Get the gear: What you need to boost your digital storytelling skills


The best gear for visual storytelling is whatever you have with you at the time. You can capture ambient noise with a top-notch microphone or the voice recorder app on your phone. You can take photos with a DSLR camera or a basic point-and-shoot. Scouting moments happen in an instant, so be prepared.

Photographs: From your iPhone to a full-blown DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, this piece of gear is a very personal choice based on your budget, preferences and skill level. If you want to invest in a camera, choose one with Wi-Fi capabilities to make photo sharing a cinch.

Sound: Find a high-quality digital sound recorder — such as the Zoom H1 Handy Recorder ($100) — that will fit in your pocket. Or plug an external mic, like the the Rode smartLav+ lavalier microphone ($90), directly into your smartphone.

Video: Consider the Canon VIXIA mini X ($400), which offers a full HD camcorder and camera with Wi-Fi for sharing to social media using an iOS device. You can’t go wrong with a GoPro action camera ($130-$500). These small, weather-resistant cameras come in several styles and are easy to mount on bike handlebars, canoe gunwales and climbing helmets. Some let you control from your phone or tablet using a free app.

Share your favorite digital storytelling gadgets in the comments below.

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