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VLOG LIKE A PRO
Video shooting & production tips and tricks for Vloggers, Youtubers and more.
You love gaming, you have a lot of know-how to pass on, and you have a magnetic personality: you are ready to become a great YouTube gaming commentator. All you need is some gear. Here is a run-through of some of the best YouTube equipment for gaming channels, sorted into categories for game recording, audio, and video (facecam).
Game recording software, or hardware, is what you will use to capture your in-game footage. The worst thing you can do is try to point a camera at the screen of your computer or television; recording your screen directly is a must. What kind of game capture equipment you need will depend on what kind of game you are playing.
For recording games on your computer screen you may only need software, and there are a few quality options out there for free. One popular option among YouTube gamers is called OBS, or ‘Open Broadcaster Software’. OBS is free to download from Obsproject.com. The thing that makes it great for gamers is it can be used for livestreaming to YouTube, or other sharing sites like Twitch.tv (which has a focus on gaming videos).
If you are going to be making videos more related to consol games then you may need to invest in a capture device. One of the best is the Elgato Game Capture HD60 featured above. It captures video directly onto either your Mac or PC, while a lot of the other top capture devices only work with a PC. It can record in 1080p with 60fps, and you can even livestream. The Elgato HD60 is compatible with PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and the Wii U.
Your audio recording is extremely important. The thing that will set you apart from other people posting gaming commentary is your personality, and that will only come across if your videos have clear audio. It does not do you much good to be hilarious in a fuzzy commentary track.
A lot of YouTube gamers, especially gamers who are just starting to make videos, go with the Zalman ZM-Mic1 which can be used in combination with headphones. The Zalman might pick up background sounds, like mouse clicks, which is not ideal. However, it will give you significantly better audio than recording directly from your computer and at under $10 it will not be a purchase you regret. The Zalman is a great starter-mic, especially if you download the free audio editing program Audacity and use it to clean up the little imperfections in your recording. Audacity can be downloaded at Audacityteam.org.
If you are looking for more control over your recording then you should consider the Blue Yeti Mic, which is featured above. This standalone mic is also used by a lot of vloggers and YouTube gamers. It has volume control, and even a mute button. It plugs right into the USB drive of your computer using a ten foot cable, which means you can take it pretty far from your computer. The Blue Yeti USB mic costs about $130.
If you are going to add a facecam into your videos then it should be high quality, but it does not need to be a top of the line 4K recording. Rather than buying a $1000 DSLR for reaction shots you should go with a reliable webcam. Before you make a decision about what kind of webcam to get consider how often you will be using your facecam. Not all gaming videos need one. If you play a lot of survival horror games then your reactions will be a key element in your videos, but if you are not playing games that will cause you to have amusing reactions then a facecam will not really add anything to a viewer’s experience.
If your facecam is going to be an important element in your channel then you should expect to spend around $100 on your webcam. The above image is the Logitech C920, which is one of the best at this price-point. It performs well in low light, has a good auto-focus feature, and the quality of its video recordings is quite high.
If you are only going to use a facecam occasionally then consider the Genius WideCam F100, which can be found online for around $30. Its 1080p HD recordings are not as smooth as they should be, but it performs very well at 720p and that is all you should need.
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