Having the right equipment when you decide to start vlogging will make your life a whole lot easier and will allow you to make much better content.
In this article, we will list all the essential vlogging equipment you need when you start vlogging.
Of course, to vlog you need some kind of camera. Depending on the kind of vlogging you’re doing, you might need to get a camera that is portable. Many smartphones have high enough quality cameras to shoot a vlog. If you’re doing more sports related blogging, like biking or surfing, it would be best to invest in an action camera.
If you want to boost the quality of your vlogs, you can invest in a more professional camera to pair with your vlogging equipment. Even if you won’t use the camera as your main vlogging camera — maybe opting for a more portable option — you can still use the camera to shoot some killer b-roll for your vlog.
It is essential that you have access to a quality mic. In fact, it could quite possibly be one of the most important tools you need for vlogging. People watching need to hear you clearly. While you can try to salvage poor audio in post-production, it’s best to get good audio right at the source.
Look for a microphone that is easy to carry around while you’re vlogging. Also, a good microphone for vlogging has to suppress the background noise. It also needs to capture your voice as clearly as possible. There are USB microphones out there that can capture quality audio from a good price. This is only an option, though, if you are recording near your computer. Otherwise, look into a lavalier or a shotgun microphone. You can see what mics we recommend here in our microphone buyer’s guide.
Lighting is another piece of essential vlogging equipment. To look professional, you need to shoot in well-lit conditions. When it comes down to it, if you invest in good lighting equipment, you will allow your camera to perform at its best — it’s almost like upgrading your camera, but less expensive. If it came down to it, it would be better to have a lower quality camera and good lighting than a top of the line camera with bad lighting.
The first thing you can start doing is using the available light sources to your advantage. If natural light is available to you, use it. If you’re vlogging during the daytime outside, shoot in areas where the natural light isn’t too overpowering — an evenly shaded area is often your best bet. Just don’t let dappled shadows from nearby trees become a distraction.
If you’re shooting inside, you can shoot near windows to use the natural light. That said, avoid shooting with the window behind you. This will put you in silhouette. Instead, arrange your shot so that the wind is off to one side.
However, if you don’t have access to good natural lighting, you can invest in some professional lights for video. One kind of light you can look into are ring lights. Often used by beauty channels, this light illuminates your face with a soft, even light.
However, you may need more light than a ring light can provide. If you’re shooting at night, you may look well lit, but your background will be completely dark. In that case, invest in a fill, key and background light for the most professional look.
Tripod / stabilizer
No matter the camera you’re shooting with, you don’t want to have shaky footage. While some cameras offer in-body image stabilization, many do not. Tripods allow you to film yourself without needing someone else to operate the camera. They are a necessity if you’re filming at home or outside. Depending on where you plan to shoot, you can get a bigger or smaller tripod. If you plan to do a lot of shooting from a table, a smaller tripod can work. If you’re shooting outside without much to set your camera down on, a larger tripod may work better.
For phones, and even smaller cameras, you can use a vlogging camera stick, a.k.a. a selfie-stick. While tripods are more versatile, and can sometimes be converted into camera sticks, camera sticks are cheaper.
An often overlooked aspect of vlogging, having an easy-to-access, reliable backpack to carry all your vlogging gear around in is very important. A lot of your vlogging equipment is fragile and could get damaged if not carried in a safe place.
While you can use whatever bag or backpack you have on hand, there are specialized backpacks made specifically for carrying around video gear. They come with compartments that can be customized to fit your gear. That way, your equipment won’t be moving around and bumping into each other as you travel.
You need editing software if you’re going to piece your vlog together. There are a few free editing programs out there, but if you plan on consistently making videos or really want to make high-quality vlogs, we suggest investing in professional editing software. There’s a range of options out there, so if you’re not sure what editing software to get, we can help.
If you want to hit the ground running with your vlogs, take the time to get all the vlogging equipment you need. Your vlogs will be much more professional looking and much more enjoyable to work on if you take the time and get the right gear.
Image courtesy: Adorama