Equipment: The Essentials

So you’ve got your channel all planned out, you know exactly what you want to do and how you’re going to do it, so it’s time to get started.

The next important thing to do is gather your equipment.

In order to make top quality content, it’s essential to have good equipment. Now that doesn’t mean breaking the bank on a fancy camera or microphone, but you will (at least) need some basic stuff. Bottom line: people don’t watch anything in standard definition anymore, so you have to record in HD.

If you can’t record video in HD (at least at 720p but preferably at 1080p) it’s going to be hard for you to attract viewers.

But fear not: there are affordable options like the Logitech C920 webcam

Through my research, I discovered that a lot of YouTubers use this webcam when they are first starting out, so I decided to purchase it. So far, I’m very happy with the video quality, which records in 1080p HD, and it’s a simple plug-in-and-play device. I can’t speak to the audio quality from the mic on the webcam, but I imagine it wouldn’t be great, and there are some relatively cheap microphones you can pick up.

*I purchased this webcam when it was on sale for $79, so you should wait for a price drop if you can.

Once you have a camera, I suggest buying a microphone, because good quality audio is almost as important as having HD video. If your audio quality is poor, people will click away from your video even if the content is good.

I am using Blue Microphone’s Yeti USB Microphone, which records crisp, clean quality audio, and like the Logitech C920, it simply plugs into my computer and is good to go. If this mic is a bit out of your price range, I’ve heard some good things about the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone.

*I picked this mic up on sale as well for $99, so again I suggest keeping your eye out for a sale.

The camera and microphone are obviously the two most important purchases, but one thing I didn’t realize right away is that lights are also important. Wherever you are shooting, you need to make sure you have good lighting for your face and the room you’re shooting in. I’ll save my lighting explanation for another time, but keep this mind while you’re planning out your videos. I chose to buy some higher-end studio quality lights, but you can definitely get by with cheaper. Just see how well-lit your face is when your camera is on and add light sources if necessary.

On a side note, my channel is going to be about video games, which required me to purchase a game capture card, but I’ll save this discussion for when we discuss programs.

Remember, no matter what type of video you’re making, it needs to be recorded in HD and with good quality audio, or people won’t be interested in watching.

Next week we’ll talk programs to use for recording.


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