You'll need a great vlogging kit if you want to enter the world of the video blog. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a vlog is just a blog using the medium of video instead of the written word. But why are so many content creators intent on exploring this form of communication? Well, for one reason or another, many people suffer from severely short attention spans! This results in higher bounce-rates on text-based media, such as blogs, meaning people navigate away from websites due to lack of patience.
Videos offer an easier, more interactive, and more digestible way of communicating crucial information, allowing content creators to get through to their audience without wasting precious time. And, if Cisco is to be believed, videos will represent about 82% of all internet traffic by 2021.
So, there’s definitely an opportunity here, but how do you seize it? What do you need to know before you start your vlog? Are there any specific tools that can help you on your journey? In this article, we give you the top 10 essential tools – our vlogging kit – to help you build platform the way you want to. These tools range from the type of camera to use, the the best video editing software.
Vlogging kit: Our pick of the best video editing software
Vlogging kit: Our 10 essential bits of kit
Well, you can’t shoot any videos without a camera, can you? Many vloggers prefer to use their smartphones when starting, but professionals know that a standalone camera is essential to the video production process.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right camera for your vlog. For example, if you travel, you’ll want something lightweight and portable, with decent connectivity via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. If you shoot in low-light situations, you may want a DSLR. Similarly, vloggers who like to shoot while in motion may also want to consider a camera with good image stabilization.
There are many different options to choose from, but we recommend the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. It’s expensive but packed with features. This mirrorless camera has a resolution of 20.4 MP, supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and even boasts a touchscreen display.
With this model, you can effectively shoot 4K videos at a stable 30FPS and 1080p videos at 120FPS. The polycarbonate body helps reduce weight and enhance comfort when holding the camera for long sequences. The image stabilization features are especially good in this one, making it perfect for vloggers on the go. The only complaints really are the size of the handgrip and lack of a headphone jack.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is currently available for the retail price of $1,199.99.
Olympus’ lenses are some of the best in the market. And if you combine this one with our camera recommendation above, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the company’s excellent dual image stabilization technology. That said, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-100mm f/4.0 ED IS Pro works with any Micro Four Thirds camera.
This wide-angle lens is excellent for vloggers, with a large area of vision for unmatched visibility and a long zoom that travelers will adore. It pairs incredibly well with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with the add-on grip, balancing correctly in your hands and not feeling too large or unmanageable. The black metal finish on the lens' body is the finishing touch.
There are a few caveats, though. The lens is quite large and doubles in size when zoomed, so you won’t have much luck pairing it with a smaller camera. Some users may also notice a decline in image quality when shooting at 12mm, but it still delivers outstanding performance.
The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-100mm f/4.0 ED IS Pro costs $1299.99.
Now that you have a camera and a lens, you need someone to hold the camera in place while you shoot. Most tripods sit on rigid legs, but not this one. The Joby GorillaPod 3K is built for DSLR cameras. It’s got flexible legs that can be bent into any shape to fit any nook or cranny.
The Joby GorillaPod 3K weighs 14.1oz and stands 12” tall. There’s a removable ball head with a quick-release section to easily latch your camera onto. Because of its flexible nature, the tripod can also be used as a selfie stick or wrapped around a doorknob or tree. The body is made of medical-grade plastic and features rubberized grips for stability. It also works perfectly with other accessories like camera mounts.
The Joby GorillaPod 3K is available for the price of $34.93 on Amazon.
While cameras have generally gotten much better at filming in low-light conditions, a decent source of lighting is still essential to photography and video production. The Joby Beamo is a portable light source that pairs perfectly with the Joby GorillaPod 3K, ensuring constant visibility as you go about shooting your vlog videos.
The Joby Beamo is an LED light source with plenty of portability and wireless charging capabilities. It’s great for outdoor conditions. Joby claims that it can work up to 30 meters underwater. The light offers a brightness of up to 1500 lumens but allows you to cycle between five brightness settings to achieve the ideal lighting. Moreover, the Joby Beamo can be controlled via Bluetooth using the myJOBY app on your smartphone, which is available for iOS and Android.
The Joby Beamo can be purchased from Amazon for $89.95. You can also buy the kit, consisting of two lights, for $179.90.
A camera is fine, but if you plan to do a lot of filming in front of your computer screen, it might be worth investing in a webcam as well. There are a lot of budget options that can do the job, but if you want to go all in, we recommend the Logitech StreamCam.
The Logitech StreamCam is more than just a webcam. It’s a connected camera built for a new generation of content creators and social influencers. It has auto-focus, smart exposure, and facial tracking, can record videos at 1080p 60FPS, and weighs just 5.3 ounces.
The StreamCam is a bit of an overinvestment for casual streamers. But for content creators looking to expand their vlog material beyond gaming, this webcam provides a perfect way to experiment with new forms of visual content. It can even be mounted on a tripod and can serve as a handy replacement for your primary camera in some situations!
The Logitech StreamCam is one of the costliest webcams in the market at $169.99. It can be purchased on Amazon or Best Buy.
The ultimate iteration of the Rode VideoMic Go, this microphone adds more weight and bulk to the design, but for good reason. The recordings are definitely higher quality, while the mic itself offers a lot more flexibility.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is a shotgun-style microphone with a hot shoe mount. It’s perfect for recording on the go, and the sound quality is more than adequate for professional recording. With a weight of 122 grams and length of 15cm, it also has great portability. The VideoMic Pro+ uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which Rode claims is good for up to 100 hours of continuous recording. It supports advanced features like high pass filter switch and level control.
Using a professional mic isn’t mandatory; in fact, you could just as easily use the built-in mic on your camera. However, if you are a professional singer or if good sound quality is essential to your vlog, Rode’s VideoMic Pro+ will be more than sufficient for your needs. The only downside here is the lack of a free protective case in the package.
The Rode VideoMic Pro Plus is priced at $299.00 in the US. You can get it on Amazon.
You can have the best microphone in the world, but it won’t be able to produce the best audio unless you have proper headphones to review the sound during post-production. The Focal Listen Professional isn’t just comfortable during long hours, it’s also perfect for audio editing.
With the Listen Pro, build quality is a huge improvement over previous models from Focus. The ear cups are made of memory foam, and the headband uses a silicon cushion. These are the kind of headphones that are built for long periods of editing and tinkering.
The sound quality is crystal clear, too. While these headphones may not be the best choice for critical work, vloggers with casual audio requirements should find them more than sufficient.
The Focal Listen Pro costs $299.00 on Amazon. It also comes with a case included.
After you have used a decent camera and professional microphone to record footage for your vlog, you will also need a reliable way to play back the footage as you edit. We assume that you already have a desktop computer at home, but a good monitor is essential to the post-production process.
Did you know that monitors used for day-to-day work or video gaming are very different from those used for professional editing? The ideal video-editing monitor will have a high resolution, color accuracy, brightness uniformity, and more. For this, we recommend the Dell UltraSharp PremierColor U3219Q. With a 31.5-inch display with 99% Rec. 709 coverage and 95% DCI-P3 coverage, this monitor boasts a maximum resolution of 3840px2160p. There’s even a highly adjustable stand so you can rotate the monitor to your desired position.
The only disadvantage of purchasing a U3219Q is that it has only two display mounts, but that’s a small sacrifice compared to what you get. The monitor is suitable for both video editing and high-end gaming, making it a must-have on any vlogger’s wishlist.
The Dell UltraSharp PremiereColor U3219Q costs $919.99 in the US. You can purchase it from Amazon or NewEgg. A smaller, 27-inch version of this monitor is also available for the reduced price of $619.99.
This is an essential part of the best vlogging kit. You won’t be doing much editing without a proper video editing application. While there are plenty of apps for smartphones and tablets that can do the job, we recommend using a superior desktop application with advanced features, such as the Adobe Premiere Pro for Windows or the Final Cut Pro X for Mac.
Premiere Pro is a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, the ultimate cloud-based subscription service for creative professionals. It’s constantly updated with the latest features and additions, making it one of the best video editing programs. Adobe Premiere Pro supports editing and rendering in 4K, 8K, and VR. Some features worth mentioning include professional color grading and royalty-free music.
Adobe Premiere Pro is also available on Mac, but while it’s great, we don’t recommend it for users of that platform. Instead, we suggest using Final Cut Pro X, Apple’s own video editing software, which is custom-designed for macOS. It includes more or less the same features as Premiere Pro, along with 360-degree and HDR support, minus the subscription fee.
Adobe Premiere Pro costs $20.99/month and also includes access to Creative Cloud—Adobe’s cloud-based creativity platform. Final Cut Pro X costs $299.99 one time, so you get to keep this software forever for a little more than one year’s subscription to Creative Cloud.
To bring it all to a close, let’s take a look at the best backpack to carry around your vlogging gear. Vloggers have always got to be on their feet—a good backpack to carry your vlogging kit is an absolute must.
ThinkTank’s MindShift Gear Backlight 26L has plenty of space, thick padded straps, and lots of attachment points. A 36L version is also available, but you probably won’t need that much space for a vlogging kit.
The MindShift Gear Backlight is extremely comfortable on your back and spacious enough to hold two mirrorless cameras. It’s hardy enough for hiking in the countryside, perfect for travel vloggers. The rear access design is especially appreciated.
The MindShift Gear Backlight 26L from ThinkTank costs $249.99. It’s expensive but extremely heavy-duty.