Video Equipment Basics
What To Get Based On Budget (+ Where To Get It)
Check out the recommended video equipment below, based on your budget.
There are 3 major camera companies on the market today – Canon, Sony and Nikon. I’ve used cameras from all 3 companies over the years, but each line of cameras has its own pros + cons.
When it comes to camera equipment, there are many lenses and filters you can also use to change the “look” of your shot. We won’t go into extreme detail on this, but you should know the basics when investing in a camera and lenses.
TIME SAVING TIP: Get yourself at least 2 batteries for your camera, and keep them charged AT ALL TIMES. Video filming takes up a ton of battery power, so you always want to have a fully charged spare on hand.
Below is a list of important camera terms that you should understand when you’re investing in your video equipment. Understanding these concepts will help you to pick the right camera for you.
There are two basic types of lenses – Prime and Zoom. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length and zoom lenses have adjustable focal lengths.
A lens adjusted to 35mm is approximately what the human eye sees.
The image below shows you the difference between what is captured or not by using different focal lengths. For most YouTubers, I recommend having an adjustable lens, something that can at least go from 18 – 55mm.
Canon makes great DSLR cameras that are good for both photo and video but are large and not easily portable.
Sony has a line of mirrorless cameras that is great for on-the-go filming because they’re ultra compact and portable.
In my experience, Nikon cameras are great for photography, but their video capabilities are not as robust.
IMPORTANT CAMERA TERMS
Depth of Field: The distance between the closest and furthest points in an image that are in ‘acceptable focus’.
Narrow (or shallow, or small) Depth of Field: To have a shorter Depth of Field. To have a small amount of the image in focus. Creates a blurred background effect.
Wide (or deep, or large) Depth of Field: To have a larger Depth of Field. To have a large amount of the image in focus. Creates a crisp, clean image effect.
Bokeh: The blur aesthetic caused by an object lying outside of the Depth of Field. This is the effect that many beauty YouTubers use. You can purchase bokeh lenses that are specifically geared towards creating that blurred effect.
Focal length: How wide or telephoto your lens is. Eg. 24mm, 50mm or 200mm.
Focal distance: The distance you select on your lens. Eg. 50cm, 1m, 5m.Infinity ∞: The maximum focus distance on your lens.
Prime lens: A lens of fixed focal length. A lens that doesn’t zoom. Eg. Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-S ED G lens.
RECOMMENDED CAMERAS BY BUDGET
iPhone plus iOgrapher kit for lens flexibility
RECOMMENDED LENSES BY “LOOK”
Sports / Fitness (full frame of the room, wide shot)
Fashion / Beauty (subject in focus, blurred background)
35-55mm Lens or Bokeh Lens
Action / Adventure
Fish Eye Lens
GoPro underwater lens
Talking Head Videos
NOTE: Wide Angle Lenses include any lens under 18mm. These lenses are great for making spaces look bigger than they are, or for capturing an entire scene in the frame and showing scope.