Vlogging is possibly the biggest online trend at the moment. To start it, all you need are just a few gadgets which will help you create quality content. These are: camera, external microphone, light and tripod.
The Business Standard reached out to some celebrated vloggers for their user reviews and suggestions for noob vloggers.
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera
Price: Tk 84,000
We have been using Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera for the last one and a half years for both food and travel vlogging. Its market price is around Tk 84,000. It provides excellent performance in low light and is very user friendly. As a brand, Sony is pretty user-friendly and popular. So, it is easy to learn its operations from manual or online tutorials.
For vlogging, we prefer a camera with a flip screen. Previously, we used a camera of the same brand but that did not have a flip screen option; hence, we upgraded. We crosschecked its review online and then decided to buy.
As it is not waterproof, we cannot use it everywhere. In that case, we prefer GoPro Hero7. Sometimes, we have to use lenses for a better view.
It is light-weight and easy to carry for outdoor shooting. In the beginning, one might find some issues like blurring, shaking and defocusing, but it has nothing to do with the camera actually. Vloggers just need to be careful, and with time, they will learn how to stabilise hands to frame perfect shots.
Its sound quality is not satisfactory and it picks a lot of noise. Therefore, we use an external directional microphone of Rode brand as, in vlogging, we cannot compromise with sound quality.
It takes around two hours to get charged and, with two backup batteries, it serves for the whole day. We are highly satisfied with its service as we find it as a price-worthy gadget.
For beginners, this camera would be a bit expensive as it needs extra devices for support. So, we would suggest they buy Sony's recently launched Sony ZV-1 camera. It is a wholesome package within a tight budget.
- Rasif Shafique and Ridima Khan Ipsha, Petuk Couple
Rode NTG3B Super-Cardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone
Price: Tk 60,000
I use Rode NTG3B Shotgun Mic – known as boom mic – for indoor shooting. Its current market price is around Tk 60,000.
It provides professional grade sound quality; so it is good enough for TVC and OVC, where we do not want to take sound in post production. This mic is used for indoor shooting usually. It is a directional mic and barely picks ambient sound, which can be easily fixed in post-production.
For my personal use, I use a webcam of Logitech brand, which does not need any external microphone as its in-build microphone is good enough.
During outdoor shootings, we use a lapel microphone of the same brand. It cost me around Tk 17,000. Actually, our production team has a group of tech-savvy people who understand technology better than me; so I depend on their reviews and suggestions before buying any of these.
For beginners, I would suggest to start with a mobile phone. In that case, iPhone or OnePlus can be used as these provide good audio performance.
I have been using this brand for the last six years and am quite happy with its performance.
- Ayman Sadiq, 10 Minute School
Neewer 700W Professional Photography 24x24 inches/60x60 Centimeters Softbox with E27 Socket Light Lighting Kit
Price: Tk 6,500.
My pick is Neewer brand, and it cost approximately Tk 6,500. Actually, it depends on the price of the lights that we add according to our choice. So, it might vary. There is a diffuser in it which helps to soften the light and blend it with the skin tone.
In the beginning, I used to use charger light or tube light but that would not properly focus on the subject. Now, I prefer three-point lighting – key light, fill light, back light – that helps to add a cinematic texture to the content, easily distinguishes the subject from the background and creates a depth.
While making indoor content, I use Neewer soft box as the key light, ring light as fill light and lamp as back light. For outdoor shooting, I use Yongnuo's YN300 LED. It is a portable light and has warm and cold feature in lighting. I purchased it for Tk 6,500.
I am very much satisfied with what I have as I create amateur content. I might upgrade later if I feel like doing so. However, I do not just depend on lighting; so I try to use camera that can capture things in low light too.
For beginners, a ring light from any brand can be used as key light, and for other sources, tube light and lamps are fine.
- Rafayat Rakib, ShowOffs Dhk
Price: Tk 16,000
Generally, we keep a lower budget for tripods as it is not that necessary. Currently, we are using a tripod from Libec brand that we purchased for Tk 16,000.
In the beginning, we had bought Manfrotto's tripod, which was priced around Tk 33,000, but it had not served our purpose very well. Actually, this Manfrotto's basic tripods' price starts at Tk 30,000, and it is a bit expensive for us.
This brand is popular for its light-weight, as its legs are made of carbon fibre. It is an advantage for those who create content without much panning. So, it is good for indoor shooting, not outdoor or any heavy work. It has fluid head but that is not smooth enough.
As we needed heavy tripods that do not shift position while panning, we shifted to Libec brand. Now, this brand is providing controlled panning; hence, we do not have to give much effort in post-production. Though it has fluid tilter, it is smooth.
In Manfrotto's tripod, its legs do not have an adjustor either; so it cannot be used on rough platforms. On the other hand, Libec has this facility. So with Libec, it is like a ready-to-go situation at any place.
I did not find Manfrotto price-worthy for the content we make usually. In the market, there are many Chinese brands that are doing pretty well; so beginners can check those out too. However, if one is determined to buy Manfrotto only, I would suggest to buy something from a higher range.
I am happy with this Libec's performance and services.
- Ashikur Rahman Tushar, ATC Android ToTo Company