Here's a short production I shot recently for Rockhampton-based psychologist, Helen Madell. "Understanding Anxiety" was shot and edited in under two days. It was developed by Helen as part of a university course assessment she is currently undertaking. For me it was ideal as a video capability road-test of my newly purchased Sony A6000 mirrorless camera and the Rode SmartLav lavalier microphone.
Not too long ago a two-camera HD production with multichannel audio and an on-location teleprompter would be a major operation requiring two to three crew, but with the current generation of enthusiast/semi-professional level cameras, some cleverly adapted tools and mature post production software, bringing all the elements together is dramatically easier and could be achieved alone.
Budget and timeframe dictated that equipment wouldn't be hired, shooting would be a two-three take max (due to both of our availability at the particular time) and that audience distribution would be adequate when delivered as a YouTube playlist (above).
Now I know the videos topic doesn't exactly make for blockbuster appeal, not to mention there were some unresolved environmental challenges (wind noise, occasional rumbling) but the video certainly did the job and has worked well to get the message across and meet Helen's brief as a web video explaining anxiety for under $600.
The Sony A6000 with Metabones Nikon G to Sony E adapter
At the time of researching compact cameras for video and occasional stills, I was already heavily committed to the Nikon system of lenses, so you can imagine how my interest grew reading about the availability of lens adapters. In short, this is all possible due to the short distance between the lens flange and the sensor in this and many other mirrorless cameras. It's this in particular that makes it possible (via the right adapter) to mount many existing lens combinations. There are now many brands of adapters for almost any lens systems including (but not limited to) Canon, Nikon, Leica, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta and of course, the Sony A mount.
It's not just stills that benefit from this capability. Video is dramatically enhanced when you can achieve better background separation with large-aperture primes in the same way you would on a DSLR. Contrast and colour rendition benefits also.
In the case of Nikon lenses with the Metabones adapter, you get the ability to smoothly adjust aperture at anytime with the MBs clickless dial. This model has the aperture dial to suit my Nikon G-series lenses.
Introducing the Rode SmartLav (and SmartLav+)
Both Rode lavs are extremely budget-friendly options for up-close and personal audio capture. The SmartLav's primary purpose is as a personal mic but seems to work perfectly well in place of a radio mic setup - as long as you understand that you won't have the ability to monitor the audio (with headphones) or have the audio recorded along side your footage on the camera.
The way I'm using the SmartLav microphone (Rode is an Australian company - Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!) is connected to an Apple iPod Touch (5th gen) through the 4-pole TRRS connector. Sounds obscure, but the connection is common with smartphone users' headphones. The kind featuring an integrated mic and volume controls. To capture the dialogue I used the Rode REC app on the iPod Touch set to about 60-70% level. I used the paid version but there is a lite version also available on the App Store.
The audio you hear in the video has only had minor tweaking in Premiere Pro with EQ. It was synced and mixed with the on-camera stereo mics built-in to the A6000 for some ambience. Coincidentally, the Sony's onboard mics seem to be pretty good and collect a decent stereo field with an extended frequency response.