Since I started my YouTube channel and began creating video marketing content the question I get asked the most is WHAT equipment do you use to create your videos?
I'll use this post to share with you everything I use and WHY it's in my bag.
This list has grown and changed and over time. I'll come back to this post and update it if anything changes again but if you are seeing this post TODAY, then this is what I'm still using to produce VLOG's like this and listing videos such as this...
So without further ado, here it is:
Apple 15" MacBook Pro, Retina - The workhorse of the entire operation. If you are going to be editing 4k video or even 1080p you're going to want a computer with a lot of power. And for me being on the go or working at coffee shops, I need to be able to take my studio with me. The 2019 MBP with it's 8-core processor does just the trick!
Sony A7III - So this is the 3rd DSLR that I've used in the past year. I started with a Sony Nex-F3 but realized since I couldn't hook up a viable external mic that I'd need to upgrade. I made the move over to Canon and an 80D but shortly realized I wanted to shoot 4k and 120fps (both of which the Canon could NOT do). So now I'm using the new Sony A7III and absolutely love it. It took a while to get used to all the features but being a mirrorless camera, it's MUCH smaller than the Canon and it is tack sharp! Also, this camera has built-in stabilization so if you have shaky hands, it'll take much of that out without needing external stabilization like a gimbal or lens stabilization.
Sony 24-70mm Gmaster VLOG Lens - I started out using the 16-35mm Gmaster lens by Sony. However, I felt 16mm was too wide. It would give my body and the image overall a distorted look. With the 24-70mm I get double the zoom (35mm vs. 70mm) while only sacrificing a little bit of wide-angle (16mm vs 24mm). This lens is the one you'll use MOST. Pretty much ALL speaking parts AND interior's of homes I'll be using this lens. 24mm is ultra wide so you can still really pick up the whole room. If you are doing a talking head segment, you'll really give the viewer an idea of your environment since this lens shows everything around you.
Sony 85mm B-Roll Master Lens - When you want to slow down the footage and get that buttery smooth 120fps slow motion, there isn't a better lens on the market than this 85mm Sony G Master. This lens creates an amazing depth of field and the bokeh (circular blur behind the subject) just looks amazing. This is also an amazing portrait shooting lens and great for low light as the aperture goes down to f/1.4.
Sony 70-200mm Telephoto Lens - If you are going anywhere that the subject is going to be further than about 20-30 feet away and you will NOT be able to get any closer, this is the lens you are going to need. This is the one that you see all the professional photographers using as sporting events and such. This lens has an AMAZING zoom! Because it has built-in stabilization in the lens (which is EXTREMELY important the further you zoom), you'll still get super sharp images and video from far away.
An extra Sony A7III Battery - Be sure to get an extra battery for your camera. Nothing worse than running out of battery in the middle of a day-long shoot. The new Sony batteries are top notch and one can usually last pretty close to a day just depending on how many videos vs. how many images you're taking...
Sony 64GB UHS-II Memory Card - When shooting RAW images and 4k video, having a blazing fast memory card is extremely important. There is something called a buffer in your camera and if you are shooting multiple photos at once or plan to take 4k video, you'll want a UHS-II memory card. These are more expensive but much faster than their UHS-I counterparts.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro w/ Fly More Bundle - So this was just released and I truly feel this was the most significant upgrade of any of my equipment recently. This is my 3rd drone and it's far and away the best "prosumer" drone out there for the money. With a 1" camera sensor, the image and video quality that comes from this small drone are remarkable! Compared to the original, you can shoot in lower light, get better HDR, hyper-lapse, and make use of more accurate "follow me" mode. I prefer this over the Mavic 2 Zoom because of the increased quality and due to the fact that you can imitate the zoom ability using a Mavic 2 Pro in post-production.
DJI Ronin S Gimbal Camera Stabilizer - If you need the absolute SMOOTHEST footage possible, you will not be disappointed by the DJI Ronin S Gimbal. This thing has it all! In addition to being able to mount your DSLR and have it cut out the chop, the Ronin S has lots of other cool features like a hyperlapse mode, "infinite roll", and many others.
Apple iPhone X, GSM Unlocked 5.8", 256 GB - Space Gray - Sometimes you aren't going to have your big DSLR camera on you and you're going to have to capture the video using what you have on you which most often is your phone. If that's the case, I want to have the very best phone camera available and that is the iPhone X. The camera on this thing is hands down the best on the market. You can shoot incredible 4k and 120fps video with ease. It may not have the incredible bokeh like a DSLR would but in a pinch, it will do just fine.
Rode Video Mic Go - If you are going to shoot a video for any reason, having the best audio is in most cases MORE important than having the best video quality. I will admit that there are times I won't even watch the video if the audio in the first few seconds is underwhelming... Go get yourself a Rode mic to mount on top of your DSLR so that it picks up much better audio than the standard body will.
Jobe 5K Gorillapod - The DSLR version of a selfie stick. This gets used on the go when walking and vlogging or stationary as a mini tripod. Don't make the mistake I did at first and get the 3K version. Even though I'm shooting on a mirrorless, the weight of the camera and lens is still surprisingly heavy and the 3K wasn't very stable, in my opinion.
Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera Backpack - This thing is a beast. It stores just about everything you can imagine. DSLR, multiple lenses, JOBY, mics, cables, a drone, maybe a child...You never know but with adjustable compartments, the sky is the limit. Plus, it just looks tactical and badass.
Think Tank Photo Cable Management 10 V2.0 - Pretty simple... buy this to store massive amounts of cables to keep your bag organized.
Aputure AL-M9 Amaran LED Mini Light on Camera Video Light - THE best small external LED light. Used when you just don’t have enough light or to put backlighting in the background.
MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini Filter Pouch - Where you can store all the filters below, nice and organized
Tiffen 82mm Variable Neutral Density Filter - You 100% will NEED this filter if you plan to shoot any video outside. I’ll have to do a training as to why because it gets a little technical but just know to get that “cinematic” look as I get in my videos outside, you’ll need a variable ND filter. You'll need the 77mm version if shooting on the 70-200mm lens
Think Tank Photo Red Whips - Use these to bundle cords together, strap stuff onto your backpack, flying at your clients when they are being unruly...just saying.
LaCie Rugged 4TB USB-C and USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive - If you are going to be shooting video, especially 4K, you're going to need a large external drive. I don’t store any video on my actual laptop hard drive. Everything is on this drive and backed up in the cloud.
Neewer Camera Photo Video Lighting Kit: 18 inches - This ring light is used by many YouTubers for the stationary talking head types of video. This lighting makes even the least video-genic of us look better on camera. Try it! You’d be amazed.
Lavalier Microphone - Used for talking segments when you’ll be more than around 5 feet away from the camera or if there is a lot of external noise.
Final Cut Pro X - It’s either this or Adobe Premier. For me, since I’m on a Mac, this is the logical choice. Easier to learn (IMO) and utilizes the Macs hardware better than Adobe Premier.
Cody Blue Tahoe LUT - LUTs is like using an Instagram filter on your entire video. I use Cody Blue's Tahoe LUT that is made for the Sony A7III camera Cine4 Picture Profile. This thing takes good footage and makes it GREAT! When people ask why my footage looks so cinematic, this is the difference.
FCPX LUT Loader - In order to load the LUT into your Final Cut Pro X software, you'll need to install a LUT loader. This one works great and is FREE.
Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - When editing video you’ll want accurate sound reproduction so picking a set of reference speakers is a game changer.
Status Audio CB-1 Closed-Back Studio Monitor Headphones - Similar to purchasing a set of reference speakers, if you would rather edit with headphones on, these are some of the best bangs for the buck.
Apple Magic Trackpad 2 - It’s an external trackpad for your MacBook. Since my laptop sits on a stand and is connected to an external monitor I need an external trackpad to control my computer.
Apple Wireless Magic Keyboard 2 - Same as above but with a keyboard...
27" LG 4K UHD IPS Monitor - Used so I can run dual screens. I use my MacBook screen for playback of the video while the LG is for the actual editing. This will give you a much larger workspace to deal with when editing your videos.