Check out my YouTube Studio! Tell me what you think of my gear!

So let’s start over here at the camera area.

Realistically, the bare minimum gear that you need for a decent youtube video is 4 things

  • A decent Camera
  • Tripod
  • Good Lighting
  • And good audio

Besides the gear, you need some great content which will almost always out do the gear you are using.

In this studio we have a boatload of stuff that really we don’t need, but is useful for different situations. I’m just going to cover basics here, and I have other videos with in-depth use of much of the gear for you to watch.

Starting with the Cameras I typically shoot the A roll footage  on the Nikon D3300 because it has really decent clean HDMI out. Hopefully soon  I’ll replace this with a Panasonic GH5, S1 or S1H!.

But for now, this Nikon and other gear works for me. The HDMI out shows up as 1080 EYE 60. Or 1080 P 30.

For some reason, regardless of what I set the output to be, it is always 1080 I 60 or 1080 P 30..  

Internally, I can record at full 1080 P 60.  This is for U S recording, so your settings may vary.

But it’s really pretty clean. I don’t use the autofocus on DSLR as the contract based focusing is always hunting and slow regardless of the lense I put on the camera.

Also, each recording has to be less than 30 minutes since like most DSLRs this one has a 30 minute limit or less depending upon how hot the sensor gets.  

The 2nd most camera I use for shooting is the Sony NX-30. This is a really nice Prosumer camera we picked up a few years ago.  This particular one has 2 XLR inputs so you can get really good audio reocording in camera, and the auto focus is really good, but I’ll typically shoot in manual mode.

The video recording is maxed out at 1080P60 and the output can be up to 1080P60 as well.

Great all-around for shooting events.

Next down is the Sony HDRCX405HD HandyCam mini camcorder.  Not the best all around camcorder, but OK for wide shots in lots of light, or for overhead shots during product reviews.

These are cheap, like 178 bucks on Amazon.  Get 3 of these and you could have an OK 3 camera live stream with match cameras.

The downside is, the video is usually really noisy unless you shoot with a lot of light, or strictly outdoors.

And last used in the multi-camera studio setup is this really old Sony HDR1. This one is strictly for wide shots under lots of light. If I really need a 3rd or 4th camera, then this will be used. However the HD quality of this is like 1080 EYE 60 at most but only has a 2.1 megapixel sensor, so not your best camera for recording.  Still OK for a live stream in multi-camera setup.

Next are the sticks we put under these cameras.  I’ve bought 3 of these Magnus VT-4000 Tripods from BH Photo over the years. These are about $160 bucks. Check the link below to get one on Amazon, if you like If you use the link I might get a little kick-back off the purchase. So please, please buy a few!

Any way, these tripods are nice entry level fluid head sticks that have a quick release plate, good height at 59 inches and ball leveling for quickly leveling the camera.

A very good, light, durable tripod for the studio or out in the field and supports most cameras.  Oh yeah, I also have dollies for these to make moving around the studio easier.

Another tripod that I’ve had for a long time that is very good for getting shots from low to high is my Bogen Manfrotto. This tripod is heavy, and can handle some beefy cameras.

TAKE 2 Version Quicker

The primary camera I use for most footage is the Nikon D3300. It’s a cheap, good DSLR with really clean HDMI 1080p60 video. Put a good lense on this other than a kit lens and you’ll’find it can do very well. I use the Nikon D3300 primarily for medium and close-up shots.  Internal audio is fair, with an external stereo mic added via the mini 3.5 mm jack. The major downside of using this for video is its 30 minute max record time.

Next is the Sony NX30 Prosumer Camcorder. We use it primarily as the main, wide central shooter as it’s probably the most reliable.  By far for its time, one of the best mid level pro level cameras you can get for video. Great for events, wedding, youtube, or just about any all around video shooting.  This can record for several hours on a single battery. It has great XLR audio inputs as well as a great shotgun mic on top for capturing great audio.

However, it’s overall picture quality is slightly below what even a cheap DSLR like the Nikon D3300 can do.

For the 3rd camera in our typical 3 camera shoot, we use the Sony HDRCX405 HD. Used when needed for 2nd person medium shots, or overhead shooting. These are cheap little camcoders that you can pick up for under  $200 bucks. The downside is, they can be really grainy in low and just not as crisp.

And there’s a few other miscellaneous cameras I can use if needed. This Canon T5, the Sony SR1, my iPhone 10 R which can get me 4K video, but not the best dynamic range.

Below the cameras are the tripods. This one is the Magnus VT 4000 tripod. I picked up 3 of these from BH Photo for $129 dollars each. These are nice mid-pro fluid head tripods with quick releases for easy setup and balance.

I also still have my old bogen manfrotto 3036 tripod for beefy cameras and getting high angle shots. This one is seriously heavy duty.  Heh, he, he said duty…

In front of the cameras are the Teleprompters. One for each camera to ensure we’re looking at the camera recording. These are really simple and something you could build in an hour or so.

A black t-shirt makes a great camera hood that the TelePrompter wears and wraps around the camera.  

All you need is a computer or laptop hooked to a monitor, set below the camera, with a cheap dollar store frame inside a carrd board box. Feed it a signal and voila, a teleprompter!

The main teleprompter feed computer sits on the show table here, with all the other monitors connected as the 2nd monitor, fed via a VGA distribution box. Start up the software, prompt it and push the prompted copy to the 2nd monitor. Using a mouse and/or keyboard to control the copy as needed.

Audio take 2 gear

The 3 cameras are tied together in the Black Magic ATEM HD Studio switcher. This little video switcher can have up to 8 input devices ranging from cameras to computer to anything that can be fed in via the SDI or HDMI connections.

The outputs from the studio switcher feed the 50 inch TV above to show all input feeds. The program out feeds to both the Ninja Blade recorder and to a live program monitor here.   

To connect the cameras, I use either the long HD cables, or convert the camera output from HDMI to SDI with these little converters. By way, if you are buying these, stick to the name brand ones from black Magic. They offer a little better sync and quality as compared to these cheap ones I’m using here. Still both seem to work well for me and they may work well for you.

Links to buy in the description below. These are either AMazon or BH Photo links and I might get a few pennies if you use the link to buy any of the product I link to.

So in the switcher I have the 3 cameras connected and labelled, and using the ATEM software from anywhere on the network, I can switch between the cameras. There’s also a computer connected to show web sites, build graphics and more.


The nice thing about this is, you could have someone in a different room or anywhere that can get to the network switching your video feed.

It’s also possible to use this for live streaming videos. Either with Black Magics streaming module, or sending the program HDMI out of this switcher into a computer and streaming there with something like Open Broadcaster.

The HDMI out of the switcher, or directly from a camera if not using the switcher goes into the Atomos Ninja Blade video recorder. The Ninja blade records directly to an SSD hard drive and can also be used as an on camera monitor. Great for those cameras that don’t have a flip out screen. There are a lot of cool features and benefits to using one of these which I cover more in another video.

For Audio, I use this Tascam DR-60 MK2 recorder. This thing is great for up to 4 channels of recording audio. The audio recording are super clean, and easy to sync up in editing.

By connecting an output from the Tascam back to the camera or video recorder, you can get the reference audio, as well as add a sync tone when you start recording.

For mics, well, primarily I use these Movo LV4-O2 XLR Phantom Power Lavalier Omnidirectional Microphones. These are great, cheap mics for about 35 dollars each, plug directly into the Tascam, Sony NX30 or via an extension cable to deliver good quality audio.

You could use a desk mic setup like I’ve shown in my Custom Mic Stand build video or other mic of your choice. But regardless, ALWAYS use a mic close to your subject to get top notch audio.

Lights! What good is a video without some lighting? So in this studio I have a mix of Par Cans and low-cost clip on scoops.  Most of the bulbs in here are daylight 5K with the exception of the color splashes I’m using on some of the back scoops for a little mood lighting. I find that daylight 5Ks give a better overall color

When choosing bulbs, try to find ones with a high CRI rating. If you can afford bulbs with a CRI in the 90s range, you’ll get the best true colors when recording. But 80 or better should be fine in most applications and what you’ll find at most stores.

I have videos covering in-depth setup and use of most of the gear being shown in this video for you to review.If not posted already, these will be posted soon, so stay tuned to this channel!