Even in a world saturated with million-dollar vloggers on YouTube, there's always room for new, fresh, innovative video content. Curious as to how popular vlogging is? YouTube reports that creators upload over 500 hours of content every minute. While not every video on the platform is technically a vlog, with over 2 billion monthly logged-in users, it's safe to say that there is a massive audience for your story.
Do you know what makes a vlog great? Alongside interesting and relevant subject matter, a great vlog boasts excellent picture and sound quality. How can you go from good to great? The answer lies in having the right equipment.
Let's delve into the best vlogging equipment that suits both beginners and professionals.
What is the ideal camera for vlogging?
You may already have a beginner vlogging camera. In fact, you're probably reading this article on it right now. That's right—your smartphone, iPhone, or iPad can transform into fully functional professional video blogger equipment.
Since video is an effective medium to convey your message, it's important to ensure that your viewers can see you or your subject clearly, without any shaky or blurry footage. That's where high-quality vlogger gear comes in. Yes, you could go ahead and purchase a Nikon or Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera from any retailer, but chances are you already have the best vlogging camera right at your fingertips—your smartphone or tablet. You're probably reading this article on it right now.
Both iPhones and iPads are capable of producing high-quality footage, and the same goes for Android-based smartphones.
Specific instructions on shooting videos may vary across different smartphone and tablet models, manufacturers, and operating system versions. Instead of trying to cover every single device, we've compiled a few universal tips that are applicable regardless of your specific device.
Make the most of your iPhone vlogging kit or mobile vlogging setup.
- Frame your subject—fill the frame with your subject or follow the "rule of thirds." Look for a 3x3 grid in your camera app and align your subject with one of the gridlines; whether to use vertical or horizontal lines is up to you.
- Utilize your optical zoom—if you're lucky enough to have multiple camera lenses on the back of your device, one is usually a telephoto lens. Otherwise, look for a clip-on lens that allows you to get as close as possible to your subject without losing any details. The Ulanzi 75mm Macro Phone Lens can enhance your perspective.
- Get proper lighting—unfortunately, cameras on mobile devices often lack lighting conditions. If your location lacks natural light, you'll need to use artificial lighting to avoid unnecessary shadows.
- Stabilize your camera—shooting video without any support is nearly impossible. Pair a tripod with your device, and you won't have to worry about shaky footage.
What is the best tripod for vlogging?
When searching for the right tripod for your vlogs, look for a product that offers the features you need, such as versatility (able to extend in height or transform from a tripod to a monopod) or universal mounting options. If you're shooting vlogs on the go, consider a lightweight and flexible tripod like the Ulanzi MT-52 Flexible Tripod. This little guy can hold smartphones weighing up to 2.2 pounds, and its legs are flexible enough to position your camera anywhere. The MT-61 Carbon Fiber Tripod can extend up to 68.5 inches for eye-level shots, and when you need greater mobility beyond what a tripod allows, it can switch to a portable selfie stick monopod.
How much does professional vlogging equipment cost?
The cost associated with vlogging equipment can vary greatly. However, you should expect to spend several thousand dollars or more for higher-quality gear. Here's a quick overview of the essentials:
- Camera—A high-quality camera for vlogging can range from $700 to $4,000 for the camera body alone. If lens prices fall between $400 and $1,200, your camera needs may exceed $1,000 to $5,000 or more.*
- Lighting—The price of a lighting setup can range from a $20 ring light or on-camera light to a $200 softbox lighting kit.
- Microphone—The price of an on-camera shotgun microphone can range from $30 to $500, while lavaliere microphones (worn by the subject) can range from $15 to $600.
- Tripod—Prices for tripods can range from $20 for a basic tripod to $200 for a tripod/monopod combination.
- Green screen—The best way to add depth or interesting backgrounds is by using a green screen. Prices can range from $20 to $500 depending on screen size and quality.
- Backpack—If you vlog on the go, you'll need a way to safely transport your equipment. A backpack is the preferred method, with prices ranging from $30 to $100.
- Editing software—The price of editing software can range from free to freemium to subscription-based.
Here are some budget-friendly vlogging equipment recommendations that offer great value for money:
- Lighting: Ulanzi VL49 Rechargeable Mini RGB Light for only $19.95
- Microphone: Ulanzi Nova Mic 01 Microphone for only $29.95
- Tripod: Ulanzi MT-61 Carbon Fiber Lightweight Travel Tripod for only $139.95
- Backpack: Ulanzi TRAKER Tech Pouch Pro for only $39.95
If you prefer using a smartphone, we have the Ulanzi Universal Phone Video Rig 3127 that can be used with a mini microphone, light, and flexible tripod. The Universal Phone Video Rig is a vlogging solution for Android and Apple mobile devices. Place your smartphone in the Ulanzi Rig, and you have a sturdy mobile production studio.
Essential vlogging accessories
Whether you're just starting out with vlogs or have already produced some videos, you'll need accessories to ensure your content looks and sounds great. We recommend having the following vlogging accessories:
- Camera (smartphone or iPad)
- Optics (camera lenses)
- Microphone and headphones
- Tripod and mounts
- Green screen
- Protective covers (to shield your equipment from unnecessary light when shooting outdoors)
- Backpack (for storing all your gear)
- iPads or Phone Mount
Ulanzi turns your iPads or smartphone into an all-in-one mobile production studio, allowing you to create professional-quality videos at home or anywhere else. Whether for remote learning, remote work, remote broadcasting, or live streaming—wherever you are, Ulanzi will help you create high-quality content.