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Best Camera and Lens
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II ($2,199) is an SLR camera that has become the benchmark for shooting high-quality full-HD video on the go. Pair it with a zoom lens from Canon's L series or rent a Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 lens from BorrowLenses.com ($105 for three days).
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Best Memory Card
Store those memory-sucking HD video files on a 32 GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash memory card ($155 on Amazon). What you're paying for here is memory and much faster download speeds than you'd get with less expensive flash cards.
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Best Lighting Setups
Smith-Victor's K71 3-Light Soft Box Kit ($1,530, pictured) is the secret sauce to video with a pro-quality look. This kit comes with an essential hair light and the boom to hold it.
If you want something portable, outfit yourself with ikan's Standard Interview Kit ($2,199), which comes with four LED lights with collapsible stands and rechargeable battery packs. The whole kit packs into a utility bag that comes with the set.
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Unless you're a world-class speaker, don't wing it. Polish a script and put it on an iPad, which can be used as a professional-grade teleprompter when attached to a Prompter People's Flex Series iPad Teleprompter ($899) and the company's iCue app.
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Best Wireless Microphone
Don't mess around with sound; go for crystal-clear audio and easy setup with the king of wireless microphones, the Sennheiser Evolution G3 100 Series Wireless Lavalier Mic ($630).
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The ManfrottoMVT502AM tripod with a 701HDV Pro Fluid Video Mini Head ($350 for the set) is lightweight (just over 4 pounds) and solid as a rock. The 701HDV head makes precise adjustments incredibly easy to execute.
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- Use a zoom lens and position the teleprompter 10 to 12 feet away from you. If it's too close, viewers will see your eyes moving side to side as you read.
- Keep your backdrop simple, or pick a memorable yet visually calm location.
- For editing, Apple's iMovie does the job. Don't have a Mac? Find someone who does and borrow it. Seriously -- it's the only way to go.