VIDEO PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT
In order to complete the assignments for Video Production courses, you must have access to some professional video production and post-production equipment. It is our recommendation that you purchase your own video equipment so that you have the freedom to complete assignments on your own time and schedule. Any equipment you purchase for the Video Production program is an investment not only in your education, but also in your career as a video professional. Independent industry professionals are now expected to possess their own equipment and bring it to projects and, therefore, an investment in some essential technology will not only help you to complete your Associate Degree, but will give you a leg up in your career in Video.
All equipment that you purchase for use in the Video Production Program can be covered by Financial Aid so long as you remain eligible and enrolled in classes.
• Computer - An Apple or PC Computer capable of running professional post-production software (see minimum requirements here:
All Post-Production techniques in the Video Production Program are taught using the latest Apple Computer Operating System and therefore we recommend students purchase an Apple Computer (any MacBook Pro, Mac Pro or iMac made after 2011 will suffice), however all software is available for PC (64-bit Operating System is required).
Adobe After Effects requires a minimum of 8GB RAM to function properly – the more RAM you have available on your computer, the more effective this software will run.
It is also worth noting that a few editing techniques that are taught on the Apple platform will look slightly different when performed on a Windows operating system.
To learn more about specific laptop recommendations, see the following linked resource: LAPTOPS for Video Editing
• High-Speed Internet Connection - to complete classes in the Virtual College, you must have access to a high-speed (preferably broadband) internet connection to watch video content, download and upload large media files.
• External Hard Drive - Because of the large file size of audio/video media, you will need a way to store and access the media and project files you download and create in the program. We recommend purchasing a high-speed drive with a capacity of at least 1TB or higher. Look for a drive that has compatible inputs with your computer’s highest speed connection (USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt are recommended).
• Word Processor - there is quite a bit of writing required for the Video Pre-Production and Film History & Technologies classes and access to a good Word Processor can help you generate these assignments cleanly and efficiently.
(Google Docs or Microsoft Word are recommended - Microsoft Office is available free for enrolled students to download to their personal computers)
• Adobe Creative Suite Software (Adobe CC) -
This is the Professional Video and Graphics creation/manipulation software you will need access to in order to complete both the graphics classes and all the Video Post-Production classes. The specific programs used for Video Production assignments that are included within the Adobe Creative Suite are: Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Encore, Story, Audition Speed Grade and After Effects.
Adobe Creative Cloud is a software subscription service that allows you to download all of the Creative Suite software for a monthly fee. Student pricing is available through the adobe.com website.
• Online Video Streaming Service - In many Video Production Courses, you will be required to search for and watch examples of video production techniques used in feature films & videos. Though many films and videos can be found online for free using sites like YouTube and Vimeo, an online video streaming service like Netflix, HuluPlus or Amazon Prime will give you quick and easy access to many more high-quality versions of these film and video products.
• Large-File Sharing Service - In order to download, upload, send and share large audio/video media in this program, you will need access to a large-file sharing service. There are many free options available online including: Google Drive, Dropbox and Sendspace.
• HD Camera
For all Camera Courses (Production: On-Location, Studio, Workshop and Advanced Editing), access to a Professional, High Definition (Full HD, 1080p or higher resolution) DSLR, Camcorder or DSLR Cinema Camera (with Detachable Lens) is required.
For DSLR Cameras, you may choose between CROP SENSOR and FULL FRAME SENSOR (recommended) Camera Bodies. The following is a list of camera BODIES (no lens). Many times these cameras will be offered as a ‘kit’ with a lens. You may choose to purchase a kit or buy a body and lens separately.
The following is a list of DSLR and HD Camcorder options. The bolded options are recommended for use in the program:
- *Canon 60D (Included in NTC’s Camera Packages)
- *Canon 80D
- *full frame sensor cameras*
- *Canon 6D
- *Canon 5D Mark II, III, or IV
- Canon C100, C200
- Canon XC10
- Sony A7 Series
- Sony FS7
- *Panasonic Lumix GH4
- *Panasonic Lumix GH5
- *Blackmagic Cinema Camera (2.5K Definition)
- Blackmagic Pocket Camera
- Fuji X-T2
- Nikon D750
- Nikon D810
- Canon XA20
- Panasonic AG-HMC 150
- Panasonic UX180
- Sony AX100
- Sony PXW-Z150
DSLR Cinema Cameras
- Canon C100, C200, C300, C500
- Canon 1D-C, 1D-X
- Blackmagic Production Camera 4K
- Blackmagic URSA Mini
- Sony FS5, FS7
- Panasonic EVA-1
When buying a DSLR camera for Video Production, you will typically buy a lens separately or as part of a kit.
Each brand and type of Camera you purchase will have a different lens mounting system (EF Mount, Micro Four-Thirds Mount, Nikon F Mount, Cine Mount, etc.) and sensor size (Crop Sensor, Full-frame, Super 16, Super 35). Make sure to purchase a lens that will work with your camera or a lens mount adapter.
I recommend that you start with an all-purpose Zoom lens (‘kit’ lens) either 24-70mm or 18-55mm or 18-135mm or 24-105mm. ($300 – 1000) The following lens brands are recommended:
• Memory Card
To shoot HD footage on your DSLR you will need to purchase high-speed data transfer rate Media (CF, SDHC, and SDXC cards are the most common types). Check the technical specs on your camera to determine the type of storage media you will need. Make sure you choose something with a Class 6 or higher (Class 10 is recommended) and a capacity of 32GB or higher.
• Camera Support
Though you can complete the Video Production Associate Degree by hand-holding your camera and using level surfaces to capture footage, it is highly recommended that you invest in a durable, fluid-head tripod or other type of camera support equipment. A tripod is an essential tool in every professional photographer or videographer’s arsenal. NTC recommends purchasing a tripod with a fluid head – one that can smoothly pan and tilt such as the following:
- *Manfrotto Fluid Head Systems
- Magnus Fluid Head Systems
- Sachtler Fluid Head Systems
Monopod (with pan/tilt head)
- *Manfotto Fluid Video Monopod w/ Head
- Oben Monopod
• Professional Microphone
The Audio and Video courses in this program require students to capture clean and professional audio documents. A professional microphone is essential for capturing professional sound. We recommend a professional Video-Mic, Shotgun Mic or Lavalier Mic.
- *Rode Video Mic (for DSLR)
- Rode VideoMic Pro VMP Shotgun Mic
- Rode NTG2, NTG3, NTG4 Condensor Shotgun Mic
- Rodelink Wireless Lavalier Mic
- Audio Technica Stereo Mic
- Audio Technica Short Shotgun Mic
- Sennheiser G3 (Lavalier Mic)
- Sennheiser MKE440
• Digital Audio Recorder
One downside of DSLR technology (to date) is the lack of professional audio inputs. Therefore a Digital Audio Recorder is needed to capture audio from professional microphones. An upside to using Digital Audio Recorders is the ability to capture high-quality audio separately from your video – which is great for recording music, voice over and interview audio - without a video component. We recommend that you purchase a Digital Audio Recording Device like the Zoom H4N or Tascam DR-100.
- Tascam DR-40
- *Zoom H4n, H4n Pro
- Zoom H5, H6
- Tascam DR-100mkII Linear PCM Recorder
- Tascam DR-60D
• Professional Headphones
In order to monitor your audio capture and for use in video post-production, it is highly recommended that you invest in a pair of professional quality closed-back headphones like the Sony MDR series of headphones.
In this section, you will find links to some suggested online equipment retailers and rental houses from which you can acquire equipment for use in the program.
RESERVING EQUIPMENT from NTC
If you live in the Wausau area, NTC offers an ‘open’ Apple Computer Lab reserved for Graphics and Video Production Students located in the H-Wing of the main building. This lab is equipped with all of the software you will need to complete the program and it can be accessed during normal school operating hours.
There are also a limited number of camera and audio packages that can be checked out on a weekly basis to complete assignments (on a first-come-first-served basis). So, you are not required to purchase equipment to complete the program so long as you are able and motivated to utilize the school’s resources as they are available.
You may also access and reserve the school’s Green Screen Studio and Audio Recording facilities. The Green Screen Studio is a fully functional studio space with 25 foot green screen, professional lighting and grip equipment, backdrops and additional photo/video equipment resources. The Audio Recording Booth is a virtually ‘sound-proof’ room equipped with a professional condenser microphone, mixer and Audition Software for recording voice over, narration, ADR, Foley and music for video projects.