Vlogging has become more and more popular in recent years, and for good reason. Studies have shown that 85% of millennials have purchased a product after watching a promotional video, and major social media players like Instagram and Facebook have slowly been making videos a larger part of their platforms.
While vlogging (video blogging) still hasn’t completely taken over blogging as the main way that people consume information online, it’s still a very important aspect of content creation. The best way to run an online business these days is to use a combination of blogging, vlogging and social media.
But, how do you get into vlogging? What tools are essential for the job and what kind of software should you be using to create your videos? In this article I’m going to break down the best tools that you can use to create your own vlogs online.
A Good Camera Kit
Not surprisingly, to make great videos you should have a good camera. But, vlogs don’t typically go for that perfectly polished cinematic look. Rustic home filming is what made this type of content popular, so it’s important to keep a natural and authentic feel in your videos.
This means that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a cinematic camera to make great vlogs. Huge YouTubers like Casey Neistat use the Canon EOS 70D which retails on Amazon for around $850 with a lens and just over $1,200 with the full “video creator kit” with microphone.
Even these are a bit of a splurge for the average video creator, particularly if you’re going to be publishing videos on Instagram and Facebook as opposed to YouTube. For the perfect balance between price, convenience and quality, there’s one camera that I recommend for vloggers over all others.
The Canon G7x Mark II
This is the camera that we’ve been using to create our videos for years. It has quick auto focus, a good range and does pretty good in low light. There’s a flip around screen so that you can see yourself while filming and the touch display is easy to navigate and very intuitive.
The main con of this camera is that there’s no audio out, meaning you’ll have to make do with the built-in microphone.
There’s a little trick you can use to significantly improve the sound quality of the tiny built-in mic, but with that being the camera’s only major flaw, I’m hoping that when Canon comes out with the next model, they’ll rectify it.
DJI Mavic Air
These days, basically every video creator online has their own drone. And why not? They’re easy to learn to fly, they’re affordable and with recent improvements in technology, they’re incredibly compact and easy to travel with.
I currently have the DJI Spark, but I purchased it before the company came out with the much more professional and equally portable DJI Mavic Air. If you’re looking for a drone to travel with and make great quality videos, I’d go with the Air.
GoPro Hero 7 Black
I still think that this is the best action camera on the market and it should be in any video creators backpack. DJI recently came out with their own action camera that looks almost exactly like the GoPro. It’s called the DJI Osmo Action and while it has a useful front-facing LCD screen for video creators, I’ve reviewed dozens of videos and read articles online and I still think that the GoPro has a higher dynamic range and can take better photos and videos than the Osmo Action.
A Fast Computer
Video editing takes up a significant amount of CPU and RAM so if you plan to be a vlogger who edits a lot of video, a fast computer should be your number one investment. If you already have a PC or an older Mac (pre-2015), then you can upgrade the ram and hard drive to get more speed out of what you already have.
We’ve also written a post about how to upgrade a mac here.
Even though Macs don’t come without their problems, I still use a 2018 Macbook Pro for all of my video editing. But if you’re a PC user, there are good options for you as well.
If you’re a Final Cut Pro user, then you’ll probably want to have a Macbook. They’re slim, compact, durable and when you have an SSD hard drive and 16+ GB of RAM in them, they’re extremely fast.
For PC users, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is probably your best bet. Users of this computer absolutely love best-in-class keyboard, and the 8GB DDR4 RAM +16GB Intel Optane memory means that this computer is quick to edit.
Proper Video Editing Software
50% of what makes a good video is the actual footage you take, and 50% is how well you edit the footage that you have. If you want to be a great video creator on YouTube, Facebook or on any platform, then you’ll want to ensure you have good editing software.
Not surprisingly, not all software is created equal, and depending on your editing abilities, not all software will be right for you. I’ve probably gone through a half a dozen different types of video editing software over the years and it’s not easy to change between them and try to relearn the basics of each.
Video Editing Software For Beginners
When you’re first starting out, you don’t need all of the bells and whistles that come with some of the more advanced video editors out there. Sometimes less is more. This is the case with the Filmora Video Editor from iSkysoft.
Not only does Filmora come with cool and easy-to-use features right out of the box like color enhancements, professional-looking titles and layovers, it also works on both PC and Mac, making it far more versatile than some other editing software out there.
If your goal is to make fun, high-quality videos quickly, then Filmora might be the perfect choice for you. If you’re currently using a free video editor like Windows Movie Maker, then this is an obvious upgrade.
It’s not expensive, it’s easy to learn and it’s very intuitive. Coming in at just $60 for a lifetime purchase, it’s nearly one tenth the cost of many of its competitors.
Video Editing Software For Pros
While Filmora does have a lot of professional features like audio enhancements, picture-in-picture editing and green screen key framing, there are some other softwares out there that are more geared towards the full-time professional.
Final Cut Pro
This software is only available for Mac and it’s the one I’ve used to edit most of our videos. Final Cut Pro has been around for years and it’s one of the most popular video editing softwares out there. The main restricting factor for new vloggers is the price tag.
Final Cut Pro is going to cost you $300 or more, and there are a significant amount of add-ons that you may want to purchase down the road.
Adobe Premier Pro
This is another expensive pro software, but this one isn’t at all geared towards the beginner. While Final Cut Pro and Filmora have plenty of templates and easy-to-use pre-built titles and overlays to choose from, most of what you’ll find in Premier Pro has to be built from scratch.
While it’s one of the favourite softwares for professional video editors, it’s hard to learn and also comes with a hefty price tag.
If you’re just starting out as a video creator, the goal should be to spend as little money as possible, while still creating great videos. That’s why I don’t recommend purchasing a $1,200 camera, a $1,500 drone and $500+ of software, just to create videos on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram when you could probably create equally good videos for a fraction of the cost.
There’s always a balance between quality, convenience and cost and you should take that into consideration when purchasing your equipment for video editing. If you want to become a vlogger today, you can do so with an inexpensive laptop, a cheap GoPro camera and an affordable software like Filmora. As you grow, you can upgrade where you feel you need it, but the key is to just get started.