Welcome back to Content Creator Tips! Now that we have talked about Starting a YouTube Channel and How to Build Your Audience (don’t worry, more on this soon), it’s time to move into the how to’s. With any platform, you’ll need a camera. What is the best YouTube Camera and blogging camera out there? Buying a camera for blogging and YouTube is very different than just buying a camera for the family or general photography. Today’s post is all about the best YouTube camera for filming and the best blogging camera. Finding a versatile camera for both filming and blogging when starting out is important, especially in today’s market. Who better to talk about cameras then the man who shoots and edits all my photos (well the one’s I’m in) and lights me for every video? Take it away Chris (a.k.a. Hubs)…
In this series we will go over topics like what’s the best YouTube camera to buy that can also be used as a blogging camera, and how to shoot a flat lay. We will also talk about things you can do to increase your online presence and how you can potentially make content creating a full time career. We wanted the first few posts in this series to focus on the basics. This led us to ask ourselves, “what exactly are the basics?”
The advice that follows is meant for someone who is just starting out. We don’t recommend that anyone jump in with both feet and start spending tens of thousands of dollars on equipment. Because being a content creator is like many careers that seem super exciting and fun, there is A LOT of work behind the scenes. Therefore you may decide that this isn’t for you and then you’d be stuck with all this expensive equipment.
WHAT’S THE BEST YOUTUBE CAMERA?
Obviously the basic place to start is “what’s the best camera for YouTube that can also be used as a blogging camera?” our recommendation works for both video and still photography, which makes it a great camera for both YouTube videos and blogging. You never know which platform you’ll end up loving more, it’s good to find a camera that will give you options.
We get asked “What camera should I buy to start my youtube channel?” daily. This typically lead to a 30 minute to an hour conversation about what to buy and why. What follows is essentially the cliffs notes version of what we tell people.
5 Questions to ask yourself before buying a camera
When you’re looking to buy a camera, ask yourself these 5 questions:
Who’s channel and/or blog do I admire? Inspiration visuals are helpful when starting out.
Do I need continues autofocus in video? (for YouTube? YES!)
Do I need a flip out screen? (for YouTube? YES!)
Do I need wi-fi? (for blogging on the go and Instagram? Yes, but not 100% necessary, but nice to have)
What lenses do I need?
Where to shop?
Our two favorite places to shop are Samy’s Camera in person and BH Photo online. If you are on the East Coast, BH Photo will be your goto. West Coast? Samy’s. When we were first starting out, and knew absolutely NOTHING. The staff at these two places were knowledgeable, kind, and patently answered all of our questions. To this day we both prefer to go into Samy’s and touch the equipment and ask our questions before buying. Samy’s in Pasadena is our favorite location with the friendliest staff. They also have no tax sales specials a few times a year! BH Photo also has a great online chat to help answer all your questions.
TIP – Rent before buying! We learned this the expensive and hard way. If you are in California, Samy’s has a rental department that lets you rent pretty much anything you might want to buy. I recommend renting on a Friday after 3PM. They charge you for 1 day, but it’s not due back till Monday before 11am! That’s a whole weekend to play with the equipment and test it out before committing thousands of dollars. I do this especially with lighting.
WHAT DO WE RECOMMEND?
In the world of cameras, there is never really “the best.” There is always something better. The question should really be, what’s a good quality camera to buy when starting a YouTube channel and/or blog?
Whenever we are asked which camera is the best, or which camera should I buy, we usually say the Canon EOS Rebel T7i. We recommend this camera for several reasons. Mainly because for starting a youtube channel or blogging, this camera is SUPER versatile and relatively inexpensive in the world of cameras. Serein’s first official YouTube camera was the Canon EOS Rebel T5i an older version of the one we currently recommend. Before Serein discovered the Canon Rebel Series, she wasted hundreds if not thousands of dollars on horrible point and shoot cameras as well as camcorders, all of which produced horrible videos and made filming and editing a nightmare.
Why We Think The Canon Rebel T7i is The Best YouTube Camera or Blogging Camera for starting out
For shooting youtube videos it has continuous autofocus. Absolutely necessary when looking for a camera to shoot videos.
The touch screen rotates all the way around so you don’t have to buy a separate monitor to see yourself. OMG, Serein would be out of frame or out of focus before buying the Canon Rebel.
I believe it also comes standard with a help menu screen guide. This feature will help you understand the difference between things like ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture.
It’s wi-fi capable. This means you can shoot photos on the go and drop them directly to your phone to post or use the app on your phone as a remote.
Decent sound quality. While we recommend investing in an external mic like the Rode, this will do without.
There are many more technical reason why this camera makes sense to start with, but those examples alone make a pretty convincing argument.
When you’re starting out, trying to understand camera lenses and what they do can be like trying to put together IKEA furniture (with or without instructions) IT’S SO HARD!!!
In reality it’s not all that complicated. You obviously watch a lot of youtube and/or spend at least some measure of time on Instagram, so you should be pretty familiar with the trends and styles of videos and photos. So now it’s just simple math. Figure out what they use and copy it. That’s what we did when we started out. We showed the guys at Samy’s, a video and said how do we make our videos look like that? We also did that with blog photos and Instagram photos we liked.
I want a blurry backgrounds a.k.a. bokeh
If you notice, there is usually an overwhelming number of videos or photos with a “blurry,” background. This is what’s called bokeh. So, assuming that’s the look you’re going for, a great lens to get you started with the “blurry background” look is the canon 50mm f/1.8. It’s also pretty darn versatile and can just as easily get amazing still images as it does video. Make sure to get the auto focus version linked here. Serein used this lens for about 2 years before upgrading. You can also get a zoom lens for more versatility, but the bokeh won’t be as good as a fixed lens.
The Canon T7i (body only) retails for less than $800 and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 retails for less around $125. Total you should be just over $1,000 to get you started on your journey to becoming a full time content creator.
Keep in mind
that the advice I’m giving in this series, is just my particular slice of pie. There are any number of fantastic content creators from all over the world and each of us have our own way of producing the content that we share with you across Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and blogs we use to communicate with you. Some creators prefer different brands then canon. We happen to like canon products more, so that’s what we use. Our biggest hope with this content creator series is that, if you are seriously considering investing in yourself and your goal is to one day be a full time content creator, and have a creative outlet, that you can find some help in what we share with you here.
Thank you guys so much for all the years of support. Starting this series, has made us remember the early days and what it was like when Serein, had 1 subscriber (Me). Then she reached 2,000 youtube subscribers. I remember when she reached 5,000. We were so excited and couldn’t believe that 5,000 people cared abut what she was doing. It’s truly humbling when you think of it in that way. Each day, hundreds of thousands of people invite you in to their car or their bedroom or their office to spend a few minutes watching the material you conceptualized, filmed, edited and posted. It can be really hard to wrap your mind around, but one thing is for sure, as content creator, you’re not going to get very far if people don’t care about you and what you put out. So if you decide that this is your path, always remember that someone is watching your content when they could be watching someone else’s. So do your best to make it great.
Thank you guys again. We truly love you and are grateful that you’re on this ride with us.