As I’m nearing my 100 video milestone on LinkedIn (and cross-posting to YouTube) I get asked regularly what equipment I use for recording and editing…Here is the no-frills vlogging kit for beginners that will be the right balance of affordability and quality!
I use the SONY FDR-X3000 action cam with lens protector and 3 legged thing mini tripod. This is by far the best set up for any beginner vlogger that I have tried (although do your own research) and, the best thing?… It didn’t cost me an absolute fortune! You don’t need a really expensive set up to get started. Although, investing in some equipment will help you out a lot!
When deciding what to buy and use, there are also a number of things to take into consideration. you can learn from my experience below…
The camera – what to avoid
This is the single most important decision you will make when it comes to vlogging. You need to have a camera that not only records high definition video but also, you are going to have to make sure the microphones are good enough that you don’t need to buy external microphones.
Avoid having to use external microphones
Having to use external microphones is a massive pain in the arse.
You need to make sure the microphone is compatible with your camera (don’t always trust the manufacturers – make sure you do your own research!).
You also need to carry an extra bit of kit around with you – which is just another thing to forget. They can be super expensive too.
Avoid the “hottest” camera on the market…
It can be easy just to follow the pack and buy a GoPro. Their advertising is sleek and their product is sexy as hell…but don’t just buy one because everyone is buying one!
I’ve had countless conversations with people who struggle with their latest GoPro purchase. The issue I see is that their front-facing microphones are not very good. People I have worked with struggle to export the data on to their phones and, for some reason, the GoPro they were using got really hot!
Do your own research based on your own requirements before parting with cash!
The camera I use…
When working out the perfect camera for my daily LinkedIn vlog and style that I wanted to achieve, these were the features that I wanted in a camera for my vlogging kit for beginners:
- Portable – so I could take it everywhere with me.
- Optically stabilized – so I could walk and talk and get a better image than a mobile phone recording.
- Standard connectors – So I could use any tripod I wanted and could change easily.
- Fantastic front facing microphones – So I didn’t have to use an external microphone.
The winner was…The SONY FDR-X3000:
This camera had everything I wanted in the above list and came with a waterproof housing which means I could take it swimming! It wasn’t something I thought I needed but has resulted in some fun shots for my vlog.
A quick review of the SONY FDR-X3000
I had watched a load of YouTube videos that contained video and audio comparisons before I made my choice. I thought about it for about two weeks before making my decision and I’m pleased to say that I have not been disappointed!
The video and audio quality is excellent here is the first video of mine that I put out on LinkedIn. Getting this quality was effortless and just required the push of a single button!
I’ve since done on to record about 100 more videos I’ve learnt a few things about the best way to use the camera.
Firstly, do not record with a backlit scene or in low light situations – the camera just cannot handle it!
Secondly, the microphones are REALLY affected by the wind…even small amounts of wind cause a huge rumbling effect in the audio. People have got around this in a variety of ways online – from sponges to microphone hair stuff (called dead cats).
Thirdly, the WiFi and Bluetooth settings can dramatically decrease the battery life of the camera. The fix? Simple, turn on airplane mode and the battery will last for hours more!
These issues, once you know about them are not a hassle to work around and I really like the camera, interface, and ease of use…push the big button on top and you are recording in an instant!
After having the camera for a month or so I decided that I needed a few more things to protect the camera and make it more user-friendly.
These are the things I bought that I also carry around every day…
A lens protector…a cheap lens protector from Aliexpress means that I don’t have to worry about pulling it in and out of my bag and know that the lens will not become scratched – which would ruin anything I filmed on the camera, forever. BUY ONE!
A tripod…please buy a tripod! I opted for a mini-tripod that acts as a selfie stick but also as s standard tripod. It’s the perfect size for taking around with me everyday and folds up small with the camera attached.
I chose the 3 legged thing mini tripod but have a look for one that you like!
So, that the kit that I recommend for your “Vlogging kit for beginners, 2019”. It doesn’t cost much to get started and investing in the right equipment will make you stand out above people that are using their phones!
But I want to use my phone!
Yeah, I get it you want to use your phone to practice filming your content and see if you can get interest in your product, service or grow your professional brand.
My warning to you: If your brand is a high end, financial, deluxe or exclusive you’ll be better off grabbing a dedicated camera. It’ll really help your audience get a feel for your brand and avoid you looking like a cheap service.
Happy vlogging my beautiful friends!
Need more help?
If you’d like more help choosing the right gear or help vlogging get in contact – I’d love to help you!