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What you need to record a Video Course

Before recording your video course, you might wonder which gear to buy. Unfortunately, there is no single good answer to this question. There are so many options out there that will all get you across the finish line. But in general, you need only two things aside from your computer to record a video course: A camera and a microphone.

Just a warning: You most likely will never stop once you start investing in your gear. The more you buy and sell, the more you'll learn, and the itch to get the latest and fanciest new stuff keeps growing.

To make your entry into video course creation effortless, we compiled a list of gear that we used and can recommend. We grouped the gear into three budget categories: Small, Medium, and Large. We suggest to start with the gear in the small budget group and upgrade only if necessary.

Small Budget ($0-$300)

The small budget focuses on gear that you most likely already have. The point is that you can get started without spending any money. Let's have a look at which camera and microphone you could use to do that:


For an entry-level camera, look at the webcam that most likely sits before you already. Recording your first video course on a built-in or external webcam is completely fine. Most webcams record at least 720p, which is good enough for most video courses. If you're unhappy with the quality of your webcam, you can always work around it by showing your face only in a small section of the screen.


Remember that your video is the least important part of a video course. The most important part is the audio. Students will stop looking at you after a few minutes but will never stop listening to you.

If you want to invest in a better webcam than you already have, here are a few suggestions that won't break the budget:

Elgato Facecam ($129)

The Elgato Facecam is among the best webcams you can buy on a small budget. It records in 1080p with 60 frames per second, giving you excellent video quality recordings. It records colors truthfully and won't make you weirdly green or yellowish. It has a large enough aperture of f/2.4 to give you a slight depth of field. Its 24mm lens allows you to put it on top of your monitor and still get a composition that's neither too narrow nor too wide.


If you can't buy the Elgato Facecam, check out one of the following webcams instead:


We don't advise relying on your built-in computer microphone to record a video course. Some of the webcams mentioned above have built-in microphones, which we don't recommend. Any external microphone is better than the built-in one. It would be best to consider investing some money into a USB microphone instead. Here are some suggestions:

Apple EarPods ($19)

Apple's EarPods (the wired version of the AirPods) deliver surprisingly good audio quality for only $19. Many TikTok stars simply connect these directly to their phone and record and edit their videos on e.g. their iPhones. That is an excellent solution for video courses, which you shouldn't underestimate.

Audio-Technica AT2005 USB ($60)

The second most affordable USB microphone is the Audio-Technica AT2005USB. It only costs around $60 and delivers acceptable audio quality. You can connect it directly to your computer thanks to its USB connector. It is an excellent beginner microphone and a small improvement from the Apple EarPods.

Rode NT-USB ($99-169)

A significant step up from the Audio-Technica is the Rode NT-USB. Prices for this microphone vary between $99 and $169, so search for the best offer online. It comes with a pop cover that minimizes "pop" sounds like when you speak a "Potato" right into the microphone. It also comes with a nice little stand, which minimizes vibrations from your typing.

Rode Podcaster ($199)

The best value-for-money microphone you can get in the small-budget category is the Rode Podcaster ($199). It offers the most professional audio and build quality relatively cheaply.

Don't use Bluetooth Headphones

One caveat about using Bluetooth headphones like the Apple AirPods for recording audio is that their quality isn't excellent. The problem is that Bluetooth connections don't support transmitting much data between the microphone and the computer. If you ever video-called with somebody who used Bluetooth Headphones, you will know that the voice cuts out often and generally sounds unnatural. That's why any wired microphone beats any wireless one 99% of the time.

Medium Budget ($300-$1500)

If you can invest from $300 to $1500, many more options open. You can upgrade from a Webcam to a DSLR and replace your USB microphone with an XLR microphone and an interface. Let's dive in.


Elgato Facecam Pro ($299)

The Elgato Facecam Pro is a significant upgrade to the Elgato Facecam (not Pro). It records up to 4K video with 60 frames per second, more than the highest video quality you'll ever need.

Just for reference: The Elgato Facecam (not Pro) records in 1080p, which is a decent enough video quality. The next step up from 1080p is a 1440p (2K) camera. That's usually the highest quality you'll ever need for a video course. Your face will be crystal clear, and your screen recording will have sharp details. One step above 1440p (2K) is the 2160p (4K) video quality. The level of detail that a 4K camera records is usually only necessary for landscapes and not for video courses. But if you want to record every detail of your nostrils, get yourself a 4K camera like the Elgato Facecam Pro.

If you want a better quality camera than the Elgato Facecam Pro, you must leave the Webcam territory and enter DSLR country. Many DSLR cameras exist, but we suggest you look at the following two first.

Canon EOS R50 ($629)

The first suggestion is the Canon EOS R50. It is a great entry-level camera for video recording. An essential feature of the camera is a screen that you can flip towards you. That allows you to check and change camera settings without walking around the camera or dismounting it from its tripod. The R50 can shoot 4K video in 30 frames per second, which is more than you need, but a nice-to-have. The R50 comes with Canon's new RF lens mount, which means you can buy the latest lenses, but few affordable RF lenses currently exist. Still, the R50 is an investment in the future and will satisfy your every video recording need.

If you want a cheaper but older version of the R50, look at its predecessor, the popular Canon EOS M50 Mark II. It's an excellent camera that should be on your radar as well. But if you can, we suggest you invest in the R50 since it's more future-proof than the old M50.

Sony ZV-10 ($699)

Another great DSLR, which is mirrorless and therefore lighter and smaller than the Canon R50, is the Sony ZV-10. It is built for vlogging and has the best auto-focus on the market. It can record 4K video in 30 frames per second, equal to the R50. It is also excellent as an outside vlogging camera, so if you want to shoot vlogs outside of your office, this camera won't make your arm fall off. It is the camera that our founder Peter Ullrich uses very happily.

DSLR Lenses

If you decide to buy a DSLR camera, you must also buy a camera lens. There are many great lenses out there, so our general advice is to buy a lens with a focal length between 16mm and 28mm and an aperture between f/1.4 to f/2.8. A focal length of 16-28mm is perfect for recording yourself while sitting at your desk when the camera is around 1m away. An aperture between f/1.4 and f/2.8 gives you a soft background blur. You don't have to invest in an expensive f/1.4 lens, though. A f/2.8 aperture is just fine and much more affordable. You have to be careful with apertures below f/2.8 because they also blur parts of your face sometimes.

Video Interfaces

Watch out: You cannot connect DSLR directly to your computer. You need a hardware device called a "Capture Card" to forward the video to your computer. You can buy many capture cards, but only one is worth its money, the Elegato Cam Link 4K ($99). It is a bit pricey, but it is super stable and reliable. It allows you to record up to 4K of video with your computer.


Watch out if you buy a different capture card than the Elgato Cam Link because many don't support 4K video. That means your DSLR might record in 4K, but your computer will only receive e.g. 1080p video, and you'll be frustrated as to why that is.


With a bit more budget, your microphone options improve significantly as well. Again, many good microphones are out there, but we suggest you start with one of the following two.

Sure MV7 ($249)

The Sure MV7 is The most popular podcasting and screencasting microphone. It offers incredible audio quality for speech recordings for a very fair price. You can connect it to your computer using USB, but if you want to upgrade to an XLR interface, that's possible too. You can't go wrong with a Sure MV7.

Sure SM7B ($399)

If you're looking for a more professional version of the Sure MV7, look no further than the Sure SM7B. It has been the most popular semi-professional microphone for voice recordings ever since its release. It is the big brother of the Sure MV7 and captures outstanding voice recordings. It only supports an XLR connection, so if you decide to buy it, you must also buy an interface.

Audio Interfaces

Audio interfaces serve as an adapter between your XLR microphone and your computer. Usually, you can regulate the volume of your microphone through them, and you can connect wired headphones as well. If you want an XLR microphone like the Sure SM7B, you need to buy one.

Scarlet Solo 3rd Gen ($99)

The best budget audio interface is the Scarlet Solo 3rd Gen. It allows you to connect a microphone or an instrument like a guitar to your computer. You can connect a headphone to it and regulate the volume of your microphone and headphone through the turn knobs of the interface. It is an excellent entry-level interface that allows voice and music audio recordings.

Elgato Wave XLR ($159)

A more minimalistic and elegant interface than the Scarlet Solo is the Elgato Wave XLR. It gives you all the buttons to control your microphone and regulate your headphone volume. It isn't great for music recordings, but it is a solid device for connecting your microphone to your computer.

Rode Streamer X ($399)

Our favorite audio interface that also functions as a video interface is the Rode Streamer X. It is the all-in-one solution for recording audio and video on your computer. You can connect your DSLR camera and microphone to it, and it forwards the audio and video data to your computer through a single USB cable. It comes with a small soundboard, from which you can play sound effects while recording or streaming. It is undoubtedly in the upper price range of interfaces but well worth the money if you can afford it.

Large Budget ($1500+)

If you want to really invest in your recording gear, $1500 is the minimum price you have to pay. Just be aware that you don't have to invest this kind of money to create a successful video course. The value of a video course comes mainly from its content and not from its recording quality. Here are a few suggestions if you decide to invest more into your recording gear, regardless.


If you can afford to spend $1500 and upwards on a DSLR for video recording, you might want to look into these two cameras:

Canon EOS R6 Mark II ($2299)

The Canon R6 Mark II is the most popular mirrorless Canon camera for videographers. Most importantly, it can record in 4K with 60 frames per second, so you get the best video quality, and you can even shoot a few slow-motion videos if you want.

Sony A7 IV ($2499)

A direct competitor to the Canon R6 Mark II is the Sony A7 IV. Sony has the most advanced auto-focus on the market, so your face will never be out of focus. It can also record in 4K with 60fps, more than you'll ever need in a video course.


You will probably never need a more expensive microphone than the Sure SM7B. But if you want to have a look, there's only one microphone that we have experience with and can suggest:

Sennheiser MKH 416 P48

The Sennheiser MKH 416 P48 is a shotgun microphone, meaning it only records audio from a narrow direction. Other microphones, like the Sure SM7B, will pick up noise from all directions, but the Sennheiser 416 focuses only in one direction. It is used for e.g. street interviews where there's a lot of noise in the background. It is great if you want to place your microphone far away and not directly in front of you. This is useful if you want to record your entire upper body for a video course and don't want a microphone to destroy the picture. You can place the Sennheiser a few meters away, and it will still pick up your voice clearly.