I have a small apartment kitchen that I'd like to be able to convert (at will) into a small studio. The idea is to capture myself cooking. I'd like your thoughts on the type of cameras to purchase, unique mounting options and lighting.

Ideally I'd like to be able to take all video sources and bring them into my computer (Mac) and edit via Final Cut.

Space is at a premium and with that, what would be my best option for digital cameras for the following purposes:

  1. Overhead shot of stove
  2. Active camera I can look at to speak and give direction
  3. Overhead shot of cutting board

Secondly are Mounts. I'd need something that could 1) support the camera in question 2) be long and flexible so I can position a camera above the stove

Do I have to be concerned with heat/steam interfering? Any tips on thwarting such problems?

Lastly, lighting. I have no clue, I guess I'm looking for affordable and not too bulky.

  • Yes, steam will be a problem, but I'm not sure what would work best to get around it other than a powerful fan to suck the steam away without going past the lens.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 21:26
  • Bogen magic arms are great for holding small cameras and lights. Not sure what your budget is, but a mixture of black magic pocket cinema cams and go pros would probably get you pretty far. Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 10:48
  • Yeah, I was going to recommend Go pros for the top shots too. Now, an idea: if you mount a computer fan (prob a 80mm one) 90 degrees off the camera itself and blowing across it, wouldn't it avoid any problems the steam will cause otherwise? I would recommend a lav too, since you are going to be moving around and eventually be talking against your main camera.
    – Claudio
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 19:58
  • Also the idea of the bogen arms is good but also consider a gooseneck if more flexibility (and cost) is needed.
    – Claudio
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 20:01
  • Got a lav already thanks! I'll post an answer with my setup once it's done!
    – ThaDon
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 4:09

1 Answer 1


I will answer this in a few parts

Cameras: I assume you are looking for some kind of a web release for what ever media you are recording and I assume you want to go high def. For this most if not all of the current DSLR's from the big makers (cannon, nikon, etc) will shoot in both 720 and 1080 (i and p depend on the camera but for what you are looking to do I would say either will suffice). When it comes to video my only requirement is that the camera has an external mic input (I know the Nikon D series has them). The on board mics on DSLR's are not that great and an external one is a must. This would be your main camera.

Go Pros are GREAT and come with a wide variety of mounting options. They are also in waterproof cases (I have used mine in the pool a few times with good success) so I would think they could stand up to some puffs of steam although continuous steam will be an issue for any camera.

You can also troll ebay or tag sales etc. for used DSLR's for your overhead shots. You can usually find them cheap and be less worried about them breaking form steam/heat

Mounting: Good tripods area easy to find. In this case I would look for something hefty but on the smaller side. I have a small Slik 504 that is small but really steady and has a smooth head. I also have a MeFoto for when Im on the road. These are much smaller than the Slik's but REALLY well made (all aluminum) and will not have a problem holding your DSLR.

Lights: Theater/Video lights can be pricy as can their mounting hardware. For this I will offer a simple home brew hack. Go to home depot and pick up the double halogen with stand work light. They are constantly on sale and fit the bill really well. they are bright, cheap, and come mounted to a stand. They usually are capable of pivoting in all directions as well.

Steam solution: I dont know much about this issue but one possibility is to mount a mirror over the stove and shoot the mirror. This puts the camera out of the line of steam and out of harms way. You can also get one of those shower mirrors that does not fog up in high steam environments.

Hope This Helps...

  • 1
    FWIW, I've used the work lights for a production or two and they are very useful and very cheap! Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 1:16

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