This is a complete guide focusing on the best YouTube equipment for beginners. Whether you are brand new to YouTube or have been dabbling on the platform for some time, you may have questions about what equipment you actually need to make quality YouTube videos. As a new YouTuber or someone without a lot of video experience, it can be so difficult to know what equipment is worth investing in and what is considered the best equipment to purchase. This guide will help you to discover the very best YouTube equipment for beginners – let’s get started!
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Why Invest in YouTube Equipment as a Beginner
One of the biggest reasons why you should invest in equipment when growing your YouTube channel is so that you can produce the highest quality video content possible. I will caveat that statement by saying that you do not need to purchase the highest quality video production equipment on the market as this would be overboard. However, owning a quality microphone and ring light will absolutely make a difference when it comes to the quality of your YouTube videos.
When creators invest in their equipment, ranging from video, audio, background props and even video editing software, the result is likely to be higher quality video content. Another reason why beginner YouTubers should invest in better equipment is to land brand sponsorships. If a brand knows that you produce high-quality video content, they might be more likely to work with you than someone else. If you are treating your YouTube channel as a business, it is best to start off on the right foot and produce high-quality content.
Essential Equipment for YouTube Beginners
With so many video equipment options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best YouTube video equipment! You could also end up purchasing the wrong piece of gear, which is extremely frustrating (trust me, I’ve been there!). Below is a list of potential equipment options for YouTubers to maximize the quality of their videos:
- Camera (DSLR or otherwise)
- Different camera lenses (for different types of shots)
- Editing software
We are going to kick off this YouTube equipment for beginners roundup by focusing on the best camera equipment out there. Let’s go!
The Best Cameras YouTube Equipment for Beginners
It is important to consider the return on investment when purchasing a camera for YouTube. If you do not want to film videos using your smartphone, purchasing a camera could be a good option. It all really depends on how much you would like to spend. Below are a couple of entry-level vlogging cameras to consider as a beginner on YouTube.
The Best Entry-Level Vlogging Cameras
Some vlog-style YouTube videos focus on filming content around daily routines, fun experiences/travel, and everyday routines. There are some really great cameras out there that can be used for vlogging, including both action cameras and point-and-shoot cameras. When it comes to vlogging, it would be best to avoid using a DSLR camera because these cameras are very bulky, heavy, and more difficult to use casually.
The GoPro HERO 9 Black is a fan favorite among YouTubers, mostly because of its mobility and high video quality. You can also customize this device with various accessories. The price of the GoPro GERO 9 Black is $449, making it a relatively cheap option when considering the quality of the video and the portability of the device.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II comes in at $639 with the Amazon bundle and delivers 20.1 megapixels as well as 4.2x optical zoom to get the most detailed footage possible. The Canon PowerShot series is one of the most widely-used camera options for YouTube vloggers.
The Sony ZV-1 includes a built-in microphone and also offers 4k video capability. In addition, this camera delivers 20.1 megapixels with 3X optical Zoom. The Sony ZV-1 is currently available for $748 on Amazon.
Using Smartphones to Vlog
Many people have smartphones these days, which are extremely handy for vlogging! If most of the content that you create will be vlog content, I’d recommend using your smartphone as your camera until you build up your YouTube channel.
A few things to look for if you plan to purchase a smartphone for vlogging:
- HD or 4K video quality
- The ability to change from 24 to 30 or even 60 frames per second
- The ability to Zoom in and out
- Autofocus – does your camera perform the autofocus function well?
If your smartphone is able to do any of the above, it could be a good option for vlogging. Give it a try, and if the quality isn’t quite what you need, consider upgrading from there. To take your smartphone audio to the next level, check out the microphone section later in the article.
The Best DSLRs for YouTube Beginners
If you are looking to take your YouTube video content to the next level, a DSLR camera, or Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera, is a fantastic option. I’ve been using DSLR cameras ever since starting on YouTube back in 2012. DSLR cameras provide very crisp video quality and provide a very professional look and feel. When using a DSLR camera, you are also able to better customize the video as a whole through the use of different lenses and microphones.
The Canon Rebel EOS T8i is an excellent choice for producing quality YouTube content. It has built-in WiFi to help you share your files instantly. The Canon Rebel EOS T8i delivers 24.1 megapixel quality as well as a 9-point autofocus system. Autofocus is really important for many YouTube creators so that you do not need to constantly manually adjust focus while filming.
Another cool feature is that this camera can be used as a webcam on your laptop when paired with Canon software available on the website. This could significantly improve the quality of live stream content. At about $899 USD, the Canon Rebel EOS T8i comes with a standard 18-55 wide lens. This is an excellent standard lens that is great for filming YouTube videos.
If you are looking for a less expensive option, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 might be for you! The Canon EOS Rebel T7 comes with an 18-55 mm lens and delivers 24.1 megapixel quality along with autofocus capability. The Canon EOS Rebel T7 also provides HD video quality. This camera can be purchased with the 18-55 mm lens for $479 on Amazon.
Nikon is another excellent brand to choose from when purchasing YouTube equipment as a beginner. The Nikon 1588 D3500 delivers 24.2 megapixel quality, comes with autofocus, and provides HD video quality. This camera is currently available on Amazon for $899 and comes equipped with an 18-55mm VR Lens & a 70-300mm Dual Zoom Lens.
The Best Camera Lenses
Camera lenses are about as important as the cameras that you use. Without the proper lens, you might end up capturing too much or too little of the shot. Here are the best lenses to purchase according to size and features.
Canon 18-55 mm Lens
The Canon 18-55 mm lens is the standard lens that comes with most Canon cameras. This lens is great because it provides some versatility when capturing your shot. Because it is a Zoom lens, you are not limited to just one perspective – you can Zoom in and out without losing too much quality. This lens in particular offers an f stop ranging from f/4-f/5.6. The lower the aperture, the better for low light scenarios.
This lens is best used on Canon cameras with an EF mount and APS-C or full-frame sensors. The Canon EF 135 mm lens is a prime lens, which means that you cannot change its zoom. The closest that a subject can be for this lens to focus is about 3 feet. It is important to keep this in mind when considering the types of YouTube videos that you will create. This lens is currently available on Amazon for $689.
If you are purchasing an EF lens but your camera is not compatible with this type of lens, be sure to purchase this Canon EF mount. I use this mount with my Canon camera. The mount doesn’t add too much extra weight and I barely notice it.
This Nikon zoom lens is excellent for those that prefer Nikon for shooting video. The Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Zoom Lens (whew, what a long name!) provides a Zoom range from 24 to 70 mm. This lens also features a low f stop at f/2.8, which means it does great in low light situations. This lens is definitely pricey and is currently available on Amazon for $1596. Because it is so expensive, one alternative is the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8.
The Best Tripods – YouTube Equipment for Beginners
Tripods are the foundation of a good video and picture. While placing your camera on a desk provides you with stability, a good tripod can give you multiple angles and open up new worlds when it comes to different angles and shots. Not all tripods are the same so you should consider the following options carefully.
The Amazon Basics 60-inch Tripod currently costs about $35 on Amazon and can carry up to 6.6 pounds or 3 kilograms. This is an entry-level tripod that also has a level to see whether you placed your tripod evenly. This tripod is able to tilt and has three sturdy aluminum legs.
At about $250, this tripod is built from carbon fiber and can carry up to 22 pounds or 10 kilograms. It is a sturdy piece of gear meant for the road and the studio.
The Best High-End YouTube Tripods
As always, on the other end of the price range, you have high-end tripods. They are great, but most of them cost as much as a very good lens or even a great camera body.
Gitzo GT2532 – A Carbon Fiber Tripod
At around 800, this is one of the best tripods you can purchase. Made from carbon fiber, it is built to last and to carry loads up to 40 pounds or 18 kilograms. You can take it anywhere, ranging from mountain tops or your very own YouTube studio.
Do Beginner YouTubers Need Backdrops?
Backdrops can be a great way to enhance the look of your YouTube videos, but they aren’t always necessary. If you have a detailed set, a backdrop might only take away from its design. Depending on the type of content you make, a backdrop might be useful, for example, in tutorial videos. If you are looking for some fun backdrop ideas, check out this blog post. The use of a backdrop can be fun to try when considering YouTube equipment for beginners.
Light Equipment for New YouTubers
To make a quality YouTube video, good lighting is definitely important. If your lighting is bad, this could take away from the overall experience that viewers have when watching your YouTube videos. Below are a couple of lighting equipment recommendations for new YouTubers.
The Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting Kit is an excellent option for YouTubers who are looking for more consistent lighting. While this light is not the end-all-be-all light setup for video, it can definitely make a difference if you want to improve your video lighting. The Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting Kit costs about $99.99 on Amazon, which is much more affordable than other video lighting options. The Lume Cube Broadcast Lighting Kit is a cube light and provides adjustable brightness and color. My favorite thing about this light is that you are able to charge it using a USB port, so you don’t need to deal with batteries!
The Neewer 20-inch LED Ring Light Kit costs $189.50 on Amazon and provides just about everything you need for optimal YouTube video lighting. I personally use this light and love the size. You are also able to change the color temperature as well as dim the light. This is a great feature because if you are filming video content on a really sunny day, you might not need really strong lighting.
Audio is just as important as lighting and video quality! A lot of beginner YouTubers make the mistake of overlooking audio quality, but this can really take away from the overall quality of your YouTube video. The quality of your audio is important because if it is too loud or distracting, this could cause viewers to leave the video immediately (and ruin your watch time!). For great audio, external microphones are necessary as the built-in ones are typically not the best quality. Below are two options to consider on each end of the price range.
The Comica CVM-V30 Pro is a shotgun video microphone that attaches directly to your DSLR camera. This microphone includes a low-cut filter, a 3.5mm jack, as well as a wind muff. The Comica CVM-V30 Pro microphone is currently available on Amazon for $49.99. This seems like a great deal and a cost-effective way to make your YouTube video audio much better.
Rode is one of my absolute favorite brands when it comes to microphones. The first external microphone that I purchased was a Rode shotgun mic, and it immediately improved the quality of my videos. The Rode VideoMicPro is a higher-end shotgun mic that you can attach to your DSLR. The mic is currently available on Amazon for about $178.
If you are looking to elevate the audio quality of your YouTube videos even more, you could consider purchasing a Tascam DR-10L lavalier microphone. I have owned this microphone for years and it consistently provides high-quality audio for my YouTube videos. The Tascam DR-10L is currently available on Amazon for $199.
If you plan to vlog using your smartphone, a microphone would greatly improve your audio quality! The Movo VXR10 Universal Video Microphone can attach to your smartphone and immediately improve the quality of your audio. Check out this mobile video kit, which also includes the phone mount. The kit is currently available on Amazon for $69.95.
Video Editing Software Recommendations
Video editing is one of the most dreaded activities for YouTubers and video creators. Editing videos can take a lot of time, especially if you are new. Video editing software can also be extremely intimidating as well. Below are a couple of recommendations to help you decide on the best video editing software for YouTube.
Adobe Premiere Pro
My favorite video editing software is Adobe Premiere Pro. I have been using this software for years and it can do everything that I need from an editing standpoint. There are so many options to customize your video content and really take it to the next level. If you want to push the limits of your video content and maximize creativity, you should consider Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro currently costs $20.99 per month. If you are interested in learning how to use Adobe Premiere Pro, check out this article I wrote.
Final Cut Pro
Another great option for editing your video content is Final Cut Pro. I’ve seen other video creators use this program with a lot of success. There are also many options to edit and customize your video content. Final cut Pro costs $299.99 (a one-time fee).
YouTube Equipment for Beginners Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions related to YouTube equipment for beginners, as well as starting a YouTube channel.
What equipment do you need to start a YouTube channel?
The most basic equipment that you need to start a YouTube channel includes a camera and microphone. If you are not able to purchase a light, you could also use natural light. I think that it is better to purchase a light because your light source will be more consistent, but it is not an absolute requirement.
Can I start a YouTube channel without a camera?
While I do think that it is best to create a YouTube channel with actual video content, there are a lot of YouTube channels that are based primarily on audio. As an example, many people will create a podcast, and then upload it to YouTube. The podcast itself might not actually have video content but instead, feature an image while the audio plays in the background. Another example of YouTube channels that do not need a camera include gaming channels. The gaming screen is recorded and the YouTuber talks in the background.
Can I start a YouTube channel using only my phone?
Yes, you can absolutely start a YouTube channel using only your phone. While this is a very basic setup, it can definitely get the job done if this is all that you have. You can start off using your phone and once your YouTube channel grows, you can then start to upgrade your equipment.
How do I monetize my YouTube channel?
There are so many ways that you can monetize a YouTube channel. Even if your YouTube channel has not yet been approved by the YouTube Partner program, you can still monetize your channel by using affiliate links and selling products or services. You could also monetize your channel through YouTube partnerships. Check out this article that I wrote which explains a variety of YouTube partnership options for small channels.
How do you make your first YouTube video popular?
When it comes to setting up your YouTube channel for success, a big part of this is doing keyword and topic research. One way to help your first YouTube video succeed is to create a video around a trending topic or a keyword with low competition. It is important to note that trending topics may provide a lot of views for your videos initially, but targeting a keyword and optimizing your content for search will help to sustain viewership over the years.
What do YouTubers shoot videos with?
Most YouTubers create video content using either their phone or a DSLR camera. Some YouTubers also use point-and-shoot cameras.
How many views do you need on YouTube to make money?
To monetize your YouTube channel you need a combination of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. As you can see, monetizing your YouTube channel relies primarily on how long people have watched your videos and how many subscribers you have instead of how many views you have alone.
What kind of lights do YouTubers use?
Most YouTubers rely on ring lights to film YouTube videos. Many vloggers, however, do not use extra lighting in their videos since they are always on the go.
What types of videos do well on YouTube?
Most YouTube videos fall into three categories. These categories include blog content, educational content, and entertainment. To help your video content succeed, it is also really important to conduct topic research.
How long should your first YouTube video be?
The length of your first YouTube video really depends on the type of video that you are creating. As an example, if you create vlogs, you might want to make your video at least 10 minutes long. Alternatively, if you create educational content, creating shorter videos might be better because they help your audience to find the answers that they are looking for much faster.
Are you new to YouTube or a video creation pro? Let me know your thoughts on this list of YouTube equipment for beginners in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!
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