Photography Gear Reviews

What a $10,000 vlogging setup looks like

In this video we look at what is included in a $10,000 vlogging set up and why.

I know a lot of you are starting your own vlogs so I wanted to make this video to share a couple of gear issues I have come across over the last two years of vlogging. Like you I don't just have $10,000 lying around, I've worked hard and built this up patiently. Hopefully it will help you decide which gear is right for you and for your vlog.

A lot of money

The other day it came time to renew my camera insurance and I realised I had left most of my vlogging equipment off. I suddenly realised the gear I am using amounts to about $10,000. I am not saying this to brag, in fact, I found it frightening and so started to reassess and ask ‘why’ am i all this vlogging gear. 

It needs to be said that I do not have $10,000 dollars lying around at any one time. I have worked hard and bought these items over time and there’s lots of other things that I don’t spend money on. They are also the tools of my trade that I have expanded as I employ different cinematography techniques.

Canon 800D

The main part of my vlog setup is the Canon 800D/T7i. I use this as my main walk around camera for shooting myself. I use a DSLR over other more compact camera’s because of the bigger sensor and slightly better image quality.The Canon 800D is slightly cheaper than the Sony mirrorless cameras and the interchangeable lenses provides versatility. It doesn't do 4K but I guarantee the vast majority of people are not watching 4K. Its also much harder to edit and store 4k footage. The dual pixel autofocus provided by Canon on all their new cameras is second to none, since I have been using this camera to vlog it has never missed focus on my face once. The Canon T7i also has an external microphone port which is vital for capturing good sound. The on board sound on most cameras sucks.

The Lens

Most compact cameras have a focal length of 24-70mm. This just puts you a little too close to the camera for my liking. I use this Canon10-18mm lens which has an equivalent focal length of 16mm and just gets you abit further away in the image and feels a little more natural and lessintrusive. It’s also cheap, it’s light and it has image stabilisation.

Sound

At the moment I am using two microphone systems. I am looking to keep things as simple as possible so I want sound going directly into the camera. Recording separate audio is the best method when creating video but when shooting by yourself it is an extra hassle that you do not need.

First is the Rode Video Mic pro. This provides high quality sound and is very easy to operate. It is susceptible to wind noise though and can also pick up the sounds generated by the camera and lens autofocusing. 

I now mostly use the Rode Filmmaker kit. This gets the mic away from the camera but the wireless system still puts the audio straight into the camera. A lavlier mic is also perfect for windy conditions, simply turn your back to wind and you get nice clean audio even on extremely bad weather. 

Next level B-Roll

B-Roll is hugely important to keep the interest up during the course of your vlog. Most of my B-Roll is now captured on my Canon 5D Mark IV. The quality of the image is superb and it also has the ability to capture footage at 120fps which creates some awesome slo mo footage. 

Another good tip is getting a variable ND filters. These cut the light entering the lens and let me capture footage with a shallow depth of field even in very bright conditions. Its also a great way to smoothly adjust exposure during a shot so you just don't notice. 

DJI Mavic Pro

Next is the drone. Literally taking things to the next level these set the scene with the aerial perspective. Flying this thing is pretty easy. Getting good, cinematic footage is much harder. But it's been a fun learning process for me and they add a lot to my films. 

Accessories

I then also have other accessories like bags, tripods, various lenses and you never want to run out of batteries and memory cards. 

Is it all necessary?

So is all this gear necessary? if you're thinking about starting your own vlog or making your videos you definitely don't need all this gear. You and the story you are telling are much more important. The phone you are watching this on can do pretty much everything I've described. The most important thing is to start and gear can be improved and developed as your vlog starts to take off. 

Unboxing the Perfect Vlog Setup

The best gear for your vlog setup.

Vlogging is becoming increasing popular with more and more people starting it up everyday. The concept is simple. Record aspects of your life in video and share them with the world. Family vlogs have taken YouTube by storm where we are allowed into people's homes to see how they live their life. Whilst this does not sound immediately brilliant, many are funny, cute and show experiences that the viewer may also be going through. Topics cover everything from a toddler potty training to break ups and deaths.

Many vlogs are creative, entertaining and moving stories that also provide valuable information and  are almost always free. It is little wonder people are tuning into vlog channels in their millions with the full spectrum of lives on offer, "hey, this guy is cool, he's just like me".

With the eyes of the world turning to vlogs it is also no wonder so many people are starting their own. Where to start can be a daunting prospect. A good story and an entertaining or interesting host are a must, but beyond that all you need is a camera.  Any camera will do to get started. We all have a mobile phones with a camera on, so do not waste anymore time and get started today.

This is a photography channel though so I wanted to enter the vlog world with the best shot possible using the best gear and vlog setup I either have or can afford. I decided that flexibility and weight were key. With camera gear this is so often a trade off as the better gear is often heavier.

Below is a list of my gear for my vlog setup and thoughts around why I chose each item:

GorillaPod SLR-Zoom - I knew I wanted to use a GorillaPod thanks to the flexibility it offers. Using the GorillaPod as a selfie stick keeps the camera away from your body which provides a better shot. It also ensures you don't see your whole arm in the shot. It acts as a small tripod and can be strapped to a post, fence or other object providing the flexibility for different shots. The GorillaPod SLR-Zoom is half the weight and cheaper than the more expensive version that features more links.

Buy the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom in the UK | US

Canon EOS 700D - This is where a trade off occurs in this vlog setup. The Canon EOS 700D is cheap and light and that goes in it’s favour. However the camera does not feature the Dual Pixel Auto Focus system ,featured on mid range cameras like the Canon 70d and 80d, that provides smooth and reliable auto focus whilst shooting video. The 700D does have a Hybrid AF system that does a similar job but just not as fast or reliably. The flip out screen is another feature the Canon EOS 700D provides and this makes composing your shot much easier.

Buy the Canon EOS 700D in the UK | US

Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM - A wide angle lens really helps to take a handheld vlog to the next level. Having the subject appear further back from the camera coupled with the ability to capture more of the background creates a more appealing image and increased context. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM provides that. Many vloggers are using the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. This offers a similar wide angle and has very slightly better low light capabilities but the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM has a couple of killer features. The first is the STM focus. This is very quiet and smooth and it would be greedy to ask for more, it is literally silent whilst focusing video. Secondly it also has image stabilisation. When it comes to hand held video this can really improve the quality of your shot.

Buy the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM in the UK | US

RODE VideoMic Pro - Using an external microphone is virtually a necessity when using a DSLR camera on a Vlog. The onboard camera is very poor quality and will be offensive to many viewers. The RODE VideoMic Pro is light but provides great quality. The key to this is the built in hi-pass filter that cuts out low level hiss and background noise and also the 20dB boost. This allows the gain on the camera to be reduced to a minimum level meaning sound quality will be improved with very little hiss. The final piece to the sound puzzle is to add a wind shield to keep quality up when shooting outside in windy conditions.

Buy the RODE VideoMic Pro in the UK | US

I will be starting my own vlog very soon.

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