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Technology | Training Tips

What is the Best Video Camera for Online Personal Trainers?

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, What is the Best Video Camera for Online Personal Trainers?, Canon, Sony, Fuji Go-Pro

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After the coronavirus pandemic first hit, nearly everything has gone virtual. Even before the quarantine, personal training clients began to show more interest in online personal training and coaching. Clients like the convenience of working with a trainer online, and it often costs less. 

Whether you are new to being an online personal trainer or if you have been doing it for some time, it may be time to get a new or a better video camera. 

The heart of your online business will be providing high-quality videos or live streaming for clients. They need to be able to see and hear you clearly. Making great videos will take some practice, but it also requires good equipment. If you’re serious about your online business, invest in a good camera. 

Why Invest in the Best Video Camera for Online Personal Trainers?

If this is your business, how you intend to make a living, you need the best tools. Amateurs just having fun making videos to put on social media or a YouTube channel can get away with using their phones or a cheap camera. But if you are serious about online coaching and training as a career, don’t skimp. 

Camera choice is important for a few reasons, but mostly because it shapes your user’s experience. What client will hire a trainer with low-quality videos that are difficult to watch? A good camera will help you create high-quality videos that draw in clients and give them incentive to stick with you. 

Online training is a big shift from in-person sessions. One major challenge is being able to teach clients good form. Check out these ideas for working on form virtually

Video Cameras for Every Need and Budget

For trainers just starting to create virtual workouts, streaming videos, and a YouTube collection, a smartphone camera may be adequate. It’s certainly a fine place to start if you have no funds for equipment. 

But, if you have even just a few hundred dollars to get your online fitness business going, a better video camera is a good investment. You’ll find all kinds of cameras that suit your needs and your budget. 

Start with Action Cameras

For those totally new to recording and making videos, an action camera, like a GoPro, is a simple and easy way to start. You don’t need much technical knowledge, and getting started with one of these cameras is as simple as learning just a few basic functions. 

Try the GoPro Hero8 Black. This camera costs just $250 to $350, depending on where and when you buy it. It is durable and can be used outside. It is easy to use and provides immediate results. The video quality is good. Of course, what you can do with this simple camera is limited, but it is more than adequate for making workout videos. 

The GoPro Hero8 Black comes with four lenses—narrow, linear, wide angle, and SuperView—so you have options for your videos. As an action camera, it provides horizon leveling, so if you are moving with it, your clients will still be able to follow you and won’t get motion sickness. 

Digital Camera

To take your videos to the next level, get a basic point-and-click digital camera with video capability. The Canon S110 for about $550 is a good starter camera with a lot of features you can learn to use over time. The audio is good enough for making workout videos, and the camera has WiFi built in so you can immediately upload content. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, What is the Best Video Camera for Online Personal Trainers?, Canon, Sony, Fuji

Videos for Livestreaming

Livestreaming on platforms like YouTube is a popular way for virtual coaches to work with clients. You can set up your workout, invite clients to join you, and livestream for them to follow along. For this kind of workout video, try a more advanced digital camera.  

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III for around $700 has livestreaming capabilities. It also has an input for a microphone so you can get even better sound quality. A flip-out screen allows you to see yourself as you should livestreamed workouts. 

For $900, another good option is the Sony A6400. This has excellent 4K video and a good autofocus system. You do have to buy lenses to go with this camera, so it can get pricy fast if you don’t already have Sony lenses. 

For True Filmmaking

When you’re ready to take your game up a notch, when your business is taking off and you need the utmost in professionalism, you need a camera that matches your ambitions. Video cameras with the best resolution and more functions will take your workout videos to the next level. 

The Fujifilm X-T4 will set you back $1,500 to $1,700, but it offers incredible 4K resolution and important professional features. The shooting frame rate is double that of other cameras, which means you can shoot smooth, slow motion video segments. It captures higher-quality video to memory cards than most other cameras and has improved color. Although costly, this camera comes with additional shooting modes that you’ll pay extra for on others. 

How’s your budget for making fitness videos? Even with limited funding, you can craft high-quality clips. Here are some tips on how to do it without breaking the bank. 

What Else Do You Need to Film Workouts? 

A camera is the foundation of your online workout videos, but it’s not the only piece of equipment you need. Here are some other things you’ll want to have to ensure your videos are professional. 

The Best Video Camera for Online Personal Trainers is Nothing without a Microphone

Most good cameras will provide excellent video quality. You can have a great picture that your clients can clearly see, but if they can’t hear you, what’s the point? Especially if you film outdoors, you’ll need a good microphone. 

Make Your Life Easier with a Tripod

If you have already tried filming some workout videos by propping up your phone or situating your laptop’s webcam just right, you know the struggle. Image stabilization is important for good videos an nearly impossible to achieve without a good tripod. Make sure it works with your camera, though, before you buy. 

Work Out the Lighting

The right camera and good audio are essential elements to making a good video. But lighting can also make or break a shot. Before you buy any fancy lighting setups, try what you have on hand. Set your stage in front of a window to see how it looks. If you don’t like it, rearrange lamps until you get it right. It will be worth the time. 

Don’t Forget to Edit

No one can shoot a perfect video in one try. You’ll want editing software to put your videos together. Try the free software on your computer before splurging on something more professional or expensive. Your built-in movie software should be good enough to edit for high-quality videos. 

Quality Content

While shopping for a camera, keep in mind that the technology isn’t everything, or even the most important factor in your videos. Even more important is good, valuable content for your viewers and clients. If you can’t afford a nice camera now, use your phone but make sure your content is excellent. Before long you’ll have enough to purchase better technology. 

Making workout videos should be a priority if you’re getting into virtual coaching and training. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment, but do invest in a good camera that will help you make quality videos. It makes all the difference between being an amateur and a respected fitness professional. 

Online coaching is more popular than ever. Take advantage of this growing industry by earning a specialized certification. ISSA’s Online Coach Certification course will teach you how to start an online business so you can help clients virtually. 

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