Essential kit every wannabe YouTuber needs: T3 helps you go from zero to Zoella

Vlog like a pro with with the best gear and gadgets on the market

With top vloggers like Zoella and PewDiePie rumoured to be millionaires, it’s no wonder many people are considering sharing their lives and passions in bite-sized videos online in the hope of making it big. But would-be YouTubers not only have to invest their time in building up a loyal fan base, they have to fork out for some kit to make quality videos too. From a great camera to flattering lighting, we’ve rounded up some great gadgets to get vlogging wannabes started and maximise their chances of reaping the rewards of internet fame - from screaming fans and a bulging PO Box full of freebies, to book deals and a jet-set lifestyle.

A decent camera with a flip-down screen

Pro YouTubers unsurprisingly tend to invest heavily in their cameras, using different models for filming different videos. One of the most popular – daily vlogging – where YouTubers such as Alfie Deyes film what they get up to on any given day, requires a compact camera with a forward-facing screen. The Canon PowerShot S120 and G7 X models are widely used by YouTubers for this reason. Earlier this year Canon launched a refined version of its later model - the G7 X Mark II promising 'unprecedented levels of control and incredible image quality' thanks to the company's new DIGIC 7 processor, 20.1MP CMOS sensor and 4.3 xoptical zoom lens. It boasts superior autofocusing in low light, improved image stabilisation and better contrast. And busy vloggers can transfer HD footage to their computer at the touch of a button via a Wi-Fi connection.

Price: £549.99 | Buy Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

A roomy memory card

For vloggers, being able to store space-hungry HD video and transfer it quickly is a must, so a decent memory card is essential. While any SDXC memory card built for high capacity and faster processing speeds should do the trick, one of the fastest is Sandisk's Extreme Pro Microsdxc Uhs-II, which enables vloggers to capture 4K ultra HD content and transfer these massive files pretty quickly - saving them time and much frustration. The new card comes in 64GB and 128GB and delivers transfer speeds of up to 275MB/s.

Price: £199 for 128GB | Buy Sandisk Extreme Pro Microsdxu Uhs-II

Flattering lighting

If you fancy trying your hand at a fitness video or beauty tutorial, you certainly don’t want to be lit like Dracula in a horror film, or equally, let viewers cotton on your ‘spontaneous’ chatty video was filmed over four hours, thanks to changes in natural lighting. Many top vloggers transform their living rooms into mini TV studios with an array of lighting, but one relatively inexpensive piece of kit that’s commonly used is a fluorescent ring light. You can spot these in videos as it put a ‘ring’ reflection in people’s eyes. The light is typically positioned so the camera sits inside it and it bathes the vlogger in a warm and flattering glow, blurring their imperfections. Available in different sizes, they are often purchased with stands and are available from high street shops such as Jessops for less than £100.

Price: £84.99 | Buy Fluorescent Ring Light

An all-rounder DSLR

Many YouTubers have a penchant for pricey cameras and film their main videos using a DSLR (as well as using one as their main camera to take accompanying photos for their lucrative blog). While DSLRs can cost thousands, it’s possible to get one for beginners for under £300. For example, Nikon’s entry level D3300 gives user high resolution for a relatively low price. It has 24.2MP resolution to capture every little detail and a fast Expeed 4 processor for a shooting rate of 5 frames per second, which isn't bad for an entry-level camera. It has 1080p50/60 modes and the option of continuous focus during video recording, as well as a socket for an external microphone - essential for decent videos even if you are chatting about your dog on your bed.

A remote control

Once you have set up your lights and camera and artfully arranged cushions and props to create a suitably stimulating backdrop for a video, the last thing you want is to be continually jumping out of your seat to start and stop recording – especially if you have your hands full with make-up brushes/games controllers/spatulas and so on. Canon and Nikon both do cheap and cheerful remote controls that work with their DSLRs to save vloggers time, frustration and all-important memory card space. The shutter release on Canon's RC-6 IR can be operated from up to five metres away - handy if you live in a mansion like Zoella a.k.a. Zoe Sugg - and like Canon's gadget, Nikon's ML-L3 can be set with a two second delay. Lights, cameras, action.

Price: £17.99 for Canon and £29.99 for Nikon | Buy RC-6 IR

A super editing package

It’s not enough to record your every move, vloggers aiming for fame and fortune need some sharp editing skills and software is essential for crafting a snappy and engaging video. While there’s the option to invest in expensive programs like Final Cut Pro X, many vloggers use Macs which come with Apple’s iMovie. It’s still considered to be one of the best for basic video editing and offers the handy option to edit in a ‘timeline’ style – making it easy to cut rambling down to size. There are optional effects, filters and transitions that can be added (although most YouTubers give these a miss) and a library of sounds effects to choose from, as well as the ability to add professional-looking titles and credits. Perhaps most conveniently for vloggers though, there’s the option to upload content directly to YouTube or Vimeo.

Price: Free with a new Mac or £10.99 for older models | Buy Final Cut Pro X

A trusty battery pack

Many vlogs are filmed when YouTubers are out-and-about, meaning they risk running out of supplies, including battery power. While it’s easy enough to buy an extra battery for a digital camera, some vloggers like to film on their phone – for Snapchat teasers, for example. This means they can blast through their mobile’s battery in no-time and a portable charger is a good idea. Of course, there are a million different shapes, sizes and types of external power packs available, but style-conscious fashion vloggers may enjoy one that’s the shape of a unicorn. Firebox has an array of emoji-inspired 2,600mAh battery chargers – including the unicorn and the poo - with enough juice or one-and-a-half smartphone charges, so vloggers will never miss the chance for a hilarious snapchat or spot of self-promotion.

Price: £34.99 | Buy Emoji Battery Charger

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Jim Chapman, Style vlogger and husband of fellow YouTuber Tanya Burr, has said he uses his mobile phone to vlog as the video quality is good enough for daily footage. Jim captures his adventures in London and beyond on a Galaxy S7 Edge, mainly because he doesn’t like carrying an extra bulky camera around in his suit pocket. He said of the S7 Edge: 'I've never liked a phone more than I've liked this phone'. The handset, which boasts a curved screen, has a 12MP camera with a Dual Pixel Sensor so it can focus as quickly and accurately as our eyes, and focus quickly, even in dim light - essential for party-going YouTubers.

A picture-perfect case

YouTubers who use their mobile to vlog at events and parties want to look their best, even without the benefit of studio-style lights. And that’s where this clever phone case comes in. The LuMee is a light-up case that illuminates the part around the phone screen, a little like a ring light, enabling vloggers to take picture-perfect videos and selfies in the most flattering light possible. The sturdy case is available for different phone models and comes in a number of colours – even a trendy marble print. Selfie queen Kim Kardashian is said to be ‘obsessed’, which may make the gadget extra desirable for some and repulsive for others! 

Price: £40.49 | Buy LuMee

Handy headphones

With viewers hankering for more and more footage of YouTubers’ lives, they have to snatch every moment to edit and post videos, whether that’s in a café, on a train or in a swanky hotel room or jet. Whatever the case, a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a must. KSI uses Bose’s QuietComfort25, but the company has recently released a new pair - the QuietComfort 35. They include NFC to pair easily with devices and intuitive controls - handy for editing in a cafe with a lot of background noise. 

With microphones inside and outside the ear cups, the QC35 senses, measures and sends unwanted sounds to two digital electronic chips - one for each ear - that respond with a precise, equal and opposite signal in less than a fraction of a millisecond. This means they can block out the rumble of a train or plane engine in an instant and allow users to work in peace. 

The headphones have 20 hours of battery life, meaning they’re great for long haul flights. Bose has also released an in-ear equivalent – the QuietControl 30 - which also cancel out background noise and even let users adjust how much surrounding sound they want to block out or let in.

Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course. Sarah has reviewed a range of products for T3, from children’s electric toothbrushes to water bottles and photo printing services. There's nothing she can't become an expert in!