What Equipment Do I Need for YouTube?

Several years back I started shooting video and editing it in my spare time and it quickly became an obsession. Even though I was busy then and even busier now I made time to shoot and continue honing my skills in this area. Some of the content I posted online to share with the YouTube community and some I kept for offline use. I posted an article earlier on YouTube on maximizing your efforts, but some of you may be saying, “What if I don’t even know how to get started?!” Well this post is for you!

DSLR’s have come so far in the last 5 years offering more competitive offerings at affordable prices than ever before. The only challenge with DSLR’s is that you have to know something about lenses as they are sold separately from the camera bodies. If that scares you then maybe you are a point and shoot kind of customer but that’s okay.

50mm lenses are great for static or locked off shots and you can usually pick one up for about $100 on Amazon. I am personally partial to Canon but there are some other great camera’s out there so take your pick. The main reason I like Canon is they offer inputs for external microphones which is one of the most distracting things a newbie can do is post to YouTube with bad audio. Your message gets lost in the “noise” and in most cases the viewer will move on to another video with a similar title with better production value.

Lighting is also important but you can get around that pretty easy with shooting out doors or just using everyday lighting like shop lights from your garage. In the beginning you should keep it fairly simple so you don’t get overwhelmed.

If you shoot outdoors I recommend using a reflector to help fill in on shadows that are cast even in the daytime. The sun is a great natural lighting set up with only one source so keep that in mind. You can buy a reflector for $100 or buy a car reflector for $8.

Then you need to do the hard work and edit this content down to something usable. I use Sony Vegas for my needs but if you want something  with more bells and whistles then you can use Adobe’s products. Just depends on what your budget and learning curve can handle.

At the end of the day have fun with it and don’t take yourself too seriously. Hope this helps. You may decide to pick up the phone and call me if you don’t have hours to devote to this. 🙂

2 Comments
  • balinderk2000

    I was planning on starting a youtube gaming account. I was wondering a cheap, and good quality graphics card I should get. Also, what programs should I get for recording games on the computer? If you have any other recommendations, too (microphones, web cams, etc.) it would be very much appreciated.

    July 26, 2013 Reply
  • Ev dog

    I recently bought a Canon Vixia HF G20. I want to make YouTube videos with it. According to the camera’s manual, in order to make the files editable, you have to convert them to standard definition. Then once, going through the WMM editing process, and being cropped so it isn’t surrounded by black lines, the video’s quality is far less than one of a $1100 camera. I would just like to know what is the best way to make/edit youtube videos with this camera. Is there a specific file converter or editing software I should use? Is there another way to edit the files without converting them to standard definition? If anyone knows you would be a world of help to me. Thanks.

    August 25, 2013 Reply

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