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.
If you're looking for the best vlogging camera, you should check out T3's guide below:
A 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 vlogging
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.