Learn my exact Youtube setup and equipment list.
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Curious to know exactly how I shoot and edit my YouTube videos, including all the equipment and software I use? Want to know how I plan and organize my YouTube videos? I've got you covered! Let's take a peek behind the scenes of my YouTube video production.
The Planning Stage
Organization anyone? I use Google Drive to plan and organize my YouTube videos.
Why do I love Google Drive? Let me count thy ways. Mainly, it’s free, and it’s easily searchable across their suite of apps, and helps me stay organized. Specifically for organizing my YouTube content, I use Google Docs, Sheets, and Google Calendar.
So first comes the planning. What do I want to shoot? What are my content ideas? When do I want to release specific content, and so on. So to organize all the jumbled mess of ideas from my mind, I use Google Sheets. Here, I organize my topic ideas in one column, then any research notes or links that are helpful in another column, then I’ve got color-coded published status, then finally the date it went live.
So, once I’ve locked in a video idea, it’s time for scripting. Yes, I script all my videos and there’s a couple reasons for that, but I obviously use Google Docs for all my scripts. This way, everything is organized in one place for me so I can easily search anything, or easily make copies of scripts and edit from there. My scripting also includes all of my tags, video title, description, and links.
I also use Gcal to keep my schedule organized with color blocking. Because YouTube isn’t my full-time job yet, I’ve got a lot going on and I need to know at a quick glance what’s coming up. So, I have clients and tasks organized per color in my Gcal and this includes thing like my videos - when I’m scripting, when I'm shooting and when the videos are going live.
There are two tools I use to check for trending topics and good keywords for video titles and tags. First, I use Google trends and I literally Google the popularity of a search term or word. Second, I use TubeBuddy.
TubeBuddy is really great for both the pre-production and the post-production ends of your videos. On the pre-production side, you can search within youtube for specific keywords and titles that you’re thinking of and Tubebuddy will give you a keyword score to let you know if that’s a topic people are searching for. I will talk more about TubeBuddy later on when we get into post-production.
2. Shooting the Video
This is my complete YouTube setup and equipment list!
There are three different cameras I use to shoot my YouTube videos, depending on what it is I’m shooting. The camera I use the most is the Sony ZV-1. This is actually a vlogging camera, but it’s a great little camera for my tiny office setup. I purchased the camera with an accessory kit that came with a wireless Bluetooth tripod, and an SD card.
There are two things I love most about the Sony ZV-1. First, it’s got a really solid autofocus that doesn’t jump and refocus a lot, so it’s not distracting, and second, with the push of a button you can blur your background. This helps give the illusion of a greater depth of field, even when you’re in a small space like I am.
The camera I use mostly for my business and all my YouTube b-roll, is the Panasonic Lumix GH5. This is a more professional camera that’s got slick 4K capabilities, just keep in mind you’ll need to buy a lens with this one too.
Lastly, when it comes to cameras, I use my iPhone 11 Pro when I need yet another angle or if I’m grabbing a mobile screen recording.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to buy the most expensive cameras - start with what you have and make it work for you. Another really important thing when it comes to your cameras is the SD cards that you’ll be recording onto. Ensure you’re buying the right card for your camera.
Audio is super important too, and for that, I use the Rode VideoMic Pro+. This is a great compact directional shotgun mic, that works both with a battery or plug-in power, which is really helpful if you’re on the go and can’t worry about charging a battery.
Tripods and stands are also important because clearly, you need to set your camera up on something. I use the Vanguard Alta Pro and it is the best tripod for the money. I actually have two of these exact models and I love the versatility. You can shoot from multiple angles with this guy, and it’s not really heavy, so it’s one you could travel with, yet it’s sturdy and well built.
I also use the Dazzne desk mount stand for when I need to attach my ring light or microphone to my desk for certain video angles. It’s a whopping $32.00 and is it ever handy. And speaking of lights, there are three different ones I use.
First, is the Neewer 18-inch ring light - this is typically my main light source as I don’t have great natural light in here and I’m often shooting with a window behind me. Then I also have the Neewer table top USB light. This is really handy not only for any video calls I have, but I use it to fill in some shadows when I shoot my YouTube videos. Then, I also have a Neewer dimmable camera video light. I use this guy to soften the harshness of the ring lights, and it’s also nice and compact for shooting on the go, if necessary.
I also have a set of battery powered wireless lights for cool backlighting effects. You can adhere them to a surface or move them around like I do. They even come with a little remote so you don’t have to get up to change the light colors or turn them on and off.
3. Editing and Post-Production
Just to touch briefly on the equipment I use for editing, I’ve got a MacBook Pro, I use an Asus monitor as a second screen, and I’ve also got and Anker Docking Station. This station is clutch in order for me to plug in the million things I have connected to my MacBook Pro.
And speaking of the things I have plugged into my Mac, I use a lot of external hard drives to store content, to backup content, and to work off of for my YouTube projects. Get yourself a great backup drive. I’ve linked to all the ones I use down below.
I’ve been asked a lot what I use to capture my screen when I create my video tutorials. 99% of the time I use Camtasia for all my screen recordings. And no, despite sharing a name with the company, I’m not sponsored by them yet.
But remember, use what you have. Both Windows and Mac have built-in screen recording capabilities, so use them to your benefit.
So for all of my editing, I use Final Cut Pro X. It’s the perfect pro-sumer editing suite, and is so intuitive and easy to use. Obviously, there are a ton of built in effects and transitions and features, but I like to step it up a notch by adding in third party plugins and themes. I use FX Factory, Pixel Film Studios and Leno FX in order to achieve cool effects, text animations, reveals, and transitions. I even use these plugins to edit my audio if there's too much background noise or echo.
Plugins in Final Cut Pro X are THE way to step things up a notch for your videos. Trust me, ya’ll know I’m cheap so I don’t buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff. It has to be worth it.
4. Posting the YouTube Video
First let’s talk thumbnails and the importance of creating a YouTube thumbnail, so you’re not just using a random frame from your video. After I shoot my video, I record a little clip of me posing for what will be a still for my thumbnail. Sounds weird, I know. But, I use a software called Wondershare Filmora to grab a high resolution snapshot from that clip.
This snapshot will become my thumbnail with the help of Canva. I create all my thumbnails in Canva. I have the paid version which allows me to remove the background from any image, but if you don’t care about that, you can get by just fine with the free version. I even create some of my social media promotional graphics in Canva as well.
Earlier I mentioned I use TubeBuddy when I’m first creating a YouTube script idea. I also use TubeBuddy on the backend when I’m actually posting the video. With TubeBuddy, you can see suggested tags and how they’re ranking which is really helpful to adjust or add last minute tags too. Plus, I’ll go back in after the video has been posted and check on how my tags are ranking and see if TubeBuddy suggests anything else.
And if you want even more in-depth information on all the tools I use to shoot and edit my YouTube videos, I’ve created a free digital toolkit for you, and of course, I’ve linked to that below as well.
So that’s my complete YouTube setup and equipment list. What do you think about the tools I use to shoot and edit my YouTube videos? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
🎥 VIDEO EQUIPMENT & ACCESSORIES:
PanasonicLUMIX GH5: https://amzn.to/3dCgPgs (body only)
PanasonicLUMIX GH5 Kit: https://amzn.to/39PYF9L
Sony ZV-1 : https://amzn.to/3sYcpqr
iPhone 11 pro: https://amzn.to/3a62E2j
Rode VideoMic Pro+: https://amzn.to/3mpnkHe
Vanguard Tripods: https://amzn.to/2Ou0fGY
Dazzne Desk Mount Stand: https://amzn.to/3wxtpWF
Sony E Series: https://amzn.to/3dDYS0N
Sandisk 128GB: https://amzn.to/3wstkDT
Sandisk 256GB: https://amzn.to/3mrJmch
Neewer Ring Light: https://amzn.to/3sYkrzx
Neewer Desk Ring Light: https://amzn.to/2PwNoo1
Neewer Camera Light: https://amzn.to/2R2AM8j
Wireless Color Changing Lights: https://amzn.to/3s2fUes
🎞 EDITING EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE:
Asus Monitor: https://amzn.to/3urKm35
Anker Docking Station: https://amzn.to/39NWEuB
WD 2TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/3tFmOs0
WD 4TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/3tFJxE8
WD 8TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2LuFKZ6
WD 12TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2YTldk2
Seagate One Touch 2TB External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/3jwIGAU
Seagate One Touch 4TB External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/3jvyDw5
Seagate One Touch 5TB External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2MEGD22
Samsung Solid State External Hard Drives (SSD)
Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 1TB: https://amzn.to/3p2o05d
Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 2TB: https://amzn.to/36T4PVb
Khanka Hard Travel Case for Samsung T5 SSD: https://amzn.to/3tOq0Se
Final Cut X: https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/trial/
FX Factory: https://fxfactory.com/
Pixel Film Studios: http://pixelfilmstudios.com/
Wondershare Filmora: https://filmora.wondershare.com/
🎦 I use Tubebuddy to grow my YouTube Channel. Learn more:
📷 I use Canva to create all my YouTube thumbnails. Learn more: partner.canva.com/jWXqOv
🎞 I use Camtasia for all my screencasting needs: techsmith.z6rjha.net/2rrRvG
⚙️ DOWNLOAD MY DIGITAL TOOLKIT: