Over two billion logged-in users visit YouTube every month and everyday people watch over a billion hours of video. Content creation is at its all-time high and more and more people are joining in. Of course, the easiest route to video creation is using your smartphone, and don’t get us wrong there are some pretty advanced phone cameras out there, but if you're looking to get an extra step ahead, it’s time to invest in some real videography equipment.
We will take time to go over what we’ve found to be essential when it comes to upping your YouTube game. Depending on the type of videos you're planning to create, some products might suit you better than others. So, let’s dive into what these products are and why they can enhance your video creation.
A Dedicated Camera
Like we mentioned before, sure your phone is great, but for higher resolution, dynamic range, and more post production flexibility, a mirrorless camera is the way to go. Why mirrorless? Because like you might have already heard, mirrorless is the future and it’s where the industry is heading. We’ve seen the effects of this with companies like Canon who have started to discontinue a few DSLR cameras and lenses, making room for mirrorless. Another great reason is that they are compact and easier to travel with, not to mention, the autofocus eye tracking feature is a huge plus.
Wide Angle Lenses
Typically, wide angle lenses are great for vlogging videos. You will want a lens that can easily showcase your environment and you in a flattering way. Wide angles are great for selfies and vlogging when by yourself or on the move. In many cases, mirrorless cameras will come with a kit zoom lens. These lenses are also great options because they offer a versatile focal range and are usually small and compact.
A tripod is definitely something you’ll want to invest in. Whether that be a tabletop tripod or a standard tripod, either will make your life a lot easier when you decide to start recording. Table top tripods like the Joby Gorillapod or the Manfrotto MTPIXI-B are great options. Another nice plus is you can use either as a selfie grip when you’re on the go. For standard tripods, you won't need anything over the top. Most of the time your camera will be situated inside without any weather hazards or harsh conditions. So, we recommend the MeFOTO Roadtrip for a study but light weight full sized tripod.
You might have heard this before, but audio is key when it comes to video production. You can have a great video but if the audio isn’t spot on it can ruin the whole thing. We recommend a shotgun microphone like the RODE Videomic Pro or Saramonic VMIC PRO Mark II for clean direction audio. If you’re looking for a little more freedom of movement in front of the camera or want to extend the distance between you and the camera, we’d recommend the Rode Wireless GO.
If your location doesn’t afford lots of natural indirect soft light or you want more creative control over your scene’s lighting, knowing how to use artificial light is the key to success. And getting started with the right constant LED lights is the first step in mastering your light. Lighting doesn’t have to break the bank. For someone looking to improve their YouTube content, ring lights and on camera LEDs are enough. We like the Westcott 18” Bi-Color LED Ring Light Kit. This ring light comes with a light stand and two batteries for only $179. Another light that we have been swooning over lately is the Phottix Nuada R3 and R4 II LED Lights for their soft look, bright output, and thin design.
Video Editing Software
Taking the video is only half the battle, so having a video editing software is a must. There are a few options to choose from. If you want to take a free approach, you can edit on the software like iMovie that comes readily accessible on most Macs, or Movie Maker for Windows users. DaVinci Resolve also offers a free version of their color grading and editing software. Besides that, the most common paid for editing programs are Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro for Mac only users. All three of those programs are incredibly powerful editing programs and will provide any YouTube content creator the tools to compete with Hollywood studios when pushed to their limits.