After making YouTube videos for 3 years now and trying a lot of different gear options, I am excited to share my favorite setup to film YouTube videos. I’ll be sharing gear lists for what I currently use and what I started with. I love my current setup because you can see yourself in a flip out screen, have a camera that autofocuses on your face, and it’s not too expensive. I’m also sharing a mic that is easy to use and affordable, and not too big or heavy if you want to travel with it, and all about my favorite lights and tripods. After this, you’ll be ready to start filming your YouTube videos and know that they’ll be high quality without breaking your budget! Let’s dive in (and PS, all links will be included, so you can grab this YouTube filming gear too!).
Camera: Canon M50
I’ve gone through a few options but I absolutely love the Canon M50. This camera is lightweight and isn’t bulky at all. The flip out screen means that you can see yourself while you’re filming and it even autofocuses on your face with face tracking, which is SO helpful. This feature might be one of my favorite parts of the camera because it means I don’t have to worry about manually focusing the whole film. The lens that comes with the camera (15-45mm) is also pretty good, so you don’t have to upgrade if you don’t want to! At $649 on Amazon, it’s super affordable for what you get!
Mic: Rode Video Mic
I have a few mic options that I love for filming YouTube videos. As much as I love my Canon M50, the built-in microphone won’t provide the best audio for your videos, so I recommend an external microphone. If you’re able to upgrade your mic, it will be the most ideal situation for you! For me, I’ve always believed that audio quality is more important than video quality – you need to be heard! One option for a mic that I love is the Rode Video Micro. It’s only $59, so it’s not a huge upgrade and it plugs directly into your DSLR. It’s very simple to use and a great solution to upgrade your gear.
If you want to step it up even more, you can try the Rode Video Mic Pro + and it is a great option if you want your audio even better! This microphone isn’t as great for vlogging but it’s perfect for sit down videos. Currently, it runs $299 on Amazon! Just remember that there’s going to be more settings on this mic, so don’t be afraid to do some research on YouTube about how to set it up for yourself.
Lens: Canon 11-22mm lens
So once you’ve got your camera and mic, you can start thinking about expanding your lens options. Again, I still think the 15-45mm that comes with the Canon M50 is great but occasionally, I’ve wanted a wider lens, especially for vlogging so I purchased the Canon 11-22mm lens (currently $399). Honestly, I’m obsessed with this lens and use it ALL the time! If you’re someone who wants to vlog consistently, it’s probably worth the upgrade. But, if you don’t plan to do a lot of that, I wouldn’t stress about upgrading your lens kit.
The next thing you’ll want to think about when filming YouTube videos is studio lighting. I think it’s something that’s often overlooked but really important for high quality video. Of course, you can use natural window light but studio lights can help create a more consistent light source. I prefer lighting that mimics natural light so I’ve loved the LimoStudio lighting and Emart 105W light bulbs. These light bulbs are brighter and I personally love them! I’ve got a SUPER in depth video about how and why to set up studio lights, so you can see that HERE!
Whether you’re filming sit down videos or vlogging, you’re going to want to grab a tripod. If you’re doing a sitdown video, I LOVE my Mactrem 80” camera tripod. It’s $75.99 on Amazon but it’s SO worth it. It’s sturdy, high-quality, and you’ve got some great options for height. If you prefer something a bit cheaper, there is an Amazon basics option that’s only $17.49. When I’m vlogging, I use the Ulanzi Tripod. It’s $20.95 and a little bit shorter so that I have something sturdy to hold.
Another essential piece of YouTube gear is a set of backup batteries! I think a lot of people forget to mention things like this, but it’s important to be sure you have backup equipment. I love my BM LP-E12 Batteries ($24.99). Super affordable and it’s so nice to have that peace of mind!
Setup Costs for YouTube Filming Gear
Now that you’ve seen the whole list, it’s easy to wonder exactly what it all costs together. My exact setup for sit down & vlogging videos is $1,578.77. If you prefer the cheaper alternative right now, it was $806.38. I started with the Rode video micro, cheaper tripod, and you don’t need to buy the extra lens or bigger light bulbs for lighting. I say that to show you it’s possible to start your YouTube channel with cheaper equipment and still have high quality videos. It’s possible!
I hope this gear breakdown helps you decide what to pick up to start your YouTube channel this year. If you’re looking for more tips on YouTube, see them HERE. And all links mentioned are also below for easy shopping!