By Sophie Mei Lan (The Media Consultant at Evoke Media Group, it's Daria who manages the tech side of things!).
I run the Media Consultancy at Evoke Media Group alongside being a professional Vlogger. My business partner Daria runs the tech side of things and I am still learning! So I thought I'd share my vlogging essentials as I trained as a Broadcast Journalist and now run my own Youtube Channel with 31k subscribers and 11 million views (and whilst I have worked as Journalist for over 10 years, Daria who has worked on million pound budget films has helped me with what to buy).
Here are how I upped my youtube game (please note, they are affiliate links which means it's the same price for you but I may earn a little commission).
My tech essentials:
Cameras: As I did, you'll probably get caught up on buying the ideal vlogging camera. I was fixated on getting a Canon G7X Mark 11 and whilst they are great for vloggers, you pay a premium for the fact they are so well marketed.
So if you're clumsy like me, you're probably better off with a cheaper model like this:
That said, we also have a Canon 5d Mark 111 here at Evoke Media Group which I use for sit down vlogs (with Daria controlling the manual settings, although you can do it yourself on automatic). But this is if you've got money to invest and want to be a professional film-maker too. As you'll need a Lens and good tripod.
For Christmas, I also delved into the world of Go Pros and I have got these:
Go Pro Hero 5 - This is a nice and solid introduction to Go Pro and I use it to vary my shots on my vlog. It is not an essential however and I don't find the quality that great. But I do like it for adding texture and I like to use it when moving and on the go.
I have let my kids use this one for their vlogs as it's small and nifty and fairly durable (they use on a mini Manfrotto tripod, see below).
Now my mini vloggers are enjoying their GoPro, I am wanting to get them these accessories to steady and vary the ways they use their water-proof GoPro:
Go Pro Accessories
Meanwhile, I have been busy using my new toy... a 360 camera, I searched high and low for one and went for a mid-range one and with a brand I am familiar with, so this is my GoPro Fusion which is great for crating 360 footage that I can use when creating Virtual Reality Vlogs (yep, I am going there! I want to make my travel vlogs interactive).
Go Pro Fusion (the great thing about this is the tripod it comes with which allows for good quality footage and you can hold it in a way so the tripod is invisible to viewers of the film).
(I won't mention that it broke whilst away though!!! But I can recommend Amazon's customer service on the matter!).
I haven't tried this 360 camera but I hear it's more of a phone gadget (but it is more affordable):
Samsung 360 Camera
Tripods: Almost as important as the camera itself is the tripod! I highly recommend Manfrotto. We have a few mini tripods floating around as they are great for compact cameras and gopros and don't cost a lot:
Manfrotto Mini Tripod
Next up, I am hoping to replace my larger tripod with this one:
Another mini tripod I recommend is Joby's Gorilla Pod:
Joby Gorilla Pod
And if like me you use your phone for filming a lot (I currently have Huawei P20 but I used a Google Pixel 2 before), I use my Job Gorilla Pod more than anything as you can fix a Go Pro and a light to it (although I need to purchase a smaller light so it doesn't topple over). I actually won this one on a game of Beer Pong at Icelolly's Blog at the Beach event!
Joby Gorilla Pod Mobile rig
I also have a Joby hand held phone grip which I got from Blog On Conference.
Next up is a Steady Cam to hold your camera, this one can go on your shoulder... I am yet to try it out but it's great that it doesn't require much set up and you can move around.
Lights: You can get away with a low grade camera or phone if you have good lighting. Whether you're outside and it's bright but cloudy or your inside near a window. Or if like me, you live somewhere where the weather changes a lot or you're wanting to record on a n evening. I invested in a couple of these:
Neewer Video Light
Neewer Batteries and Charger for Light
I have also got for my live vlogs a ring light which holds my phone. I hear lots of beauty vloggers and bloggers use these.
Sound: Sound is also important because unless you use subtitles people want to hear you and not everyone has a looming voice like me!
If you're tech savvy and want to do podcasts too or professional shoots this external mic is good:
Zoom H5 for sound recording
But for me as it takes syncing, I only use the above on pro shoots. Whereas I have these for my cameras:
Rode Mic - External Microphone for your camera
Rycote Classic Softie Microphone
Extras: Also I purchased these before Christmas...
Master plug Open cable reel: to use on shoots where there are lots of cables. I am also setting up a home studio to do collaborations.
Sideboard to store: I have so much stuff and gadgets, I am trying to get my home office in order with nice furniture so it feels and looks good!
So all in all, here are many things I have acquired recently as well as some more lights (which I have in almost every room of my house), but don't be put off by all the equipment. Some of my most popular and viral vlogs were taken candidly on my mobile phone with no studio lighting or external mic. I look back and cringe at these especially as millions of people have seen them. But at the end of the day, content and personality is king. So be yourself. Invest in what makes you feel good and proud of your work. This year I am hoping to take vlogging to the next level which is why I am going pro with items for my home studio.
My main piece of advice is just to get started! Even if that is balancing a phone on some books!
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Sophie Mei Lan