Want to make travel videos or have a rocking blog? Having good gear and software can make that experience so much easier.
I’ve decided to do a breakdown of all the gear in my apartment, so you know what it takes to produce great content.
Camera gear is important; it’s how you’ll actually capture your adventures. Having a good, durable camera is great, but remember, it’s all about the story you tell. iPhones all have cameras-so don’t use not having the nicest camera as an excuse.
My main shooter; this camera is cheap and does a lot, and it looks great! While it’s a crop sensor and not as decked out as a 5d Mark II, it’s still a great, affordable camera.
Get a Canon t3i on Amazon
This is probably my favorite camera. Just as good looking as the DSLR, but fits in your pocket. It’s got a great flip up screen, and lots of menu options. While everyone else is moving to a Casey Neistat version of vlogging, I still love the point and shoot.
Panasonic DVX 100A
This was the first camera I every bought; I don’t use it now, as it’s SD and shoots on mini DV tape, but it was a great camera for its time.
What about lenses?
Lenses are great tools; a cheaper camera with a great lens will do way better for your images than a great camera with a cheap lens.
Personally, I stick with the kit lens, and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens.
Audio is SO important. It’s one of the most important things you can invest in. People can watch bad videos if they have great audio. So if you’re going to drop $800 on a camera, consider spending half of that on audio instead.
Azden SGM 1x
This microphone has served me well. (Audio guys, avert your eyes) I’ve used it for everything from Youtube vlogs to podcast recordings, to voice overs, and handheld on the street, and it’s brilliant.
It has an XLR out, so it can be connected to your Zoom H4n and phantom powered, but it’s also battery powered, so you could plug it straight in to a DSLR via an XLR-1/8 adapter.
Audio Technica AT2020
This mic is a medium-diaphragm condenser microphone, which means it’s great for picking up high-range vocal signal. Recording voice overs is a breeze on this thing, and it’s bidirectional, so you have an open feel for capturing ambiance than the Azden shotgun mic. The downside is that it’s noisy-it’ll pick up everything in your room, so it’s not great for loud environments.
Get an AT2020 on Amazon
LEM K5000 Condensor
This mic is similar to the AT2020, with a few key differences, the large diaphram means that it captures low-range signal with much more clarity, so it’s great for recording bass sounds; male vocals, music, and instruments.
A Microphone Shockmount
This tool is incredibly valuable; while you’ll want a shockmount to fit the microphone you’ll use, you for sure need one. From vibrations of fiddling with the camera, to the sound of a cable smacking a boompole, these beauties will help reduce the random sounds you can pickup with your microphone.
Studio gear is important; coming back the the edit room with great footage and audio gets you nowhere without a proper post-production setup.
Novation Launchpad Mini
This little dream is a midi-controller, so the uses for it are nearly endless. You can use it as hotkeys for various software, or as a DAW control surface, note controls on an instrument, and the list goes on and on.Primarily
Primarily, we use this to mix, master, and produce audio in Ableton Live.
Get a Novation Launchpad on Amazon
FocusRite Scarlett 2i2
This is one of the best pieces of studio gear; next to the Zoom H4n, it allows you to record and monitor audio onto your computer, or even operates as a sound card so you can play your tracks on speakers, headphones, or into anything else you want. It’s studio resolution, so you can record professional grade tracks.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 on Amazon
This trusty device is an external audio recorder. It’s durable and can record studio-res files. I love it because it’s got excellent built in mics, two XLR inputs, and can record multiple sources as different files.
I cannot highly recommend this tool enough.
Akai LPK 25 Keyboard
If you’re composing music for your own videos, this little guy can make your composition process so much easier. Since it’s a keyboard in shape, playing a ditty or melody is WAY easier than trying to select buttons with a mouse.
Sennheiser HD 201
A good pair of headphones can make or break your edit. When shopping for headphones, keep in mind that you want something that doesn’t color the sound; you want to be able to hear your audio exactly as it was recorded, so you’re able to master it accurately.
While there’s a big debate between open-back and closed-back headphones for video editors, you’ll have to play around to find your comfort level in what works best for you.
Sennheiser HD 201 on Amazon
While we’re listing the headphones that we currently use, know that it’s nice to have a few different headphones available to you so you can swap out depending on the kind of environment your in and the way you want to master your audio.
These guys are a step up from the Sennheisers; they’re more comfortable to wear and have a better low-range response. They’re also awesome for sound isolation compared to the Sennheisers.
JBL Everest Elite 700
These beauties are the best of the headphones listed. They’re the best at sound isolation, super comfortable, they have bluetooth options, and look cool.
JBL Everest Elite 700 on Amazon
XLR cables, which are balanced three-pronged pro-grade audio cables that you can use to connect the microphones to the recorder. The fact that they’re balanced means they won’t be bothered with interference, and give input clear imput from your source. Some 1/8 cables are also good to have around.
Ah, lights. The most overlooked part of video production. If you’re a vlogger, you need lights. Just some cheap studio lights to brighten up your home will do, but they’re important. Your camera can’t capture great images without great light.
Woo! This is a hotly debated topic. Mac VS PC, Adobe VS Final Cut.
Listen, get what works for you. I personally use a 2009 Apple Macbook Pro, 13 inch, with Adobe Creative Cloud.
You don’t need the fanciest laptop for video editing; you need one with a solid processor, a great graphics card, and lots of storage. For storage I use a WD 4TB Black USB 3.0 external hard drive, which holds a fair amount of video and is super durable.
Anything I overlooked? What gear do you use? Leave a comment below.
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