These are all the tools and gadgets I use and love to create videos and take pictures, I broke them down into categories for easy sorting =] If you are looking for bags for your gear, check this post I wrote with the best camera bags for women.
When I first started my blog in 2010, I used to take pictures with a point and shoot. After I moved to the USA, Ken (my husband) let me borrow his DLSR so I could learn a bit more about photography after I started making money with my design business and felt more comfortable, I upgraded to a newer model of Canon camera ( I can't recall the model)
In 2018, I upgraded to the 80D to take better pictures of the items I was selling in my shop and also purchased the M50 when it first came out because I wanted to start making Vlogs.
I purchased this camera on a wimp when I started researching tools to make Vlogs (I am so embarrassed!). I know I could have just done it with my 80D (listed below) but this is such a light camera and the quality is almost as good as my big camera. I wanted something that was small and light. If I wouldn't have purchased the other one first, I would have probably stayed with just this one. And this kit has pretty much everything that you would need. The only extra items I purchased was a microphone (below) and a better hand-held tripod.
This lens has been a total game changer. It handles low light conditions like a champ and the bokeh in both pictures and video is amazing! My only regret is to not have purchased it along with the camera, way sooner!
This is the camera kit that I currently use, I additionally purchased this 50mm fixed Lens, and also this 100mm macro lens, along with the Rode Microphone, and also a 128GB SanDisk Memory Card. I could not recommend it more, it is a big investment, but if you are thinking about getting an AWESOME camera for photos AND video, this is the one! (plus is much cheaper than the high-end cameras) And if you also want to check a class on how to use it, this one in Creative Live is so great!
I recently found this kit for my 80D camera, so that I can plug my camera directly into the power, this way I can keep shooting without worrying about my battery dying in the middle of a video.
This is a very recent addition to my set up and I am obsessed, I had such a hard time checking if my video were in focus because of how far I set my camera, this was the cheapest option I found for the price and it's so worth it! I just had to get this cable to connect it to my 80D camera and done!
As many of you already know, I live in the mountains. And while it's beautiful and I love it, I have trees that cover pretty much all the light that gets to our house no matter the time of the day. So proper lighting is something that I've always been fighting to achieve.
Here you can see some of my recommendations and what I used to have and also what I currently use.
If your budget is very small and you want to improve your pictures, just getting one of these bulbs can make such a difference! but remember to diffuse the light in some way, because it can be a little harsh.
This is the upgraded and basic option for lights, it uses the same bulbs I share before but includes tripods, holders, and white umbrellas to diffuse the light. One of Ken's friends gifted him a bunch of gear and something very similar to this was included, so I used it for a while.
This is a little bit more of a pro version since it has softboxes instead of umbrellas, but it still uses the same bulbs. I upgraded my light to the ones below though, because my boys kept knocking on my lights and breaking bulbs, after the 4th one that I had to replace, I just decided to go a different route.
These are my current light and I am obsessed with them! I also purchased a little diffuser for them. I love how it has dimmable controls for white and also for the yellow output, so you can play with the temperature that they display. I am using direct power all the time, but I love that I also have the option to use them with batteries in case I move them and there's no power close.
I purchased this one because I wanted something easy for quick Instagram videos and they work super good, the light is not rough and I still use them every once in a while.
This is the current set up I have for overhead shooting with my phone and also DLSR, below you can read about the other set up I have for my iPhone as well.
What I love the most about this is that I can set up my big camera without having to worry about it falling over or moving. The arms are fully movable and if you wanted, you can add more arms to hold your lights, microphone, and second angle camera. It's super convenient! I first came across this idea with this video, and then this one.
This is the main piece that you will need, all you have to do after you assemble it is taking the plate that holds the monitor, you are going to find a little screw at the top, this is what you will use to attach the tripod head, so you can move the camera easily and in case you want to take it in and out fast.
I really like how this tripod head allows me to move the camera freely and also take it in and out super fast. I converted all of my attachments to hold this tripod head instead so that all my cameras and tripods are interchangeable.
While I have not tried it, the idea of adding my lights to this rig sounds cool, I like that they offer all kind of different add ons that you can get for extra camera angle or gadgets. You just need a little creativity to set it up =]
iPhone overhead shooting
These are the tools I am using to film overhead videos with my iPhone, I am listing everything I've used because it could be that what I no longer use is the best option for you. I will list them progressively since I tried many options before I found the one I REALLY like.
This was the very first holder I purchased to record videos for Instagram. Unfortunately, it only worked for me until I upgraded my phone, once I had a bigger and heavier phone, it no longer holds it and it would bend over. fi your phone is light this is the perfect option to start.
This is the exact holder I use for my phone, all I did was take the microphone attachment out and added the phone holder listed below, BUT now I also use it with the bigger video rig holder as well. I also always have extra screws in case I need a smaller one or bigger.
Since I kept changing my phone, I decided to just get this thing, and that way I would not have to change the holder every time I changed the phone. I attach this to my overhead rig and holds my phone and extra stuff super easy!
iPhone add ons
I used to only record video using my cell phone at one point, so I tested and added a bunch of add on's to make my pictures and video better and easier to take. Here are some of my favorites.
This is my absolute favorite lens for my iPhone, whenever I am showing things on IG I usually do it using this lens, it makes such a difference! The only down-side is that in order to use it you need a special phone case.
This was on my wish list because I am carrying my lenses in a pencil case right now, but I think I might just attempt to make a DIY case for them, so I can fit some extra stuff as well.
I purchased this gimbal before our last vacation to Chile because I wanted to make videos of our trip, I love how easy to set up is and how smooth the footage looks, I don't know if I would buy it again since it doesn't hold my DLSR camera, but it's still a cool gadget.
Extra gear and stuff
While this is obviously not a camera, good sound is such an important part of creating videos. I am starting to work more on adding voice over to my videos, and this is such an awesome microphone, it has great reviews too.
One of the things that I found a lot of people recommended when purchasing the Blue Yeti was this pop filter, and while I never tested the sound without it, I trust that it's doing the job it's supposed to hehe.
I found the hard way that the Rode microphone that came with my camera is fragile (I broke it on our last trip to Chile) So Ken used super glue and brought it back to life, now I only transport it in this case.
I am obsessed with these for cable management, it's so easy to grab one and just roll those cables out. And now that I am using one stand to hold my set up, I use these ones all the time.
A compilation of everything that is in my toolbox & why I love them
A list of all the gear, tools and gadgets I use to make videos and take pictures
A list of all the tools I use to run both my blog and lettering business