YouTube: GEAR

By Linda Xiong

You have your idea, your audience and your niche. Let’s burn some money and buy a whole bunch of stuff at Best Buy. If you have lots of money you can stop reading now, if not, continue.

True, you do not need a lot of money for premium equipment to have a great YouTube channel. However, throughout the process it’s nice to learn what it takes to make it great and you will learn great technology as well.

There are two big types of videos:

  • Screen Capture video, such as gaming channels.
  • Everything else.

Screen Capture, not my level of expertise, takes a game and records while playing with voice to a file (or live) and uploads to YouTube. There are a few ways to do this. Many newer computers, games that can play on a PC, have built it screen capture software. My OMEN laptop comes with screen capture software for example. Older computers will have to download screen capture software, some are free and some are not. Games played only on consoles will need a game capture card, which looks more like a charger cord battery that can take the game being played to your computer to be captured.

In the ‘everything else’ category, you have vlogs, tutorials, short films, and those types. A really good smartphone is a great start! Many smartphones now have good video quality. Remember to play with the video settings and change to UHD (Ultra High Definition) as with my LG phone. If you have cash to spend, definitely upgrade to a point and shoot type like the Canon G7X or the cream of the crop, a DSLR camera.

Next, I really recommend a camera stand of some type. A tripod or gorilla arm type to hold and secure your phone or camera will make looking for a thin ledge to place your phone a silly memory of the past.

Lighting, again, not my area of expertise nor my level of patience. Lighting is important because the camera can take up to 50% of light exposure making the video darker. There are amazing products out there now like large ring lights, which can be the size of a pillow or the size of your hand! Outdated are the huge umbrella studio lights, gone! Lighting may not be for everyone, for example if you have a podcast style channel, there’s no need for visual thus no need for lighting. For me, I take Mother Nature’s best light: the sun! And sometimes, white bedding sheets.

Sound, yes sound! That’s my area of interest. Did you know that with video, more people are forgiving with poor visual video but are less forgiving with sound? Sound is very, very important. It adds human elements to your viewer. I recommend starting with a simple lapel style lavaliere microphone, the kind that clips to your shirt, which run around $20 on Amazon. Afterwards you can upgrade to a wireless microphone, then depending on the video style, Yeti microphones are what professionals use, but that does mean professional money too. Search ‘Think Media’ on YouTube. There’s immense gear review on that channel.

Finally, editing. But before that, the device you will use to edit: your computer. Whether it’s a PC or laptop, this will be your strongest ally or your most wicked nemesis! Remember that editing uses a lot of computer processing power, and when you’re up at 2am because your editing software keeps crashing, make sure you’re not holding any hard objects because you might want to throw it at your screen! I really recommend getting a good, the best you can afford, computer. This will make editing, Photoshop thumbnails about a zillion times easier. As far as software, I chose Sony Vegas movie editing. I don’t think I was brave enough for Adobe movie editing, but did go for their Photoshop. I spent just over $1000 for my OMEN laptop and software at Best Buy. Talk to Dan at the Roseville location, he was very friendly and helpful!

Those are my gear tips from Mom Gamers YouTube. Remember to check out my channel and as always, click that like button, tell a friend and subscribe.

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