TECH-A-MOMENT 5 : Gadgets for VloggingBy Aditya Roy
January 22, 2020
The rush to become a worldwide YouTube sensation has seen an enormous amount of growth in the last 5 years or so. With 1000 of videos being uploaded on the digital platform on a daily basis via different platforms, there are just handful of talented people who have made a name for themselves in the Vlogging precinct. Video-blogging or better know as Vlogging, as in the pop-culture discourse, is perhaps the best and the most sort after ways to become a celebrity of some sort.
But mind you it’s not that easy as it seems to be. If you’re really going to give it a go, then you’re going to need a few essential pieces of gear to get your Vlogging career up and running, and looking good. So here is a list of must have gadgets for beginners new to Vlogging in this section of TECH-A-MOMENT 5.
With the likes of Markipiler, Roman Atwood, Casey Neistat, BhuvanBam, Mumbiker Nikhil, CarryMinati, already ruling the world of Vlogging with their look like a million bucks content and their best-in-class ways of presentation getting fame and popularity amongst the masses, it would certainly require a beginner vlogger to comb through their best possible assets, be it their recording tools, editing software or the most important of them all the quality of their content to get their act together and outshine in this dumpster fire called Vlogging. Here is some helpful information to help you get stated on this journey of Vlogging.
Camera with support
The most essential asset to have in so far as Vlogging is concerned is to have a good camera, that too with flexible stands that can let you capture best shots at all possible weird and strange angles. For obvious reasons so as make number of people to visit and appreciate your work. But don’t worry, you don’t need a crazy-expensive camera to create good content.
Most of video bloggers out there use nothing more than the built-in webcam on their computer or even their smartphone, with the latter often rendering better results these days. But it is always handy to have a good camera for your vlogs as your audience will definitely notice and appreciate higher-quality video which would keep them interested and more likely tempt them to visit again an refer to their community. There are great number of options to choose from.
Panasonic’s HC-V770K Full HD Camcorder is an excellent place to start, for just about anyone. It’s affordable, and it offers high-quality 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second (fps) and even a slow-mo 120 fps mode.
A 20x zoom lens gives you many framing and perspective options when composing your shots. This camera is a great starter because it offers solid video quality and ease of use with its automatic exposure modes.
As far as Vlogging and recording in-transit is concerned the GoPro cameras are well known for their versatility. Accessory options bolster the GoPros’ versatility, making them waterproof or allowing you to place them in hard-to-reach locations while you control and monitor them remotely. For this the the HERO4 Silver model an attractive choice for the budding adventure vlogger as it strikes the balance between price, quality, and accessory availability.
For outstanding quality and artistic control of videos, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 is highly recommended. Many successful vloggers have stepped up to this camera when looking for the finest possible control over their videos.
The Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount grants a wide selection of lenses. The camera settings offers you granular customization of settings to get your image exactly the way you want.
To support your camera you’re going to need a tripod. If you have a heavier camera, you could go for a tripod like the Magnus VT-4000 or the Benro S4 Head with Aluminum Flip Lock Legs. But really, any sturdy option will do, especially if you plan on just having a stationary camera set up in a room. Other support options include a mini tripod like the Oben TT-100 if your camera will be mounted on a table or desk (TIP: mark your desk/table with tape to keep framing consistent between videos), or a Joby GorillaPod for the travel vlogger.
While shooting in day-light, sometimes the natural lighting does not provide sufficient amount of contrast at the preferred angles to generate high-end images or videos. Thus ambient lighting is required for the same. As a vlogger, your main goal is to make yourself (or the talent) the focus of the viewers’ attention, while also avoiding any unsightly shadows on the face.
For a consistent and professional look throughout your videos some basic soft-light kit, such as this Impact Soft n’ Natural Kit is highly recommended.
This kit gives you two soft light sources that you can position in front of you (one of either side, with one) to provide an even, and pleasing illumination. Alternatively, you could light yourself with a single large soft light positioned about 45 degrees to the side and slightly higher than your head, while bouncing another light off a wall or ceiling to raise the overall light level of the room.
From the audiences vantage point nothing can be as disturbing and as frustrating as the noise and bad audio of video content. A bad audio would not be able to muster large number of viewers for longer duration. Thus it’s very important to be meticulous about the audio quality.
Most cameras have a built-in mic, so a lot of people tend to think that this is enough to start recording a good video. These types of microphones are usually on the consumer level. which means, they’re low quality. It’s not just that their sound is not clear, but rather they capture every single sound around you.
The simplest way to capture better audio is to add a shotgun microphone, which has a highly directional pick-up pattern that is highly sensitive where you point it, but won’t pick up much from the sides or rear. The closer you can get the microphone to you, the better. If you’ll only be a couple of feet from your camera, then a camera-mounted option like the RØDE VideoMic Pro is a great choice—just make sure that your camera has a 3.5mm mic input.
If your style of Vlogging involves a lot of voice-over works and sitting at desk in front of (or close to) a computer, then a USB microphone is a simple yet the most effective way to capture quality audio directly to your computer. It’s particularly effective when you’re using a webcam to capture video.
Thus Investing in a good microphone can be essential for many occasions of your Vlogging.
A portable audio recorder is a must-have if you’re working with professional XLR microphones. It also lets you bypass the low-quality pre-amps found in DSLRs and other compact cameras to record higher-quality sound, often in the WAV audio format.
The best-in-performance portable audio recorder, also highly recommended one is the TASCAM DR-05, a stereo recorder with built-in omnidirectional microphones. The TASCAM is capable of recording in MP3 formats of up to 320 kbps and in Broadcast WAV format of up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. The pair of omnidirectional microphones supply relatively clear recordings, while also being able to handle sounds pressures up to 125dB – making the DR-5 one of the best Vlogging microphones for live event recording like parades, festivals, or even concerts — environments with high background noise ultimately.
Also it’s small size make it easy to carry along while travelling. The DR-05 is about the size of your palm, so taking it anywhere will not be an issue.
Content is the King
As far as video work goes, Vlogging isn’t all that complicated, and with only a basic collection of video gear you can really boost the production value of your content. A quality camera, a basic lighting setup, and an external microphone will go a long way to helping you create professional-looking (and sounding) content. And a well worked upon content is highly appreciated.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how good your videos look and sound if no one knows they exist, so diligent online promoting and a well thought-out marketing plan is paramount to your vlog’s success. So what are you waiting for? Start shooting, start sharing, and who knows, Vlogging stardom could be just around the corner!
Digital platform is the new stage, Vlogging is the new act, content is still the king. The stage is set for you, go out there and steal the spotlight. Go!! Break a leg!!