words Alexa Wang
Video blogging, also known as vlogging, is a popular activity that many people have gotten into since the dawn of social media. It allows individuals to form opinions and share information, influencing viewers’ ideas. Vlogging has also become a branding and marketing tool, attracting potential customers to a business’s products and services. Aside from that, it provides more jobs thanks to content monetization, giving rise to paid online celebrities and influencers.
Vlogging grew in popularity and embedded itself in society that many people now make a career from it. Nowadays, you’ll find vloggers dedicated to creating video content on multiple social media platforms and sites. And these groups can only make such interesting content with specific equipment.
Aspiring vloggers often ask if they need professional tools to make a video or if a smartphone is enough. If you’re one of these folks, check out this list of essential filmmaking equipment and see whether you need to splurge on each device or not:
A camera is a tool that should be at the top of your priority. You can’t record a video without it. It’s okay to start with your phone camera since most smartphones nowadays have advanced features and megapixels to capture decent videos. A webcam is acceptable, too, if you prefer to vlog at home while on a desk.
Yet apps are getting more and more saturated with content. Better quality videos usually gain more traction due to receiving more clicks and views. These vlogs are often recorded on high-end cameras. They’re more expensive, but you’ll get cleaner and higher-definition clips most viewers prefer to watch. You can read more here on which camera brands are the best for budding professional vloggers.
It’s said that high-definition videos paired with excellent sound quality make for better viewer engagement. Thus, you also need a microphone if you want to become a vlogger. Newer microphones come in many sizes. You can find small and affordable clip-on lapel mics. But these tend to pick up extra noise.
If you want top-notch audio, you may need to spend more on a microphone. A professional mic filters out background noise so that viewers can focus on the footage sound. Shotgun and condenser mics, for example, only capture the sounds you want, such as your voice. You’ve probably encountered interesting vlogs only to click away the moment you noticed the terrible audio. So, getting perfect sound in your vlogs is vital if you don’t want your viewers to do the same.
Lighting is your other most crucial ally in creating vlogs. Without it, you’ll spend a lot of time choosing brightening filters during the video editing stage. While you can manage with natural lighting paired with a few desk lamps, your output will have a lot of annoying shadows, which are challenging to remove in post-production. Plus, if you use outdoor light, you can only film during the daytime when the sun is still up.
If you observe vlogs from beauty gurus, many of them use a ring light. You can find affordable ones, but these might not last long and are pretty dim. Higher-end versions may have options to change colors and adjust the brightness. On the other hand, expensive studio lamps are favored by experienced vloggers and those who vlog in front of a green screen. They need fewer shadows for more polished videos and easily create seamless background effects.
These pieces of equipment aren’t required, nonetheless, they’ll make your vlogging experience hassle-free and help curate eye-popping travel vlogs. Cheap hand-held tripods are excellent support for small cameras and phones. But these aren’t stable and you might end up with shaky videos that could leave viewers dizzy and uncomfortable.
If you want to take secure shots from different points of view, you’ll need a drone or a mount. These two might come off more expensive, but it’s a great investment if you want to vlog as a career. People love seeing a bird’s-eye view of beautiful places which you can only achieve with drone cameras. Meanwhile, a camera mount allows viewers to watch your video as if they were in the location themselves.
Professionally-made vlogs filmed with these high-end peripheral tools also tend to do well with views and audience engagement.
Video Editing Software
Last but not least, you need a program to edit your videos. If you took all your footage on your phone, you could download any one of the editing apps available. Nevertheless, these programs usually have limited features.
Desktop computer software should have more features and more storage space for you to edit videos. You might already have a pre-installed program that’s beginner-friendly. But if you want advanced editing options, purchasing professional software is the way to go. With one, you can include as many special effects or text as you wish for your vlogs. Some paid-for programs even have cloud storage and support for videos filmed in 4K or higher.
Working on professional editing software allows you to produce videos on par with the best vloggers on social media. The vlogs will maintain their excellent quality from rendering to uploading. Once you get used to making better videos on these programs, you may eventually turn to an accomplished vlogger in the future.
As a beginner vlogger, you’ll surely gravitate to the tools you already have, which is perfectly understandable. But as you and your audience grow, you might also want to upgrade your filming equipment to create vlogs you and your viewers will appreciate more.
You can save up first if you can’t afford the equipment yet while still improving your craft. But if you already have the budget, you can’t go wrong with investing in better tools for better results.