Much like choosing the right camera, choosing the right accessories can be overwhelming and confusing when you’re new to the game. Some accessories are necessary and can help make your shots look even better, while others can be a complete waste of money.
Here’s a list of top camera accessories for your YouTube channel.
Once you start gathering a bunch of camera gear, you’ll need something to transport it as you vlog in different locations. Camera backpacks are my personal favorite kind of bag because they can hold a lot of gear and are easy to carry.
They also have specifically designed compartments and dividers to prevent your equipment from colliding and getting damaged.
Some people may say you need an expensive backpack and they’re right to a degree as brands like Pelican create weatherproof bags to keep your gear safe from the elements, but unless you’re vlogging in the Mojave desert or in the Swiss Alps, then you’ll be just fine with a regular camera backpack.
I personally use the AmazonBasics camera backpack and have nothing but great things to say about it! It holds a lot of gear and cost me less then $30.
Neutral-Density filters (aka ND Filters) are filters that screw on to the front of your lens to help reduce the amount of light entering into it. You only need to use ND filters when filming outside in bright conditions.
The reason why you would use ND filters is because they allow you to get better control over your shutter speed and aperture, so you can still keep that cinematic look to your image. What’s nice about cameras today is that some of them actually come with ND filters built-in (like the Sony RX100 series) which is always super helpful and cost effective.
Whatever you do, don’t go for the lowest cost ND filters! I’ve wasted so much money on cheap filters thinking it would be fine only to throw them out weeks or months later.
Cheap filters can ruin your videos because they can make your footage look less sharp or change your colors slightly, creating more work for you when editing, or they vignette over a period of time. Do yourself a favor and get a good brand. It’s more pricey, but if you take good care, then you can use it on any lens in the future with a step down ring.
When I say spare batteries, I’m not just referring to camera batteries. Yes, those are important so you can keep filming your YouTube vlogs all day, but you should also have spare batteries for all your gear.
Camera microphones like the Rode Videomic Pro require 9 volt batteries, so you can have good audio throughout filming, or if you have a portable LED light, then you’ll need extra AA batteries to keep yourself lit up.
Another good backup power source to have is a portable charger. These have become increasingly popular thanks to cell phones, but they can also apply to cameras like the Sony RX100 and A7s II as they can charge via micro usb.
Lens Cleaning Kit
Having clean equipment is not only important for getting clear footage, but it will also help with the longevity of your YouTube channel’s camera gear. You shouldn’t be wiping your camera lens with paper towels or a t-shirt. This will potentially create micro scratches on the lens and can also lead to smear marks resulting in cloudy footage.
Things like a lens pen, blower, cleaning solution, and microfiber cloths will clean your gear safely and efficiently. All in one cleaning kits from Zeiss or various other brands can be purchased so you have everything you need to keep your gear spotless.
Every vlogger needs a tripod for their YouTube channel. Whether you purchase a cheap one or shell out a little more for something that’s smoother and steadier, a tripod is a must have accessory for anyone handling a camera.
A good starter tripod would be the infamous GorillaPod, as it’s not too pricey and you’ll be able to place your camera wherever you need to and still get a nice steady shot.
When you buy brand new, some cameras these days come with a memory card. At times, these cards unfortunately aren’t the best option because they are usually cheap, more likely to get corrupted and become unusable within a couple of months (this has happened to me a lot).
Most of the time, complimentary memory cards may also carry a low amount of space for those filming videos, which is not bad as a backup card, but you’ll fill up that card quickly once you start vlogging.
Memory Cards are extremely important for 2 reasons:
If you’re out filming your vlog, you want to be able to shoot as much footage as possible without having to worry about how much space you’ve got left. There’s nothing worse when you’re filming to have your camera stop and say “memory full”.
Now you have to go through everything you’ve just filmed and see what can be deleted to make room for more footage. Capacity is also important if you plan on shooting 4K videos. You can record an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes in 4K when filming videos on a 64gb card.
This may sound like a lot, but if you’re out exploring a new city or travelling in a new country, you’ll fill this up quickly. I personally carry four 64gb cards and a backup 16gb card so I know I’ll never run out of memory when I’m out filming video content.
The faster the write speed, the less likely you’ll have issues when recording YouTube videos for long periods of time. Fast write speeds are also essential if you plan on recording in 4K quality. If you have a slow card, then you risk having the camera stop recording on its own because the memory card can’t keep up.
So do yourself a favor and get a high capacity card with a fast write speed. SD cards are pretty much used in every camera now, so even if you decide to switch or upgrade your vlogging camera in the future, you’ll still be able to use the same memory card(s).
External Hard Drive
Having extra storage is going to become essential as you start amassing tons of footage for your video brand. You may not need one right away, but your computer will only be able to store so much.
Plus, if your computer were to ever crash or brake, then at least you have a backup of all your work (trust me, this happens). You can get external hard drives at a great cost as well, usually no more than $100, which will get you a terabyte or two, and should be more than enough for some time.
When looking for your camera accessories, always make sure you check online prices. Websites like Amazon have become essential to me when it comes to finding deals on accessories, whether you order it from them or from other stores (many of which will now price match them).
VLOG NATION CONTRIBUTOR
Chris Monteiro is a Canadian videographer and drone pilot, who is passionate about creating dynamic digital content. An avid traveller, Chris loves to explore new places with his Sony A7Sii in hand and aims to tell engaging stories about what he captures through his lens.
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