Updated: Aug 12, 2021
In a world where we have become so disconnected from one another our birthday celebrations have become Zoom parties. For the most of us we have become accustomed to the regular Zoom meetings, but I still see so many common mistakes being made.
For those who present or do online training it is vital for the attendees to connect with your nonverbal communication since 90% (not an actual statistic) is communicated non-verbally. If they can’t see you, then most of what you have to say gets lost in translation or should I rather say lost in the cloud and you are just wasting bandwidth.
We consult CEOs and companies on a weekly basis to help them and their employees to better connect with their audiences through various video related platforms. Most people do not know that you could simply enable the HD function in Zoom to get the most out of your MacBook or Laptop. (We will share an upcoming article on shortcuts for zoom to help you navigate these options/functions) For computers there is few good options available for USB webcams which would work for most.
But in this article, I want to focus on devices that have revolutionised the livestream industry such as the Black Magic Mini. These devices have enabled us to connect camcorders (or DSLR cameras) via HDMI effortlessly to our laptops which can give you crystal clear picture (depending on camera quality) so that every emotion and expression is captured and communicated. The entry level unit has 4 inputs and is in my opinion, good bang for your buck. Though it might seem like an overkill when looking at all that it has to offer, when you get used to presenting with it you might not want to present without it. The more expensive versions also have the option to stream directly to your various streaming platforms.
Some of our clients have even managed to incorporate 2 cameras (Just like pro web streamers) into their zoom meetings and presentations. With a device such as the Black Magic Mini you can easily create holding slides and sharing your PowerPoint presentations is now easier than ever. No need to use the share screen option anymore.
Some units also have the ability to record to an SSD Hard drive. Which means that you have a much better quality recording you can trim and share. For those who like green screen backdrops, the Black Magic units come with a really good keyer that manages to pull a very good chroma key. However, to get the best results with green screens you need proper lighting. In our next article we will cover the basics lighting and backdrops.
So how does this setup work? Well to connect a camera via HDMI to your computer you need an encoder to convert the signal to one that your computer recognises as a USB port. This can then be easily configured in your Zoom settings as a camera feed, and you simply select the camera and microphone input as Black Magic Mini (See Image Below for quick change to Blackmagic Atem Mini as video source).
The nice part of this is up until this step you don’t even have to install software. Its only for advance settings such as keying and streaming that you need to install the easy-to-use software.
To use the mixer is super simplified and you can connect your laptop’s HDMI output as a second screen back into your mixer to mix your slides effortlessly with your video feed.
Zoom Meeting Connection Graph
Now all you must do is to incorporate sound and invest in some good lights and you have your own professional little studio setup. But more about that next time.