Everything you need to look (and sound) like a badass sitting on Zoom at home

Everything you need to look (and sound) like a badass sitting on Zoom at home

Yesterday, I posted this Tweet about my new camera + lighting + audio setup at home. Everyone started asking what to buy to make this setup happen so here you go. Everything you need to know is below.

Matt Galligan helping me set up the camera.

This entire setup was because of my friend Matt Galligan. He's the brainchild behind almost everything below.

I’m going to call this the “pro-am” setup. Make sure you get everything below to make this work. Video without lighting looks terrible. Bad audio is the worst. Just bite the bullet and order everything below, thank me later.

To make things easy to track, I've created a checklist for anyone to use on Bonsai. This makes it dead simple to track what you've ordered.

The Best Video & Audio Setup For Remote Work - bonsai
The list below is for a “pro-am” video and audio setup.


Sony ZV-1 Camera + Solid Arm & Flex Arm Mount
  1. ($800) Sony ZV-1 (this is the best camera for the price. Auto focus allows you to move into frame, hold up your phone, or sit back and relax and always have great video with blurred background)
  2. ($63) SD card for camera to work
  3. ($115) Elgato Cam Link (this makes the camera work perfectly and instantly with any video platforms)
  4. Pick ONE of these USB Powered Hubs: ($36) (For most people, a powered USB Hub will work just fine) OR ($250) For new Macbook Thunderbolt 3 (this is great for people who also want more charging power and ports, this is the best)
  5. ($8) HDMI micro to HDMI (This goes from the Sony camera to the Elgato Cam Link)
  6. ($20) Camera charger (this replaces the battery in the camera to be USB powered and always charged)

Total Video Costs: $1042


Two examples of Key Light + Solid Arm + Flex Arm for Camera
  1. ($200) Key Light (this is amazing & you control it from your computer)
  2. ($30) Solid arm (for the main Key Light)
  3. ($40) Flex arm (the flex arm allows you to use the light stand for the camera so it’s slick and seamless. Check the pic below)

Total Lighting Costs: $270


  1. ($160) Elgato Wave 3 (This mic looks great + has great reviews compared to Snowball mics - read the review here)
  2. ($100) Headphones for recording (this allows for pro audio recording on podcasts without getting feedback - many different opinions here, it’s really just preference with AirPods, Over ears, or In ears. I like the Sony headphones I linked to)

Total Audio Costs: $260

Grand Total to look sexy on camera at home: $1572

Once everything arrives and you have it set up, there's a few more things you have to do to make it look great. Make sure the camera is recording (red light on). This will require you to format the SD card from time to time when it is full. You can add a shortcut to do this in the menu settings.

That's it. Just select the new microphone + camera from the menu in Zoom and you're all set.

Hope this was helpful! Send me your photos on Twitter. twitter.com/shanemac

BUT wait, there's more!?

What could you change to make this go full on “pro?”

Two things:

  1. ($2500) Camera. If you want to shell out 2-3k more, you can get any Full Frame DSLR camera. This will simply replace the Sony ZV1 on the mount. This is what Harley Finkelstein from Shopify uses and you can see how it looks here.
  2. Here’s an example of a DSLR you could buy. You still need to get a lens.

  1. Microphone. I’ve heard the new Wave 3 microphone is great but if you want to be like the best video producers, musicians, and podcasters, the best microphone out there is the Shure SM7B. This is the microphone I use and it is amazing. You will need a mic, stand, and USB audio interface for this type of microphone.
  2. ($400) Shure SM7B Mic
  3. ($100) Boom stand
  4. ($250) Zoom UAC-2 Audio converter
  5. Mic Cables (don’t forget these for this type of microphone)

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter or learn more about me here.

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Jamie Larson