I’ve really enjoyed settling back into the world of vlogging. I’m in no way an expert, but I’ve been slowly improving. If you can talk into a lens, and work out some editing software, vlogging isn’t super tricky. I thought in this post I’d share some of the equipment I use to film my vlogs.
The Camera – Yi 4k Plus Camera
I wanted a camera that was small and light, but gave a good selection of resolutions. In my mind, shooting in 4k is essential. The Yi 4k Plus will happily shoot in 4k at 60 FPS. I tend to shoot in 4k at 30 FPS. You do need a meaty machine to edit 4k videos. You can use something called ‘proxy-editing’ if your machine isn’t ridiculously powerful. Google for guides on how to do that. The camera isn’t waterproof, however you do get a waterproof case in the box. It’s easy to configure with the touch screens and menus.
The Yi 4k Plus can also be set up to love stream to YouTube or Facebook. You can plug an external microphone via the USB C connector. The camera has dual microphones for stereo recording too. I think my only grumble about this camera is the built in mics struggle with wind noise. However, it’s a common occorance on ‘action cameras’.
Generally the battery will last for a good few hours of filming. You can charge the camera and use it at the same time. I’ve got a couple of spare batteries in my bag too.
The camera does have electronic image stabilsation – which reduces shake when you’re holding the camera. It’s not as good as optical stabilisation, but it will do the job. Ideally, you should try and avoid just ‘holding’ the camera. It’s best on a selfie stick, or gimbal – which leads me nicely into.
The Gimbal – Yi 3-Axis Gimbal Handheld Stabiliser
This gimbal is designed specifically for the Yi 4k and Yi 4k Plus cameras. The gimbal uses a range of sensors to keep the camera steady. In theory you can run with the camera in the gimbal and it will keep the footage smooth. It’s got a standard tripod mount on the base too. The gimbal has three different modes which can be switched with the button on the front –
Pan Mode: Pan axis follows the gimbal’s movement while the camera remains locked in tilt and roll to remain upright
Lock Mode: Roll axis is locked, tilt and pan axis rotate to follow gimbal’s movement
Pan and Tilt Mode: All axis are locked and the gimbal only faces in one direction
I tend to rock in the ‘Lock Mode’ – which allows you to ‘look’ as you tilt the gimbal.
The battery lasts between 2.5-4 hours, again, I have some spares in my bag. You can’t charge the batteries in the gimbal, which is a bit annoying.
The footage I’ve shot with the Gimbal is SO much better. It gives nice, stable video. The downside is that you can’t have a mic or similar plugged into the camera whilst the gimbal is on. It upsets the ‘balance’, and because of the snug fit, you can’t have the camera in a case whilst it’s in the gimbal.
A few shortcomings aside, if you’re wanting to do ‘day out’ vlogs on an action camera, a Gimbal is an excellent idea. Ideally, mounted on a Selfie Stick – this is the one I use.
The Selfie Stick – YI Selfie Stick & Bluetooth Remote
You can use pretty much any selfie stick. I opted for the Yi one as it comes with a detachable Bluetooth remote that acts as a shutter button. It also allows you to switch between the photo and video modes too. It’s a very strong, sturdy selfie stick that will happily take the added weight of the gimbal. The fully retracted setting is quite short too, so it can easily pop into a bag. It’s also got a handy lanyard strap at the bottom if you’re filming something a little more ‘extreme’.
The Memory Card – SanDisk Extreme 64GB microSDXC Memory Card
The crazy high resolutions and bitrates spewed out by the camera need a powerful memory card. The Yi 4k Plus has a list of recommended MicroSDXC cards. This is on the list, and will record about an hour and half of 4k 30 FPS footage. Obviously filming in lower resolutions will allow you to store more.
The Editing Software – Adobe Premiere Pro CC
There is a multitude of video editing software out there, some are simple, others not so. Adobe Premiere Pro CC isn’t the easiest of software to master, but it’s used in TV and Film production – so it’s one of the best. It can handle a variety of footage, multiple cameras, special effects etc. I barely scratch the surface with cutting a vlog together. However, I’m learning new features each time I use it.
It’s BLOODY expensive, I pay monthly for it and the other Creative Suite products (which I use for work). In my opinion, it’s worth it (JUST!)
So there you go, that’s what I use to put together my vlogs. What do you use? Drop a comment.