Thinking of starting a travel vlog? Wondering how to make money on YouTube? You’re not alone!
Travel vlogging is a huge industry — but one with plenty of room for new perspectives and unique content. Whether you want to start a YouTube channel in tandem with a travel blog or just focus on vlogging, having the right gear is going to get you to where you want to be, faster.
While you don’t need to buy the biggest and most expensive cameras on the market, you’re going to need something to get you up and running. Investing in the right gear now is going to give you that leg up over the competition and lend your videos a more professional look and feel. Having the absolute best travel vlogging gear won’t make or break your channel, but there is a huge demand for quality content, so reliable equipment is going to help you succeed where many others have failed.
Since travel vlogging equipment changes every year (and since there’s a lot of equipment out there that you might need), we wanted to share some recommendations for beginners from professional YouTubers Hey Nadine and Hopscotch the Globe. These suggestions have been tried and tested by the pros and will help you on your journey toward a successful travel vlog or YouTube career.
The Best Cameras for Vlogging
- Google Pixel 2 – If you’re going to be vlogging on a smartphone and you prefer Android, consider the Pixel 2. The camera is top-notch for both video and photography, offering full manual control, a super f/1.8 aperture lens, the option to shoot in RAW file format, optical image stabilization, and even pretty good performance in low light.
- iPhone X – If you plan to vlog on a smartphone and prefer Apple, the iPhone X is going to be the best choice and of similar quality to the Pixel 2. Since iPhone Xs are still brand new, they are quite expensive. If the X is above your budget, anything from the iPhone 7 and up will have a camera that is suitable for vlogging.
- Sony RX100 V or VI – The Sony RX100 Mark V and VI are both amazing point-and-shoot cameras. If you want something a step above a smartphone but aren’t ready to buy a larger camera, then this is a great beginning option. While they aren’t cheap, they are generally considered the best in their class, due to having a much larger sensor than other models (which means you’ll get much clearer images).
- Canon 70D– This is a solid mid-range camera that Nadine uses as her backup. It’s more versatile than a smartphone or point-and-shoot, though it does take up more space and you’ll need to purchase additional lenses. But if you want to get serious, then this is a perfect place to begin! It has a reliable autofocus as well as a flip-out screen for easy vlogging.
- Sony A7 or A7S III – Both Kristen and Nadine use versions of the A7, so it comes highly recommended if you’re really serious about travel vlogging and/or setting up a YouTube channel. This full-frame camera is not cheap, but it boasts killer image quality, is reliable in low light, is lighter and less bulky than a DSLR, has built-in Wi-Fi, and shoots in full 1080/60p with uncompressed output. It’s a vlogging beast and will definitely give your videos that professional-quality look.
- DJI Mavic 2 drone – To capture unique footage and add some flair to your vlogs, consider getting a drone. More and more vloggers are incorporating drone footage into their videos. While there are many options available these days, the Mavic 1 and 2 are the most popular. While the Mavic 2 is greatly superior to its predecessor, the Mavic 1 will still get you those epic shots and is a perfect drone for beginners (plus, it’s cheaper!). (They are also awesome for improving your Instagram!)
- GoPro Hero 7 – While you may not want to make this your main vlogging camera (though it’s definitely up to the challenge!), having an action camera in your arsenal is a great way to make sure you get those exciting shots on the road. GoPro is the go-to company when it comes to action cams, and the GoPro 7 is the newest and best version of the classic cam. It blows its predecessors out of the water, with improved stabilization, higher image quality, and much better audio. If the GoPro 7 is too pricey, anything from the GoPro 4 and up will be sufficient for capturing those epic action shots.
If you get a GoPro camera, you’ll also want to get some accessories to help you get the most out of it. Here are some suggestions to start with:
- Suction cup – This is for use in moving vehicles, perfect for helping to capture epic road trips or train ride shots.
- Tripod mount – You’ll want to have a tripod for all your non-selfie shots and for hands-free filming.
- Dual battery charger and extra battery – GoPro batteries don’t last long when filming, so make sure you have extra!
- Floaty backdoor – Chances are you’re going to take your GoPro into the water at some point. Use one of these to make sure it doesn’t sink!
- GoPole – Useful for extending your reach to capture more of your surroundings. Perfect for scuba diving, boating, hot air balloons, and everything in between!
- GoPole Dome – You’ve probably seen those cool shots where the camera is half above water and half below. To reproduce those, you’ll need a dome like this.
Vlogging Audio Equipment
If you’re looking improve your vlogging, you might want to consider investing in recording equipment. Having an external microphone will increase the quality of your recordings dramatically, giving your travel vlog a more professional sound. Here are some suggestions for basic vlogging audio equipment:
- RODE VideoMic Pro – This is a solid directional external microphone that will give your video much clearer audio.
- RODE windsock – If you’re going to be filming outdoors, consider getting a windsock. It will prevent any distortion caused by strong wind.
When it comes to travel vlogging and inaugurating a YouTube channel, it’s important to keep in mind that gear is always changing. You don’t have to have the newest model — older and cheaper versions are perfectly OK when you’re just starting out! As long as they suit your needs and get the job done, then you don’t need to worry so much about having the latest and greatest equipment.
Travel vlogging gear is expensive (not to mention intimidating), so if you’re just beginning, just remember that establishing a vlog and learning how to make money on YouTube is a process. You don’t need to buy all this gear on day 1! Start small and expand your collection as you grow. Focus on making amazing content, and don’t feel bad about not having the most expensive camera. What’s important is that you get started and work hard at improving your craft. After that, everything else will fall into place!