April 22, 2020

My Camera Setup For Youtube

2/18/21 - I've since upgraded to the a7S III as my Youtube camera (click here to read).

I purchased a Sony Alpha A6400 with the intent of making more videos. This includes all of my DIY projects, my travels, and maybe even some vlogging. Basically, I needed my camera setup for youtube.

researching cameras within my budget and requirements.

I watched hours of YouTube reviews from amateur and professional camera channels. The common recommendation was the Sony Alpha Line. I then used CameraDecision.com to pit dozens of cameras against each other.

Eventually, I had to decide between which Sony Alpha Camera. It came down to the A6400 vs A6500. The A6400 is actually newer than the A6500. Thanks for the confusion Sony! The main difference that mattered to me was that the A6400 did not have a recording limit or overheating issues as the older models did. The A6500, however, did have IBIS(in-body image stabilization). But based on many reviews, the Sony IBIS was not very impressive anyway.

I ended up choosing the A6400 at its price point, the reasons above, its autofocus performance, and that it came weather-sealed as opposed to its competition.

Accessories For My Camera Rig.

  • The components for my camera setup include a Smallrig chassis. This provides some protection against drops and allows me to mount various accessories to my camera.
    • An example would be a cold shoe relocator. The A6400's design puts the cold shoe right where the flip-up screen is. You cannot use a mic and have the screen flipped up. The mic will cover the entire screen. A poor design thought on Sony. With a relocator, I can push the mic off to the side and have a full view of the screen.
  • For the mic, I chose the Rode VideoMicro for the price and performance. Plus this model does not require batteries to operate. You don't have to worry about turning it off/on every time.
  • I went with a Manfrotto PIXI mini tripod but plan on getting a full-sized tripod in the future.
  • I bought a RAVPower spare battery kit with a charger.
  • Of course, with any camera setup, you'll need a reliable SD Card. That's why the best choice is Sandisk.
  • As for the case, I'm currently throwing my setup around in my backpack while I wait for my cheap case that found on Aliexpress.
  • I found a used Manfrotto tripod on OfferUp for $5. This included the 3221WN tripod legs with the 3433 (501) Fluid Head. I believe this setup sells for more than $200 brand new and sells on eBay for around $150-180 used.
  • I also purchased my first prime lenses in the Sony Zeiss 24mm F1.8 (SEL24F18Z)
  • If you watched my driving videos, I use a Tackform headrest camera mount for my camera rig.

There are a few more accessories that I would like to play with but this is a good start for now.

I've owned a DSLR prior but I never really took the time to learn to use it outside of the Auto mode. With the current world pandemic, I have much more time available to invest. Hopefully with this setup, my production value will go. I can't guarantee the quality of my content though ;).

After this whole pandemic and the world opens back up, hopefully, I can put this camera to good use. Perhaps even as soon as any country that sparks my interest opens back up.

Read my GreenToe.com review where I purchased my A6400 at a discount.

Update 5/18/20

Update 8/17/20

  • I've added a DJI Ronin-SC gimbal to my accessories list. A gimbal is an absolute must when trying to make videos. Especially if you do not have IBIS or OSS (image stabilization) built-in.
  • I returned the Manfrotto 501 mounting plates and switched over to arca swiss plates. This works with the base plate for the Ronin-SC so I don't have to re-balance every time I move my camera away from my gimbal. The 501 mounting plates were too bulky to my liking.
  • The 24mm Zeiss was great as a general-purpose lens but I decided that I needed a better zoom lens. Based on my budget, the Sony G 18-105mm F/4 OSS was purchased.
  • When this blog was written, I was in Automatic mode all the time. Now I'm always in Manual mode as I get more comfortable with my camera. My photography and videography skills are improving every time that I use my camera. A lot of it with the help of Youtube videos but the fundamentals were learned from R-Photography Class.

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