How to Use Your DSLR

Want to go pro? While I do not recommend this kind of a set-up for the every day online group member or leader, it can make a massive difference if you are recording at-home messages on a daily or weekly basis for your congregation. Here is my recommended set-up for creating at-home videos that blow everyone out of the water.

Instead of your webcam, step up to the Sony a6100 (I use this, but you can save roughly half the cost and use the Sony a5100 instead). You can save a few hundred dollars by shopping the Best Buy Outlet or choosing a 1080p version only in the Sony a5100. But the a6100 is our favorite. It’s lightweight, 4k, great in low-light (like most mirrorless cameras), and is easy to use with whatever set-up you’re using (laptop or desktop). In addition to that, you will need the Elgato HD60s+ (I use this) or Cam Link 4k to take the video from the camera to your computer. Once you hook these two things up with the proper mini HDMI cable and dummy battery, you will have video quality that is second to none.

  • Use low light above if needed. Too much light from above can wash out the entire image. In videography, we talk about using hair light. Hair light can help frame the face without the over-abundance of overhead light. For our purposes, a subtle overhead light will work to fill in the frame.
  • Use soft front-facing light. You can buy a simple ring-light from Amazon or step it up a notch and use two Elgato Key Light Air units (I use these) to create the perfect picture and balance of light. When you use these types of light, you are helping your camera focus on the immediate subject: you.

This set-up scales.

You can use this set-up for leading conferences, training, or if you are a mobile church and record on-the-go, you can take this set-up and reproduce this on-location. There is nothing that says recording sermons must be done in a closed environment in an empty room on your church's campus. Be different, and have some fun with this!