In chatting with my friends yesterday, the conversation turned to the topic of video production. At least a couple of them do it at a professional level and have invested thousands of dollars in gear. We started to talk about my vlogging camera setup and one of them asked why I don’t use an external microphone. I said that I didn’t want to bother with an external recorder and with the additional task of synchronizing audio.
He told me that the microphone can feed straight into the camera. I told him that the Canon point-and-shoot I use for shooting my vlogs (among other videos) does not have a microphone input. His response? “Ohhh. Yes, that’s way below our level. C’mon. Sound quality is as important as image quality, if not more.”
Another friend chimed in, “You’re not going to achieve Neistatesque views with a cheap mic.”
Done Imperfectly Is Still Done
Facebook Chief Operating Officer and LeanIn.org founder Sheryl Sandberg famously said, “Done is better than perfect.” Many people have written about why this is true. Me, I’d argue that done is even better than just better. By clicking the “upload” button on YouTube or the “publish” button in WordPress, you’ve already accomplished infinitely more than than the countless people who have said they are “going to” start producing video or writing blogs.
Could the video quality be better? Definitely. Could the low-light performance be less noisy? For sure. Could the audio be cleaner with less of an echo? Absolutely. But at least the videos are out there, in the world, for everyone to see.
A better camera could produce better video, but my vlogs are done. That’s much more that can be said about a theoretical, non-existent video that was never shot on a $10,000 rig, never edited on a $10,000 computer, and never uploaded via a $200/month Internet connection.
Through a New Lens
Another friend offered a few words in my defense.
“Kwan is OG Neistat style. And he’s outpaced everyone that has said they will start a vlog but has done jack.”
I’ve always had this grand vision of the multitude of things I want to accomplish. It would be stellar if I could have a hugely popular vlog to go along with a hugely popular blog, podcast and series of published books, as well as a webcomic, a professional gaming career, and enough time and money to travel the world. But that’s not realistic.
“Completion” is one of my guiding words for 2017. When I shot, edited and uploaded my first vlog, I took my first steps in a new journey. I’m not new to video, but I am new to weekly video. It needs to be consistent. It needs to be sustainable. I made a promise to myself that I would see this through until at least the end of 2017 and I intend on keeping that promise. I will complete this project, whether each video gets 10 views or 10 million views.
Choose Your Battles
Am I making excuses? Maybe. But at this point in my life, as with any other point in my life, it’s about prioritization, which happens to be another one of this year’s guiding words.
Some people might say I am cheap. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m just frugal. The point is that I am very selective with where I spend my money and I decided that investing in a new blog design is a better use of my resources right now. The ROI potential is greater and I can still keep up with weekly videos using just a $100 vlogging camera.
Because done is better than perfect and nothing will ever be perfect.