A few months ago I had decided to build my own DIY video studio to make it easier to record great videos. And while the process took a while and was satisfying, I wondered if anybody had made the whole thing simpler. Was there a “video studio in a box” out there? With a little bit of research, this is what I was able to find:
What are 3 Options for a Video Studio in a Box? Here are three very different kinds of “studio’s in a box”:
- A box that contains the necessary tools to make a video
- A system that provides technology that allows someone to make videos that look like they were created in a video
- A box that has the technology to provide high-quality video interviews anywhere
Let’s explore each of these so that you can decide if one of them is right for you.
The Box that Contains Everything
Most of us get tired of lugging our equipment around. And who hasn’t had the experience of getting to a shoot and not having a mic or grip or lighting kit? One kind of Video Studio in a Box is simply a box that has the equipment you need for video shooting on-the-go.
So, what equipment is essential? We asked around and what most videographers came up with (besides the most obvious—video camera) was:
- Lenses for different lighting situations
- Microphones for higher quality sound than the built-in mics
- Lights to reduce shadows and increase visibility
- Tripods to prevent shakiness
The size of the box you’ll have is based on the size of your camera.
If you’re planning to use your phone to shoot video, plenty of kit options exist. For example, the Movo Smartphone Video Kit V1 Vlogging Kit has a grip for a tripod, a shotgun mic, and Bluetooth. It also has settings that are specially designed for YouTube. Take a look here for more info. With equipment this small, a shoebox is small enough.
If you’re planning on using a larger regular camera, your box is going to be larger also. But even that box won’t be as large if you purchase a kit. For example, you can but a kit that includes a camera and the essential equipment.
The CofunKool Ultra 4K Video Camera WiFi Camcorder kit is one such kit. Tripod, battery charger, external microphone, filters, and wi-fi function all under $300. Add some other accessories, and you might be able to fit all this into a small box as well. Check it out here.
And what can the box be made out of?
Well, the most obvious answer is a box. Any old box will do. But “box” here can mean anything smallish that you can put your video equipment into.
Here are some ideas, from the ordinary to the unordinary:
- A toolbox. Think about it—your equipment is your tools. So why not put them into a toolbox. You have compartments, and a sturdy one has a handle. Get one with secure latches and handles. Get one anyplace you can buy tools.
- A backpack. The advantage of this is that it’s hands-free carrying. Disadvantage—finding things. Things tend to jostle around in them. Plus, they’re not as sturdy as another choice
- A small suitcase. Get one with wheels and a handle. Then put little containers or make dividers to keep your equipment separate.
- Or a shoebox, if your accessories are small enough. The cheapest option available, and it fits under the arm. You might have to buy a pair of shoes to get a new one.
The Technology Box
The second kind of studio-in-a-box is technology-based. It refers less to the video shooting itself, but more on the production side. In other words, it assumes that the videographers have the equipment, and the “box” is really the equipment that is used to link those cameras to each other.
Vidbetter is a company that sells this kind of product. It’s designed for smaller businesses and comes with the lighting, sound, and things such as green screens more typical for commercials and company promos.
Based on the name alone, NewTek, you can tell this product takes production a step further. This company focuses on the production side of things. Their box is designed to take your video and edit it to create professional quality products.
Corporate videos, multi-cam editing, sports production—video from several cameras mixed and edited to create broadcast-quality recordings. Products such as these are used by universities and corporations worldwide. As David Ross, senior manager of a major cloud computing company said:
“Using the NewTek TriCaster in house here at EMC2 enables us to make a television-quality production with a very limited crew.”
The “box” in these products is the control unit that allows multiple cameras to communicate with several computers to make the final video.
The two companies we’ve highlighted are not the only ones who provide this product. Our goal was to show you the range, from products designed for small businesses to large corporations.
The Interview Box
Imagine that you want to interview someone who is across the globe but doesn’t have access to a studio. If they have access to the internet, then with a product like the QuickLink, you can create an interview that looks professional. All they would need is access to the QuickLink ST 500.
The Quicklink ST 500 is a studio you can carry. The single unit contains a video camera, microphones, lights, and a monitor. Set it down, turn it on, and record. The camera, lights, and sound can be controlled remotely. The monitor has three settings—you can see what the camera sees, who you are talking to, or a teleprompter.
When you’re finished, shut it down, pick it up by the handy handle, and go. The entire unit weighs under 10 pounds. If you want to see how it works, watch the video below.
For seamless production, the ST150 has the central control unit specifically designed to work with the ST 500. Both of these products are sold by Quicklink. This product was recently used in France for a multi-camera Facebook concert filmed by a major French public tv channel. Three separate iPhones were used to film the Bigflo and Oli show.
Of course, you could be the one who carries the QuickLink unit as you’re globetrotting. Or better yet, have the programming that comes along with it and record from your mobile device—their latest innovation.
Studio In a Box for Photographers
Studio in a box is a term that is also used for photography. It refers to a box, usually something portable that can be folded, with LED lights built into the top. This kind of studio-in-a-box is designed for taking pictures of small objects that will be sold online. Think Etsy, Pinterest, or any other site where people are trying to sell small objects.
The Depthlan Folding Photo Studio Kit Box with LED Light, which you can find here, is a typical example. It’s quick and easy to set up, has built-in lighting that prevents shadows and reflection, and comes with several backdrops to coordinate with the item you are photographing.
So, there you have it—a studio-in-a-box for almost every purpose—from shooting on the go, to a focus on editing, to a portable studio that you can use to broadcast yourself to an audience.
What’s important then is not what it’s called, but what you plan to use it for and how much money you are willing to invest. Your own hand-crafted boxes will be easiest on the budget, while products such as the Quicklink will cost the most.
What are you waiting for? Pick your box and go—there’s a whole world waiting for you.