I have been vlogging since 2017. I started vlogging on my phone if I have to trace back to how it all began. I used to vlog on WhatsApp stories and covered my entire New York trip on it. XD
Eventually, I launched my own YouTube channel. I have been vlogging for quite some time now and have posted several videos. Over a period of time, I have realized the power of good visuals and vivid audio. Both together, have helped me create impactful content and take my videos up a notch.
My Bodoland video went viral in 2019 for its visual story-telling and my subscriber count went from 500 to 5,000 in two months.
Working with good equipment is the key to making great videos. You might have a great story to tell or have amazing cinematic visuals, but if your audio is not crisp, then the entire experience offered by your video is diluted. Get the idea?
In this guide, I am going to share a list of all the essential items that you need for your vlogging journey as a beginner. If you want to make great (not good) videos, then read my post right away.
Here is my Ultimate Beginner’s Vlogging Equipment for YouTube
Buy a good quality camera which is either mirrorless or point-and-shoot. A mirrorless camera is nothing but a light-weight DSLR without the mirror. A point-and-shoot camera has automatic features and is lighter on the wallet.
Here are the features you need to look for in a vlogging camera:
- Video Quality of 1080p HD: Good YouTube videos have a resolution of 720p or 1080p HD. Cinematic videos usually have a resolution of 4K. But as a beginner, aim for 1080p at least.
- Portability: You will be carrying your camera around, most of the time. So buy a compact and a lightweight one.
- Auto-focus: When you are vlogging, you would want to be the main focus in the frame. With auto-focus, you can always make sure that you’re in focus even while you are moving.
- Flip Screen: This is extremely important because when you’re vlogging, you need to see yourself and the background which you’re capturing. A flip screen camera comes in super handy here.
- Image Stabilization: This is extremely essential when you are filming shaky/adventure shots. It’s good to have a camera with image stabilization (if you don’t, you can still stabilize the footages using a video-editing software).
- Audio Input: Audio is the king of great videos. Make sure your camera has an audio input so that you can connect an external mic to it and record videos (in case your camera doesn’t have audio input, you need to record audio separately and synchronize while editing).
If you want to buy a single camera for vlogging/manual photography, a mirrorless camera is a good option. If you want a budget camera that has internal stabilization and can take good videos, a point-and-shoot camera works well.
Canon Power Shot G7X Mark II is a good point and shoot camera with all the features mentioned above. However, it lacks the features required for manual photography but for regular vlogging use, it is a good buy.
I own a Sony Alpha A-5100 Mirrorless Camera and use it for vlogging/photography. The only cons of this camera is that it doesn’t have internal stabilization and audio input. I manually stabilize my clips on a video editing software (Da Vinci is a good software to begin with) and record my audio using a collar/lav mic (Keep reading below to see how I record audio).
I realized the importance of internal stabilization and audio input after buying my camera, so make sure you keep this in mind when buying yours.
There are two types of tripods that you need to buy:
- A Big Tripod: to fix on the ground and take static wide shots (with you in the frame).
- A Small Tripod: to carry along with you and vlog as you go
A big tripod is handy when you want to capture cinematic shots or a scenic landscape with you in it. For example, like the image below.
A small tripod is needed when you want to hold the camera in your hand, and move around and vlog.
Below are the tripods I own:
Speaking of the small tripod, you may be able to mount your camera directly on it. However, in case you want to mount your phone, you need to get a separate mobile holder clip and then mount your phone.
Audio makes ALL the difference! Earlier, when I started making videos, people gave me feedback regarding the audio of my videos and how it could be improved. I could not have been more grateful for this piece of advice! Investing in good audio goes a long way and I am telling this by experience.
With a sound recorder, you can record crisp audio separately and do not have to rely on the internal mic of your camera.
This comes in very handy when your camera doesn’t have audio input.
I own a sound recorder from Zoom (Zoom H1N) and use it for all my voice overs in my videos. You can either use it directly or connect a lav/collar mic to it.
Buy a local lav/collar mic. Like I have explained above, if your camera doesn’t have audio input, you can record audio separately using a lav/collar mic by connecting it either to your phone or to the sound recorder. Later, you can synchronize it while editing the video.
Shotgun mics connected to the camera restrict you in terms of the distance. So, a lav/collar mic comes in handy when you want to sit far away from your camera and record audio. I record my audio separately since Sony Alpha A-5100 doesn’t have audio input, and later synchronize it while editing.
Your phone is a super vlogging equipment. Not only does it have in-camera stabilization but it also records crisp audio while filming. You can either hold it in your hand or use a tripod (with a mobile holder clip) to capture great clips. I use my iPhone to capture clips where there is a lot of instability (like action shots, or pan shots) to get a seamless flow of frames per second.
Try to use your phone as much as possible. Believe me, it’s more powerful than you think.
Just to recap, here is the list of items you need to own if you’re a beginner vlogger on YouTube:
- A Vlogging Camera (either Canon Power Shot G7X Mark II or Sony Alpha A-5100)
- A Big Tripod
- A Small Tripod
- Sound Recorder
- Lav/Collar Mic
- Mobile Holder Clip
Below is a reel to help you remember visually!
These are the equipment I use, and recommend to anybody who wants to start their vlogging journey.
P.S: You always have a choice in terms of the brands you opt for, but make sure you have these 7 items on your list. And never compromise on the audio. 🙂