Useful YouTube Tools
Below are a few of the key tools that I use to make my YouTube videos. I get all sorts of emails as to what camera I shoot with, what editing software I use, what microphone I’d recommend, as well as many other tech related questions. Hopefully this page helps point you in the right direction.
Wireless Mic Perfect For Quality Audio
Quality audio seems to be one thing that isn’t addressed nearly as much as it should be when making YouTube Videos. It’s sort of like the thumbnail error that many new creators make. They’re so excited to get their videos out that they overlook the importance of fine tuning the only image that will make people click. It’s the same with audio. Voice recordings generally aren’t prioritized nearly as much as pretty drone shots or catchy music, but it makes ALL the difference.
That’s why whenever it makes sense, I take the extra 30 seconds and clip on these awesome Rode wireless mic’s. They’re super reliable and have allowed me to shoot in conditions that I wouldn’t of been able to previously. Highly recommend making the investment into a good wireless mic set if you’re serious about upping your production value.
Gimbal For Smooth Footage
Given that I shoot everything on an iPhone, smooth footage isn’t really a problem with Apple’s incredible video stabilization software built right into the phone. It really is amazing. Having said that, there are moments where I need an electronic gimbal to ensure that my shots come out smooth.
The best example of this is whenever I livestream. For whatever reason, YouTube turns off Apple’s stabilization software when going live, so every small movement is detected and comes through on video. Without this DJI gimbal, these streams would be unwatchable. Another use-case where the OM 5 becomes handy is when I use any sort of teleprompter software. Similar to what YouTube does, the App I use to read a pre-written script (while shooting at the same time) also turns off stabilization. This gimbal plays a crucial role in ensuring that my footage is stabilized when shooting in these modes.
Get Cool Wide Angle Shots With This Lens
This is a clever little clip-on lens for your iPhone or Android device. It allows you to get cinematic, wide-angle footage that you would never guess came from a phone. I like to use this lens in low-light conditions when I want to capture an expansive scene in a single shot. Most new phones seem to have a 0.5x wide-angle camera option, but often times, even the best phone cameras don’t perform great in low-light conditions when shooting in wide-mode as it captures less light. This makes the final shot real fuzzy. If you’re looking for a cleaner shot in a darker setting, it’s better to stick with the standard 1x mode so your phone camera lets in more light.
That’s where this lens comes in. Easily clip it on and get the best of both worlds. You can shoot in the regular 1x mode to maximize the amount of light you’re working with, while also getting those epic wide shots fuelled by the lens’ aspheric design.
Quality Drone For Cinematic Shots
Outside of high quality audio recordings, if you were to ask me what’s the number one way to increase production value for YouTube videos, I would have a simple answer. Drones. Coming from the film world where I was an industry leader for over 20 years, it’s hard to believe how good these things have gotten. The perspective that they can provide to help fuel whatever story you’re trying to tell is unmatched. One tip though. Try not to overuse the epic shots that you can get with drones. Let your story dictate where and when you use this footage. Not the other way around.
The drone we use for our videos is the DJI Air 2S. It has all sorts of functionality built into it that makes it the ideal tool to fuel high quality videos. The Fly More Combo that I’m recommending here is a package that comes with all the extra components that you’ll likely need if you’re looking to make the investment in one of these bad boys.
Stationary Mic That’s Great For Voiceover
One of the simplest ways to really immerse viewers in your video is a well-timed voiceover component to provide additional depth and bridge any gaps. I like to do this when providing additional context into any given situation.
To get these recordings, I connect a Rode NTG Shotgun mic right into my computer and record away. It’s easy to setup, the audio quality comes out awesome, and I have nothing but good things to say about this tool.
Durable Tripod For Easier Shooting
As mentioned above, I shoot 100% of my content on an iPhone 13 Pro Max. In my opinion, it’s the ultimate camera for making YouTube videos. The only drawback is that without a tripod stick, it can be a pain to hold up and vlog with.
That’s why we never go into a shoot without this sleek little Manfrotto Grip. It’s super durable and makes it a thousand times easier to create awesome videos with the one tool that everyone has in their pocket. A phone.
The Phone I Use To Shoot Every Video
Perhaps the number one thing that holds people back from making videos is the fact that they don’t have a proper camera setup with all the expensive gadgets that they think they need. The fact is, almost everyone already has one of the most versatile cameras of all-time.
The story is what drives everything, and you definitely don’t need a bunch of expensive cameras to make great YouTube videos. I grew my Channel from 0 to 200K Subscribers and 20 Million Views in less than two years using an iPhone 11.
The current camera I use to shoot all my videos is the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Between the in-phone stabilization, 3x zoom lens, and solid low light performance, I honestly think it’s the ultimate pound-for pound-camera to help you make great videos.
Powerful Computer To Edit With
Just like anything, the story is what keeps viewers engaged and entices them to watch more. Generally, this starts to take shape in the edit so it’s important that you choose software that you’re comfortable with. For me, it’s Final Cut Pro X. I find that it has all the functionality I’ll ever need to publish the type of videos that I do.
FCPX is an Apple product available exclusively on Macs. The exact model I use to cut videos is the 2021 M1 MacBook Pro with a 16 inch display. Although a little pricey upfront, it has all the processing power you’d need for video editing, and the extra screen real estate you get with the larger display size makes it WAY easier to edit in Final Cut.