sharp as a razor at F2.8 but wide open it is a bit too soft for my taste. But if you like that classic, dreamy rendering look, then, you ought to check that out too.]

For recording audio I use 2 Rode Lavalier Mics with the Sennheiser G3 wireless system. [Make sure you check the legally allocated wireless frequencies in your country before you buy.] I then take the sound through the Riggy JuicedLink Box and record into my GH4 camera. This way I get fantastic audio quality and skip post-production audio syncing issues altogether.

My favorite back-ground noise-suppressing conference and ENG style microphone is the Sennheiser MD 46 but if you are more concerned about wind rather than background noise then I recommend the Electro-Voice RE50N/D-B

For backup audio, in case that one of the lav mics fail, I also use a Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun mic connected to record in a Zoom H6

For sound monitoring I like the Sony MDR-7502 Headphones

For on-set custom white balance I use the 12” waterproof and easy to carry Lastolite EZ Balance Grey/White Card

My favorite travel as well as all around photo and video light is the Westcott Ice Light. Currently I have 2 of those lights and plan to buy 2 more as soon as I can afford it.

My favorite tripods that I use both for video and for pictures are the Benro Travel Angel II series. One great example is the Benro C2682TV2 but there are many other great models so you have a look and see what fits best for your needs. My 2nd best tripod is the MeFOTO Globe Trotter, which is not weather sealed but is a bit smaller and lighter and thus is very easy to travel with.

Depending on the situation I use a variety of bags to carry my equipment. My favorite gear bags are the Tenba Roadie HDSLR/Video Backpack; the National Geographic W5071 Medium Rucksack and the ThinkTank Retrospective 5

I also use filters such as the Cokin 58mm Pure Harmonie Ultra Slim Variable NDX or the Tiffen 67mm Variable ND Filter with a few brass step-up rings from Heliopan such as the 46-58mm

For travel and safe-keeping my memory cards I use a water-sealed Pelican Memory Card Protective Case

My favorite straps are the Joby 3-Way Camera Strap and the Joby UltraFit Sling Strap for Men [You can see the women’s version here.]

 

For video, audio and photo editing I use:

Audacity

Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Audio sound is going out of my PC via a Xonar Essense STX audio card and into a set of KRK Rokit 5 Studio Monitors mounted on the IsoAcoustics Stands

I love my new 31′ LG IPS Digital Cinema 4K Monitor which gets a full 60Hz 4K sinal from an ASUS STRIX-GTX970 Graphics Card

My favorite keyboard is Das Keyboard 4 Professional with soft tactile keys and my favorite mouse is the Logitech MX Revolution Performance Mouse

For backing up my data I use a 6TB px2-300d Network Storage Drive

 

Other Favorite Productivity Tools:

I honestly can’t imagine my life without Evernote and the ScanSnap s1300i scanner, which I use for almost everything, including all of my receipts and accounting.

I use the SetMyCam Pro iPhone app when I need to calculate depth of field

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