So you want to start your own Vlog, but you don't have a budget to justify buying a DSLR capable of video... just yet. That's okay! I'm going to show you how to create a high quality Vlog using nothing more than your cell phone.
Here's the golden rule to all filmmaking...
CONTENT MATTERS MORE THAN PRODUCTION
Great videos need great content. If your material is utter crap, no amount of production is going to polish it. Don’t believe me? How often do big budget movies fail at the box office? All the time. The point is, the content and “story” matter more than the amount of money that was budgeted for the production. Whether your budget is $5,000,000 or $500, the truth is still the same.
Given that perspective, I'm more so focused on giving you guys the tools necessary to record video content that you can create on the go. All of the equipment that I'll mention in this article is meant to be both inexpensive and portable so that you can film anywhere and anytime your heart desires.
Cell Phone Holder - $8
The most important things that you're going to look for when buying a cell phone holder is 3 things:
- SECURITY - Simple. You want to be sure that your cell phone is safe at all times.
- MOUNTS - You want something with a 1/4 20 mount on the bottom of the cell phone holder and one on top at minimum. The bottom 1/4 20 mount allows you to rig the cellphone holder to a tripod. The top one allows you to mount accessories to it, like a microphone or small light.
- ARTICULATION - If your cell phone holder does not change angles and the tripod doesn't move, then you're restricted to the angle that your tripod is set. For this build, the cell phone holder I've recommended relies on purchasing a tripod with an articulating head.
TRIPOD - $20
The Tripod, I've selected is a Manfrotto Pixi which is capable of holding up to 2.2lbs, which is more than enough to support your cell phone. The articulating ball joint on top allows you to change the angle up to 35 degrees. That's really important if you want to change the overall angle of your shot.
Alternatively, the legs can be folded up so that you can hand hold the Manfrotto Pixi for more stable shots. If you happen to be holding it that way, you'll want to be aware that you're restricted to the length of your arm, so if you're handing holding it and facing it towards yourself, you're probably not going to have a ton of the background in your shot.
ACCESSORY MOUNT - $7
One of the reasons that I recommended the cell phone holder that I did was simply because it had a 1/4 20 mount on top of it. Having this extra option allows you to attach accessories directly onto your phone, like a microphone or a small light. If you're not running anything with power to it, you can stick with using a "cold shoe mount," which simply means that there isn't any way to run power to it. These will be a lot less expensive than a hot shoe mount. Remember "Cold Shoe Mount."
MICROPHONE - $60
For most of you, simpler is better. Hands down for the money, I always recommend the Rode Video Micro. I've personally used the Rode VideoMicro on my camera for talking head videos and it’s a really clear microphone if you’re within range of the microphone.
The best part is that it plugs directly into the camera without need of a battery. All of the audio is recorded on the video track, which makes it easier for editing purposes.
It's also compatible with DSLRs in the event you later decide that you want to upgrade to a DSLR.
GRAND TOTAL: $95
While that doesn't include shipping or tax, it's still under $100 if you have an Amazon Prime account. ;)