In class, the right instructor can make all the difference when it comes to motivating members.
But when you’re streaming a fitness class to at-home or on-the-go participants, the wrong equipment can derail member experience fast. If you’re looking to produce and offer more own-brand club content to your members, read on. To help, we asked some of our fitness content producer partners around the world for their top tips…
Gear Up But Don’t Over Invest Until You’re Ready
It’s easy to think, starting out, that investing in the very best lighting, Hollywood-grade cameras and hosting services is an absolute need. But in reality, a lot of instructors get away with a newer iPhone, a wireless mic and a wi-fi connection to Instagram, Facebook or other streaming platforms. If you’re looking for an ultra-convenient, easy-entry into streaming smartphone shooting is the way to go, just remember that iPhones and Androids have smaller light sensors, the critical piece of internal tech in any camera that helps produce quality images in variable light conditions. Many clubs have excellent lighting and even natural day light from walls of windows. If that’s your club, then a phone can do the trick until you’re ready to step up. But if you’re streaming from a low-light, or moodily lit studio for effect, invest in a quality ring light. The Switti LED Ring Light with stand and iPhone provides excellent quality lighting conditions for an iPhone shoot and at just under $100 is great value.
Visuals – DSLR Cameras
Some instructors use camcorders to stream video content but for ultimate versatility at the same price point, many now opt for DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras which offer 4K HD video as well as the option to shoot high resolution images – which could be useful for social media and marketing materials to promote your class. DSLR’s come with much larger light sensors so are ideal for low-light studios or other settings. Make sure you opt for a model that features a clean output free form on screen meter readings. There are all kinds of options, models and specifications for DSLR’s that can run all the way up to $2,000-$3,000 very quickly, but for great quality and value, check out the Canon EOS Rebel SL3. At just $700 it’s still an investment, but will very likely handle any streaming need you have now or as your classes grow in the future. Stunning 4K HD video, fully app-integrated control for remote use (essential to any instructor) and incredibly easy to use.
Audio and Accessories
Because streaming is such a visual medium, it’s easy to overlook the importance of high quality audio or even accessories that make your life and performance in front of the camera easy. Fortunately, the latest fitness-friendly audio headsets and mics are easy to use, durable and come in lots of options. Check out the latest 2022 reviews here, but look for certain features when you buy: sweat resistance and no exposed wiring or metal; long life performance on a single charge; and the ability to crank up the audio input without creating feedback for your listeners.
Accessories can make any class shoot or stream easier too. If you’re using an iPhone think about a quality gimbal like the DJIO OM4 for instance, with all kinds of stabilization, tracking and hands free gesture control functionality. It may not be a must for streaming, but can act as a tripod for class and be an essential tool as you begin to shoot more kinds of video on the go like virtual club tours and more. Or think about a multi-purpose accessory like the Pixi Evo 2 tripod that works with both DSLR cameras and iPhones so you don’t have to replace it as you upgrade from phone to camera.
Are you ready to start live streaming workouts to your gym members? Book a demo with FOD for more tips to get started.