As soon as YouTube celebrities starting showing up on the red carpet at film premiers ‘Vlogging’ became a real word. It’s an actually thing and you can be one. All you need is your face and a video camera. But how do you start? Here’s our beginners guide to vlogging kit.
Your success as a vlogger/ YouTuber is rated by subscribers and views. It’s actually a pretty honest way to value your output (or ‘content’ of you speak the lingo), how many people watched your video and how many people liked it enough to want to watch more. Simple.
Of course the marketing folks have made it more complicated because if they don’t wrap ‘return on investment’ up in jargon, they won’t be able to bill their clients for interpreting the numbers, but it is that simple and your count is proportional to your direct income stream.
We’re not blogging and vlogging for numbers (although ego says it would be nice to get even a little following). We’re doing it to keep us sane, make sure we have something to occupy ourselves with on the long dark Alpine nights and hopefully the information might help a few people who are embarking on their own adventure.
We called on our photography guru Pete Walker – what this dude doesn’t know about camera kit isn’t worth knowing and whilst he’s not a vlogger, he was able to help us in our quest to
a) make sure everything is multi-purpose and
b) make sure we didn’t buy the wrong stuff…. all too easy to do.
This has been a long process – months of research, new products coming out, deals coming and going… it’s been stressful!
So from James to you, here’s the gift of saving you a huge amount of time and a few headaches in putting together a vlogging kit.
Camera – Canon 80D
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- Flippy screen so you can see what you’re filming
- Quick multi-point auto focus
- Price – older but still as capable as new kit so great value
- Built in time-lapse
- Lighter than a full frame camera
- You’re either a Canon or Nikon person basically
Lens – Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5
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- Auto focus
- Image stabilisation
- Wide angle
- Weather sealed
- Well made and robust
- Sharp images
Tripod – Manfrotto beefree live
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- Compact – collapses down really tight (backpack size)
- Fluid head so video ready
- Can stand really close to the ground (vlogger hero shots!)
- Ball joint – easy levelling
- Stable for long exposure
Mini Tripod – gorillia pod
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- Vlogging essential for selfy mode DSLR use
- Versatile – multi-twisty-leggy things
- Bullet proof for clumsy people
- You can use this with a microphone and lights
- Ball head – easy to angle
- Grippy handle
Microphone – Rode VideoMic
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- Better than the on board camera mic
- Great for interviews, podcasts and videos
- Simple 9 Volt battery power
- 3.5mm jack so can be plugged into your phone
- 10 Year extended warrantee if you plug in your details
Active Cam – GoPro Hero 5 Black
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- Hero 6 has glitches!
- Cheaper than the 6 since launch
- Waterproof without a housing (perfect for snow)
- Mini screen which the session doesn’t have – essential for vlogging
- 120 frames a second (slow-mo)
- It’s the law to have a GoPro skiing
GoPro Accessories – 3-way
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- Better than a selfie stick because it have loads of functions
- Bendable arm so nothing in frame
- Can be used as a hand held grip
- Hidden mini tripod legs
- Compatible with other GoPro accessories
- Folds away to nothing
SD Cards – SanDisk 64GB and 128GB (Extreme Pro)
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Spare Camera Battery – Hahnel Extreme
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- You need a spare battery – especially if you’re going into extreme conditions
- A lot cheaper than the Canon equivalent
- It’s orange
- Rated by photographers for cold weather durability
- It’s orange
- It’s larger – more mAh than the Canon
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- Best camera on any phone
- Amazing battery life
- Gesture control makes it easy to use in gloves
- You can be in the Pixel club
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- You can use it with any smart phone
- Cinematic steady-cam
- Rechargeable batteries
- Selfie mode
- Easy to use time-lapse and hyper-lapse
- Travel size
That’s what we’re starting with coupled with some editing software and laptops.
It’s a steep learning curve but in for a penny whilst our YouTube channel is quiet for the next few weeks we thought we’d share a few of our favourite vloggers – they’re from all different backgrounds and all have a slightly different angle but be warned… YouTube addiction is also a real thing!
Five of our favourite Vloggers to get your started:
Casey Neistat – The godfather of Vlogging and a bonafide celebrity in YouTube world. General lifestyle and tech ‘creator’.
Life of Tom – Also a gamer but his daily blog ‘Life of Tom’ is just everyday happenings of a normal guy living a very abnormal life.
The Indie Projects – Brit couple who’re dominating the UK #VanLife space and doming a really lovely, watchable job.
Fun for Louis – Vegan (I think he mentioned he’s vegan :-)), digital nomad who’s developed a truly international following and does some pretty awe inspiring adventures. Latest was a round the world flight with his long time friend JP Shultz – also a vlogger so check him out too.
Peter McKinnon – James has a total man-crush on this Canadian dude – he’s a YouTube mega star with one of the fastest growing photography channels of all time. He’s really good at passing on hints and tips and not annoying and that’s a rarity in YouTubeland!
We’ll probably collect a few more favourites as we have more time to browse those time-scoffing ‘recommendations’ so we’ll maybe do an update to this list at some point!