Creating digital course: hardware + software recommendations

Hey all,

I’m creating a video course for clients that might not be ‘ready’ for our full service. It’s about providing those clients with the tools they need to get their business to a level, where we can be engaged for our main services.

I see these being similar to Macsparky’s videos with a combination of talking to the camera and screen casting.

Hosting the videos as a course is not a problem. I’ve got this built into my CRM.

I’m aiming at an entry-mid level budget until I’m sure it’s something I’ll continue doing.

I’m open to any ideas and recommendations. I’m not ‘in bed’ with anything. I just want simplicity. Will be minimal editing (video and audio). Running off a M1 MBP 14 base spec.

Current thoughts

  1. Camera -
  • iPhone continuity cam
  • Logitech Streamcam
  • Elgato Facecam
  1. Microphone -
  • Audio Technical AT2020
  • Blue Yeti
  • Elgato Wave1
  1. Lighting
  • open to suggestions!
  1. Screencasting
  • CleanshotX
  • Zoom
  • Ecamm Live
  1. Editing
  • Lumafusion

Thanks team!

I’m an online course creator and membership site owner. Here’s my setup, FWIW:

Camera - Logitech C920. I believe there are newer versions, but since I most often do slide deck/screen share style training, I’ve never bothered to upgrade.

Mic - Audio Technica ATR 2100. I run this through a Focusrite audio interface which gives me a slightly better audio quality than USB direct to my computer gave me.

Lighting - I never can seem to get this quite right. For now, I’ve settled on a Sokani LED Video Light P25. I don’t love it, but it does the job and doesn’t take up a ton of space.

Screencasting and editing - I’m a long time fan of Camtasia. Again, I’m mostly slides and screen sharing. If I were doing more talking head style, I’d probably choose something else. I’m sure there are better options for that style of video, but for what I do, Camtasia is perfect.

I’ve also had a lot of fun lately playing with OBS for screen casting. I love that I can set up different “scenes” and easily switch between them while narrating through the lesson. Makes for less post-production work, too. I use a Streamdeck to make this easier to manage.


No comment on the hardware, just a hint:
The quality of a course is heavily influenced by the demeanor/presence of the presenter. I moved away from “sitting at a computer, starting at a screen, showing slides” to “standing in front of a camera, looking into the camera (“eye contact”, body language), LESS slides”. I add slides/videos in post. Kind of instead of “watching somebody at his computer” it’s “somebody is addressing ME”. The number of presentations, speaking engagements, moderation, conference chairs has multiplied.


Maybe some things you already know, but here’s my take:

  • In my limited experience (making online content for uni courses, and an explainer video on Obsidian) Screenflow worked well for me, though now I would look at OBS first. The thing I like about Screenflow is some decisions can be postponed until after recording. I.e. everything is recorded (mouse pointer, etc.) and you can decide afterwards if you want the pointer enhanced, show a focus circle, etc. OBS may have the same.

  • Use a good mic. We can look away, but we can’t pause from listening.

  • Have someone evaluate your early videos for annoying things like sniffing, lip smacking, umming, etc.

  • I tried a Logitech Brio 4K and it looked way worse than my iMac Pro’s builtin camera - compression artifacts, etc. Returned it.

  • Tell people why you’re doing things. This might require recording your screen interactions, then doing a voiceover afterward if it’s difficult to keep the two threads going in your mind simultaneously.

I don´t know your product, and your clients, but it might be worth to consider, if the quality of a camera, you can use for an online-meeting, a live stream, or some “Hobby-YT”-Videos might be high enough, to produce a video, that should convince somebody of your product, after all!?

Thanks Cindy, I’ll have to check out OBS! I hear a lot about it but never even looked into what it was! Seems like a dream stream deck integration :+1::+1::+1:

This really interests me SpivR - another thing to look into!

Great advice - this is more ‘tutorial based’ so very heavy screen sharing, but has got me thinking about a hybrid approach… break the pattern for my clients who are used to a certain type of video format!

I love this idea!

True and what’s turning me off continuity camera is the setup and pull down ‘process’ - while it might not be much. Having something semi permanent, with all the right settings may be a better approach even in the short term!