Lights… Camera… Action! If you want to hit it big on ANY social media platform, video content is key to growth & monetization. High-quality content starts and ends with your creativity, but the proper gear makes great content AMAZING – and this goes for both photo & video!
You can spend as much or as little as you like on each component, because these days, great filming tech is surprisingly cheap. #win If you’re just starting out, the budget-friendly versions will be your BFF. Want to take your channels full-time? Consider investing in higher-grade equipment you’ll be able to use for years.
Go Pro On YouTube:
1. A Camera
“Um, hi, I have a smartphone. It has a camera.” True – but the storage space on phones is limited, and video files take up a LOT of storage + can take forever to upload on a phone. While we love smartphones for impromptu photo shoots and livestreams, for formal videos, you really should consider a good camera.
- PROS: Good for YT newbies (under $500 starting price point), and provides full 1080 HD quality.
- CONS: Limited settings, and not great for filming in dark rooms.
- PROS: More lenses & controls, and cinema-quality video.
- CONS: Expensive ($500 – $3,000), requires lots of practice
2. A Microphone
All smartphones & cameras have built-in microphones, but you need to stay within about 4 feet of the device for best quality. Solution? A second mic. Different kinds of microphones work better for different kinds of audio, so bear in mind what you want to create when choosing a mic for a video.
Be sure to consider the environment you’re filming in. Noisy environments will require mics that can filter out extraneous noise, but a quiet studio or home environment won’t need as high-quality of a mic.
With a starting price of around $80, these are great for streaming and other stationary videos, like makeup tutorials. They can be mounted in a variety of ways, to capture sound exactly as you want it.
These small, wireless mics clip to your clothing, and work well for all kinds of videos. Lav mics particularly excel at high-energy, high-motion audio like workout routines or travel vlogging. Lavalier mics are also known as lapel mics.
Perfect for podcasts, ASMR, and voiceovers, condenser mics come with a higher price tag – but better options for bidirectional (interviews/conversations, where sound is coming from multiple sources) and omnidirectional (when you don’t want any sound canceled).
When you can get it, ☀️natural light☀️ is best – and free! – but that’s not always possible. Good lighting is ABSOLUTELY necessary for great videos, because cameras need a lot more light than us humans to ‘see” well, so… Here’s a few options:
Ye Olde Standarde for beauty tutorials since back in the day, ring lights are inexpensive, bright, and easy to set up. They do leave that signature “ring light pupil”, however, so tread with caution.
Softboxes are lights covered with a translucent box, to light your videos in a very natural, diffused way without a harsh spotlight. You can achieve the same effect with umbrella diffusers – these literal umbrellas are designed to fit over existing pole lights to filter & diffuse.