You’re starting to create video content, posting to YouTube regularly and seeing subscribers roll in. You’ve nailed down your channel strategy, what topics your viewers want to see and how to plan out your videos. How do you take your look and workflow to the next level? Focus on your YouTube setup.

Creating a practical but professional studio will help you enhance your brand while making your job as a content creator easier.

A dedicated camera for the win

You may be shooting on your smartphone or a small consumer camera. It’s time to take this part of your YouTube setup to the next level by picking up a dedicated device for your channel. It may be confusing to choose with all the options, but there are many great articles that go into detail on each camera. Here are a few considerations for selecting your go-to camera. 

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  • Find a camera that can shoot up to 4K quality footage and offers options for shooting at variable frames rates such as 1080/60 or 1080/90. This will give your camera room to grow along with your channel. 
  • Consider getting a camera with a flip-out screen to help you frame your shot.
  • Invest in a solid fast lens. We recommend a 24 to 70mm 2.8 to cover most of your shots.

Quiet on set

Now that you have a dedicated camera, where are you going to shoot? We recommend creating a dedicated space for recording. This is an essential part of creating your ideal YouTube setup.

For an at-home production space, you can convert a spare bedroom into a YouTube studio. It might be a good idea to get creative and paint your walls, hang some contrasting colored art and add some cool lighting, like some Edison-style lighting in the background for bokeh.

Once you’ve done this, all you have to do is turn the camera on, sit down and record.

Don’t have a room to spare? One simple trick is to decorate a functional room in your home such as a living room, bedroom or kitchen. Once the room is designed to fit the feel of your channel, set up your gear and record. Make sure to note where all of your equipment is placed when recording to stay consistent with each video.

If you don’t have a room that fits your channel’s brand, you can always purchase a backdrop that you can set up anywhere and anytime you need to record. We recommend picking up a white backdrop and an RGB light so that you can change the color of your backdrop as you wish.

Lights, camera, action! But mostly lights…

Next step in ramping up your YouTube setup is to up your lighting game.

If you’ve been using natural light, consider a softbox or a ring light. Investing in lighting is a great way to up your video game. We recommend using what’s called three-point lighting, which involves a key light, a fill light and a backlight. This will give your shots depth and ensure you stand out from your background.

For this type of lighting setup, we recommend buying a large soft light like the Aputure 120D, or equivalent, and a large light dome for your key light. This will provide a soft, dimmable, bright light. For your fill light, consider buying a smaller soft light or LED panel light like the Dracast LED500. Finally, for your backlight, seek a small LED option like the Aputure MC.

Whether you choose to go all-in and invest in a high-end light kit or are more comfortable with a budget kit, you’ll find that having lighting as part of your ideal YouTube setup is a game-changer.   

Finishing up your ideal YouTube setup

Now that most of your setup is complete, there are a couple of additional pieces of gear you may want to consider to take your setup from ordinary to extraordinary. The first thing is a solid tripod. An aluminum body will work, but if you plan on traveling with your equipment to shoot for your channel then you may want to consider carbon fiber. A great option is the Benro BV6 Tripod.

Finally, look for a good microphone. We recommend finding something affordable that has great reviews. If you are looking for a solid mic for vlogging that you can also take with you on-the-go, we recommend an on-camera shotgun microphone.

Just fix it in post.

Now that you have all your gear laid out, how can you step up your post-production? If you love your current editing software, that is fine. However, if you want to have more control over your color grading, graphics, audio and other aspects, then you may want to consider upgrading. We also recommend looking into a software that will integrate with other programs. Some examples of these are Adobe Creative Suite, Apple’s Final Cut Pro suite and HitFilm’s editing suite. 

Now that you’ve upgraded to your software, your equipment and your workflow, you have the ideal YouTube setup. All that’s left is to start creating!