YouTube has already become a permanent fixture on our browsers, phones and tablets - each of us likes, less often or more often, to pass the time with an interesting video, especially if it was shared by one of our favorite channels. It's currently the most popular form of content we're exposed to online, because it can convey a lot of interesting information in a simple, accessible and engaging way. That's why traditional text-based blogs with photos have been largely supplanted by vlogs - over the past few years, they have become a key way to share your experiences with other people. Being able to catch a glimpse of a slice of another person's life is also quite tempting for any viewer, especially if there are more interesting things going on than what our own daily life offers us.
If you want to join the millions of people vlogging around the world - nothing stands in the way. Keep in mind, however, that standing out from the crowd is not one of the easiest goals. Nevertheless, there are definitely more viewers on YouTube than creators, which means that everyone has a chance to gather an audience on his channel, who will watch the videos published on it with interest. Technical aspects are important if you want to create the best quality videos, but fortunately, you don't need expensive and complicated equipment at all, or a lot of filming experience to share your experiences with viewers, especially if you are a novice vlogger. The most important thing is what you want to convey in your video!
Vlogging - smartphone or camera?
When facing the choice of vlogging equipment, you'll probably wonder what's the best camera to record such a video format with. If your experience so far is limited to simple videos on stories or private videos saved in an album on your phone, don't immediately grab the new camera you found at the top of the list of the best cameras for vlogging - at first, bet on simpler solutions with which you will enter this world and learn the rules that govern it.
The simplest solution to start your vlogging adventure is nothing more than your own smartphone. Unless it's a model that remembers the beginnings of Polish YouTube, even mid-price models will perfectly cope with filming your adventures. However, remember to use your phone's main camera as often as possible - it offers far better recording quality than the one on the front, used for selfies. A smartphone with a good camera alone is of course only half the battle, but more on that later.
If you have a bit of experience in filming or photography and own a DSLR or mirrorless camera, there's nothing stopping you from using these when shooting vlogs. They offer far better quality footage than even the most advanced smartphone available on the market today. Keep in mind, however, that DSLRs are, as a rule, quite heavy - vlogging with them is possible, but not very comfortable. A mirrorless camera is definitely a better option, mainly due to its compact size and definitely lower weight.
Some people also use a sports camera to record vlogs. This is a great solution for people who play sports, travel or lead an active lifestyle in other ways - the shots captured with them are dynamic, filled with details and fast-paced action. Thanks to the myriad add-ons available in photo stores, they can also be mounted in multiple locations, in effect giving a unique perspective on the footage that would be impossible by other means. Using them as a main camera, however, has one major downside - their built-in microphones mostly offer really poor sound quality, and it's rarely possible to connect an external microphone to them. For this reason, they are most often used to shoot moments of action or flashbacks, during which only the image matters and the sound recedes into the background.
Choose interesting topics for videos
Vlogs, as a rule, show the life experiences of their authors. A single episode of a video blog can relate to a single event, a whole day or even a few days - for example, those spent on vacation. Some people also include other types of videos in this category, such as tutorials or tutorials - but we would like to focus on their basic form.
Your videos probably won't attract thousands of viewers right from the start, but it's a good idea to make sure they cover interesting events, experiences or topics right from the start. Intense days with a lot of things going on are ideal ground for a vlog episode, but if they are rare for you, try to create a base for your video yourself. The aforementioned holiday trip is an ideal opportunity to show your viewers something that not everyone can see on a daily basis. Maybe you are planning to go to a concert in another city, or attend a music festival? Or maybe even in your own city there is something interesting to show - an interesting place on the map, or stunning architecture? The topics for a vlog can be endless - the important thing is to present them in a positive, engaging way, but most importantly...
Speak to your audience!
Narration on the part of the vlog creator is now an essential element of recordings in this format. Each episode is based not only on an interesting topic and nice frames, but also on the author's commentary, running through the entire length of the video, in which he shares his thoughts, an account of what he is doing, or various other topics. This is an absolute must master if you wish to run your vlog on a regular basis. It comes easier to some, others find it a bit difficult, but it's a skill like any other - over time, everyone is able to get used to speaking to an audience they can't see.
Vlogs can be improvised, or based on a script. Advanced creators usually only need a general outline of the topic they want to cover in their video, but beginners are recommended to start with the second solution and plan in advance what they want to convey in their video. Keep in mind, however, that you don't have to stick to the script at all - forging by heart the issues you have prepared may result in an unnatural tone of voice that will simply sound artificial in the ears of the audience. Leave some space for a little improvisation, or adding a comment from yourself. Besides, who knows - maybe something worth immortalizing will happen during the filming that you didn't foresee when creating the script?
To make it easier for you, to begin with, you can choose those topics in which you feel confident and have specific knowledge, so that telling about it will not cause you a problem, nor will you have to specially prepare for filming from the factual side. Are you passionate about cars? Go to a car rally, where you will show your audience expensive cars and share interesting facts about them. Do you have a favorite band? No one can report on their concert as well as you can. Each vlog has its own character, which it takes directly from its creator - let your materials also be a representation of your disposition.
Ensure sound quality
The quality of microphones built into a camera or smartphone often leaves much to be desired - the sound recorded with them is not very pleasant to listen to. That's why you can't rely solely on them when recording vlogs. Even though you would record the most beautiful, breathtaking footage, without a good microphone it is difficult to shoot something that will enjoy the attention of viewers - after all, a video is not only a picture, but also sound. To make your vlogs enjoyable to watch, put an external microphone at the top of your vlog shopping list.
Although tie microphones are the cheapest option, they offer good results when recording your voice. Your speech recorded with it will be exceptionally clear and isolated. However, due to its design, this type of microphone will not do the best job of capturing ambient sounds. When using a tie microphone, you should also expect to be somewhat restricted in your movements, since by clipping it to your shirt, you will be connected to the camera by a cable. However, this is not a great inconvenience, since their cables are usually several meters long each.
If the phone with which you want to record vlogs is equipped with a mini-jack headphone input, or you have a suitable adapter that allows you to connect accessories with this connector to USB-C and Lightning ports, you can get the Godox LMS-60C tie microphone. It also works with cameras, but then needs power from the included battery to work properly. A better solution in this case would be the Godox LMS-12 AX model, which takes power directly from the camera, so you don't have to worry about the microphone discharging during recording.
High comfort is an important consideration, especially if you plan to spend most of your day recording vlogs. The best way to ensure it for yourself is to invest in a wireless microphone system - thanks to them, you won't have to be permanently "tethered" by a cable to your smartphone, and the cable itself won't be visible in the frame at any time. For shooting vlogs, we particularly recommend the compact and easy-to-use Godox MoveLink system. It consists of a transmitter, usually attached to the waistband of your pants, and a receiver, which you connect to your recording device. If you vlog using a smartphone, choose the Movelink UC1 kit with a USB-C connector. iPhone users, as with other microphones, will need an additional adapter. Prefer to record with a camera? The Movelink M1 kit has a receiver that connects via a mini-jack cable. It can also be used with smartphones, but then you need to take care to properly mount the receiver near the phone.
The most popular solution among experienced vloggers, however, are camera microphones. They are an excellent compromise in recording speech and surroundings - facing you, they will easily pick up your voice along with ambient sounds, creating a natural-sounding mix. For the very beginning of your vlogging adventure, we especially recommend the Godox VD-Mic - it's an extremely compact device that can be used with both cameras and smartphones.
No matter what kind of device you want to record your videos with, you will definitely need additional accessories that will not only help you get better quality videos, but also definitely improve the recording experience. We have already discussed microphone issues above, so it's time to take a look at other accessories that will make your recordings look their best right from the start.
If you want to conduct your video blog using a smartphone, we have something especially for you - ready-made kits for vloggers. The simplest of them - VK2-UC and VK2-AX - include a small, extendable tripod, a sturdy phone holder, an LED6Bi panel and a GeniusMic microphone. The UC version is designed for phones with a USB-C port, while the AX is for those that still have a mini-jack headphone input. The basic accessory you should also get is a capacious powerbank, with which you can quickly charge the battery on your phone. It will prove especially useful during all-day recordings, especially if the vlog is created, for example, while traveling or in other situations without access to a power outlet.
Want to shoot your vlogs with your camera? First, get a small tripod that fits comfortably in your hand when folded. It can also be extremely helpful to have a compact LED light to illuminate your face in the shadows, or during evening and night recordings, or when you simply don't want to rely on natural light. The battery-powered ML30 and ML60 LED lights are great solutions for aspiring filmmakers who want to be in control and stand out from the crowd.
Creating vlogs is not as simple a task as you might think - after all, you need to be able not only to record and narrate, but also to edit the footage you shot. Vlogs recorded in a sequence are seen extremely rarely and are usually videos of novice creators. An interesting and engaging videoblog is most often a series of short videos that have been put together in video editing programs. That's why vlogging doesn't end with tucking your camera or phone into your backpack, unfortunately. However, despite the fact that it requires a wide range of skills, many creators excel even on their own.
If vlogging is your first foray into filmmaking, before preparing your first episode, we recommend first shooting "test" footage on which to practice editing your videos. On the web you can find many free programs or applications for your phone, with which you will create engaging footage, and learning how to use them will open up new creative possibilities. It's also worth taking advantage of trial versions of the programs and see which interface comes to you. However, as a beginner, you don't need to use flashy transitions and other editing trinkets from the very first episode - it's better to start quietly, to the best of your ability, with simple cuts or music backing the material. Remember, too, that not all your video needs to be shared in 4K quality. Shooting or exporting it in Full HD (1080p) will do just fine - it will shorten the time to upload the video to YouTube and save space on your hard drive.
Vlogs are a rather specific category of videos, requiring the acquisition of specific skills for success. Remember, however, that even the most popular vloggers started somewhere - their first materials also probably left a lot to be desired, and they got to where they are now while acquiring new knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, there will be no mistakes in the beginning, but remember that they are the way to further development - don't get discouraged right away after the first failure!
This guide is, of course, only the tip of the iceberg of running your own YouTube channel - once you become proficient in creating videos, it will be time to think about an effective form of promotion, analyzing statistics and many other matters related to marketing and audience acquisition. These issues, however, we prefer to leave to the experts, so that we can focus on advising you on technical issues related to filming.
Or maybe you already have a vlog or program about technology or filming yourself? If so, contact us, we have a lot of equipment and would be happy to send it to you for testing!
MoveLink mics, ML30 lights, Vlog-kits are waiting to be tested!