Art and Photography

Started a YouTube Channel - This is the equipment I bought

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Started a YouTube Channel - This is the equipment I bought

Hey guys,

So I recently started a YouTube channel geared towards Tech, and have been looking into equipment to improve the overall quality.

The first thing I wanted to address was the lighting - I purchased a LED light over the weekend (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00V6Y ... UTF8&psc=1) and it looks great, but I have yet to record a video with it (probably will do it tonight or tomorrow). The drawback is that these use 6xAA batteries, which die fairly quick from what I've heard, so I purchased a battery pack for it as well ($20 - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00M2T ... UTF8&psc=1).

The second thing is audio - I purchased this (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00EPZ ... UTF8&psc=1) which hasn't arrived yet. I did try out the GHB Microphone (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01I2L ... UTF8&psc=1) which did have an improvement over the Nexus 6P microphone, but the cord was too short.

The final thing I purchased was a mini flexible tripod - which was about $35 (overpriced IMO, but I need a good mini-tripod...): https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00SZH ... UTF8&psc=1


All of my recording is done on my Nexus 6P at 1080p resolution, so the microphone I bought is compatible with Smartphones. I want to minimize my investment in the equipment, but still get about a 80-90% quality output for under $100.


What are your thoughts on the equipment I've listed above? Really all I need is 1 good light, 1 good microphone, and the tripod for the camera. Tried to keep costs under $100, but my total is about $105, which is acceptable. I did try a cheaper LED light ($35) but the output was slightly yellower... not sure if the $10 savings if worth the lower quality LEDs.

Also, if you would like to check out my channel, you can find it here: [removed]
Note: the audio/video quality is all from the Nexus 6P, videos that I'll be uploading towards the middle/end of this week will be with the new setup.
Last edited by Mars2012 on Jan 23rd, 2017 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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21 replies
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Here are my thoughts, you might not like them

- Your light source is way too small and it will not help your videos much, most popular Youtubers use 2+ large light leds or one large ring light
- Did not have a chance to listen to audio since I am at work but wired microphones can be very annoying to use
- It really shows that you're filming from a phone and that is a bad thing

There are ways to save money on gear to start a Youtube channel but hoping to have good quality for $100 is just impossible.
I have set up some studios for beginners and the minimum budget I ask for equipments is $2000.
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Aug 12, 2004
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I agree with all of the above. Also, monetizing your video when you are trying to build an audience? You barely have 100 views per video (and likely several generated from this thread).

Needs to be enticing to watch, and right now nothing is enticing us to watch (phone recording is a nono for this type of channel).
[OP]
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aerok wrote: Here are my thoughts, you might not like them

- Your light source is way too small and it will not help your videos much, most popular Youtubers use 2+ large light leds or one large ring light
- Did not have a chance to listen to audio since I am at work but wired microphones can be very annoying to use
- It really shows that you're filming from a phone and that is a bad thing

There are ways to save money on gear to start a Youtube channel but hoping to have good quality for $100 is just impossible.
I have set up some studios for beginners and the minimum budget I ask for equipments is $2000.
Firebot wrote: I agree with all of the above. Also, monetizing your video when you are trying to build an audience? You barely have 100 views per video (and likely several generated from this thread).

Needs to be enticing to watch, and right now nothing is enticing us to watch (phone recording is a nono for this type of channel).

Sorry guys - the videos up right now don't use the new light and microphone I got. The ones I'll be uploading in a few days will be with the new setup.

I don't understand why recording off a phone camera is a "nono"? It is still a full and proper 1080p video - it's not like I'm showing HDR images or something that needs the best of the best. But I agree that the current videos up look poor in some situations because of the lighting. Hopefully the next video will be better - it's a slow process for me, and the first time I'm doing video/editing, so it's a learning curve! Thanks for the advise and criticism.
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Great videos man. Keep it up

It's not the camera gears, it's the contents.
$35/10GB Koodo
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[OP]
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yao416 wrote: Great videos man. Keep it up

It's not the camera gears, it's the contents.
Thank you! I appreciate the kind words!
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yao416 wrote: Great videos man. Keep it up

It's not the camera gears, it's the contents.
blackdragon12 wrote: Sorry guys - the videos up right now don't use the new light and microphone I got. The ones I'll be uploading in a few days will be with the new setup.

I don't understand why recording off a phone camera is a "nono"? It is still a full and proper 1080p video - it's not like I'm showing HDR images or something that needs the best of the best. But I agree that the current videos up look poor in some situations because of the lighting. Hopefully the next video will be better - it's a slow process for me, and the first time I'm doing video/editing, so it's a learning curve! Thanks for the advise and criticism.
I shared what experts would say and suggest you do. If you don't see a difference in quality between your videos and the basic makeup tutorial videos on Youtube then nothing I say will change your mind.

It's not always about the gear, you can download Cinema4K on Android and have crazy beautiful shots but I highly doubt any of us here have a good understanding on color grading and complex post work.
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blackdragon12 wrote: Sorry guys - the videos up right now don't use the new light and microphone I got. The ones I'll be uploading in a few days will be with the new setup.

I don't understand why recording off a phone camera is a "nono"? It is still a full and proper 1080p video - it's not like I'm showing HDR images or something that needs the best of the best. But I agree that the current videos up look poor in some situations because of the lighting. Hopefully the next video will be better - it's a slow process for me, and the first time I'm doing video/editing, so it's a learning curve! Thanks for the advise and criticism.
Compare it to what you are trying to compete against. The light setup and microphone alone won't change the fact you are recording from a phone, while other review channels are clean and using better camera hardware. Phone being 1080p doesn't matter if the shot is not stable, and focuses in and out with lighting fluctuations.

You have 8 subscribers and about 200 views max for each video, which are monetised. Check your stats, and you will likely have a high bounce rate within the first 5 seconds of your video (regardless of views).

Note I am not saying anything bad about the content. But to get viewers, your channels needs to be enticing to view.
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Think of the Childre…
Youtube FuriousPete....this Sauga Canuck is rich off Youtube!

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Strong start on YouTube OP, you should grow at a decent rate with content and thumbnails like that. I agree you don't need to spend mega $$$$ on equipment, as phones, point and shoots, and action cams are pretty decent nowdays. For lighting I just try to use natural window light as much as possible as I have not found an artificial light solution yet that is as good without spending a ton of money. I also do YouTube videos mostly on RC, TECH, and CARS. I just uploaded an in car vlog today that only uses a cheap Polaroid Cube and Xiaomi Yi camera (thats around $200 combined!) And I'm happy with the results. Check it out: [removed]
All my vids just use the built in camera micrphones. So I'm also thinking about improving audio lately and the Boya M1 you got is my choice as well for a Lav mic. For my Phone shotgun I'm going to try a RODE VideoMic ME. It's on sale at moogaudio (canada) for 59 bucks. As long as your phone has a headphone jack on the opposite side as the camera, it should work great.
Last edited by Mars2012 on Jan 31st, 2017 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[OP]
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Netcruzer wrote: Strong start on YouTube OP, you should grow at a decent rate with content and thumbnails like that. I agree you don't need to spend mega $$$$ on equipment, as phones, point and shoots, and action cams are pretty decent nowdays. For lighting I just try to use natural window light as much as possible as I have not found an artificial light solution yet that is as good without spending a ton of money. I also do YouTube videos mostly on RC, TECH, and CARS. I just uploaded an in car vlog today that only uses a cheap Polaroid Cube and Xiaomi Yi camera (thats around $200 combined!) And I'm happy with the results. Check it out: [removed]
All my vids just use the built in camera micrphones. So I'm also thinking about improving audio lately and the Boya M1 you got is my choice as well for a Lav mic. For my Phone shotgun I'm going to try a RODE VideoMic ME. It's on sale at moogaudio (canada) for 59 bucks. As long as your phone has a headphone jack on the opposite side as the camera, it should work great.
Thanks for the feedback! Let me know how the rode is once you get it!
Last edited by Mars2012 on Feb 4th, 2017 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edit in quote
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Sep 4, 2016
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aerok wrote:
There are ways to save money on gear to start a Youtube channel but hoping to have good quality for $100 is just impossible.
I have set up some studios for beginners and the minimum budget I ask for equipments is $2000.
+1

G7
Decent tripod
Rode Videomic Pro
LED hotshoe lights with diffusers (a good quality compentent set you are looking at $600 a pair).
Parrot teleprompter
Cheap green screen

and go from there.

Sorry but unlike others, I have a far too exciting life to be bothered watching redundant unboxing videos. This is a fad that is so overdone on Youtube, it's out of control really. Everyone is doing it and it doesn't impress me. Everyone on youtube thinks that they are a videographer because they have a vlogging camera. Very few videos I've seen where the vlogger would even know anything about WB, lighting, composition, etc. That's why so many vlogging videos are so generic and run of the mill.
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DiamondDallasPage wrote: Sorry but unlike others, I have a far too exciting life to be bothered watching redundant unboxing videos. This is a fad that is so overdone on Youtube, it's out of control really. Everyone is doing it and it doesn't impress me. Everyone on youtube thinks that they are a videographer because they have a vlogging camera. Very few videos I've seen where the vlogger would even know anything about WB, lighting, composition, etc. That's why so many vlogging videos are so generic and run of the mill.
Right? I don't get how people will spend thousands on other things but when it comes to vlogging in a sea of well made videos, they think low quality cheap videos are good enough. Not only that, amazing video equipments are literally 10x times cheaper than a few years ago.
[OP]
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DiamondDallasPage wrote: +1

G7
Decent tripod
Rode Videomic Pro
LED hotshoe lights with diffusers (a good quality compentent set you are looking at $600 a pair).
Parrot teleprompter
Cheap green screen

and go from there.

Sorry but unlike others, I have a far too exciting life to be bothered watching redundant unboxing videos. This is a fad that is so overdone on Youtube, it's out of control really. Everyone is doing it and it doesn't impress me. Everyone on youtube thinks that they are a videographer because they have a vlogging camera. Very few videos I've seen where the vlogger would even know anything about WB, lighting, composition, etc. That's why so many vlogging videos are so generic and run of the mill.
That's the beauty of youtube. Just because you don't find a particular video interesting, doesn't mean the next person who comes across it won't.

I'm sure there's topics that you find interesting that a bunch of people find boring. That's just human nature, but the purpose here is not to criticize the niche or topic, it's the quality of the production.

The equipment that you listed is of course good, but for someone just starting out, it doesn't make sense imo to put in that much of an investment. If I can get 80% of the quality for 10% of the price - I'm not complaining :-)

Thanks for your feedback either way.
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Sep 4, 2016
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aerok wrote: Right? I don't get how people will spend thousands on other things but when it comes to vlogging in a sea of well made videos, they think low quality cheap videos are good enough. Not only that, amazing video equipments are literally 10x times cheaper than a few years ago.
I do a fair amount of video work in my day job and this is what I think. If you are serious about having a successful Youtube channel so you can unbox everything from electronics to groceries and want to rant about this and that, then do it right. Why cheap out on the gear and look just like any other generic channel? Sorry Youtubers but positioning yourself dead centre in the frame every single time with you sitting on your bed and your stuffy animals and pillows in the backdrop does not impress me (which is pretty much 80% of the Youtube community). I couldn't careless about what your house looks like or how messy your bedroom is.

Get a green screen and make your videos stand out. But a green screen is not for everyone. You have to know about lighting, composition and know how to use Premiere Pro. In other words know how to finish videos more than just splicing and cutting clips using imovie. Know how to control the tempo of your videos using transitions and different effects in Premiere Pro. Know the ins and outs of cinematography and what keeps your viewers engaged. Staring at your face for 10mins with you talking about how you just bought a bag of potato chips with your stuffy animals in the background does not engage me, it puts me to sleep. And then of course if you really want to go high end and expand your limits, you start bringing in guests and have a multi-camera setup.

I mean I've seen some Youtubers who film with what looks to be either their smartphone or a $50 P&S camera from Walmart (that doesn't even have IS) so of course as they start filming from their filthy laundry room of all places in their house, you are greeted with a super annoying shaky camera while the person is walking. Uhhh.

For instance, (though I am not into gaming), I have seen AngryJoe's channel and I have to say he does it right. Not only that but his channel and his quality of his videos are bar none far above any other run of the mill garbage on Youtube. Not only does he have a green screen but he tries to play actor in his videos, has a decent sense of humour, good tone of voice and expression, has animated effects and obviously has the skill to edit video. If you can edit video, use Photoshop, know the basics of photography and videography and know After Effects enough to buy and customize lower thirds and intro templates off VideoHive, then you are 100,000 steps ahead of 90% of the Youtube community.

You also have to know about the use of meta tagging, and innotations on Youtube, how to start and finish your videos with your branding and link your videos so that as viewers are finishing viewing one, they will be lured into watching more from your channel (which most Youtubers fail at). Again, this is the whole "business" aspect of Youtube. All these channels that I see with no intro, no branding what so ever and it just starts off each time with the same old generic "Hey guys"..."Hey guys"....BORING!

I watch quite a few of Youtuber's photography channels and Tony and Chelsea Northup and Art of the Image do it right. Tony and Chelsea have the whole business aspect (innotations, link, meta tagging) all down pat and Art of the Image has the green screen down pat with a G7, rode video mic pro, etc. Mind you, these guys are all professional photographers so they will know 1000x more than 95% of the vlogging community.
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DiamondDallasPage wrote: I do a fair amount of video work in my day job and this is what I think. If you are serious about having a successful Youtube channel so you can unbox everything from electronics to groceries and want to rant about this and that, then do it right. Why cheap out on the gear and look just like any other generic channel? Sorry Youtubers but positioning yourself dead centre in the frame every single time with you sitting on your bed and your stuffy animals and pillows in the backdrop does not impress me (which is pretty much 80% of the Youtube community). I couldn't careless about what your house looks like or how messy your bedroom is.
(...)

There is also: https://www.youtube.com/user/marquesbrownlee

He doesn't shoot with a green screen but has amazing lighting.

However it does help him to shoot with a Red Weapon 8k :D
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blackdragon12 wrote:
The equipment that you listed is of course good, but for someone just starting out, it doesn't make sense imo to put in that much of an investment. If I can get 80% of the quality for 10% of the price - I'm not complaining :-)
That's the thing, you cannot get 80% of the quality for 10% the price.
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aerok wrote: That's the thing, you cannot get 80% of the quality for 10% the price.
I don't think that the quality of the videos are that bad. Obviously not as good as a DSLR dedicated camera, but it's good enough so you can see me, my surroundings, and the graphics on the screen. Here's the latest video I made with better lighting and sound as well: [removed link]

One thing I'm on the lookout for is a stabilizer for my phone for B-roll footage.
Last edited by Mars2012 on Feb 11th, 2017 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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blackdragon12 wrote: I don't think that the quality of the videos are that bad. Obviously not as good as a DSLR dedicated camera, but it's good enough so you can see me, my surroundings, and the graphics on the screen. Here's the latest video I made with better lighting and sound as well: [removed]

One thing I'm on the lookout for is a stabilizer for my phone for B-roll footage.
What video editing program are you using?
Last edited by Mars2012 on Feb 11th, 2017 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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