One of the most common questions I get asked is recommendations on equipment. When you’re first getting into video, it’s amazing how expensive equipment can get. So of course if you’re investing your time and money in something you want to make sure it’s worth it.
I’ve been making videos for over 20 years. And while some of the cool things you can buy have evolved, the hard core basics are the same.
Camera, tripod and mic.
If you have those three things you’re 90% there when it comes to equipment. Everything else is nice and adds value, but those three things are the bare necessities for a blogger to make good clean video.
I’ve put together a list of all the equipment I recommend. If you’re just starting out don’t freak out at the price point of some of the high end equipment – just make mental note, set a goal for yourself. Don’t use it as an excuse to put off making a video. Do the best you can with what you got and build on it.
The items in the list below I either own myself, have worked with or trust the brand. If you have any questions, you’re welcome to comment or email and I am happy to try and help.
Where to invest first
The first big ticket item to invest in is a good mic. You can manage with a cheap tripod, you can use the sun for light. Sound however you can not fake or cheat on. You have to have a good mic to make it work. So after the camera comes the mic, then the tripod. That’s my recommended order of investing.
Where to go from here.
Just owning the equipment won’t make the video – you need to know how to use it. I would love to teach you. Find out more here.
Cameras and Lenses
This is the camera that I shoot my “Flagship” videos on. It’s a Canon 60d. I’ve used it for years and it’s been very reliable. Best of all it has an oscillating screen so you can watch yourself for filming. Get more info here.
This 24 mm- 70mm is the lens that is always on my camera. It’s great for filming and shooting gorgeous pictures. My only complaint is that it is HEAVY but with that fantastic 2.8 f-stop it’s worth it. You can find out more here.
The canon T series is also great for video. The body is a little smaller but the basic mechanics are very similar, this particular package comes with a rode mic – something I have and highly recommend.. Get more info here.
While I shoot mostly on my 24 – 70 mm lens, I film all my host segments ( me on camera) with a nifty fifty. It’s a flattering lens and my recommendation to use when filming people, interviews, etc. Best part is that is starts at just over $100 (which is cheap for a lens) and is a great way to introduce yourself to prime lenses. Get more info here.
For filming and editing short form videos you can’t beat an iPad. I love using mine to film, editing and distribute. Definitely a great place to start if you’re looking to save some cash on filming and editing. Get more info here.
Tripods and Mounts
This simple and straight forward mount is perfect for you tablet. I love how it lock it into place and can easily be added to a tripod plate. This is the one I personally use. You can get more info about it here.
This tripod isn’t as expensive – but it’s still a good little piece of equipment. This is a “good enough for now” tripod that will help you get the steady shots you need without having to pay several hundred dollars. Get more info here.
I love this selfie kit, not only does it have blue tooth, but it has a mini tripod for it as well! Genius. It all comes in a handy bag too – I like to throw it in my purse to have it on the go. You can get more info about it here.
If your looking to do a dolly shot on the cheap – this little guy is the way to do it. Yeah, it’s basically a skate you can mount your camera to. But on the right surface it works and is dirt cheap compared to a full on slider. I have one and it’s fun to play with. You can get more info on that here. Note: Be sure to buy a heavy duty ball head with the skate so you have something to mount your camera onto,
High end tripods and heads are sold separately in a “package”. This happens to be a package with the tripod and fluid head. A good tripod is an investment. Which means a little more money. If it’s out of reach now, it’s ok. But be sure to put this on you “wish list” for later. If you take good care of your tripod it will last you decades. I’ve had mine for nearly 20 years now and it works great. Here’s a recommended brand of tripod – get more info here.
This little handy clip mount is perfect for mounting your smartphone to a tripod plate. Great little addition to your kit. Get more info here.
This handy little lav plugs right into your smart phone/ tablet to give you great audio ( key for any video). Because it plugs directly in it’s a more affordable – and by Rode, and audio brand I trust and recommend. You can find more info here.
This cute little Snowball mic by Blue carries a great audio punch like it’s big brother the Yeti mic, but has a smaller price tag and footprint. Check it out here.
This wireless lav system costs a pretty penny. But I’ve had my Sennhieser wireless lavs for over 15 years and they work as good as the day I bought them. This is one of those long term investments that (if you properly care for and maintain your equipment) really pays off. Get more info here.
This is the mic that I personally use for voice over narration. It’s USB output and killer sound make it a winner. And bonus, it just looks really cool sitting on your desk. Get more info here.
Slightly less expensive than the Sennhieser mics, This Rode Lave mic can be a good alternative. Get more info here.
I confess I love this little light. Not only does it make you look great ( perfect for selfies) but it it so compact it easily fits in my selfie stick bag that I pack in my purse. Get more info here.
A favorite with beauty bloggers because it has very pleasing lighting, this ring light goes far beyond that. Not only do I use it for host segments, but I like to use it for general soft lighting because it’s compact and doesn’t get very warm. Get more info here. Note: you will need to have/buy a stand to put it on.
This is a great starter 3 point lighting kit. It’s a great (and easy) set up for soft lighting. Get more info here.
Sometimes the best light is amplifying what is around you. This reflector holder/ boom stand is great for having and extra set of hand to bounce light where you need it. Get more info here. Tip: once of the best reflectors you can buy i s big piece of white foam core – you can get some at the dollar store!.
I think this is the greatest invention since sliced bread. These handy LED lights are on TAPE so you adhere them to your filming space and have instant lighting. Watch the color temperature and make sure that you order the kind you want. Get more info here.
This is the soft light kit that I use. But I have to honest for most bloggers a kit like this overkill. Still it’s a nice kit and I recommend it if you’re looking to go totally pro. Get more info here.
For high end editing this is the program that I have used for years. Great for having layers of video and properly editing sound. But be aware that your computer must have a graphics card that is up to specs in order to run this powerful program. Get more info here.