1.Sony ZV1 – A huge thanks to Katie Jane Hughes for recommending this one (who by the way also has an incredible case study inside Level Up sharing her insights to content creation as a makeup artist). I was in the market for something easy to use, super small and travel friendly but also a camera with incredible autofocus and filming capabilities. I have to say, I think this is it, especially when you take into consideration the price point. I fully appreciate that $750 isn’t exactly a steal, but when you keep in mind some lens alone are thousands, this camera I believe is actually very good value for the money.
I’ve been using this now for over a month, mostly for filming YouTube videos (see it in action here) and I’m blown away by it’s capabilities. First up it films in 4K, and you can record as long as you need to. It has a built in lens but what’s so clever is this camera was made with video content creators in mind, because at the touch of a button you can defocus the background for a more professional look and no lens change required!
You can of course take amazing photos with this camera too, but it is set up for video, and the settings make that very obvious. I found all the controls really straight forward and found this video (By Think Media) incredibly helpful for how to set it up to create video. The autofocus alone is worth the price because it can focus on products super quick and back on your face without any delay.
The great thing with this camera is you’re not going to need a ton of accessories, I purchased a mini desk tripod and a good quality SD memory card, again after watching this video (another one by Think Media, check them out they’re incredible) which had some great recommendations for every price point.
The only downside I would say is that the battery life isn’t great, so you’ll want to make sure you have some spare batteries. (I have three so I always have a spare charged and ready to go). Because of the 4K filming capabilities it can turn it self off to prevent it from overheating (this is actually pretty common when filming in 4K), but there is a setting they mention in the video I linked where they show how to avoid that, and it works pretty well for me.
2. Rode Video Mic Pro – I bought this years ago to use on my first camera, and it’s still going strong. The other reason I really favor the Sony Camera is because you can attach a mic, which is pretty rare on cameras that small. I would really recommend investing in good quality audio, especially if you want to create YouTube content. If you don’t want to use a mic then just ensure you sit closer to the camera. There are so many different types of mic, but the reason I like this one is that I don’t have to edit the audio separately which ultimately means one less job to do!
3. Samson G Track Pro USB Mic – If you are looking to start a podcast where you are the host, especially one whereby you’ll be using a separate software to interview guests (for example when you’re not there in person) then this is my favorite mic. Similar to my camera mic I love that this is a USB mic so it’s so much easier to operate especially if you’re new to editing audio etc. I also love using this for recording audio with screen recordings. The sound quality is great and the set up is fairly straight forward too.
4. Glamcor MutliMedia X – I love the Glamcor lights, and have used them for years in my pro kit. I actually have several of their products but wanted to recommend this one as it’s such a great starter lighting kit. You get all the clips you need to create content across multiple devices, meaning you don’t have to buy a separate tripod or additional stands/clips. You can also use it for your MUA work, meaning it doubles up as content creation accessories and a vital part of your MUA kit as it’s nice and portable too.
5. Iphone 11 Pro – This is possibly one of, if not the most important part of ‘tech’ I own. I think a lot of people forget how much they can actually do with an iPhone/smartphone. I record all my instagram content, stories, IGTV’s and lives on my iPhone. This is also what I’ve been using the past year to take my photos as I’m obsessed with the portrait feature in photos that blurs out your background (without having to know anything about photography). If you’re just starting out, and looking to experiment with content creation, a good smart phone is the best place to start. If you’re looking for tips to film professional looking video for YouTube without any equipment except your phone, check out this super helpful video by YouTuber Erin On Demand.
If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on content creation, and would love to know how to increase your client base, income and opportunities, I’m hosting a FREE live class this Sunday at 11am PST, and would love to see you there!