Tech & Equipment

Explained: the gear you need to teach online with Strydal

You can start with a smartphone! Here's our pick of the apps, microphones, tripods and more that will help you deliver high-quality classes
January 25, 2021
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Strydal Team

Once you've created your Strydal channel, you're probably wondering about the gear you need to get started. Good news! You probably own some of it you already.

So we've collected a list of online teaching equipment that can help you deliver the best classes possible for your members.

>>Quick-start guide to Strydal<<

Online teaching equipment: our picks

Best cameras to film your online classes

To keep things simple, we’ll suggest two options for filming your online classes: a smartphone, or your computer's webcam.

Of course, it’s also possible to use a high-end camera like a DSLR or similar – and if you own such a camera and are comfortable using it then it will probably record in better image quality.

But for most creators just getting started, we recommend using what you probably own, and what you're already familiar with.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that not all smartphones and webcams are made equal! Some record video in much better quality than others, and newer models generally work best.

Option 1 (recommended): iPhone, iPad or Android phone

Nearly everyone already owns a high-quality filming studio, which they carry around every day in their pocket. Smartphones nowadays have incredible cameras and processing capabilities, so this is what we recommend using.

Make sure that your smartphone or iPad has at least 20GB of free storage (videos take up a lot of space). If you're using an iPhone, then it needs to be no older than an iPhone 7 with iOS 13.6.1. or later. If using an iPad, make sure that it's no older than the iPad 2.

Option 2 (possible, but not recommended): computer webcam

Computer cameras can also work well with 4K or 1080 recording.  This is an advantage as you can see the screen in a bigger size.

PLEASE NOTE: Good hardware is needed to provide the best-quality classes for your members. If you have an older laptop and a new iPhone 11, then it's better to use the iPhone.

If using a laptop, make sure that it is on a hard surface, so that there is sufficient air circulation, and it doesn't overheat.

For best results, close all programs and tabs on your laptop except those required for giving the class.

Use a strong WiFi connection or Ethernet cable when possible to maximize bandwidth and upload speed. If using WiFi then move your device as close as possible to the router (within 0.5m) for best results.

Apps we recommend

(Credit: Filmic Pro)

We recommend the Filmic Pro app (currently $14) to ensure high-quality recording of your on-demand videos.

We also recommend the Lumu Light Meter app for balancing your color as close to natural daylight as possible.

Audio equipment

While your smartphone has a fantastic camera and processor, we do NOT recommend using the inbuilt microphone.

That's because it will cause echo and sound terrible, and your members will have a hard time hearing you.

With that in mind, we recommend looking at the following options:

Headphones:

Apple Airpods Pro Gen. 2 or newer

Android options

Wireless microphones:

Rode GO wireless microphone system

Rode Lavalier GO wearable microphone

USB microphones:

The Blue Snowball

Other useful accessories:

TRS to TRRS adaptor

Set-up advice:

Set-up tips and tricks for Apple Airpods Pro

How to adapt a microphone shotgun mic

For recording on-demand videos on iPhone or iPad with AirPods as a microphone, you'll need to use the Filmic Pro app.

Tripods

Tripods are a must-have when creating video footage. That’s because they greatly improve the stability of your camera, and eliminate the distracting “jerkiness” you see from handheld recordings.

Feel free to use any brand you like (it just needs to hold the camera steady). We have a few basic ones listed below:

Lighting equipment

We recommend using daylight whenever possible for lighting your shoots – this is also the cheapest, easiest option!

However, if the room you film in gets little natural daylight, or has dark corners, we recommend the following basic lights: 

Basic lights
Basic lights with colour temperature control
Mid-range lights  

To avoid hard colour shifts in the scene, you can balance your lights to the daylight. If you're unsure what colour setting you need, use this app to balance your colour as close to daylight at that specific time of the day.

Bounce light off surfaces to avoid hard lines. Bouncing off the ceiling or back wall will give a more even, balanced look (explained here). 

Small filming accessories

So far we've covered all the major equipment you'll need for giving online classes.

However, there are also a few small accessories to consider, which will make your life that much easier:

Lightning adaptor to 3.5mm audio for iPhones
USB type C to 3.5mm audio
A non-bluetooth microphone

Clothing to wear

Finally, let’s look at what kind of clothing is best to wear when teaching fitness and wellbeing classes online.

Avoid totally white and totally black clothing. This causes highlights and shadows to not be exposed properly. Solid colours that will “pop” give your video depth and contrast with the background.

Secondly, avoid any patterned clothing. (such as stripes or dots), since the camera will flicker with patterns and look like a strobe effect. Which might get a bit distracting for viewers.


Thanks for reading our guide to online teaching equipment! Head to Strydal Learn for lots more articles like this.

>>Quick-start guide to Strydal<<

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