Are you ready to start vlogging but can’t afford a brand-new camera and expensive computers to edit on? Let me share a secret: You don’t need that. In this post, I have listed the best vlogging equipment for beginners, and let me tell you, there is nothing expensive about this list. No $1000 cameras or Apple laptop recommendations.
Because the truth is that you don’t need that to get started. As a beginner to vlogging, you don’t know if this is something you want to continue doing in the future, and thus, it’s just stupid to purchase expensive cameras. Instead, continue reading and I will tell you what equipment you should get.
What You Don’t Need as a Beginner
If you are brand new, never recorded and published a video before, you might search the internet in order to make the perfect video. You will find some websites that tell you to purchase a $1000 camera in order to start vlogging. This is not true at all. Spending that kind of money on something that you are not sure you want to do is a bad advice and I hope that you haven’t spent the money when reading this.
I will not lie, there are things that you will need in order to create a good vlog, but an expensive camera isn’t one them. This is something you can get when money starts to come in or when you feel that this is something you want to continue doing. Until then, your smartphone is good enough for vlogging.
If you think about it, most smartphones can record in 1080p today, which is the resolution that matters. Newer models like the iPhone 7+ or Samsung Galaxy S8 also have something called Optical Image Stabilization. This technology will make your videos less shaky, making them easier to watch.
You Need a Tripod and a Selfie Stick
As mentioned, there are still some things that you should get in order to make it easier for you to create better videos. The very first thing you should have is a tripod and a selfie stick. A tripod is a great way to place your phone steady while you stand in front of it. When the phone is still, your video will be still, making it a good viewing experience.
A selfie stick is a great way to get a better view of the surroundings and if you with friends, including them in the video is much easier when you have your phone far away. A tripod and a selfie stick don’t really cost much either which is a good thing. To save even more money (and space, you need it to have it somewhere), I recommend getting a selfie stick that can also act as a stand.
The selfie stick that I recommend when asked is this tripod/selfie stick from Amazon. It doesn’t cost much and can do the job very good. You can find it in different sizes depending on how long you need the stick to be. It comes with a wireless remote which means that you can control your recording (start/pause/stop etc) while out of reach of your phone.
You Need a Good Microphone
In a video, what do you think is the most important, video or sound? What do you think yourself? For me, it’s the sound. If I can’t hear what the person is saying or if the sound is so bad, it hurts my ears, I will exit that video, no matter how good the actual video is. I am not alone in that.
However, a video with good sound but the video is bad is much more watchable, because I mainly listen. That is why you should not record the voice with your built-in smartphone microphone or camera. These microphones are often quite bad and require you to be close to them in order to get any sound at all.
A microphone that I at least enjoy is the Rode SmartLav+, found on Amazon. I recently wrote a review of that microphone, which you can read here. But overall, I think it’s a good value for its money. The microphone is omnidirectional so if I need to record someone as well, it’s possible. But mainly, it’s the easiness of it. To stick it on my shirt and then start talking, having both hands free is great.
If you are going to vlog and don’t want to sit in front of your computer only, having a microphone that you don’t have to use a hand for might be a good idea. What I recommend that you do is to get an old phone and connect the Rode SmartLav+ to that while recording from your main phone, which probably has the best camera.
Syncing the video and sound in the editing software is really easy afterward. A simple trick is to clap with your hands at the start of the recording or make a really high noise that is picked up by both the built-in microphone and the external microphone. In editing, later on, this high sound, in the beginning, will be very clear in the audio waves and it’s a piece of cake to sync them together.
You Need Extra Batteries for Your Phone
Using a smartphone for recording video has a major disadvantage, the battery runs out really quick. To solve this, you should always have a power bank with you when you are out recording new vlogs. There are thousands of power banks on the market but the one that I would recommend is the Anker PowerCore 20100mAh battery on Amazon.
This power bank is amazing. It’s a big 20100mAh battery, which will charge your phone 5-7 times before the battery itself needs to charge. It’s not that big so it’s easy to bring with you and it also has a battery indicator showing how much power there’s left in it. Did I mention that it has 2 USB ports so that you can charge two devices at the same time? This is needed because of the setup for microphones with having multiple phones with you.
You Need Editing Software
Finally, you will need an editing software. There are many free ones out there but they are not that good, there’s a reason why they are free…
You might also have heard about Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere CC. This two software are professional software that you can get in a year or two, there is really no need for it now. As a beginner, there really is only one software is awesome, a software that I enjoy using myself, and that is Wondershare Filmora.
What I like about Filmora is how simple it is. I would call myself tech-savvy but I have trouble navigating through editing software, it’s simply something I am terrible at. In Filmora, things that I need are right in front of me and I can create my video short and easy.
On top of that, Wondershare is a big brand with good support. Did you know that Filmora has over 50 million users? The software is available for both MacOS and Windows. The software is not free but it’s not ridiculously expensive as Premiere or Final Cut is. But remember, that whatever software you choose, bad editing will result in a bad video.
Bonus: If You Need to Record on the Go
This is not something that is necessary for every vlogger, it will depend on the type of content that you plan to publish. Will you publish videos of your mountain biking? Or publish other types of videos that require a lot of movement? Then you really should get some sort of device that will hold your phone so that the video is not shaky as h*ll.
What I am talking about is something like the DJI Osmo Gimbal on Amazon. This cool little device will help you keep your mobile stabilized. I haven’t tested this one myself, but a friend has one and he was recently in Prag, Czechia. with some friends where he used this DJI gimbal. He has shown me the footage and I can only say that I am impressed. The amount of shakiness that a gimbal removes is astonishing and if you are filming while running on moving in any way, a gimbal is really a must.
As a beginner, you don’t need to invest in high-end equipment to create a video. What you need is to get started and you should do that with what you have. There is nothing necessary in this list (an editing software can be argued as needed) but it will make your life easier without spending a ton of money.
When you see some results and money is starting to come in, or that you feel that vlogging is something you want to continue doing and you are ready to spend more on it, you should definitely go for better cameras and better microphones, but for your first video (or even your 100th), a smartphone and the items on this list is everything you need.