What I Use to Film and Edit My YouTube Videos
Since I started YouTube a little over 2 years ago, I have had so many questions about what gear I use to create my videos. I actually have spent surprisingly little on filming and editing equipment and want to encourage you to start filming even if you only have a camera phone and free editing software. That’s what I started with, and mostly what I still use! That being said, let’s look at what’s in my tool box:
I have, since day 1, used my iPhone6s for all of my videos. Unless you count the 60 seconds or so from my Hong Kong vlog when I used footage from my boyfriend’s iPhone7 :) The iPhone camera is awesome and it has a built in stabilizer which makes videos seem a lot smoother than your average camera even if you’re walking and talking. The front facing camera isn’t the best for detailed long shots (such as if you’re doing a look book and want to still see yourself in the screen, you’ll look a little blurry - a mistake I’ve made many times) but it’s great for vlogging. Next month I will be finally trading in my sweet 6s for a Xsomething (still unsure of what I’ll get, I will update this when I purchase it!) only because the battery is absolutely dead. I have it on an external battery at all times now :’( I know I can get the battery replaced, but I figured I might as well upgrade after a good 3 years!
My external battery is from a convenience store here in Seoul (I know, Korean convenience stores have everything lol!) It lasts for daaaays and is a complete life saver, especially in winter when even the best phone battery gets ZAPPED in the cold. It’s a bit of a pain to carry the extra weight but its worth it for a fully charged phone. I also bring my charger and whenever I stop in a cafe during the day I’ll find a plug and charge it up.
MacBook Air from 2014 :)
I edited my very first videos on iMovie which is free on all Macs but then paid the money and got Final Cut Pro. To be honest, it’s worth it if you really want to make nicely edited videos. It’s really intuitive, there are so many free resources and tutorials online, and it’s just a really solid tool.
For color grading, I use the app Chromic as well as VSCO’s video editing features. I typically don’t color grade my videos, but I do when I want to capture a certain mood like in Hong Kong or a rainy day in Incheon :)
I mentioned that I film using my iPhone, but I’ve recently started playing around with lenses for my phone and have finally found one that isn’t cheap and you can see the edges of the lens around the rim on the frame >:( It’s the wide and macro lenses by RhinoShield (the people who make the ridiculously good phone cases so that your precious camera phone won’t get smashed!) and I highly suggest it if you've been interested in a wide lens for your phone. It snaps on to the phone case so unlike the clip ons I’ve used, your lens will always be perfectly lined up!
For my voiceovers, I honestly just hold my phone up like I’d normally do while vlogging and record a video of me talking. That way the volume is consistent with what it would be if there is any other vlogging footage in the video. I import the video to my computer, detach the audio from the video file and then delete the video so all I’m left with is the audio :) Voila! Voice over!
I bought a cheap phone tripod from a store here in Seoul called ArtBox that is known for having lots of gizmos and gadgets like that. They’re easily found online though! I highly suggest getting a tripod and NOT a selfie stick. From my experience, selfie sticks make your video even shakier and it’s much better to just use your arm or tripod.
And that’s really it! The most expensive thing was definitely Final Cut Pro, but if you’re just starting out there are tons of free editing software options out there for you to play with. If you have a camera phone and access to some way to edit, you have no excuse now :) Get to it!