Being a YouTube creator requires at least a foundational knowledge of video equipment. You might be asking yourself: What type of camera will I use? How will I handle sound and lighting? Here’s an overview of some common production equipment choices that can help you get started.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ – consider what you want to achieve with your videos. Here are two common types:
- Point-and-shoot cameras are simple, all-in-one devices that are great for frequent vlogging in almost any setting. Some models have a reversible LCD screen so that you can see your shot. These no-fuss cameras can deliver full HD (1080) image quality, and many creators use them in their everyday videos.
- DSLR cameras can deliver a more cinematic look, but may require a learning curve to operate. They use interchangeable lenses, are much heavier and are sometimes trickier to focus. These cameras cost more and they are typically used by creators who want a more artistic or professional look.
You can always start with your mobile device’s camera. It’s a great option before you invest in a standalone camera.
Take a look at camera reviews from other YouTube creators to find out what brands and models they recommend.
Good sound is a must. Viewers often don’t mind imperfect lighting, but they are less accepting of poor sound quality in the video.
If you’re using your camera’s onboard mic, you may need to stay about a metre away from the camera for the best audio.
- Some creators buy a ‘shotgun’ mic; since these have directional recording, they can be effective at picking up natural sound from a longer range.
- When you need to record at a distance, you can use a wireless lavalier mic, which can be attached to you. For example, a lav mic might be appropriate for the instructor in a fitness video.
Confirm whether your camera has a port for an external mic before buying one.
- Many creators use a ‘two-point’ lighting system. This involves lighting your main subject from two light sources at opposing directions. In this setup, the ‘key light’ gives the primary lighting, while the ‘fill light’ balances out the shadows.
- Another option would be ‘soft lights’, which sometimes cost less, consume less power and are more flattering. A single soft light can be great for close-up shots. You can add lights to illuminate the background or other parts of the scene, as needed.
- Don’t forget about one of the brightest (and cheapest) lights in existence – the sun! Try recording outside or using natural daylight through a window.
- For shooting on the go, consider camera-mounted lights.
- If you have a lot of questions, consider your creative style and production goals as you select the right equipment. Some creators aim for a highly polished video, while others are OK with something casual and authentic.
- If you want to keep costs down, you could buy the most affordable equipment and upgrade later based on your video-making needs.
- Often, the best piece of equipment is the one you have to hand. Use your mobile device to get started immediately.