Four parts to an inexpensive – but decent – vlogging setup: Camera, audio, Tripods, supports, and Lights. Ok: 5 parts.
Strangely, I often get asked for recommendations on camera and gear for vlogging. I don’t really consider myself a vlogger, but definitely am a geeky camera nerd, so I guess I should take it as a compliment 🙂
Whether you or your loved one desires to be the next Youtube star, entertainer or educator, below you’ll find some great vlogging gear that also makes a great gift (hint hint) 🙂
Recommended Vlogging Camera
When you’re wanting to level-up from smartphone video, this camera is the one to get. It’s an amazing value for vloggers. With Canon’s best-in-class dual pixel auto-focus, front-facing swivel LCD screen for perfecting your vlog selfies, and a mic input (definitely required!), this is the kit I recommend for anyone wanting to level-up their vlogging.
The kit lens for the above camera is ok, but if you want to self-vlog, you’ll need a wider lens like this one to keep you in the frame.
The weakness of my recommended camera is definitely the tiny battery. Thankfull picking up spare batteries won’t break the bank.
Recommended Vlogging Mic
They say video is 80% audio, so having a mic input on your vlogging camera isn’t a nicety – it’s a necessity. This mic is the one I use and recommend for vlogging. It’s plug and play, requires no additional power source, and includes a great “deadcat” to reduce wind noise and plosives. It’ll only be useful in capturing audio a few feet from the camera, but for vlogging this is a great choice at a great price that you won’t outgrow quickly.
Recommended Vlogging Tripods
There’s a lot of choices when it comes to supports for your camera. Here are three that I use or recommend depending on your shooting style and budget.
If you’re wanting something that will be strong enough to hold a DSLR but light enough to carry in any bag, then this little plastic guy is definitely recommended. Deceptively lightweight and simple, mine must be over a decade old and still going strong!
The Gorillapod is ubiquitously used among vloggers and it’s easy to see why. Versatile enough to strap to a railing or pole, and moldable into a handle, it’s great out of the box for run-and-gun setups pretty much anywhere. Sadly my experience is that the ball system loses grip over time. So you need to balance your need of the versatility the Gorillapod gives to having to replace it every couple of years.
I’ve had lesser tripods literally fall apart with metal sheering when trying to lock it down. That’s why my new favourite photo tripod comes with a longer warranty and a better pedigree.
If you’re needing a video tripod with fluid head, this is my go-to. Not as compact as the above options, but with a head that’s made for video movement, this is a decent option for the vlogger on the go.
Not necessary, but nice to be able to ensure consistent lighting on your vlogs.
Here’s an inexpensive option that’s portable and useful, but don’t expect it to throw light very far.
Another option which includes a full kit for standing or sitting. Ring lights can be nice, but again – don’t expect it to throw light too far. So close it best.
This is what I use in the studio. Love the power and versatility of this light, but not the most portable or inexpensive option for sure.
Bonus: My favourite Backpack!
It’s true: I have a thing for camera bags. Here’s my current favourite which comfortably holds my laptop and minimal run & gun kit while allowing me to blend in at the office.