Getting started – setting up my YouTube equipment

Obviously when starting out on a “Social Media Content Creator” path, technology plays a HUGE part in getting ready to do your thing. I’ve spent countless hours researching, watching videos, checking out reviews, comparing products, and seeing what my favorite YouTubers use in their setups. It is a daunting and confusing task as there are so many options out there and just as you think you’ve settled on the right product, you catch one negative review of it or see an even more tempting deal and suddenly you’ve started all over (sigh).

One of my main goals with my content is to help you shop by saving you the time and hassle of this process described above. While I have more beauty/home/style products in mind for my channel & blog, perhaps some of you could find use in seeing my behind-the-scenes technology setup. Whether you are wanting to become a content creator as well, or if you just might be looking to get some upgraded items to photo/video your adorable children and pets, here’s what I’ve found!

All of these items are currently en route to me so I want to tell you what I discovered through my research that made me lay down the credit card for these items and then I will do a follow up blog after a month or so of actually using them. That way we can find out together if they stand up to what I am expecting (fingers crossed).

After hunting around to learn about the basic setups being used by my most beloved YouTubers I came up with this basic list of necessary items I wanted to purchase: Camera that takes video and still pictures, ring light, softbox lights, an an external microphone. 

Since I am committing to hit the pavement hard and shoot for this being a full-time job for myself as opposed to a casual hobby, I knew I wanted to find items that were a little more serious and a little more high-end so that I can come right out the gate with great quality videos/photos.

One of the YouTubers I used to really get a better sense of the right camera for me is Think Media. He has a lot of videos discussing pros and cons of different types of camera setups specifically for YouTubers as well as very detailed videos comparing two or three makes/models of cameras.

I immediately honed in on Canon Cameras because of their Dual Pixel Autofocus System and face/eye tracking features so at least I had one brand that I was set on researching. After reading and watching a TON of info, I ended up selecting the Canon EOS M50. It is an interchangeable lens camera with infinite settings and adjustments to manually create the exact look you want, as well as automated default settings while you are a beginner. It is a lot lighter and more compact than some other models so it will be able to be used as a vlogging camera as well as being used on a tripod – a lot of YouTubers I watch use two separate cameras. It has a full flip-out rotating screen/monitor which is perfect for selfies and vlogging. It has wi-fi/bluetooth capabilities which also means you can control the settings directly from your phone. It records in full HD as well as even 4k (although not deemed perfect in this mode yet). I also wanted to make sure it was compatible with an external microphone, had a decent battery life as well as record time. I found a great bundle on Amazon that included the camera, the recommended 15-45mm kit lens, vlogging tripod, full standing tripod, a bunch of filters, and cleaning/protection accessories. Now the hard part was over, I could more quickly decide on my accessories.

Next was the ring light, a necessity for the videos I need to create – up close portrait style for beauty reviews/tutorials and just talking/teaching to the camera. I selected the 14″ model from Neewer on Amazon. I was interested in one with LED light source for bulb longevity that would also be fully dimmable to control the amount of light as well as having warm and white diffusers to control the color temperature. This comes with an adjustable angle stand and a hot shoe adapter where you can mount your camera or phone directly in the center of the ring. It also has a wireless remote that can control the settings from afar. 

I wanted some supplemental lighting that could be used for the more close-up videos but could also be positioned to light up room scenes when making home design/decor videos/photos. I went with this set of 2 Softbox Lights by LimoStudio on Amazon. They are nice and big – 24″ x 24″, come with stands and a carrying case, use daylight neutral toned compact fluorescent bulbs, and have white fabric diffusers to soften the light source.

Last stop was to grab an external microphone to ensure better sound quality. This mic from Takstar on Amazon was a very inexpensive option that can attach to my Canon camera easily and should greatly improve the clarity of sound on my videos without breaking the bank or being overly complex for what I need.

~ Takeaway ~ So there you have it, the four main camera/lighting equipment pieces I am starting off this journey with. After I put everything into action, I’ll revisit and review my own thoughts on how it is all working for me. I did choose to purchase everything from Amazon because they have amazing customer service/returns in case anything comes broken or missing or just isn’t what I expected. I also don’t have to wait very long for it to be delivered, so the fun will begin soon!

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