Which type of camcorder/webcam to chose when using a teleprompter?

Minitripod with camcorderLast week, I’ve got a question about which camcorder or webcam is best for use with a teleprompter. There are camcorders you can attach on the monitor while others need a mini-tripod. As you obviously do not want to buy 2 camcorders in the beginning, what do you need? The answer depends largely on your requirements: if you’re only going to use a camcorder with a teleprompter on your computer, go for a monitor webcam because that is a convenient and cheap way to do video casts.

If you are planning to do interviews or film at other locations as well, buy a stand alone camcorder with a mini-tripod because they are often better quality, and they give you much more options related to color settings, focus, sharpness etc.. and… you can still use them with a teleprompter. It will need some practice to get the camcorder in the right angle, but after some tests, you’ll get the hang of it.

Monitor webcams have a lower quality generally and you cannot change the angle in which they record events. Thus, they are severely limited in their options, but again, consider what you want to do: if you are an entrepreneur and the only thing you want to do is to address the public personally without the need to show yourself top to bottom, a monitor webcam is fine and easy to work with. No fiddling, no hassle. You can always upgrade later on if you feel like it. Some of those webcams (Logitech) have a little motor so that the webcam can follow you as you move from left to right but I would not recommend this type of gadgets because in most cases, it will give undesirable results.

Some advice on teleprompting

Use it to prompt when you forget your text. It is a bad idea to read everything you want to say because it will get noticed. Instead, practice and learn the text you want to say by heart. The teleprompter then will be a great companion to remind you when your mind goes blank.
Video casting and videoblogging is all about being perceived as sincere and looking natural. Your first videos undoubtedly will be a bit studied and forced, but it will be surprising to discover how quickly you transform from a nervous wreck into a natural speaker if you learn to memorize your texts.

VlogIt (bought by Adobe) has a very useful teleprompter. It only costs $29 USD and you can even record videos, including green screening, so this is real value for money. It is not sure what the plans of Adobe are with this software, so I wouldn’t wait too long to buy it.

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