How I Edit: Software, Equipment, and More

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A few days ago I went live on Instagram to do a brief breakdown of how I edit my videos and what software and equipment I use. I was surprised by how many people wanted more and more information about it, so I decided to write up this post outlining everything I went over and adding some more info!

The first thing I went over was equipment: The camera that’s set up in my studio is the Canon 5D Mark III. It’s one of the best DSLR cameras out there (there’s a Mark IV out now with even more features) and it just stays up in the studio on my tripod because it’s on the heavier side. I rarely take it off to use elsewhere! The two lenses I use are the Canon 24-70mm and the Canon 70-200mm. The reason I like the 70-200mm lens is because you can zoom in nice and close for things like eye makeup application. These are both excellent lens choices, though not 100% necessary if you’re trying to do standard beauty videos. There are lenses in the $100-$300 range that will work just fine, and another option that’s always available is to buy a used lens. Sites like Amazon are a good place to get a reliable description on a used lens before you purchase, and the price can be heavily discounted.

If I’m shooting vlogs, style videos, or basically anything outside of makeup tutorials, I turn to my collection of Sony mirrorless cameras. The one I use for vlogging is the Sony RX-100 Mark IV: It has a flip-up screen so you can easily see yourself as you’re recording, it has a built-in Zeiss lens so it makes everything look really nice without even trying, and the auto focus is super convenient so you can just point and record on the go. If I’m trying to do something a little more cinematic, I go for the Sony A7 III. The photo and video quality on this camera is unreal! It comes with a hefty price tag, but for the type of content I personally like to shoot, it’s a necessary tool in my kit.

The one setting I went over during the live was really the only one that I think is important if you’re starting out: The frames per second. There are only two of these settings I shoot in: 24fps and 60ps. The 24fps will give you that “movie” quality, and if you use 60fps, you can slow the footage down to 30% when you’re editing for that cool slo-mo effect. If you try slowing down in 24fps it’s going to look tacky, so make sure you’re shooting in 60 for good slo-mo.

And now on to editing!

To edit, I typically use Final Cut Pro X. Every now and then when I need more advanced capabilities I’ll use Adobe Premiere, but Final Cut Pro X is generally easier to use if you’re starting out. I got mine from the Apple store for $299, but one of the viewers from my live commented that you can also get it on Amazon for cheaper. I just checked and it’s available for $99! The thing that makes Finale Cut Pro X exciting to use is the plugin capability: You can download all types of plugins for color, style effects, and transitions to create a dynamic video. The one site I shared during the live for plugins is called motionvfx.com. I’ve downloaded a couple of plugins from this site and they seem to have some of the best ones.

I also got a lot of questions about where I find my music. For any videos that are uploaded to YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook, you have to use royalty-free music, otherwise your video will be flagged. These days royalty-free music is much more high quality than it used to be, it’s just a matter of finding the right sites that carry them. I like to use PremiumBeat.com, which charges $49 per track. If that’s too pricey, there’s also AudioJungle.net, where tracks start at $19. And if you’re not trying to pay anything at all for music, YouTube has its own library of royalty-free music and they’re actually not bad!

One last thing I shared was a site where you can learn how to use practically any software that deals with photo or video editing. It’s called NewMediaTraining.com, this is where I learned how to use Adobe Premiere. It costs $39.95 an hour and you are given instruction via a screen sharing program. I personally loved it, especially because I was able to do it from home on my own computer.

These are all the resources I shared during the live, but people are still asking me to share more about how I edit, so if there’s anything else I can share in the future I definitely will!

If you have any questions about anything I talked about in the live or in this post, leave a comment below and we’ll chat!

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