Hello, and welcome to this episode. In today’s podcast, we’re going to deep dive into the world of YouTube equipment. Now, I know it can be overwhelming. I’ve been there. Trust me. And this is one of the most common questions I get. So let’s dig right in and look at what equipment you need for your YouTube journey. And I’m also going to talk about how I did it in my journey!
Episode 23: What Equipment Should I Get for YouTube? (Is This Your Question?) – Podcast Transcript
Hey Thrivers, I’m Sara Nguyen, creator of the Thriving Creator Academy, and I’m here to help you go from stuck and overwhelmed to becoming a confident, profitable, and thriving YouTube creator. Join me here each week for honest conversations about what it really takes to be a successful YouTube creator.
Without compromising your creativity, sacrificing cheeky drinks with the people you love or downtime for yourself. You’ll hear about the hard lessons I’ve gone through so you can avoid making the same slow and costly mistakes on your journey. As well as my secret weapons to help you dig deep and do the work it takes.
I’m honored and grateful to have this opportunity to share this together with you. Right here on the Thriving Creator Podcast. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s get started.
It’s really important to get the whole YouTube equipment part sorted, because I find that many people become so overwhelmed at this stage that it prevents them from kickstarting their YouTube journey at all.
You may find yourself in a similar situation to one of my students, Danielle who faced the same dilemma. So she wanted to start creating videos. She even had researched a topic that she knew would resonate with her audience, but she was so overwhelmed with the equipment and tech and with what she needed because she considered herself not very techie.
And she was really afraid that she would make a mistake and buy the wrong thing. And then she wouldn’t recover from this. And she had taken three months so far and she hadn’t been able to produce that video.
So each time she looked at buying equipment, she got more frustrated and decided it was just too hard taking up too much of my time. This really resulted in her losing out. Losing out on the views, losing out on the leads and losing out from learning, from taking action and doing in these three months.
Once we got her set up with her equipment. The equipment that was the right fit for her, with where she was at. She started to make progress with her YouTube videos and lo and behold, she started to hit record and started making beautiful videos and releasing them. Woo hoo!
So let’s dig deep into what equipment set up might be right for you so that you can determine what you will need now at the beginner level.
Camera Options: Beginner
Let’s start off with your camera options. Firstly, I’m a big endorser of your smartphone.
So modern-day smartphones, I’m not talking about your Nokia 5110. But modern smartphones come equipped with really high-quality cameras. And these can produce excellent quality videos. And the big win is that you probably already have a phone and you don’t need to spend extra money to invest in recording.
So before you start spending money on an expensive camera, start recording with what you’ve got, which is probably your phone as the primary camera. And this will also allow you to get a feel for what content you want to create. And then if you need a bigger, better camera later, you can consider it at the very start.
Second option is a high-quality web camera. Very, very good option if you prefer to record directly into a computer, a high-quality webcam is excellent. And these days, many people may already have one, they may use one for work or have one lying around for some reason. And it’s a good alternative to a smartphone or DSLR camera.
One of the best options and one that I personally use is the Logitech Brio 4k, because it gives you 4k videos. So you get that ultra high-definition video quality, and it’s not too bad. The prices are coming down on 4k videos, and you’re able to get pretty good options at varying price points.
Microphone Options: Beginner
Now let’s talk about microphone options. Lavaliere mics for recording audio Lavaliere mics are a good option because they’re small. They’re relatively cheap and they can plug straight into your phone. I’ve also been able to plug them into my computer to get audio that way.
They’re really easy to use; they’re unobtrusive so you can hide them on your garment or underneath your shirt or however you want to wear it. And they do produce good quality sound because that’s what it’s all about.
I’ve been using the Rode Smartlav plus in the beginning, I’ve also used the BOYA BYM1 which is a good budget option. And I also really love the Deity Smartlav as well. It’s a really, really good contender for producing high-quality audio at a fair price point.
Now lav mics, as I mentioned, they plug into your smartphone. I can plug them into a computer. And I love them because they’re portable, affordable, and they’re a good option to consider. USB microphones are another option for capturing clear audio and they’re very user-friendly.
They don’t need much programming at all and they deliver high-quality sound with no effort, which is what we want, particularly in the beginning where there’s plenty to do without needing to study up on how do you configure a microphone.
I’m a big endorser of the Rode NT USB microphones, both the mini one and their regular size one. I liked them because they give you good quality sound and they’re easy to use, and you can typically plug them into your computer and smartphone with the right adapters.
Camera Options: Intermediate & Advanced
Let’s move into intermediate and advanced options for cameras. Rather than getting caught up in the camera brand wars is Sony better than Canon? Which one reigns supreme.
I think it’s more important to focus on the features of the camera that best fulfill your specific needs as a YouTube creator. In my view, it’s important to have a DSLR or mirrorless camera that firstly can produce 4k video. This is where video is going and it’s best to be prepared and not have to upgrade again later. So make sure that your DSLR or mirrorless does 4k.
Ideally, you also want to have one that has a flip-out screen. I think it’s a million times easier scientifically proven to record on your own when you can see the video from the flip screen, just to be able to see how you’re positioned, if there’s something in the shot, as opposed to record the camera run behind it and view it each time.
It’s easier just to be able to glance to the side and see if you’re in the shot. And if it’s still running as well. The other thing that I recommend that your camera has is a clean HDMI output feature.
Now without getting too technical, this allows you to be able to use your camera to live stream as well. And I’m all about getting the most out of your camera. So a clean HDMI just means that when you plug it into your computer and use it as a camera into the computer, you don’t get all of the information showing on the screen. So you’re able to have a clean output.
Now, the other very important thing, and the last thing with DSLR cameras is you need to get one that is within your budget.
So everyone always asks me, well, what’s the best budget for the camera. And I’m always saying, it’s the one that you can afford. So keep that in mind with all the other key technical features.
And I know that there are lots of options on the market, which one do I personally use? I always get this question and I sometimes feel, is this a trick? Are people going to judge me? But that’s okay. I’m very open about it. I have the Canon 90D and I love the camera. Very much. It gives me all the things that we just spoke about and I don’t have plans to upgrade any time soon. It is a mid to higher range camera, but it does what I want. And it was with all of the criteria we mentioned the one that was right for me.
Microphone Option: Intermediate & Advanced
Now let’s move on to microphones. Do we go with a USB microphone or an XLR one? When we go towards the more advanced high-end kind of stuff. USB microphones provide plug and play simplicity. And this makes them a really good choice that we talked about before. Their sound may not be as good as an XLR microphone, but they’re more affordable and you really don’t compromise too much on performance.
If you’re going to go down the XLR microphone route you’re going to need an audio interface, which is extra equipment to plug the microphone into your computer in order to make it work. But the upside is XLR microphones produce. Very, very good quality sound but you pay the price for it.
Once again, what do I personally use? I have a Deity XLR microphone that is plugged into a Rodecaster audio interface, very controversial I know competing brands using it together. But once again, this is where I’m at. This is the choice that I use. I’ve used my USB microphones in the past. I’ve used various known brands and unknown brands. It’s all about choosing what works for you.
Now let’s talk a little bit about lighting. I am a firm believer in having a ring light as a one-stop lighting solution because they produce this beautiful light. They’re relatively compact, especially when you compare them to a bulky softbox kit. And they’re really easy to use and set up. You don’t need a degree in lighting to make your ring light work for you. And I feel that this really is a beginner, intermediate, and advanced option.
There are various brands for ring lights. I personally think they all start to become the same when we’re talking about ring lights and it’s about choosing the size and one within a budget that works for you personally. I think the larger, the ring light the more light and softer light that you will get. But once again, pick one based on your situation and based on your budget.
So what does my holistic equipment journey look like? My very first YouTube videos were produced using a webcam. One because I already had one. And two, because at that time I didn’t consider myself worthy or technical enough to even handle a DSLR. And it didn’t really matter anyway, because the webcam got the job done. I used the webcam with a USB microphone plugged into my laptop and I recorded it using just the standard software on my laptop at the time.
After a while, I wanted to have higher quality video. So I use my smartphone to record a bunch of videos and I also used a lavaliere mic plugged into the smartphone. And it was incredibly useful in terms of lighting. I just use natural lighting at the time and I liked using a smartphone because I was able to record content outside of my house and I could take my phone and record wherever I was. In the last few years, I have upgraded to a DSLR camera and now record directly into my computer in my office or studio or whatever you call this bedroom converted into a space that I’ve worked from, and this is the best workflow for me.
I have an XLR microphone, which as I mentioned is the S2 by Deity microphones. And that connects into my computer through an audio interface, which is the Rodecaster Pro. And I’ve upgraded progressively over time. I didn’t drop thousands and thousands of dollars on day one of my YouTube journey. It was, let’s spend a little bit, see how we like it and kind of maximize recording of this device before I move on to the next and that’s what has worked for me. And that’s kind of what I see many creators go through as well.
But before buying your YouTube kit, there are some questions that I feel are worth asking.
First of all, what is your goal? What is my goal? What is your goal? Your goal may be to just get started. To get things up and running or to have something easy. So you can just start recording videos without having a steep learning curve.
The second question that’s worth asking is where are you at? Are you a beginner, an intermediate, or advanced user when it comes to your equipment? And what’s your pain threshold for learning new technology? because this is important whether you start really easy or whether you’re like, Hmm. You know, I’ve kind of gone through the smartphones and webcams and I’m ready for a DSLR.
So it’s really up to you and where you’re at. And the third question is: do I have people who can help me learn and set up or do I have to learn it all on my own? If your answer is you don’t have anyone then choosing the easy option is probably the best option for you.
But once again, determine where you’re at, how much help you need, how much support that you want and decide based on that, whatever equipment you decide to go with, the most important thing is that you do start creating videos and you start getting your content out there into the Youtube universe.
The episode is over, but it doesn’t have to end here. If you’d like to have your YouTube channel running like a perfectly synchronized clock, attracting a growing audience and bringing in a steady income for you. I’m here to tell you this isn’t just a pipe dream. It’s well within your reach, join me in my YouTube masterclass to unlock the hidden magic of my YouTube framework.
You’ll get access to my four-step plan that will melt away any YouTube confusion and help you transform your passion into profit. Sign up for the master class now at thrivingcreatormasterclass.com.