The Best Vlogging Equipment Starter Kit For Beginners

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You asked, I answered! Here’s my guide to the vlogging equipment you need to get started…

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Vlogging Equipment For Beginners: What Do You Really Need?

Let’s cut to the chase: what kind of vlogging equipment and blogging paraphernalia do you actually need? I’ve written this list in response to friends, colleagues and readers asking me about the vlogger equipment I take with me when I work and travel the world. It’s part of my job and so it’s something I take pride in – but I’m also well aware that tech and kit talk leaves a lot of people cold.

Then there are others. Those who fall in love with the machines and forget what the purpose is behind it all: to capture moments, perhaps forever, and share them with the world.

This vlogging starter kit article aims to hit the middle of the two standpoints.

Do you feel that a lack of vlogger kit is the thing that’s holding you back?

Let it hold you back no more…

Essential Vlogging Equipment

When it comes to your vlogging setup, this is what you’ll need:

  • A camera that can record video. The end.

After that, you can start thinking about:

  • A tripod
  • A microphone
  • Headphones
  • A gimbal for filming on the move
  • A selfie stick or vlogging stick
  • Lighting

I’ll talk about each of the pieces of equipment I use in detail further on. But first of all, let’s have a quick run through of the vlogging essentials.

Abigail King with vlogging equipment camera starter kit
The best camera is the one that you have!

A Vlogging Camera

As Chase Jarvis famously said “the best camera is the one you have with you” and that principle can really be expanded to what we’re talking about here.

The best equipment for vlogging is the kit you have with you. The best vlogging camera is the one you have with you that you aren’t afraid to use. Don’t get lost in the pursuit of the perfect kit: it doesn’t exist. That said, don’t skimp on things that will make life much, much better, for both you and your audience.

Top Tip: the first place to upgrade is with sound by buying a microphone. It’s nearly impossible to fix bad sound but you can fix a myriad of problems elsewhere.

What is a Vlog?

The word comes from video log and the trend began as a video diary affair. Now, vlogging refers to just about any video for social media. It’s accessible, informational and entertaining (or at least it should be!) but it doesn’t typically require a full crew.

Really, the biggest obstacle to developing a career in vlogging is not the equipment. It’s the getting started and keeping going…honestly!

A Decent Smartphone

Smartphones these days take incredible video.

The iPhone 15 Pro, for example, can record in 4K at 60fps (make sure to check your settings as it defaults to a lower quality file to save space.) Image quality and smartphone video capabilities keep on increasing, with inbuilt image stabilisation and mic input options to create a mobile beginner YouTube vlogging kit.

Note that you NEED to pay close attention to lighting and audio and need a gimbal or tripod most of the time.

But start with those before splashing out for a bigger, better camera or any other vlogging camera equipment. Please? Your phone is all the YouTube equipment you need when you’re starting out. After that, if you want to delve deeper, you can check out this guide to YouTube equipment here.

A Mirrorless DSLR

Mirrorless DSLRs or mirrorless cameras are now what most blogging and vlogging professionals use. They’re big but not too big (the mirror has been removed) and you can still use interchangeable lenses. That said, most travel bloggers and vloggers I know stick to one lens most of the time and a few they keep in reserve. It takes time to switch lenses and it’s awkward to carry them around.

Since so much of travel photography is spontaneous, it doesn’t make sense to miss the shot while fiddling around with your vlogger equipment. I use the SONY alpha 7 III with this SEL2870 lens. Check it out, it is a great camera, but you don’t need it to start with!

Compact Cameras

Personally, I’ve never really got on well with compact cameras. Stick with a smartphone for your video recording or else upgrade to a mirrorless DSLR, ideally with a live view.

As you’d expect, the rule of thumb is that video quality and the options while recording or shooting increase with price. But if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: it’s what you do with your kit that counts the most.

Travel blogger takes a break with a tripod setup
Taking a break with a tripod

A Tripod

Again, with travel, you need to balance up weight and stability against portability. I love my Neewer SAB264 tripod because it’s tall (177cm) lightweight (2.8lbs) and very quick and easy to use. I’ve tried several other cheaper ones over the years and they’ve all broken like a false economy bin bag on its sad march through the house. False. Eeeconomy. Don’t skimp here!

A Microphone

The first thing to fix is your audio. Learn how to soundproof a room. Listen out for wind. Look out for building works. And then buy a microphone. There are two main types for when you’re on the move.

A lav mic, which clips to the lapels of the person you’re interviewing (or you.)

And one that plugs in direct to your camera (or phone – I have the iPhone X so use this plug in SHURE microphone. I used to use lav mics a lot but this works better for me on the go as it’s faster to set up.)

Microphones can get very expensive but they are probably the first area to address when it comes to upgrading your vlogging equipment. Top vloggers recommend Rode videomics – and you can find an entry level microphone here.

Vlogger holding oil up to camera
With the right equipment, anyone can be a vlogger!


Don’t forget to take headphones with you so that you can check the sound without annoying everyone around you. I mean, there is more to it than that, but that’s the place to start!


Nothing gets more attention on the road than travelling around with a gimbal! Out of the box, people are fascinated. What does it do, how does it work?

Inside the box, well it looks like a cross between the world’s smallest violin and an oddly unashamed dildo.

What it actually does is smooth out your filming so that viewers don’t get seasick. You used to need to spend hundreds of pounds and lug around a lot of kit to achieve this with a steady cam. Now, you can buy a handheld device for the price of a return trip for your luggage with Ryanair.

This has probably been the game-changer for me when it comes to video. It’s given me so much more confidence and I get to do lots of different creative things. It also does the very basic job of letting me move around without making youtubers seasick.

You can buy the Zhiyun Gimbal that I use on Amazon here.

Selfie Stick for Vlogging

Yes, it’s embarrassing but it’s time to get over that! Get a firm selfie stick with a tripod base and a bluetooth remote control. I’ve tried several and I’m still looking for my perfect match.

I love this selfie stick because it’s so light and quick to use. But it only works for my phone, not my GoPro nor my bigger camera. I’ve tried other interchangeable ones but the quality hasn’t been that great. So I’m still searching. If you have any recommendations, let me know!

Abigail King wearing a GoPro and cycling
Rocking the GoPro look…

Vlogging Accessories


A GoPro – this is just another camera with a record function but it’s designed for active use. You can buy a range of accessories to help you attach it to your head, your chest, your dashboard… You can swim with it, operate it by voice and lots more. It’s also useful for wide angle views inside buildings.

GoPro Accessories

You can buy as many or as few of these as you like. I find the following really useful:

Also note that you can find and buy many GoPro accessories that are brand “X” and much cheaper. Sometimes this saves a lot of money. Sometimes, they break on first use. I keep switching back and forth between my approach. But if you have your heart SET on a particular moment that you will never be able to repeat again then it’s probably best to play it safe and buy the GoPro approved version.

A Card Reader

This sounds trivial to begin with but gets really important really quickly. In my experience, the biggest obstacle to publishing good work is managing to keep on top of it all. To stay organised and move files from A to B seamlessly before firing them off into the alphabet soup of social media, backup everything online. A card reader is a small piece of equipment that plugs into your computer. You put the memory card from your camera into that instead of fiddling around with wireless connections or wires. The files transfer much faster that way.

But, obviously, it has to fit the attachments on your computer and the size of your memory card. Double check which you need before you buy.

Spare Batteries

Vlogging eats up storage and power. When you work in travel (or just want to have a beautiful record of your travels) you’ll find video gobbles up both pretty quick. When buying a main camera (DSLR or mirrorless) always buy at least one spare battery at the same time.

Multi-Power Adapter with Extension Cord

You can buy these almost anywhere but they’re so useful when on a working trip. Some hotel rooms have plugs in awkward positions or possibly just the one. Plug in one of these and charge all your devices and spares at the same time. Ta da!

Round the World Adapter

Save stress packing by having two of these. One in your hand luggage and one in your main suitcase (in case you lose your luggage.)

Gorilla Pod

Gorilla pods are bendy tripods with fittings that you can attach to tiny iPhones or chunky big goliath cameras. The first tend to do a little better, though, as the heavier the lens, the more the limbs of the tripod struggle. I also use these to extend the length of my gimbal during Facebook Lives.

Remote Controls

This almost comes within the category of cameras but you can buy them separately. Camera remote controls, whether for phones, GoPros or cameras, make it far easier for you to film yourself and cut down on edit time later. They are also essential for taking photos in very low light when the pressure of your finger can blur the image.


Natural daylight provides some of the best light around. But if you need to film indoors a lot and live in a gloomy country (hello Britain!) then it can be very useful to have backup lighting.

An entry level lighting set up to sit on your desk for a work Zoom call can make you look much more professional. The Lume Cube Broadcasting Kit is a good example.

Next up, is the ring light on a tripod. This donut shaped light source provides a bright but forgiving light to faces, so beauty vloggers love it! I’d really recommend the Neewer Selfie Ring Light on a stand.

Do You Need Different Gear For Travel Vlogging?

A lot of travel vlogging equipment works just as well for all types of situations, but not always. The most obvious difference is that with travel, you need to carry your gear.

All of it. A lot.

Around and around, up stony staircases, down slippery muddy paths, through sweaty, sticky jungles and into ice-cold air conditioning so fierce it seems as though a power-crazed polar bear has seized control.

But also, since travel is about being in the experience and reacting quickly to things around you, it’s better to go with less. Seriously. In fact, I think it makes it more fun as you learn to make the most of what you have with you at any given time. One final note: don’t fall into the trap of being so worried about your equipment that you never use it. Yes, some of this is expensive and it would be annoying for it to break or be stolen. But keeping it your hotel room or, worse yet, at home, for fear of ruining it defeats the purpose of having it in the first place.

Don’t flaunt it or leave it lying around. But don’t forget to use it.

Yvonne Zagerman vlogging in Girona
If you’re going to be travel vlogging, make sure you can carry the kit!


Can you recommend a single vlogger starter kit on Amazon?

Personally, I think it’s best to start with the smartphone you have and introduce a tripod, gimbal and microphone before getting anything too fancy. You can buy dedicated “vlogger starter kits” on Amazon but they tend to include more things than you need and the quality isn’t always worth it.

You can find my recommendations in my Amazon shop here.

Do you need different vlogging equipment for YouTube?

No! You can vlog for YouTube just as easily as for anywhere else. Your YouTube vlog camera, tripod, microphone can be multipurpose.

What about vlogging equipment for lighting?

You can buy a range of mobile and fixed lighting devices to make your videos look brighter. I haven’t found any I love yet that make the price worthwhile. But I’ll keep you posted and add them here when I do.

Can you recommend a vlogging kit for iPhone?

Yes I can! Stretch up to the iPhone X if you can and then grab the iPhone microphone, selfie stick and tripod from this amazon list here. If you plan on doing any travel vlogging at all, then I strongly recommend you buy the gimbal as well.

Do you need a camera with a flip screen?

I personally don’t get on with them very well, perhaps because I’m in front of the camera so often. But many other vloggers swear by them. So see if you can borrow one for a test run and see which works best for you.

The Best Vlogging Equipment: In Summary

  • The best vlogging equipment is the stuff you’re happy to take with you and actually use.
  • It has a decent microphone.
  • It stabilises the view.
  • It is YOU! What you do with your vlogging kit matters most of all. Go, get to it!
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Bookmark this post for later and start your vlogging adventure!

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