I get asked what gear I use for vlogging and creating YouTube videos for both the SavvySexySocial show and for our clients all the time. I’ve made videos about it and even have a gear section of this site. I’ve decided that I needed to update the gear I use and make some comments about why we’ve updated or switched along the way.
Remember, it is not about the gear I use or the gear you think you need in order to create content, it’s about actually going out and doing it!
I also want to lend myself to you. If you have questions on the gear I use, the gear you have, recommendations or comparisons, feel free to reach out. Twitter and Instagram DM are the best ways to reach me, but old school email is great too.
Sony a6500 – made the switch to Sony during our month-long promotion of Amy’s new book, Vlog Like a Boss, and haven’t been disappointed yet. The autofocus is lightning fast for on-the-go video, the size of the body isn’t much bigger than a large point-and-shoot, and it feels nice in my hand. The grip is surprisingly deep for such a relatively small camera. The in-body stabilization is as close to a game changer as one could get.
Sony RX100V – we started January with two first editions of the Canon G7X. We quickly experienced the pain points of super slow autofocus in our handheld shots when editing that caused a ton of footage to be scrapped and storylines lost. This was the best decision we made all month.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro – we like showing off the cities we’re in from up above. This drone is tops and the footage is incredible. Check out the opening shot to this episode I took with this drone. Pretty cool. I’m still getting the hang of this camera, but it’s the most fun.
Sony 18-105 f/4 – I love this lens because of a few things. First, it’s range is great for everything from wide angle to a nice tight zoom. Second, the feature called power zoom. It’s a small electronic zoom switch that allows for super smooth zooming. Lastly, the zoom happens inside the lens, there are no protruding pieces. That’s great for use on a gimbal (which we use) and better dust and weather proofing. Let me add this one knock: if you’re mainly a low-light shooter, opt for a larger aperture lens. f/4 with a crop sensor isn’t the best in low light.
Sigma 30mm ART – one of the sweetest lenses I’ve ever used, no exaggeration. It’s made for video and has really crisp images. Sigma has really stepped up their game with the ART series, and this guy approves.
Rode VidMic Pro – because of the style of video we shot for the month, I had this mic mounted to the a6500 90% of the time. It does a great job of isolating the audio coming directly from the front of it, but not too much. I always have a dead cat on it as well, helping with outdoor shots that get windy.
Sennheiser AVX – Amy got this while at the YouTube NextUp camp in NYC last summer, I loved it so much, we got another one. Setup is a breeze, just turn it on and go. Having a lavalier is a must and this one is great.
Zhiyun Crane Gimbal – my hands aren’t always the most stable, we’re not always in areas that are conducive to stable shots, and we don’t live on the equator so I get cold and shaky. I invested in this gimbal and it paid for itself during the music video we shot for Vlog Like a Boss (which was a cold day).
Manfrotto Mini – this is Amy’s favorite for the RX100V because it’s just big enough to be a decent grip and has a head that moves in all directions. It’s still growing on me, but I can see why one would use it.
Storage is of utmost importance, both on camera and off. We entrust all of the on camera storage to SanDisk Extreme Pro cards. For dumping and editing, we use these awesomely portable Samsung SSD drives that can handle the bumps and bruises of traveling while taking up very little space.
I now only trust Anker for external power solutions. The great thing about the Sony’s is that I can connect them to an external power source and power them, even without a battery in the camera.
We edit exclusively with Final Cut Pro, although, I have been playing with Adobe Premiere Pro CC again. I do love the simplicity of FCP, and to answer all questions about this, no, it doesn’t matter what you use.
Talk with Me
If you have gear suggestions, recommendations, or want me to try something new, I’d love for you to let me know! Come chat with me on social (beer and coffee if you’re in the area).