I made my first 25 travel videos, gained my first 1000 subscribers and even got my YouTube channel monetized with a video gear that cost me less than INR 1,000 or USD 15. Sounds too good to be true? Lets get into the details. In this post I will talk about the cheapest camera and equipment for YouTube beginners and the budget video gear that you can invest in if you are serious about YouTube.
When you are thinking of starting a YouTube channel and you have decided on your niche, the very next moment you start thinking about the equipment; what camera am I gonna use, is go pro enough for vlogging, do I need a mic, etc. You start googling ‘what is the best video gear for YouTube and there are hundreds of articles and videos giving expert advice. Different videos or articles may recommend different equipment from different brands but every single good piece of content will tell you this “Start with what you have”.
The Cheapest Video Gear for YouTube
Equipment matters a lot if you want to succeed on YouTube but it matters a lot less than the content itself. YouTube as a career looks very lucrative; you are your own boss, it looks easy, you can make a lot of money and it is a business that you can start with little or no investment.
Lured by the looks of it, a lot of people start doing YouTube without being sure of their niche and without working much on the content, unknown of the challenges in the YouTube world. As a result, a lot of these people are unable to grow on the giant platform and eventually, end up giving up early. This is exactly why I will not recommend you to invest in expensive video making equipment when you are just starting out.
This is the basic minimum gear that you need to start making YouTube videos:
Do not stress about the camera at all. Any camera that can give you a decent footage and has a 1080p option would work just fine. You have a camera at home, that’s awesome, use it. Or else just start recording with your smartphone.
Smartphones are the beginner’s best friend. They are convenient to carry, super-portable and the video quality is very decent even in a mid-range smartphone. If you are using a flagship smartphone, you can go a long way with it without investing in any camera. I used a OnePuls-5T for making my first 25 Videos. Not only I got my first 1000 subscribers with these videos but even my channel was monetized.
If you are looking for the best camera Smartphones, here are my recommendations:
1. Redmi K20 Pro: This is a flagship phone from Xiaomi that I am using myself. It has a good video quality with decent stabilization. I use it to record where I cant use my camera set-up.
2. OnePlus 7T Pro: This phone is a OnePlus flagship and the video quality is amazing. If your budget is around INR 40-50k, no need to think twice, just go for it.
3. Iphone 11-pro: I know it is very expensive but if you can manage to buy it you won’t be needing any mid-range cameras and gimbals for a long long time.
Audio is the single most important part of the video. People may watch a video with poor video quality but no one will watch it if the audio is poor. Smartphone’s audio can be acceptable in silent environments especially indoors where there is negligible background noise but it won’t work in high noise environments.
I totally recommend to get a microphone, right from the beginning. Now there are a variety of microphones available in the market- lavalier microphones, shot-gun microphones and Bluetooth microphones.
Lavalier microphones are the cheapest and as far as my research goes this Boya BYM1-Omnidirectional mic is unbeatable for the quality at an extremely cheap price. I have been using this for my voice overs since beginning and still using it.
Whether you are using a DSLR, an action camera or a Smartphone for shooting videos, tripod is a must-have equipment. There are two main types of tripods that a beginner may need for making videos- Studio tripods and travel tripods.
Tripods are available in the market for as low as INR 100/- or USD 1.5 and goes as high as INR 50k. I would recommend you to buy a tripod with a good quality that can work for a few months at the least.
Here is the third party gorillapod I used for making most of my videos.
Best Budget Video Gear to succeed on YouTube
The above super-cheap YouTube set-up can kick start your YouTube Channel but certainly cannot lead you to big numbers. However, the budget set-up that I have given underneath could take you a long way into your YouTube career. If you are serious about YouTube, you can consider investing in the following equipment.
Recently when I decided to upgrade from smartphone to a camera, I did an extensive research and here are the results:
Best Camera for Vlogging and B-Roll
I was looking for a camera for versatile use which is handy, light weight and can be used for vlogging as well as cinematic shots. After a lot of research I decided to buy the Canon M50, which since its launch has become one of the most popular cameras.
The benefits of Canon M50:
- It is a mirrorless camera which makes it exptremely compact.
- The camera has a flip screen, super-helpful feature while vlogging.
- The camera is equivalent to a DSLR in the sense that you can mount different camera lenses on it with the help of an adapter. So it is great for taking cinematic shots.
- All these features come at a budget friendly price point of
Best Camera for Vlogging & Action Sports
The narrow design, water resistance capability and the superb video stabilization makes Go-pro a must-have camera. Also, since it is an action camera, in certain places and situations go-pro is the only choice you have. For eg: For filming underwater, for moto vlogging and for vlogging while doing action sports. You should buy a go-pro:
- As your primary camera if you need a camera only for vlogging. The B-Roll from a go-pro doesn’t look that good.
- As an alternative camera since you can take it to places where your main camera setup can’t go.
Best Camera for Vlogging only
Canon G7X Mark II is a great vlogging camera that is used by a lot of vloggers. But it has limitations, you can’t connect an external mic to it nor can you change lenses on it.
I am currently using a shotgun mic from Rode, the Rode VideoMicro which costs somewhere around INR 5,000/- in India. But buying it was a mistake since, Boya is offering a similar mic with similar built and audio quality at only about INR 1,500. So, I would recommend you to buy this Boya BYMM1.
I use three three tripods now. One of them is already mentioned above that I use with my mobile phone. Here are the other two:
1. Digitek DTR 550LW Lightweight Tripod (Maximum Load up to 5 kg)
4. Gimbals / Stabilizers
Shooting only with camera and a tripod will not be enough if you want to make high quality cinematic videos. You will need a gimbal, a device designed to stabilize the cameras and hence, producing stabilized footage. Gimbals are available for smartphones as well as for cameras. You can buy one for your mobile or for camera or for both depending on your need and budget.
If you want some decently good cinematic shots in your videos (becomes a must for travel videos) and have a low budget, then go for the smartphone gimbal. The best gimbal in the market is undoubtedly the DJI Osmo Mobile 3.
If you want to produce high quality stabilized footage from your camera, then go for the DJI Ronin S.
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beatspice · March 8, 2020 at 4:55 am
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Thomas Crandall · March 11, 2020 at 10:24 am
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ana · April 23, 2020 at 1:51 pm
I have read your article complete. I found it very informative and useful.This is really a helpful article.
So Thanks for sharing this article…
Abhinav · April 24, 2020 at 12:51 pm
Thanks for stopping by 🙂
nancy Freeman · May 27, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Great Post.Thank You For Sharing!
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Brijesh harkhani · July 6, 2020 at 1:46 pm
Pete, I absolutely love this post. Thank you for all this great advice! I’ve been struggling to learn how you capture the sun’s rays so perfectly in your pictures. Which settings do you generally use?
Richard Bevill · October 14, 2020 at 5:13 pm
Got all the things I need. This would save a lot of time. My son is trying to so something on youtube. I hope he will be happy to get this things 🙂
Charles Theisen · October 14, 2020 at 11:21 pm
Great checklist. I was about to buy some gear for creating a tutorial. I’ll get something from here for sure. Specially the stabilizer.
Elly Camron · December 29, 2020 at 10:10 am
Thanks for sharing
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Hasan Kairu · April 1, 2023 at 7:12 pm
Great post!Great post!! I love to gather information on Best camera. Reading interesting things on cameras amazes me and I also keep on buying the latest cameras!