There is that word again. Vlogging. My spell checker doesn’t even recognize it, yet it has become one of the most recent trends in the blogosphere.
A vlog is the video equivalent of the blog and since the dawn of YouTube, vloggers and media outlets of all kinds have been flocking to it as a creative outlet for expressing content in a way that the written word or still photo just can’t. A real life window into the soul and personality of the presenter that if done right, can really make the content stand out.
Some of the best vloggers have gone on to become YouTube sensations with thousands of followers that sometimes go on to bigger and better opportunities.
How do I start?
Maybe you have thought about starting a little vlog on your own? Now I can’t help you with how you look and sound on camera, but equipment wise there are a few things you will need to know. Here is guide on the best vlogging cameras and equipment out there on the market today.
It is called vloggergear.com and what I really like about this website is how it is laid out. The home page reads more like a how to guide with a full table of contents which lays out a very logical order for the steps to take when learning how to be a vlogger. As a photographer, I thought it would be very elementary to make the switch from photographer to videographer but they are very different fields and for the blogger looking to switch to vlogger, or who just wants to add video to their outreach, this is the ideal place to start.
Here are a few more frequently asked questions bloggers have when making the switch to vlogging.
Do I need to buy a new camera?
I know what you are thinking. Do I need a special camera for vlogging in addition to what I use for general photography. The answer is that it depends. In today’s market, many DSLR cameras are fully capable of handling the workload of video as well as photo. Some better than others.
For example, you will want to know if the DSLR has a flip-out preview screen. This will allow you to more easily frame up shots for video, especially if you are going to be standing in front of the camera and talking. Small features like this could make all the difference.
Video quality, frame rate, and wireless capabilities are also very important things to consider before making a purchase. The great thing about vloggergear.com is they give you comparisons of different cameras in table format in order to more easily see what camera is right for you and your vlog.
Do I need more than one camera?
That really depends on what you are vlogging about. In some instances it may be more helpful to have a second camera to record a second angle simultaneously. This might be especially true if you are a food blogger. You could have one camera focused on you the whole time while the other may be shooting down from above on your cutting board or stove top.
Interviews can lend themselves to two cameras if say you are sitting across the table from your guest and you want to go back and forth between yourself and the interviewee (Think Charlie Rose).
Many other formats will lend themselves to just one camera and getting creative with your editing can give you a two camera feel even if you are only shooting with one.
What about the audio?
Well this is something you didn’t have to worry about with blogging and photography now is it? With vlogging, picture quality is only half of the equation. Audio quality is the other.
When deciding which camera to buy for vlogging, audio features will be a major concern. Does the camera come with an internal microphone? What is the quality of that microphone? Should I buy an external mic that attaches to the camera itself or should I invest in body microphones.
Nothing is worse than having a great video with terrible audio quality. Another option you have is to shoot the video without audio, and edit that in later by adding voice over narration or music during post production.
What other equipment will I need?
Tripod – One other absolute necessity for video is shooting from a tripod. With image stabilization becoming better and better in today’s cameras, many photographers (especially those constantly on the go) are shedding the tripod and shooting by hand. This can’t always be done of course, but it is certainly becoming more common.
Unless you have rock steady hands, a tripod is essential for vlogging. Right up there with poor audio, shaky video is one of the largest turn offs for a view. Of course if you are shooting a horror film, off tripod shooting might work for you!
Drone – The popularity of drones has soared (pun intended) over the last couple of years. Drones are becoming more and more accessible to the average consumer and aerial video is no exception.
Some of the most widely shared travel videos on the web are shot from drones over scenic places such as Hawaii and Italy. Drones give you a vantage point that you are not used to seeing and the results are phenomenal.
Do you need one right away? No, but if you have aspirations of vlogging with the top guns in the field, you are going to need one eventually.
What else do I need to learn about Vlogging?
If you have taken some basic photography courses or ready some books you are already ahead of the game. By now you probably already know how aperture relates to the f-stop and things of that nature.
Vlogging will of course add some variables like frame rate to the table that you will need to learn about. Thats why I recommend starting out at a site like vloggergear.com to really guide you with everything you need to know about vlogging cameras and equipment. Happy vlogging!
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