Today, YouTube has become the most popular video sharing platform on the internet. Whichever industry you are in, you can create your own promotional video and upload it to YouTube, free of charge. You can also start vlogging, just out of passion.
YouTube has made online celebrities out of so many people who might not have had an opportunity to showcase their talents before the internet. If you have a talent or stories to share, you can start your own channel and start uploading videos to it.
If you are making your own video to upload, you will need high quality video recording equipment and software. You have to use the right camera to record your YouTube video provided so that it is of a good quality and meets the required criteria.
Let us have a look at the different types of cameras you can use to record YouTube videos.
Once considered as the go-to option for recording videos, a dedicated camcorder is now just one among many options available to shoot YouTube videos. However, the ease of use and a wide zoom range with a single lens still makes it one of the favourite cameras to use for recording YouTube videos.
And of course, not to forget the tons of accessories that can be used along with a camcorder for better video effects, such as a shotgun mic, tripod stand, on-camera light.
One drawback however is its inability to take a wide angle view. But then if you are shooting a solo video, it doesn’t really matter much.
Not long ago, using a smartphone for shooting a professional video seemed like a bizarre idea, because of mediocre quality of videos.
However, today with rapid progress in mobile technology, it is possible to shoot exceptionally high quality videos using a smartphone. Pretty convenient, as it is quite handy and you can shoot and upload videos to YouTube on the go.
One drawback however is the limited features for controlling the settings of the videos and the lack of accessories.
Initially launched to take photography to the next level, digital SLR cameras these days come with the ability to take high quality videos. You can capture HD to ultra HD quality videos.
With the option of fitting different lenses on the mount, you can choose a wide variety of views from teleshot to ultra wide angle. A lot of accessories are also available, but then they can be quite expensive.
Another option is to use a webcam, but personally I wouldn’t use it as the videos can look unprofessional with poor quality audio and mediocre video quality.
Let us now look at some criteria for selecting any of the above cameras to record YouTube videos
The audio quality of the camera needs to be perfect. This is because if you are recording your voice along with the video, it needs to be perfectly audible. No one would want to watch a video when it has sub-standard audio quality and you can barely hear anything.
Now in case you select a camera for its excellent video quality and other features and unfortunately the audio quality isn’t that great, you should be able to attach an external mic with your camera for better audio.
There are a variety of mics to choose from depending upon your requirement, such as wireless (Lapel), shotgun, and boom. The usage of each type depends upon the style of taking the video. Personally, I prefer the lapel mic as you can attach it close to you on your shirt which reduces noise and disturbance, hence improving the audio quality.
It is better if you get to shoot in a quiet environment. The audio will be much clearer. See I get it, you might not always have access to a quiet environment, especially when you’re vlogging while travelling or filming a noisy event.
However whenever possible, if you are not required to shoot in a noisy environment, prefer a quiet indoor setting with minimum external noise. The only sound the mic should capture should be your voice while you speak at the mic.
A few ways to reduce ambient sounds even further include switching off any electrical devices or reducing external noise by closing the windows. (Of course, you need to have an air conditioner in the room!)
Image Quality and Resolution
Viewers today have very high expectations when it comes to image quality and resolution. Most of the videos today have a minimum of an HD resolution. You do not want to be found lacking in this.
Try to go for a full HD camera with 1080p for the best quality videos. The difference is evident between full HD and normal HD videos. However, if you are not willing to spend extra bucks for full HD, go for 720p. Anything below that is not really worth it.
If you have deeper pockets, go for a camera with UHD or 4K resolution. You now get screens with 4K resolution and so shooting a video in 4K or even 2.7K will ensure a much better quality and engagement to your videos.
Provision of Autofocus
Most camcorders and DSLR cameras today come with autofocus. It is one of the primary functions of any decent camera.
You do not want to be manually adjusting the focus when you’re ready to take the shot.
Why is that?
Well consider this. You’re on an African safari. And you spot a pride of lions nearby. A perfect setting for a video. But then you have manual focus. And your jeep is moving through some rough terrain. It can get a bit difficult to focus the camera. Instead if you have autofocus, your camera will automatically adjust its focus on the subject and you can have that perfect shot for your vlog.
Cameras have sensors which determine the quality of the image and the video. Usually, larger the sensor, better is the image quality. A large sensor also ensures better low light video and helps you to get a greater depth of field. Depth of field is the effect of seeing a blurry background and a sharp image of the subject in front.
Although a bigger sensor means better performance, it also means a more expensive option. Usually, youtubers use cameras with the 1″, 4/3″ and the APS-C sensors as they give you pretty good performance without burning your pocket.
Size and Build
The size of the camera is quite important when you’re making a selection. You have to first decide how you will be using the camera.
If you’ll be shooting videos on the go, it is better not to choose a very bulky camera or camcorder. If you plan to record videos at home, you can go for bulkier cameras with more advanced features.
Most of the Youtubers today use mirrorless cameras as some of the newer models come with lots of features without being very bulky.
Having a budget for the camera beforehand is very important. Depending on how much you can spend, you will be selecting the particular camcorder or camera. The resolution and various other features will vary depending upon the amount you’re willing to spend.
You must choose a camera that is within your budget. Many times due to the high end products on display we get carried away and buy cameras that are outside our budget; only to realise later that we won’t be using many of the extra features. Yes you can surely upgrade, but once you have sufficient experience in shooting YouTube videos and are looking to take things to the next level.
More importantly if you’re just starting out and are on a shoestring budget, you can start recording with your smartphone. Once you are comfortable, you can switch over to a camcorder or a DSLR.