With the amount of choice and a million options out there, we’ve decided to help out and construct a vloggers buying guide. Here are the essentials you need to kick off your vlogging journey.
Well yes of course. Having a good camera is key to creating good looking video. However, often one of the most overlooked features of a vlogging camera is it’s ability to be a hybrid camera. Good vloggers produce other content formats too such as timelapses and photos. This helps you provide a variety of content and doesn’t require a multiple camera solution.
Currently our favourite vlogging camera is the Panasonic G85 because of its price and versatility. It has the ability to shoot 4K video, Full HD video, 16MP photos, and can shoot as fast as 10 fps. In addition it has 5 axis in body image stabilisation so you can freely shoot handheld. This not only keeps your footage stable but prevents your viewers getting motion sickness whilst your vlogging away. Most importantly it houses a microphone port to plug in an external microphone.
Lens is a bit of a difficult one when it comes to vlogging. Typically as photographers we will tend to go for something that will give you a wide aperture range for example a 16-35mm F2.8. However unless you’re training to be a bodybuilder, having a heavy lens is the last thing you want as a vlogger. In fact some of the most popular vloggers just use their 18-55mm kit lens to vlog.
The most important thing about a vlogging lens is having a versatile everyday style zoom lens that boasts good wide angle performance. At minimum it should be a 24mm equivalent in 35mm format. This is crucial for handheld selfie shots, as having a non wide angle lens will squash your face up against the whole frame. Having a versatile zoom lens will allow you to shoot a variety of angles and compositions. If you are purchasing the Panasonic system we suggest going for the 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens.
Having good audio is imperative to keeping your viewers watching your video. Sound is the first sense that is triggered and is super sensitive. Therefore if your audio is bad then viewers will more likely turn off the video no matter how good it looks. A good microphone will keep your voice clear and will block out the surrounding sounds.
Microphones are inexpensive and are a great accessory for any vlogger. They’re also a lot better in quality in comparison to your in camera microphone. For those who don’t want to clip a microphone on themselves or want to spend over $100 on a microphone we suggest going for the Rode Videomicro. It is a compact, inexpensive microphone that runs off the power of your camera. It comes with a neat little windshield too in the box which is essential for outdoor usage.
Holding a camera faced backwards isn’t a very natural feeling, but with the help of a handheld it’s a lot easier. There are a couple types of handheld tripods:
1. Flexibile tripod
2. Tabletop tripod
The flexible tripod is much used by vloggers because of its versatility to wrap around objects and bend into shape. Most notably the Joby Gorillapod 3K Kit, is the most popular with its price, 3kg payload and durability.
Tabletop tripods are better for people who just want a grip for their camera or are looking for fixed position shooting. For example if you know you’re always going to shoot sitting down with a table in front of you, having a table top tripod saves a lot of time setting up. We suggest the Manfrotto Pixi EVO because of its weight payload and ballhead flexibility.
Watch our video on our favourite vlogging setup with the Panasonic G85 below: