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Looking for some advice on hardware


New Member
Jan 28, 2019
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Firstly, I know there is a lot of helpful information on this forum, but the more I read the more I realise I have no real understanding of the art of making videos.

I really want to to set up a YouTube channel about nature and wildlife, but I really want to focus on the small and obscure stuff. I have loads of ideas of things to film and talk about, but I have no idea what equipment I need, and the more research I do the more confused I get.

I hope that if I set out what I hope my videos would feature, then someone could tell me the sort of equipment that I might need.

I envision my videos being a mixture of me presenting to the camera, footage of the species I'm talking about, and sometimes footage of me speaking to an expert.

The species I am filming would mostly be flowers and plants; I'm not wanting to film anything awkward like distant fast-moving animals.

I think that a DSLR on a tripod would work for filming me, and I can also use this for getting footage of flowers etc., too. I have no idea at all about how to record sound - in particular me or anyone else speaking on camera. I know that the built in microphones in cameras aren't particularly great for sound (so maybe I know at least one thing) and I also know that a gentle breeze can sound really awful when recorded.

I have tried researching this online and I just get bogged down in details. Do I need a lav mic that transmits to a receiver plugged into a DSLR? Or could I get a lapel mic that plugs into a dictaphone-type-thing and then sync the sound with the footage in the edit? Would a lapel mic still pick up the sound of the breeze? How do I record sound if I'm interviewing someone else on camera? is a DSLR even a good idea at all?

My thoughts go round and round like this until I'm paralyzed with indecision. All I want to do is make educational videos about orchids, caterpillars and frogs!

I would really appreciate any advice anyone can give me, especially if it's delivered tenderly to this utter novice.

I suppose I should also give some idea of budget. I have been offered a DSLR and tripod to borrow to begin with (and I'd get my own in the long-run if this all works for me) so sound is the key area of concern for me. I've got about £150 to play with, though I could be tempted to stretch on that.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this complete amatuer.


Loving YTtalk
Jan 25, 2016
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Dallas, Texas
It sounds like all you would really need would be a DSLR camera, tripod, a microphone (shotgun, lav, or both), and definitely some macro lenses attachments for up close shots. If you're not happy with the audio from the built in microphone, you could either use something like a rode videomic which uses a 3.5 mm jack to hook into a camera with the input, or you could record it separately using something like a Zoom H4n and sync it in post.

I believe there's lav microphones that have 3.5 mm jacks, although I'm not sure how good they are necessarily. A lav microphone wouldn't work well with windy conditions, so if you're going to be doing a lot of outdoor shooting/interviewing, a shotgun microphone with a windscreen would work better. I would research microphones that can hook up into the camera you're using, and go from there.

If you have any more questions let me know!