The best camera for YouTube and other essential filmmaking tech and gadgets

Get noticed fast by investing in these essential accessories that will take your filmmaking to the next level

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Shooting video clips or even making your own films and documentaries has never been easier or cheaper. To get started, all you need is a decent camera or, alternatively, a new smartphone, both of which will get the job done, especially if you’re looking to get some content onto YouTube.

When it comes to a near perfect but reasonably affordable camera then the Panasonic GH5 is considered by many as the one to go for. This mirrorless monster is compact enough to be unobtrusive on the go, but packs so much explosive power that it is used by many filmmakers to produce full-blown movies.

As for the smartphone route, then the latest Google Pixel 2 smartphone does a fine job of capturing pristine video, even if you’re shooting on the move or in less than perfect conditions such as low-light scenarios. Of course, there’s the Apple iPhone too, but Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro is also a good bet if you prefer all things Android.

The camera is only part of the story though, because in order to perfect your videography technique you’ll benefit hugely from our collection of essential filmmaking accessories. First up… it’s all about the sound…

Bad audio is often the main downfall of many a filmmaking production. So, it’s essential to invest in an add-on microphone to ensure that you capture what people are saying. Built-in mics are generally inferior and often too far removed from someone’s voice to pick up dialogue clearly.

12 best filmmaking gadgets for YouTube

1. RØDE VideoMic GO On Camera Microphone

Simply the best for audio

Reasons to buy
+Top quality+Extremely versatile
Today's best RØDE VideoMic GO deals

If you don’t get the audio levels right at the time, you certainly won’t be able to add in that missing quality when it comes to editing your footage. One of the best brands out there is RØDE and they make a wide variety of top-quality microphones to suit all kinds of filmmaking and audio recording tasks. The RØDE VideoMic GO On Camera Microphone makes good sense as it’s affordable, packs a punch, is well made and thanks to its 3.5mm mini-jack can be mated with all manner of devices.

2. RØDE DeadCat GO Microphone Wind Shield

Crystal clear audio can be yours

Reasons to buy
+Very affordable+Well made
Today's best RØDE DeadCat GO deals

Similarly, the RØDE DeadCat GO Microphone Wind Shield is an ideal add-on for the VideoMic. This fluffy attachment helps reduce wind noise and other intrusive sounds, which should leave your audio sounding crisp and clear.

3. Walimex Video Rig CamFloPod

Say hello to smooth footage

Reasons to buy
+Very versatile+Easy to use
Today's best Walimex Video Rig CamFloPod for DSLR deals

Next up, you’ll want to secure smooth and seamless shots when filming, so a video rig makes an awful lot of sense. You mount your camera or phone into a cradle that allows you to film whilst on the move and avoid lots of shakes and bumps ruining the resulting footage. For a DSLR camera the Walimex Video Rig CamFloPod is a good example, but you can get these for smartphones too.

4. Zhiyun Smooth 3 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal

Sublime video and super slick recording

Reasons to buy
+Super smooth recording+Quality engineering
Today's best Zhiyun Smooth 3 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal deals

A prime example of a smartphone stabiliser is the Zhiyun Smooth 3 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal. This natty little bit of kit boasts 3 brushless motors, 3-axis 360 degrees unlimited rotation and, while it might not be the cheapest option, pretty much delivers silky smooth footage from your phone in any kind of scenario.

5. Beastgrip Pro

A good, universal option

Reasons to buy
+Allows lots of attachments+Adds on a lens
Today's best BEASTGRIP PRO Universal Smartphone Camera Rig with Wide Angle Lens deals

Another versatile option is the Beastgrip Pro, which is a universal smartphone camera rig that’s not so much a gimbal as a protective frame with a wide-angle lens on board. It also allows you to attach other bits of kit, such as LED lights and microphones so you can have all of your gear on one solid platform.

6. Manfrotto 055 Aluminium Tripod

A robust, solid filming platform

Reasons to buy
+Ensures steady shots+Affordable option
Today's best Manfrotto 055 Aluminium Tripod with XPRO geared head & Tripod Bag 75 cm deals

For stationary shooting then a tripod is the way to go. Manfrotto has a whole range of them that work with just about any photographic kit. They’re lightweight, portable and easy to use but will also transform your footage. Plus, you can get one to suit just about any budget.

7. Rotolight Neo 2

Let there be light

Reasons to buy
+Respected brand+Superior illumination
Today's best Rotolight NEO 2 deals

With great sound and super-steady footage, your filmmaking prowess will be improving by the minute. One other addition to your kit arsenal that’s really worth considering is illumination. Even in daylight a lot of scenes will look better with the top-quality edge provided by the well-respected Rotolight Neo 2, which is an LED light that really is the business.

8. Samsung 64GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDHC

A top storage solution

Reasons to buy
+Surprisingly affordable+Reads and writes rapidly
Today's best Samsung EVO PLUS/MC64G 64GB microSDXC Class 10 UHS-I Memory Card deals

Capturing all this footage is going to mean you’ll be eating through memory pretty swiftly too. Thankfully, storage is cheap and plentiful, with countless card options to suit all pockets. The beefy new Samsung 64GB EVO Plus Class 10 Micro SDHC with adapter is one option to consider with its fast read/write capabilities.

9. Atomos Ninja Inferno

A professional-level piece of kit

Reasons to buy
+Crystal clear screen+Capacious recording space
Today's best Atomos Ninja Inferno deals

If you’re serious about your shooting then another item for the kitlist is a gadget like the Atomos Ninja Inferno. This is what is known as a field recorder and monitor, so it lets you get a cinematic view of things when you’re on location and capture those sizeable high-resolution scenes via the on-board memory. It’s got HDMI ports, has a 7.1" screen and unlocks the full potential of 4Kp60 recording from something like the Panasonic GH5.

10. Koolertron Magic Arm

Perfect for ground shooting

Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up+Solid construction
Today's best Koolertron 7 inch Adjustable Friction Articulating Magic Arm deals

Want to add some cool visual appeal to your otherwise stationary filmmaking? Well, a gadget like the Koolertron dolly gizmo is perfect for delivering mobility and smooth footage at the same time. You mount your camera on this and it can then be used to capture motion shots for, in this case, models like the Canon 5D2, 60D, 7D and 550D. You can get these accessories for just about any camera though.

11. Konova Camera Slider dolly K2

Pan and track like a pro

Reasons to buy
+Delivers pro results+Versatile setup
Today's best Konova Camera Slider dolly K2 100cm deals

Another great way of adding production value to any footage is to invest in a slider. The Konova Camera Slider dolly K2 100cm is a fine example of this kind of kit. It’s effectively a small track that you mount your camera on, which then enables smooth tracking shots to be captured with a real professional cinematic or TV production look. They can be used in a variety of different angles too and even upright.

12. Neewer Aluminum Alloy Camera Movie Video Cage Kit Filmmaking System

A complete kit option

Reasons to buy
+Offers endless scope+Allows follow focus
Today's best Neewer Aluminum Alloy Camera Movie Video Cage Kit deals

Finally, if you’re really aiming to turn pro then something like the Neewer Aluminum Alloy Camera Movie Video Cage Kit Filmmaking System is worth a look. This is a rig-cum-accessory construction that will give you extra production oomph if you’re using a camera from the likes of Canon, Nikon, Sony or Olympus. The system lets you mount other accessories onto it and also delivers follow-focus capability, which gives extra production value if you’re really aiming to impress with that next YouTube video.