My Must-Haves For Creating Content
As a full time content creator, I often get questions about what kind of equipment I use to produce my photos for Instagram and my videos on YouTube. Most of the time people who ask me are interested themselves to create content for their own platforms. I have always been one to believe that the equipment or medium you use does not in fact make the content; it’s your skills, personal style and creativity that plays the biggest role — that being said, it would also be a complete lie if I told you the mediums you use don’t play some part in the quality of content you produce. My equipment of choice wasn’t because I simply saw it online and decided to buy it. Careful consideration had its role before purchasing choices were made (meaning, I did watch a lot of YouTube comparison/review videos and did some google search for articles to help me make my decisions).
In this post I’ll be listing down all of the equipment, accessories, and programs I use for producing my content on all social media platforms. Think of this as The Master Post, if you will. However, it’s by no means a thorough review of the said products. I do urge you guys to do your own research before making any purchases because these items can be quite hefty in price! There will always be more affordable options available out there and if you’re just getting started with creating content I do highly suggest opting for the cheaper options. Heck, when I first started out with blogging I was simply using my iPhone 4 to take photos and I didn’t even have a decent camera for videos. Majority of my content was done on my tiny iPhone 4, until I could afford to splurge on a G7X (ah, memories!)
Okay, enough of all the disclaimers, let’s get into it! (totally heard this in my YouTube voice)
My Top 3 Gadgets for Producing Content
iPhone X - The one thing I never leave home without is my cellphone and because I never leave home without it it’s equally important that my cellphone is equipped with a great camera to help capture all those moments I’d want to share on social media. I’m constantly trying to document my life because I enjoy capturing the memories, some of these memories I keep for myself, others I gladly share with you guys. My iPhone X being easily accessible at all times means I don’t have to worry or even think about always bringing around a bigger/heavy camera with me. A lot of my content are shot on the spot using my iPhone X because the best moments are the ones that aren’t pre-planned. I think my cellphone will always be The Main Man when it comes to content creator.
Sony A7III (28-70mm kit lens) - I use my Sony A7 III for filming my sit down YouTube videos at home, but I also bring it around with me when I travel because I love shooting with this camera. Before buying a Sony, I owned a Fujifilm XT-20 (and an X-A2 before that) and while I absolutely loved Fujifilm for photography, my XT-20 just wasn’t cutting it in the video department. I did some research and eventually decided on a Sony A7 III as an investment. Sony is one of the top camera brands right now and with good reason. The photographs and videos I’ve taken have delivered sharp images and beautiful depth of fields (even with the kit lens!) but that being said, it’s expensive, and buying lenses for Sony is like buying a whole new camera body in itself. For those starting content creation and have some $$$ to burn but don’t want to splurge on Sony, there are tons of other camera brands that will deliver just as good results for your photos/videos — all you gotta do is spend some time Googling and comparing which camera best fits the kind of content you’re looking to create! I highly recommend the Canon G7X Mark II for vlogging. It’s amazing and a popular favorite among vloggers.
DJI Osmo Pocket - This tiny little camera has been a game changer for me when it comes to vlogging around the city/while traveling. It’s small and inconspicuous enough that most people don’t notice it and I don’t feel as awkward having something pointed at myself while walking and talking in public and if people notice it’s because theyre interested in the kind of camera I’m using. The DJI Osmo Pocket is a little beast. It has a tiny screen where you can see yourself but you can also easily attach it to your phone so you get a bigger screen to work with. I especially love the image stabilization, it makes my video footage smooth and it helps keep your audience from feeling like they want to throw up while watching your videos. As for audio issues, I find that the audio works fine, especially for daily vlogging kind of content. However, I have to bring around with me an external battery to keep it charged throughout the day of full vlogging but that’s not a huge issue as it charges pretty quick.
Generally, the top 3 gadgets I listed above are fine on their own but sometimes I’m still gonna need a little extra help. For years, I never owned a tripod or any kind of studio lights. Instead, I relied heavily on the sun for natural lighting and stools stacked with boxes and books as makeshift tripods (and before flip LCD screens existed on cameras, I used a mirror to help me see myself on the LCD!) Nowadays I rely on actual studio lights and a handy-dandy tripod.
I use two kinds of studio lights:
1. Diva Ring Light - I use this light when filming beauty related videos where the frame has a tight crop on my face. It has an adjustable knob for brightness depending on how much light you need. It’s also great for taking selfies and is what most Instagram makeup gurus use when shooting their makeup looks.
2. Studio lights - I use this when my ring light just doesn’t cut it to brighten my overall video, especially when filming at night. While the ring light is great for lighting up your face during tight shots, it isn’t enough if you want better overall lighting for your videos.
3. Neewer Tripod - I’ll admit I’ve gone through 2 tripods because I opted to buy cheap ones at $25-30 when this Neewer brand is around $39 and is of better quality that will last long. I currently use Gab’s tripod (I steal it lol) to shoot my videos at home. It’s not exactly travel friendly but I never travel with tripods anyway.
Video post-production necessities
Final Cut Pro X - This program is my go-to for video editing because it’s pretty user-friendly and easy to navigate around. However, it’s only available for Mac computers because it’s one of Apple’s programs. For those using Windows, Adobe Premiere Pro is another option you can use for video editing but is unfortunately not as user-friendly as Final Cut Pro X.
InShot App - When I have to post long stories for Instagram, I usually film on my iPhone and then edit using the InShot App. I highly recommend this app for those who choose to start vlogging using their phones. A friend of mine edited a travel video using only this app and when she showed me the final result, I couldn’t even tell it was done all on InShot!
VSCOcam - I only use VSCOcam nowadays to add filters to videos I’ve taken on my phone. Not absolutely necessary but it does elevate the quality of your video content if you’re shooting on your mobile. The subscription service to use video filters is around $19.99/year.
Epidemic Sound - No video is really truly complete without a little music. Before I subscribed to Epidemic Sound, I spent hours and hours on Soundcloud looking for artists willing to share their work. It literally would take me a few days to collect enough music for 3-5 videos. It became really time consuming looking for copyright-free audio and going through the lengths of asking the artist for permission (sometimes they said sure, sometimes they wouldn’t bother replying which you should take as a no). Epidemic Sound costs $144/year and has been worth every dollar invested in it. There are thousands of different kinds of music for any mood/aesthetic/vibe you’re going for. I no longer stress about finding the right music for my videos and no longer have to worry about getting those annoying YouTube Copyright strikes!
Lightroom Mobile - I absolutely love this app because it’s powerful and totally free to use. Lightroom has been my choice for photo editing ever since I went full-time content creator. It’s fun to experiment with editing and exploring your photography editing style on this app by making your own presets. I use my own personal presets (The Essentials LR Preset Pack) for editing all my photos and recently made them available for purchase on my shop (if you guys are interested!)
Snapseed - Snapseed is another powerful photo editing app available on mobile. I don’t use this app often, but when I do it’s for my selfies/portrait shots. I like the “portrait” editing mode where you can brighten up your face a little, accentuate your eyes, and smoothen out your skin. I do the first two the most, but never smoothen my skin (I don’t like the look), and it really helps elevate my selfie photos for Instagram.
My Film Cameras
I’ve always been into film photography but never took the hobby seriously. Last year I found a Canon AE-1 Program on Etsy. I love this camera because it’s easy to use (auto mode), and can still produce beautiful sharp images (you can check them out on my film photography IG account @film.et.moi) The only downside for me was that, aside from the shutter being so darn loud, it was too heavy to bring around. I’m going to be doing a bit of traveling soon and would like to continue taking film photos, so I found another film camera to use and bring around: the Konica Hexar AF. Unfortunately I haven’t had any film developed for this camera yet so I can’t give a full review. However, I did a ton of research before purchasing this expensive film camera (it’s a cult favorite among film enthusiasts, and produces one of the best photos for a point and shoot. It’s also no longer being serviced anywhere and is actually quite “rare” to find. I got mine from a Japanese eBay store) and can’t wait to show you guys the shots I’ve taken with it!
And there you guys have it! I hope this “master list” blog post was helpful for you guys out there looking to create content. A quick disclaimer: Some of the products linked are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission from the sale should you decide to purchase them!
Do you guys have products/programs that you love to use when creating content? I’m always looking to discover new ones to play with, so let me know! I’d love to evolve my post-production game.