If you are a beginner on YouTube, then there are likely some different YouTube equipment requirements that you will need for your channel. While you can just start with a good budget camera, a few other items will make life much easier.
There are certain essentials that every video creator will need the YouTube niche that you choose for your channel.
In this post we review the most important gear that beginners should invest in order to get started on YouTube.
If you are building a brand new channel, we also recommend you check out this great course that you can access for free for 2 months. It will help you get up and running, and get your first 1,000 subscribers.
Beginner Tips For Buying Channel Equipment
If you have unlimited funds, then there is no problem to go out there and get all the best equipment that money can buy.
However, if you are like most people, then you are going to want to choose your equipment carefully. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars if you are just a beginner - you just need to make a couple of smart choices and then get creating!
Tip #1 - Do what successful pros do (or did)
Vloggers like Casey Niestat, and Gamers like PewDiePie have shared what cameras they use as well as other equipment that has helped them get started in their YouTube careers.
These are people who have mastered their craft, and their recommendations should be taken seriously!
If you are curious, here is a complete guide of the what famous YouTubers use for their channels.
Tip #2 - Stick to a budget
Like we mentioned, you don't need to spend all of your money to get started on YouTube. If you already have a computer and nothing else, you can spend under $300 and potentially start an entirely new career with online video.
We recommend chosing the budget that you are comfortable with and then making sure that you stay within that.
For example, if a great DSLR camera is important to you, but you don't have a big budget, you can restrict your search to the best DSLR cameras for less than $500 and you will be happy with the results
Don't stress too much!
Remember that at the end of the day, it is you, and your content that will be the reason that you earn new views and subscribers.
Don't let endless research slow you down - the sooner you get started, the sooner you will see the success you are looking for!
YouTube Equipment Essentials
There are really only two true requirements for starting a YouTube channel - and a camera isn't even necessarily one of them. These two essentials will be obvious to most, but we make a couple of recommendations of exactly what you can use to get started.
#1 - Computer for Video Editing
The one piece of hardware that you truly need for YouTube is a computer. Honestly, that's it. Even if you never record one minute of video with your own camera, a computer and some creativity are all you need as a beginner YouTuber.
Any modern computer will do, though certain computers will make your life easier than others. Any desktop less than 10 years old is almost guaranteed to be able to handle basic video editing and posting to YouTube.
If you have a laptop or can afford to buy a decent one, this might end up supporting your YouTube lifestyle, even if you are a beginner.
The main reason is the flexibility to create and edit content from anywhere. If you are travel vlogger, or just a busy person who goes from place to place, then a laptop is going to come in very handy and help you produce content faster and more frequently, which is a big leg up on YouTube.
Many YouTubers and content creators swear by Apple products, and the best laptop you for video editing to many is the MacBook Pro because of its suite of creative tools, and relatively lightweight size for transportation.
If you are on a tighter budget, or just prefer Windows computers, the Acer Aspire E 15 is a tested and true mid-range laptop for YouTubers.
#2 - Video Editing Software
This isn't technically a piece of 'Equipment' but it is a tool that every YouTube beginner is going to need to consider.
There are lots of options for video editing software, and it can be hard to choose what to use. There are some free solutions out there, but there are some clear limitations to those.
If you are just looking for the very basics, then you will be fine with iMovie (free on Mac products) or free tools like OpenShot.
Beginners who want a bit more firepower might want to consider software like Movavi which provides a lot of useful features at a relatively cheap price. You will have a lot more flexibility in your videos if you do decide to invest a but more.
Most serious YouTubers and content creators tend to use the Adobe creative suite and in particular Premiere Pro for video editing. The monthly license fee is relatively expensive, but if you decide to gets you access to a ton of useful tools like Photoshop and After Effects for professional looking videos.
If you are looking for what software and apps can help you get started on YouTube, we have summarized the top 10 apps that you can start to use for free that will help your channel right now. We think that TubeBuddy should be a requirement for ever YouTuber whether you are a beginner or a pro.
Home Studio YouTuber Equipment
Many YouTubers will create a home studio that will be the primary headquarters of all of their content creation.
If you are ready to make your video creating paradise, then strap in, and take a look at the key pieces of equipment that you will need
While some YouTubers create content purely out of images, captured gaming content, or pre-existing video clips, many people rely on a camera to show off their personality online.
To do this, you are likely going to need to choose the right YouTube camera for their channel. This will depend greatly based on what type of channel you are.
If you are going to set up a static camera to speak into, then there are lots of options to choose from. You will capture the best video from a DSLR, but if you do not have the budget then there are many alternatives for recording video, including your own smartphone.
A good middle ground that many people forget would be to check out an affordable camcorder. These tend not to be great for photography, but if the camera will stay in your home studio then they are a good choice for recording YouTube videos.
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 is a great place to start when it comes to high-quality video at a cheap price.
Whatever you decide, make sure that your camera has a flip screen because that will keep you confident that you are getting good takes while recording.
Most videos are more engaging when you include your own voice and opinions as part of the audio, and for that reason you should make sure that you have a good microphone as part of your YouTube set up.
This doesn't have to be a big investment, but it can make a huge difference to viewers who don't want to strain to hear your voice or deal with hissing or background noise.
We recommend the Blue Yeti USB Microphone which is an extremely popular and capable mic for YouTubers.
Perhaps the simplest purchase you will make for YouTube is your tripod. This will help you to get an even, reliable shot at home or anywhere you take it.
JOBY GirrilaPod tripods are popular because they are cheap, reliable, easily transportable to different locations, and flexible for use in creative situations.
Regardless of what you are using to film, there are different tripods that can make it a smoother experience for beginners, and really anyone else shooting video.
Lighting is an underrated aspect of filming that many beginners forget. The best vidoes are brightly lit and the people on the screen (likely yourself) are clear to see.
A great example of well-lit videos can be found on popular makeup channels where good lighting is essential. Here is some good insight and examples from xsparkage.
Even if you aren't a beauty vlogger, every creator can benefit from good lighting like you can get from the Diva Ring Light, or others like it.
If you are consistently creating videos, you might be surprised how quickly you run out of memory space on your hard drive.
Deleting your hard work to free up space is a bummer, so we recommend picking up an external hard drive to store those videos and save your computer from filling all the way up.
Fortunately, external storage has never been cheaper. Seagate has reliable and relatively affordable hard drives. You can get as much as 8 TB in one hard drive these days, but to start getting a 2TB external hard drive should last for a long time.
Vlogger Gear - Creating On The Move
If you are vlogging, then a camera is very important. Once again, using your phone can suffice for beginners, but your videos will be noticeabley weaker than other channels on YouTube.
There are a number of vlog cameras to choose from and you will likely be glad that you made the investment if you can afford it.
A flip screen camera like the Canon Powershot G7x Mark II is very popular amongst YouTubers. Look for something that is transportable, includes good image stabilization, and records in at least 1080p.
If you are a travel vlogger, or want to take unique action/adventure videos, then you should check out a good action camera. The GoPro Hero series is the most popular, but there are also lots of affordable alternatives.
If you are speaking into your camera while vlogging (especially with a DSLR), then you will likely benefit from buying a good shotgun microphone which will improve your audio.
Check out the brands Rode and Shure - our favorite is the Shure VP83 which is on the expensive side but provides really crystal clear audio from a single source.
Perhaps one of the most exciting filming innovations entering the consumer market these days is the growing popularity of 3-Axis gimbals for filming with DSLRs and other digital cameras.
These devices stabilize what would otherwise be shaky video takes and produce professional, cinematic effects like this video from Dennis Weissflog:
Devices like our recommended Zhiyun Crane V2 will make a world of difference in any videos that you film on the move.
This benefit is not restricted to just DSLR cameras too. There are lots of excellent GoPro Gimbals that make wonderful action videos at a reasonably cheap price.
A camera drone is definitely a premium piece of vlogging equipment, but oh man can the results ever take your breath away.
Some of the most stunning videos on YouTube today are courtesy of popular drones like the DJI Mavic.
Check out this beauty from Ian McAlpine:
If the Mavic is out of your price range, the Parrot Bebop is a great alternative
YouTube Equipment for Gaming Channels
Gaming is one of the most popular channels on both YouTube or Twitch, as millions of viewers turn to online personalities to share their thoughts and experiences with the many games that enter the market.
There is also a massive demand for live streaming content that beginner YouTubers are helping to fill every day. In addition to the essentials we mentioned earlier, here are three items that every YouTube gamer will need
While there are some benefits to investing in a good digital camera, gamers will likely very satisfied with a webcam designed for streaming games because they have some specific useful features, and they are relatively cheap.
For example, the Logitech C922x Pro Stream Webcam looks great, plus it offers a remarkable 'green screen' style feature that helps even beginners look like Twitch pros for a relatively cheap investment.
Streaming Microphone/ Headset
There are a couple of options when it comes to recording audio while streaming or recording games. While many YouTubers like Lavalier microphones like the MAONO Lavalier Mic, others prefer to invest in a good gaming headset.
Gaming headsets help you get immersed in the game, and pick up clean vocal audio for you to interact with your viewers. When it comes to YouTube gamer equipment, you can't really go wrong with Logitech, and many people are big fans of the G933 Gaming Headset.
If you are making streaming content for YouTube with PS4 or Xbox games, then you will likely need to invest in a capture card. These devices capture signal usually through an HDMI connection so that you can upload the recorded videos to YouTube later.
This concludes our list of the most important YouTube equipment for beginners. While there are many gear options out there, the most important step is to get out there and get started. Even if you are just using the very basics, that is way better than waiting around until you can afford expensive equipment before you even get started.
Just get your hands on some decent equipment in your budget, and get started!