06 Apr Equipment Essentials for Bloggers & Vloggers
Find out which equipment I’m using for my blog and YouTube channel. As a Blogger and Vlogger, it’s always good to have your equipment setup before going live. But first, let me just give you the quick comparison of what a blogger and a vlogger is, for those who seriously don’t know. A Blogger creates content online in written form (blog site or social media). Whereas the Vlogger, creates content in video format (ie. YouTube). When I first started, I didn’t have all the proper equipment and just wanted to get my site and YouTube channel up. I started off with the most basic stuff in hopes that things will turn out great anyway. Fast forward a couple years, I look back at old content and come to realization that they weren’t as great as I thought and now need to be re-done.
Now for all you newbies or anyone on a tight budget, don’t fret, there are ways to get the proper equipment without breaking the bank. On this post, I’ll show you all of the equipment I own and where to get them at an affordable price.
My most recent purchase is the Canon Rebel T6i. I’ve seen a lot of reviews online and is one of the top picks for taking photos and videos amongst other bloggers. Before I purchased this, it was a toss up between this DSLR or the Sony A6000. It was a really close comparison, but what really sold me with the T6i is the flip screen. I like the ability to be able to record myself, specially handy for YouTube videos, and be able to see myself on the screen. You also have an option of attaching an hdmi cable so you can watch yourself on your tv or monitor. Another very handy feature is that there’s an app you can download on your phone so you can control your pictures remotely. As most bloggers know, it could be difficult finding someone to take pictures when inspiration hits you. So, you can basically place your camera in one spot and just look at your phone to make sure you’re centered and focused. These 2 cameras could cost you a little over $500 USD which isn’t too bad, but for some it could be costly.
I started with the Samsung NX2000. It’s a beautiful white, 20.3MP mirrorless camera, lightweight, with Wi-Fi capabilities, and has different shooting modes. This camera is a couple hundreds less than the above 2 I mentioned and I still use it to this day because it takes up less room than my T6i and the picture quality is great. There are newer versions of the Samsung camera but you may still be able to get your hands on this online. If this is still too costly for you, I recommend just using a digital camera that you might already own. Nowadays, our cellphone cameras can take great pictures too. When you do, make sure you take pictures in natural light and avoid flash as much as possible, it tends to make your pictures look washed out and leaves a glare on shiny items. For general photography to be used on social media or your blog, there are FREE options available, so you won’t even need to purchase a camera. Check out my post on ‘How to Get Free Photos for Your Blog and Social Media’.
This particular item can get really expensive. I have searched for the best deals and packages that was worth spending a lot of money on. I’ve seen the Diva Ring light and other brands that would cost you a minimum $200 – and it’s just the light only. After doing some research I finally found a package on Amazon that was a steal. I read the reviews and looked at the other items included and was actually pretty shocked at how affordable it was.
This was the Neewer 14″ Outer LED Ring Light Kit. It included a Light Stand, Soft Tube, Color Filter, Hot Shoe Adapter, Bluetooth Receiver for Smartphone, and a 36W 5500K Dimmable Ring Light for $149.99 USD. I don’t know if it’ll stay that way, but if you’re in the market for a good ring light, you need to get your hands on this package. Each individual item could already cost you a lot if purchased separately. I was so happy when I received it – I tested out the intensity of the light, checked all the settings, looked for any defects, and it was just excellent. I ordered it on Dec 11 and received it on Dec 14.
So the above package I purchased already included a light stand with an adapter to place your camera on. But, if you like to take pictures outdoors, for travelling, or just want your camera placed in a different location from your ring light, then it’s best to have a separate tripod. I originally wanted to get the Manfrotto Be Free Fluid Video Kit after seeing other YouTubers’ reviews, but the price is quite steep. Someone else recommended the Ravelli Tripod as an alternative, because it’s durable and a lot less expensive. So I decided to grab the latter of these two and I’m using the Ravelli 61″ tripod. It was definitely sturdy enough for my Rebel T6i, wasn’t flimsy, and it included a bag so you can pack it and take it with you.
DSLR cameras are heavy, and if you purchase a cheap tripod, there’s a good chance of having your camera knocked down and possibly breaking your lens. A couple years ago, I purchased a Camera Lens Kit for my Samsung NX2000 Camera on Amazon, and it included a bunch of items along with a basic tripod. After a few months, the head that holds the camera in place snapped and became unusable. Not wanting to invest in another tripod so soon, which possibly would cost me more, I created a temporary fix with a cable tie. I used the tie to secure the tripod head in place, the only thing was I couldn’t tilt or move the head around – useless! Investing in a durable tripod is really important. Make sure you read reviews and find out if the tripod head is sturdy enough to hold the weight of your camera.
This piece of equipment is for the Vlogger. Digital Cameras, DSLRs, Cellphones, Laptops and Tablets all have built in microphones now, but when you’re filming, you’re voice can seem unclear or very distant if your camera is placed further away. A lot of YouTubers who film tutorials usually like to do voice-overs on their videos. So, having a great microphone is highly recommended. One time I tried to use my laptop’s built in camera and microphone to see how it would turn out and boy was it brutal. For newbies, it’s perfectly fine to use whichever device you’ve got on hand, I mean you can always work your way up once you’re able to. I actually started off with a $5 microphone that can plugin to my laptop. After playing back my voice-overs, I could hear a certain ‘echo’ that is noticeable compared to the other higher end microphones.
My son ended up receiving 2 of the Blue Nessie Microphones for Christmas because he wanted to use it for gaming. He gave me the duplicate because he knew I needed an upgrade. Thanks baby! The great thing about this microphone is that it’s great for voice-overs, it has an adjustable head so you can change the ball height, and it’s also got a mute button. The mute button is a great feature to have so you can mute a voice-over instead of cutting and splitting the audio. If you’ve done any video editing, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Using this microphone makes me feel like I’m in a recording studio about to drop my first album. Haha!
Neewer 48 Macro LED Ring Flash Bundle – I purchased this mini ring light bundle for my Samsung camera. The bundle includes the LED ring light with an LCD display, adapter rings, and flash diffusers. It can be used as a portable ring light, for close distance photography or tabletop filming. It’s dimmable and the light can get really bright. Perfect for beginners on a budget. It’s very inexpensive (less than $50 USD) and it runs off batteries.
Manfrotto MTPIXI-B Mini Tripod– This mini tripod is amazing. I bought this so I can place my camera on a table or floor, when I need to do a macroshot of products. Perfect when you have minimal space and need to be able to tilt your camera around. It’s super sturdy and you will immediately notice it when you hold it. It can definitely carry the weight of the Rebel T6i and it’s less than $30 USD. Again, this mini tripod is a great buy for newbies on a budget.
I hope this post will help some of you who are in the market for getting new equipment and not knowing where to find them. I own everyone of the items above and they have worked great for me so far. If I find any other great items, I will update this list to share with you all. So don’t forget to subscribe to my blog newsletter to get updates on new posts and future giveaways.
**Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links.