We moved to our new studio a few months ago and we have been gradually building things as we go. This will be the first of several videos in this series where we will try and give a look at what we tried to accomplish with our studio.
Our new studio isn’t big, it is actually about the size of a mid size room (close to 40 square meters which is just over 400 square feet). It has quite low ceilings which isn’t ideal for photography in many respects but we tried to get the best out of it and it does have some advantages for what we have been doing as you will see later on.
How to make the most of a small Studio
Our studio serves two main purposes. The first is to give us a perfect place to shoot our videos for LensVid and the second is the main production location for our vegan food channel Veggiez.
The studio itself is divided into different areas corresponding to the different tasks that we perform for each channel. On the left is our main station for shooting our intro’s and concluding segments for LensVid. On the background, we have some of our gear including some products that we will be reviewing in the near future on a number of Ikea shelves. We also integrated some color strip LEDs in the back which we control remotely.
We typically stand behind a table with a camera, Sony A6500 at the moment (although this will likely change soon) pointed at us shooting our intros and outros. The way we build the setup for this station is similar to the general philosophy that we had for the entire studio.
Since we have a small space and the ceilings are low, instead of placing everything on the floor on tripods, lights stands and such we decided to hang everything we can up from the ceiling.
Using the ceiling to hang all of our gear (using 4040 aluminum profiles)
We used two long metal bars connected from one wall to the opposite one and fixed 4040 aluminum profiles in an extended grid to them. To these, we have added more profiles as needed and connected more or less every type of gear to them including microphones, monitors, lights, cameras and more. We will go into all of this in more depth on a later video but for the time being, we will explain how we used this method for the LensVid shooting station.
Just above where we stand we have a microphone (currently a Deity S-Mic-2 which we are in the process of testing) connected to a dbx 286 pre-amp with compressor and a gate which helps us eliminate some background noise. The dbx is connected to our Tascam DR-70D recorder with a remote for starting and stopping the recording (we also tried our MixPre 3 but we are so used to the DR70D that we keep coming back to it). There is also a backup mic – a Rode Video micro which we love, connected directly to our camera as well as a smallHD focus (first gen) monitor connected to our camera.
Our key light for this station is at the moment the Ledgo LG-D600 with a softbox which we reviewed in the past and the Manfrotto Lykos as back or hair light.
We recently started reducing our use of monitors and moved to a new system based on a mobile Kupo light stand (yes, this one is on the floor) with a large 4K monitor and a computer – we will cover this on a separate video, but we believe that it has a very big potential to improve our workflow but a lot of this will depend on software.
Behind our “LensVid main station” we have our editing station including our new editing computer where we also tested a lot of the computing-related accessories that we recently reviewed on the channel.
Over on the right, we have our storage location for most of our backgrounds and fabrics that we use. It is divided in the middle and has another place on the back for larger diffusers and reflectors. We actually built the whole thing from wood and it has wheels in case we want to move it.
Our DIY diffuser/reflector/background storage unit
Next, to it we have a similar wooden box that we built, also with wheels that has all our light stands and tripods (including some that we shall review here soon).
Close by we have an IKEA utility cart (called RÅSKOG) which we use to hold all of our clamps, tapes, RC2 quick releases and various other small accessories that are always handy.
Simple IKEA cart for all of our accessories
Moving on to the main shooting station next to our small kitchen is our large table which we designed ourselves together with a special storage drawer for an induction cooktop, lots of kitchen appliances, power, and even more backgrounds. It is extremely heavy and sits on the floor but if we need it has wheels which can lift it up and move it around the studio.
Above the table we have the main part of our aluminum profile rig which at the moment includes the Swit S2610 flexible LED with extra diffusion, a Godox SL-60W on a 9.solutions Ex-Sus pole (more on that in an upcoming review), a small USB fan for when we need to remove some steam when we shot food being cocked top down.
Our studio – a work in progress
Talking about shooting top down, this is our current ongoing project and one which we are going to cover in a separate video soon (if all goes well) so we shall not discuss it too much here aside from saying that it should enable us to move the camera up/down and left to right easily.
As we mentioned this is a work in progress and we have plans to change and add a lot of things in the near future so expect updates. If you want more info on specific aspects of the studio – please let us know in the comments. More on all of this soon…
You can check out more LensVid exclusive articles and reviews on the following link.
Links to all the gear we used/mentioned in this video:
Sony A6500 – https://amzn.to/2EbWs8N
Sony A6300 – https://amzn.to/2EapSUI
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN – https://amzn.to/2E9sZwn
Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DN – https://amzn.to/2E9thTZ
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 – https://amzn.to/2E8j61G
Sony SEL90M28G FE 90mm f/2.8 – https://amzn.to/2E7FYhU
Aputure Deity S-mic2 (used for the intro/outro of this video) – https://amzn.to/2E9EQKR
Electro-Voice RE20 (used for the voice over of this video) – https://amzn.to/2E5hxBB
Rode VideoMicro (back up mic) – https://amzn.to/2Ear8ao
dbx 286 pre-amp-compressor-gate – https://amzn.to/2E8PSzL
Tascam DR-70D recorder – https://amzn.to/2E7i46o
Tascam RC-10 Wired Remote – https://amzn.to/2E3VrzF
MixPre 3 (a better recorder which we are still not used to) – https://amzn.to/2E9DcZA
Ledgo LG-D600 (NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION)
Swit S-2610 – http://bit.ly/Swit-S2610
Godox SL-60W – https://amzn.to/2E8ycnX
Manfrotto Lykos – http://bit.ly/MANFROTTO-LYKOS
Power Practical color LED strips – https://amzn.to/2E7DIXY
Rolling computer station:
Kupo 322M monitor stand with wheels (this unit is pretty hard to find online) – http://bit.ly/2JLDCJ4
KS-429 VESA mount kit – https://amzn.to/2EajAEJ
Intel NUC 8I5 BEH (fantastic small NUC computer – we added 16GB RAM and Samsung 970 EVO SSD) – https://amzn.to/2E8KaOp
Utility cart – https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30401789/
Shelving – https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S99031408/
Aluminum profiles and accessories:
We use 4040 profiles and M6 screws and connectors – but you can use different parts as well (more on this on a separate video)
Edelkrone SliderONE (we used the first version) – https://bhpho.to/2E8htB6
ProMediaGear VS24 | PMG DUO 24 inch Video Slider (our older but still great longer motorized slider) – https://amzn.to/2E7HfFI
USB fan (we use a different model – this should be better) – https://amzn.to/2EbXrpv
Elgato Stream Deck – https://amzn.to/2E91sed
9.Solutions EX-SUS Extension Suspension Pole (we use a special shortened version which is still a little too for our short ceilings in our studio) – https://amzn.to/2E43gFx