So you want to be a Vlogger, and want to show the world your adventures and journeys, sharing information and teaching what you learned on the way. But before doing that the one thing that comes to our mind is how to start? What equipment do I need to start vlogging? Well in this article we will dive deep into this topic and help you decide what vlogging kit for beginners you need as per your requirement.
The main focus of this article will be buying guides for budget vloggers or vlogging kit for beginners. We will mainly discuss the vlogging equipment list required for a (travel vlog setup and youtube studio. Different individuals have different tastes so we will try to cover all those new vloggers and satisfy their needs.
Vlogging kit for beginners –
In a brief let me tell you what you will need to start vlogging. The essential equipment for capturing beautiful videos is –
- camera stabilizer
1. Camera –
How to choose a camera for YouTube? It is very important to know what to look for in a vlogging camera. I have concluded some features that are a must in a camera for better video quality.
Nowadays the display of smartphones and monitors is so advanced, that they can show minute details in the video. So to cope with the new trends these features are needed in a camera. These features will not only capture beautiful videos but some features will also help vloggers in capturing videos, Let’s go through those features.
These are the features that I believe are important to make a good vlog –
Must record 1080P at 30-60 fps –
For travel vlogging and also for other categories YouTube videos 1080p is a must. The cameras I will be mentioning here have the capacity to record in 4K also but I would recommend you to use 1080p resolution for your video. Increasing the resolution to 4K will decrease the editing performance of your computer as it will consume more resources if you use low end PC for video editing.
And another thing to consider is the frame rate. It is not a question of what is a good fps for a camera but rather a question of what type of shot you want to shoot. If you want a more cinematic style video then I recommend shooting in 24 fps and if you want to add some slow-motion footage in your video here and there then I would recommend choosing a camera that can record at least 60fps ( More is preferable ).
If you are following some YouTuber then you would have noticed that most of the clips they use are in slow motion. The slow-motion video gives a taste of cinematic style video.
External microphone port –
Although the cameras have internal microphones, having an external microphone will increase the audio quality of the video. Many consider better quality audio over a video.
For example – if you capture your video in 4k resolution but your audio has so much noise then there is a chance that people will leave your video midway, on the other hand, if you shot your video in 480p but your audio quality is better (clean and without any noise) then there is a chance that people will watch your video.
Flip LCD screen –
This is one of the main features that you should consider before buying a camera. A vlogging camera with a flip screen can help in framing yourself in the video while taking a selfie video.
It can also be helpful in taking a shot that is in a difficult position as the screen can be adjusted or flipped as per requirement. Like shooting low-angle or high-angle shots.
AF system in camera –
Autofocus is a debatable matter in the filmmaking industry as some like it and some don’t. But autofocus in a camera has come a long way since its introduction. But for me as a vlogger camera with good autofocus is a must.
As in a high-end cinema camera, you have many people working behind your camera. You have a dedicated focus puller who works just to adjust focus in a scene. But as a vlogger you won’t be having that many crewmembers and sometimes it will be just you doing all the work.
So having a good AF system in camera can ease the work as you don’t have to work on focusing your shot. Well focusing on a scene may seem like easy work but it’s really tough to master.
No one likes to watch shaky videos. So you must focus on making your video as stable as possible. For that, you may use some kind of stabilizer like Steadicam, gimbal, etc.
Some cameras also provide an inbuilt feature to stabilize the footage. Like sony mirrorless cameras has IBIS(in-body image stabilization). Some lens also comes with stabilization features. I recommend choosing a camera that has a good inbuilt stabilization feature. Later you can add other stabilization equipment as you please.
Good low light performer camera –
Why do we need a good low-light camera? Well, sometimes we have to shoot videos in low-light situations like capturing a beautiful sunset view, indoor shooting, night camping videos, early morning shots, etc. Having a good camera that can capture good videos in low light is a plus. Cameras with bad low light features will produce bad quality shots with noises. So always look for the best low-light performance camera.
Phone as your main vlogging camera –
Most of us do one thing wrong, that is saving money for the perfect camera, and not starting shooting videos right away. It costs time and somewhat demotivates us. But we do not realize that we have most of the things we need to start shooting a video right away. So for me the most easily available camera these days will be our own smartphones because most of us use smartphones.
Most pro content creators will say that the best camera is the one that we own. Mobile companies these days are also introducing new phones that can shoot good quality videos. Some can even shoot 4k videos at 60fps. For vlogging, anything over 12 megapixels will be sufficient.
As we know the purpose of the DSLR camera is especially to capture images and videos and their camera sensor sizes are bigger and better than smartphones but they are bulky in nature. It is not easy to carry them around in our hands all the time. That’s why we need extra bags for that. On the other hand, smartphones are compact and can easily fit in our pant pockets.
Let’s talk about connectivity features. If you use social media (Facebook, Instagram) very much. Uploading content on the go. Then smartphones would be the better option for you. You can capture images and videos and edit them with apps available on android and IOS and upload them right away to your social accounts. Smartphones become versatile when it comes to connectivity. And also mobile vlogging setup will be much more pocket-friendly the setup having a bigger camera and lenses.
Phone camera stabilizer –
Smartphone manufacturers nowadays introducing phones that have good video stabilizers. But it has some limitations also and comes with a price. So getting an external mobile stabilizer would be a great investment for your content. Now if you are planning to invest in a good mobile stabilizer then here is my pick – Ulanzi MT32.
Phone holder and Phone mount –
So why do we need a phone holder or mount? What’s the purpose of it? Well, a phone holder can be useful for both social media content creators as well as for moto vloggers also. If you are on a budget then it is the best option for you as these holders will cost less than the professional tripods.
If you are a moto vlogger then a phone mount is a must for you. A phone mount can keep your phone in place while driving your car or bike so that you don’t have to operate your device while driving which can be very dangerous. There are different kinds of phone mounts for different purposes.
Camera recommendation for beginners –
When the production quality matters.
A. Canon 700d (Rebel T5i) –
Launched in 2013, being an old contender for DSLR camera for vlogging and photography, the canon rebel T5i is still a good camera if you are just starting vlogging. It can fit into your budget easily. It’s a DSLR camera with an 18 MP of CMOS sensor. It has an articulating touch screen which is most common not even in canon but in different brands also. It supports canons LP E8 battery.
It also allows you to mount any Canon lens with an EF mount. You can record videos in 1080P 24fps and 30fps, 720p in 60fps. The picture quality is also good in this camera. It captures sharp images. It can be your hybrid camera also. The low light picture quality is a decent one.
B. Sony zv1 –
Our next in-the-line camera is a 4k camera. Launched on May 26, 2020, it is one complete package. Why? Let’s discuss some of its features first. This camera is made targeting especially vloggers and is one of the best cheap 4k cameras for vlogging. It has a 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor. The camera is equipped with ZEISS 24-70mm-Equiv. f/1.8-2.8 Lens. The lens is not interchangeable.
The autofocus feature in this camera is commendable. It is better than canons M50 series camera. It has a feature called product showcase which is much suitable for people doing product reviews. Changing focus from face to product is pretty fast. It has a fast aperture from f/1.8-2.8, so the low light video quality is pretty great in this camera.
It can record in 4k at 30fps and 1080p at 120fps. Slow-motion footage in 1080p is pretty good. Image stabilization is decent here. Some of the things that we didn’t like about this camera are – Bad rolling shutter, the absence of a viewfinder.
2. Lens –
The lens is an important discussion topic of vlogging kit for beginners as lens plays the most important role in video shooting. As a vlogging beginner, the focus should be on understanding the camera lens. You should invest in a lens that can be future-proof for your requirements.
You can change the camera body over time when you become more comfortable with the uses and when you want to upgrade some features. But if you invest in the most costlier camera body and buy a cheap lens then the quality of the video will not be that great. Investment in the lens should be a one-time investment as much as possible.
How to choose a camera lens?
Well, it depends. It depends on the creative style of the creator. In a simpler form, we should select a lens depending on the video or photography style that we want to achieve.
Like- for a portrait photography project, the photographer mostly chooses a 50mm focal length to a 200mm focal length lens. And photographers or videographers who are into nature, real estate, etc tend to choose the wider focal length (12 mm – 24mm) because they want to include as much information possible in a single frame.
As a vlogger, we need a lens that can cover most information as possible. And when shooting yourself a wider lens can be most useful as it will not only capture your face but also the area that you are currently in. This gives the audience the proper sense of the situation or environment that you are in. A focal length between 12 to 24 mm would be great for vlogging.
But what we were talking about earlier was mainly on a prime lens. But we have also variable lenses available in the market.
So what is a variable lens or variable focal length lens? The variable lens is the lens with a variable focal length. Like Sony’s 16-35mm f/2.8 lens (). In this lens, you can adjust the focal length from 16mm to 35mm with a fixed aperture of f2.8. As a vlogger we want our gadgets to be more compact. Carrying different prime lenses with different focal lengths would be heavy to carry around, and also it will take up much space in our camera bags. The variable lens will be much more reasonable for this situation.
Now you understand what focal length lens you need for your projects or videos. It seems easier, and you can just order it online and get it right away. But just don’t do it right now. Not before reading the next most important point. And that is the Crop Factor and the difference between APSC and Full frame camera.
Before the digital, 35mm film was standard for its popularity and mass adoption. Bear in mind that 35 mm is not the focal length, it’s is the dimension of the camera sensor. But making a digital camera sensor equal to 35mm comes with higher manufacturing costs and many technologic challenges. Still, there are digital cameras that have a 35mm equivalent sensor size. We call it a Full frame camera. But the camera companies started manufacturing cameras with smaller sensor sizes. It’s called APS-C cameras.
But it created some problems. As the sensor size is smaller, the images or the videos are being cropped and it looks narrower. As if the images have been zoomed in. We can say that field of view has changed. In Digital photography the crop factor of an image sensor format is the ratio of the dimension of a camera’s imaging area compared to a full-frame sensor.
Different camera models have different crop factors. Sony alpha series (a6***) has a crop factor of 1.5. That means if you use a 16mm lens with any of the sony alpha series APSC cameras you will get, 16mm x 1.5 = 24mm equivalent of focal length. Canon EOS M50 Mark II has a crop factor of 1.6. So if you use a 16mm lens then ate actual focal length would be 16mm x 1.6 = 25.6mm.
Lens recommendation –
A. Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens –
From my bucket list of best budget camera lenses, this is one of my favorite lenses. It is a prime lens. This lens is basically for mirrorless cameras. The image it produces is very sharp. The autofocus is also great with this lens. As it has a maximum aperture of f1.4, its low light capability is also increased. It supports the camera with L-Mount, Canon EF-M Mount, and Sony’s E mount.
B. Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 –
Carrying multiple prime lenses sometimes becomes a hassle. And it also takes lots of space in your luggage. The answer is a zoom lens. My favorite zoom lens would be Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD. That’s really a long name though.
This is the most versatile zoom lens for Sony APSC mirrorless cameras. This lens has its mark because there hasn’t been any lens with this range and with this aperture setup. It has a 17-70mm focal length which is a fantastic all-around range (full-frame equivalent 25.5 – 105mm ) and a constant aperture of f2.8.
The closest competition or alternative to this lens would be sigma’s 18-50mm f/2.8 lens. We will discuss the different pros and cons of these lenses and compare them so that you will be able to decide on one lens that will suit your needs. But for now, let’s leave it for another blog.
This is a good mid-range zoom lens. It is good for Landscape and portrait photography. For wedding video and photography also it can become a time saver as you won’t have to switch between prime lenses or carry multiple cameras with you with different focal lengths lenses attached. I call this lens a “ one and done lens ”. Autofocus is pretty good with this lens. Even with fast-moving subjects, the autofocus, especially eye autofocus performs very well. The filter thread of this lens is 67mm.
The features that really make this lens stand out are –
- Presence of in-lens stabilization which Tamron calls VC (Vibration compensation). Most Sony APSC camera lineups don’t have in-body stabilization except a6500 and a6600. It will work great with other models like sony a6000, a6100, a6300, and also a6400.
- The next feature is how close it can focus for a Zoom lens. At a wide angle, the Minimus Object Distance (MOD) is just 7.5 inches and at the highest telephoto angle (at 70mm) the MOD is just 15.4 inches. So it can give you, not proper but somewhat a macro lens experience.
3. Microphone –
Without audio, a video is just a series of moving images. And with poor audio quality, it is hard to keep the audience around. An external microphone will always be better than an internal audio recorder that is inbuilt into the camera. End of story. But you cannot just blame the camera companies for that. There are already so many things going on inside a camera. And the main focus of the camera is to capture the best videos and images.
But it’s not like the internal microphone is totally unusable. In some cases, you can somewhat manage with an on-camera mic. Like in a closed studio where there is less to no outside noises. Or in an area where there are no other people around. As you know humans can be more talkative. It’s like a fail-safe when in an emergency.
Some microphone recommendations for vlogging –
4. Tripods/Monopods –
Tripods can be useful in making steady videos, time-lapses, wildlife photography, wedding photography, and many more situations. You would think picking a tripod is simple right, that is until you go to a shop and see different tripods. I will show you what to look for in choosing a tripod and also suggest to you my pick that will last for a long time.
For video choose a tripod with a fluid head for smooth panning and tilting movement. And it is also very useful to have a tripod with a quick-release system so that you can switch between one piece of equipment to the next piece of equipment. The next thing you should consider about the tripod is its type of legs. Most commonly aluminum and carbon fiber are used.
If you travel a lot and love making travel vlogging videos then investing in carbon fiber legs will definitely decrease some weight from it and will save you from muscle fatigue. But in most situations, an aluminum leg will be sufficient. It is mostly cheaper than carbon fiber material. And lastly, always check the load capacity of the head and legs of the tripod so that your equipment can be within the weight limit. That way your tripod won’t fail and your equipment stay safe.
One of my favorite budget tripods is – Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminum-Alloy Tripod Kit with SBH-100 Ball Head
5. Lighting –
If you are making videos then choosing a continuous light will be best. And if you are into photography then choose a flashlight or strobe light.
For now, let’s focus on light for video. The best budget light for video according to me is Godox SL-60W if you are making videos of unboxing items, talking head videos, or interview videos for youtube then this light is best for you. It is the best budget-light setup. The power it proves for its price is very good. For talking head video in most cases you will be fine with only 25% of its power.
6. Accessories –
Accessories are an important discussion topic in vlogging kit for beginners.
a. Bags –
Always invest in a good camera bag. Your equipment is not waterproof or dustproof. If someday you find yourself in a difficult situation as it rained suddenly then a good camera bag will definitely protect your equipment from water. Or suppose you are shooting some videos in the desert then a good camera bag will protect your cameras and other pieces of equipment from dust. My recommended camera bag is Lowepro Flipside BP 300 AW III
b. Green Screen –
A VFX artist or a streamer can make great use of a Green Screen. For a vlogger, it may not be that useful. But still having a green screen for vlogging in your collection has no harm.
c. Cleaning Kit –
Always carry a cleaning kit. Beginner vlogger or filmmaker mostly ignores this, but having a cleaning kit in your bag is handy. Always clean your equipment especially your camera with it. The cleaner you keep the longer it will lust. Cleaning camera sensors regularly also removes unwanted dust particles which affect your video quality and may damage your sensors later.
d. External Drive –
Back up your footage in an external hard drive after the end of the shoot. Keeping an extra backup of the videos or photos minimizes the chance of loss of the footage. You may lose your videos and photos because of an accident or a corrupt memory card. So always keep an extra backup of your work.
e. Memory Card –
Spend money on a good memory card. Know your camera and what memory card it supports before buying an extra memory card.
Well, I think I covered each and every topic related to vlogging. This topic vlogging kit for beginners is just a guide. One thing one must understand is that these are just tools that will help you make a good video but the only thing that will make your video great is your own creative thinking. If you have any suggestions for vlogging kit for beginners please feel free to suggest me in the comment section.