So which video gear could you use as a vlogger or blogger if you are into travel and adventures? My videos are mostly about trips and nature, but also about outdoor gear reviews or interviews. Since I need different gear for different videos, I will explain which gear I use for different scenarios. I have also prepared a view videos about some gear that you can find in this blog post.
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General gear for videos
For most of the videos which I take, I will use the Sony a7 III and mount it on a tripod such as theManfrotto 190go! if I want to take videos of myself while doing something. I have the Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM and the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens which I always take with me if I go to the sea or to Lapland as it offers the possibility to compress the front and the background.
If I were about to record a scene nearby the ground e.g. of a stove then I would use the Slick Mini II. I have bought two Manfrotto MA323 Quick change Adapter so I can easily attach the camera to different tripods or my audio recorder. Talking about my audio recorder, I got the Sound Devices MixPre-3 MKII. Previously, I had the first generation but switched to the second generation as it offers the possibility to record in 32-bit so I don’t have to worry anymore about wrong gain settings. For moments where I move a lot, I also use the DJI Osmo Pocket.
For scenes in the dark, I also use the Aputure AL-F7 video light as it allows me to power it with my Anker PowerCore+ 20100 USB-C battery. The Aputure AL-F7 is a great light as I can adjust the brightness and also the color of the light from a warm golden brown to a cold blue. To operate my Sony camera, I also use a remote control – the Sony Remote Commander. I also use the Wingman App from Sound Devices which I have installed on my iPhone to change the titles of my audio files in the field or to monitor the audio input. To listen to the audio levels, I also take occasionally my Sennheiser HD-25 II with me.
Gear for Interview videos
For interviews, I most likely rely on my Sound Devices MixPre-3 MKII and my Rode Wireless Go together with the Sennheiser ME2 Omni-directional lavalier. If there is not much background noise, I would also consider a shotgun microphone such as the Sennheiser MKE-600. The advantage of the shotgun mic is that there are no visible microphones in the pictures as it is the case with the lavaliers. It is easier to set up. However, with a wireless microphone system, it is easier to record if the subjects are moving or walking as the distance doesn’t matter (no need to adjust your gain). I also use a Rode WS-Lav, and a Rode Minifur Lav as a windjammer which is also useful if I record indoors and the subjects are moving.
Gear for review videos
For how-to or gear review videos, I use in most cases my Sennheiser ME 2 Omni-directional lavalier and my Audio-Technica BP4025 stereo microphone. The Audio-Technica BP4025 is an excellent microphone especially if you want to record in a quiet environment since it has low self-noise. Initially, I was planning to get a pair of Sennheiser MKH 8020, however, this solution would have been almost 4 times more expensive and it would be a bit more difficult to handle since you have to place 2 mics on the right spot rather than only one mic. The audio quality of the Sennheiser might be slightly better but I am more than happy from what I get out of the Audio-Technica BP4025 and I am not sure if it is worth the extra money if I would have bought the Sennheiser MKH 8020.
Gear for adventure videos
Depending on the adventure/trip, I use the Audio-Technica BP4025 stereo microphone since it offers the possibility to get all the details from the environment. I use action cams such as the GoPro Hero 7 or the DJI Osmo Pocket. There is also a waterproof case that can be used with the DJI Osmo Pocket which is a great solution especially if I plan to go packrafting or diving. On my list is also the DJI Mavic Mini which would offer me the possibility to get better footage from the environment.
Having the right gear really depends on what you want to do. I always compare it with a tent. During the summer you only need a light tent or sometimes only a mosquito net but if you plan to go on a winter hike, you might consider a tent which is more stable.
Personally, I am really a fan of lavalier and stereo microphones. A stereo microphone adds so much more ‘room’ into the video which you won’t get with a mono shotgun microphone.
I also like my Sound Devices MixPre-3 MK II which offers me the possibility to record in 32-bit. 32-bit can be useful in post-production and you won’t need to adjust gain anymore if you are in the field. Zoom also offers a 32-bit audio recorder if you are interested in getting one. The Sound Devices MixPre series also have the option to buy plugins so you can expand the features of the recorder e.g. a plugin called MixAssist which mutes a channel if the microphone is not used to increase audio quality.