So you want to start vlogging and you’re starting with your cell phone! Great move because the camera on most smart phones is actually pretty good these days, and some of them even have some built in stabilization. The on-board microphone isn’t too bad and is adept to picking up the human voice, but as you keep going, there is going to be some equipment that you’ll want to add over time to level up your game! Here are our recommendations:
Let’s start with audio. This is going to be the most challenging and most important aspect of your creator journey. While the on-board microphone may pick up sound pretty decently in most circumstances, if you’re vlogging, you’re going to end up in a lot of noisy situations and having a microphone which will focus on your voice will be crucial.
Our favorite for iPhone is the Shure MV88. This just plugs right into the bottom of your cell phone. It has an app which helps you to fine-tune some of the aspects of the microphone–omnidirectional vs. shotgun, etc. So there’s a pretty decent amount of capability. Our favorite aspect is that, when we are in the middle of NOISY theme parks, which typically have copywritten music playing in the background, we can usually have most of that sound cancelled out and just focus on our own voices.
If you’re just going to record those talking-head videos in a sit-down setting, then consider getting a lavalier microphone. These are really inexpensive but can really improve your sound quality and is likely to prevent you from having to spend a ton of money on sound dampening in your room.
This inexpensive microphone hooks right into your iPhone with a lightning connection.
Another option for vlogging in any circumstance is this great blue-tooth microphone kit. This one comes highly recommended to pair with a gimbal stabilizer, which we’ll talk about in just a few minutes, but this can be a great option since adding any other hardware to your phone with a gimbal stabilizer throws the whole thing out of balance and renders the stabilizer unusable. Check out this popular option:
For more advanced users, the most professional option is to record your audio separately and then combine it at the time of your editing. The Tascam digital audio recorded is a favorite of many Youtubers. This kit will give you everything that you need to just get started.
For a while we only used a monopod, which can be helpful, but a lot of our earlier videos had a lot of bouncing around which is very difficult to watch, so I did a little research and discovered the DJI OM 4. There was a bit of a learning curve, but once you figure it our, it’s a total game-changer for creating smooth, cinematic b-roll. You’ll wonder how you ever vlogged without it! It will connect with your phone through the DJI app, and we tend to think that the color settings on this app makes our videos look even more vivid and captivating. I can’t say enough about how essential this is:
Cell Phone Charger
If you are vlogging with your cell phone, even if you have the fantastic battery life of a brand new phone, you are likely to exhaust the batteries, you are going to need back-up charging. There are definitely a few options for that. If you can work out a way to have direct access to the sun, you’ll have an endless supply of recharging capabilities with this fantastic solar charger:
Not sure that you will have access to the sun, and you need something a little bit smaller? We’ve got you covered. Here is an inexpensive two-pack option:
As you continue capturing video, you’re going to learn a thing or two about lighting. Great lighting can make your video and even your own face look even better! We have struggled with indoor lighting for a few years now, but someone gifted us some ring lights on a monopod that also holds a cell phone, and we wonder why we waited so long to do anything like this. What were we thinking?
This particular set has two ring lights with a cell phone holder in the middle, and the ring lights have very simple cool, medium, and warm light adjustments which tend to be enough to adapt to that vast majority of lighting situations. You could be using this product for a very long time.
While you could be getting free music from YouTube Studio (which we did for a long time), you’ll want to level up your music game as soon as possible. Finding copyright-free music on the internet is really challenging and difficult, so upon seeing all the recommendations for Epidemic Sound on so many YouTube videos, we finally decided to begin paying the monthly fee, and we have no regrets and we’ve never looked back.
Epidemic sound makes it so easy for us to find the music that fits the vibe of our videos with quick, easy searched, and there are even sound effects as well!
You don’t have to take our word for it. You can try before you buy–START YOUR FREE TRIAL NOW!
Also, check out this LIST OF APPS which we think every cell phone YouTuber should know about!
These are some very simple products to help get you started on your vlogging journey. There is no end to all of the equipment that you COULD buy, but we thought it best to just recommend some of our essentials.
If you’d like to know more about how you can afford to travel as a travel influencer or content creator, then CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE.