It’s never too late to start a career as a YouTuber. In fact, the market is much bigger today than it was a couple of years ago.
YouTube generated nearly $5 billion in ad revenue alone at the beginning of the year. And with users are now encouraged to stay at home, viewership has only risen, so the market is much bigger.
If you’re looking to become a YouTuber, one of your must-haves is good gear. After all, nothing says YouTube professionals like good lighting and XLR microphones.
Then again, making your videos look polished doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many of the things you already own can make you appear like a pro with the right setup.
Here are some budget gear ideas for aspiring YouTubers.
The quality of your camera can make or break your entire YouTube career. After all, no viewer wants to see unclear footage. And while DSLRs make the best choice, those working with a budget may find that their smartphone camera is a great substitute.
The PCB design process of a modern smartphone camera involves creating 3D components in a footprint library, which means they can be modeled in a more complex way. With the mechanical information being supplied by an MCAD tool, designers can focus on the specifications they want in a phone camera, such as a bigger pixel size.
To know if your smartphone qualifies as a camera, it should have a sensor as close to an inch as possible and a wide aperture.
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No matter if you’re on a tight budget or not, you should never use earphones, smartphones, or laptop microphones as your audio recording device. The audio pieces in these devices are so small that it severely limits the mic’s range. This makes it difficult to pick up your voice when you’re more than a foot away.
Plus, their tiny audio sensors will make your voice sound muffled. There’s just no way around it: you have to buy a dedicated microphone.
Fortunately, you don’t need an expensive one—a simple lapel microphone will improve your audio a lot. If you have the extra budget, you can buy a USB microphone.
They process the sound before it’s transferred to the connected device, allowing your voice to sound clear and crisp without editing. Most of them will even have built-in noise cancellation.
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The main purpose of lights is to put a “spotlight” on the creator. Since it’s focused on you, with a bit of adjustment, you can make the background seem a lot dimmer—which is a great way to get viewers to pay attention to you instead of what’s around you.
One cheap solution some content creators found is to film in front of a large window during daylight. Of course, this method, while plausible, is not sustainable. After all, it’s not going to be sunny every day.
Plus, the sunlight will cast an awkward shadow beneath your neck because of the sun’s top angle. Instead, invest in a cheap ring light. Ring lights evenly spread the beam outward, so your entire body will look naturally bright.
It’s okay not to buy expensive equipment when you’re just starting out. It’s best to purely focus on your content’s quality, which can be achieved with ordinary gear. When you start making money, that’s when you can start investing in pricey equipment.
If you think you’re ready to start a career on YouTube, here’s our post on everything a content creator needs to know.