There’s no denying that today’s digital cameras and smartphones have come a long, long way since their early predecessors. They can take some pretty phenomenal videos all by themselves without the need for any extra equipment. However, many vloggers and filmmakers find that there are several benefits associated with adding some extra equipment to their rigs, and you can learn more about the five most important below.

#1 – Reducing Shakiness in the Footage

Shaky footage is a problem, and that’s especially true for filmmakers who like to take shots on the go. Though digital and optical solutions exist, these were designed mostly for slight movements or still photos – not for significant shaking in a video. If you want to make top-notch films, video stabilization equipment should be at the top of your list. There are numerous options from which to choose based on your camera and your unique needs.

#2 – Improving the Lighting

Lighting issues are common among YouTubers and vloggers who simply do not have the right equipment to give their viewers the best possible footage. Shadows are difficult to deal with, particularly when doing face-to-face or overhead videos. Fortunately, the solution is as simple as adding a ring light to your rig. This light is designed to fit all the way around your camera or smartphone and do away with any shadows that it might otherwise cause. It’s the best way to negate shadows from ambient or overhead lights, too.

#3 – Improving the Audio Quality

Some of today’s smartphones, including not only the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy line, but also the Google Pixel series, can take excellent videos without much equipment required. However, if you want to include audio in your film, you’ll likely want to consider some sort of external microphone. Again, this is one of the major ways in which the right camera equipment can completely transform your videos. With a good microphone, your voice will be crisp and clear no matter the device you use to record it.

#4 – Making the Experience More Comfortable

Though it may be possible for you to film with a DSLR camera, a microphone, a light, and a zoom lens without any rig or cage whatsoever, it isn’t the most convenient or comfortable way to do it. In fact, many amateur filmmakers say they originally bought their cages to make hours-long filming sessions more comfortable. Make sure you consider the attachments that the rig allows as well as the overall weight and grip included. These things will make a big difference.

#5 – Keeping Your Camera Safe

Whether you’ve invested in a high-quality DSLR or you’re using your $1200 smartphone, protecting your camera during filming should be a top consideration. Unfortunately, many of the products you’ll find don’t do a particularly good job of protecting them, leaving you with scratches and scuffs – or worse, a dropped and broken camera. Buy a rig that is designed to protect your device and the equipment attached to it, too. It’s one of the best investments you can make.

Though the camera equipment you need will depend primarily on the limitations of your recording device and your own personal preferences, everyone can benefit from the accessories and equipment listed above. In fact, you might just be shocked at the quality improvements you notice as you slowly add them to your rig over time – or even all at once.

If you’re working hard to be a successful vlogger with a massive following, then you’re probably already aware that it’s important to have a great camera for filmmaking capable of creating amazing video. A camera can only take you so far on its own, so you’ll also need several attachments and camera gadgets to really get the most out of it. Here are seven you need to check out.

#1 – Extra Batteries

There is nothing worse – and we mean nothing worse – than being in the perfect place for the perfect shot or segment, only to have your battery die right in the middle of it. Sometimes you only get one chance to get it right, so it’s best to be prepared. Always keep extra fully-charged batteries for your camera on hand. Always.

#2 – Camera Cages/Camera Rigs for Filmmaking

Camera rigs come in a huge range of sizes and types, and they all have their own unique features. If you’re a run-and-gun type of vlogger, then you should have a rig that keeps your camera stable and balanced. Conversely, if you’re a stationary vlogger who films sitting or standing in a studio, go for a larger mountable rig with plenty of space for your other gadgets.

#3 – A Ring Light

Almost every single vlogger out there shoots at least part of his or her content in “selfie” mode with the camera trained on themselves. Though there are tons of lights you can use for the perfect quality video, nothing is as simple, as portable, or as effective as a classic ring light. The best part? These attach to virtually any camera rig fairly easily, making them perfect for beginners with little videography experience.

#4 – Lenses

There’s no one lens (or set of lenses) that works perfectly for all vloggers, so this is one of those cases where you’ll need to really consider your video style, needs, and preferences before reading reviews. If you aren’t sure where to start, there’s one particular lens type that almost every vlogger or filmmaker uses – a fixed prime lens. It has a large aperture, so it creates better quality videos even in less-than-optimal lighting situations.

#5 – Smartphone Lenses

Unless you take your camera with you everywhere you go, you will undoubtedly find yourself in a position where you will want to use your smartphone to capture some video, whether it’s for primary vlog content or for B-roll footage. Today’s smartphones are incredible but having a set of quality lenses takes things to a new level. You can find rather good smartphone lens sets online for anywhere from $20 to $50, so they’re affordable, too.

#6 – A Good Tripod

No matter how fancy your camera rig might be, there will always come a time when all you need is your trusty tripod. However, not all tripods are created equal. Look for one that is lightweight and portable, yet capable of supporting at least 1.5kg. Remember – always consider the weight of your camera with your heaviest lens attached when buying a tripod.

#7 – An Off-Camera Flash

Most of today’s cameras – even budget cameras – have flashes attached to them. This makes things incredibly convenient and gives you plenty of flexibility in terms of your videos and thumbnail photos. However, an off-camera flash provides you with better lighting at night and can help you reduce harsh shadows during the day. Ideally, find one with wireless TTL flash control that allows you to sync your in-camera and off-camera flash perfectly.

Though there are plenty of other accessories that can make photography and videography simpler and better quality, these are the seven camera gadgets you really need to get started. A camera, camera rig, tripod, off-camera flash, extra batteries, and a ring light (along with some lenses for your smartphone) will go a long way to help you always capture the perfect shot or video.

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