If you’re looking to expand your social media presence, YouTube can be a great way to engage viewers as a content creator. It’s understandable to be a little hesitant jumping in with just your smartphone, but this piece of modern technology is more than capable of producing exceptional video for YouTubers.

youtube content creator setup

Zenign

No matter how great your mobile phone is, though, you’ll still need a few tools to draw in millions of subscribers. Whether you’ve already started your YouTube journey or are still in research mode, here’s the gear that will help you grow your channel.

How to Start a Youtube Channel

How to Start a Youtube Channel

Business Insider

I can spend the next couple sentences trying to inspire you, but at the end of the day, the only tip worth giving is to start recording.

Yes, having all the gear I’m going to go over would be sweet, but it’s not necessary to start your Youtube channel, to post your first video, or even to get 100 subscribers. So, start recording and then buy the gear that you find you need.

Cell Phone Camera Lens

Preview

Best Quality Option

Best Deal Option

Best Budget Option

Title Beastgrip Anamorphic Lens Moment Anamorphic Lens ULANZI 1.33X Anamorphic Lens
Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 2.40:1 2.40:1
Magnification Ratio 1.33x 1.33x 1.33x
Our Rating 9.5/10 9.2/10 7.6/10
Cost $$$ $$ $
Link Check Price Check Price Check Price

 

 

 

Best Quality Option

Preview
Title Beastgrip Anamorphic Lens
Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Magnification Ratio 1.33x
Our Rating 9.5/10
Cost $$$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

 

Best Deal Option

Preview
Title Moment Anamorphic Lens
Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Magnification Ratio 1.33x
Our Rating 9.2/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

Best Budget Option

Preview
Title ULANZI 1.33X Anamorphic Lens
Battery 2.40:1
Aspect Ratio 30 feet
Magnification Ratio 7.0/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

 

If you want to stand out on Youtube, then you’re going to need to curate a different look. Maybe a cinema-style one with lens flares galore? One of the best ways to do this in videography is by adding an anamorphic lens. These lenses are designed to give you that widescreen look typical of movies too.

Want more information on anamorphic lenses? Check out our guide to smartphone videography.

In short, the perfect iPhone camera lens for social media does exist, and it’s less expensive than you may think. While there are more options for the iPhone, there are some Android offerings too.

There’s a reason that Peter McKinnon, Chris Hau, and Matti Haapoja all have smartphone specific videos – the cameras are getting damn good. All of the options above feature similar overall video looks, so the variation between them occurs in overall picture quality.

Be sure to consider your overall marketing strategy when choosing a lens if you decide to go away from a dedicated videography lens. It’ll set the tone for the type of content that you’ll create.

Phone Tripod

Preview

Best Quality Option

Best Deal Option

Best Budget Option

Title Peak Design Travel Tripod MeFoto BackPacker Tripod Manfrotto Mini Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clip
Weight 2.8 lb 2.54 lb 5.1 ounces
Max Height 60.2 inches 54.7 inches 12 inches
Compatibility DLSR, Mirrorless, and Smartphone DLSR, Mirrorless, and Smartphone Smartphones and anything with a ¼” -20 screw
Our Rating 9.5/10 9.1/10 8.2/10
Cost $$ $ $
Link Check Price Check Price Check Price

 

 

 

Best Quality Option

Preview
Title Peak Design Travel Tripod
Weight 2.8 lb
Max Height 60.2 inches
Compatibility DLSR, Mirrorless, and Smartphone
Our Rating 9.5/10
Cost $$$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

 

Best Deal Option

Preview
Title MeFoto BackPacker Tripod
Weight 2.54 lb
Max Height 54.7 inches
Compatability DLSR, Mirrorless, and Smartphone
Our Rating 9.1/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

Best Budget Option

Preview
Title Manfrotto Mini Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clip
Weight 5.1 ounces
Max Height 12 inches
Compatability Smartphones and anything with a ¼” -20 screw
Our Rating 8.2/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

 

One of the most essential pieces of gear for the new YouTuber is a phone tripod. Even if your content is exciting and engaging, if your videos are shaky and distracting, viewers are likely to move on to another channel.

If you aren’t convinced, then check out our guide to why you need a phone tripod.

Depending on what type of videos you’re producing, you may have different tripod needs. If you’re creating videos from your home studio, you may need a taller tripod, whereas if you’re filming on the go, you’ll want something smaller and more portable.

Most cell phone tripods are made to accommodate a variety of phone models, but be sure to double-check this information, especially if you have a particularly large smartphone.

Yes, there are cheap smartphone photography bundles that you can check out if you’re looking for an introduction. I did have a tripod from one of these bundles though that lasted less than four hours, so buyer’s beware.

Remote Shutter

Preview

Best Quality Option

Best Deal Option

Best Budget Option

Title Moment Bluetooth Remote Bluetooth V3.0 Selfie Shutter Remote Zttopo Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter
Battery 500+ hours (replaceable battery) 40 hours (replaceable battery) 200 hours (replaceable battery)
Transmission Distance 50 feet 6-30 feet 30 feet
Our Rating 9.5/10 6.5/10 7.0/10
Cost $$ $ $
Link Check Price Check Price Check Price

 

 

 

Best Quality Option

Preview
Title Moment Bluetooth Remote
Battery 500+ hours
Transmission Distance 50 feet
Our Rating 9.5/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

 

Best Deal Option

Preview
Title Bluetooth V3.0 Selfie Shutter Remote
Battery 40 hours
Transmission Distance 6-30 feet
Our Rating 6.5/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

 

 

 

Best Budget Option

Preview
Title Zttopo Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter
Battery 200 hours (replaceable battery)
Transmission Distance 30 feet
Our Rating 7.0/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

 

After you’ve invested in a high-quality tripod, you’ll want to preserve the stability of your phone with a remote camera shutter. These are otherwise known as Bluetooth camera remotes, and they can help grow your channel like no other. Once you use one, you’ll never go back, and here’s why.

To summarize, a remote shutter allows you to film without ever having to leave your position in front of the camera or tap your phone. A remote will allow you to focus more on your content and less on the technical details of producing YouTube videos.

There’s no more running back and forth to start and stop recording, meaning you’ll spend less time editing your videos since you won’t have to trim out the ends of everything you’ve recorded.

Most importantly, remote camera shutters are small enough to hide in the palm of your hand, so viewers won’t even know you don’t have an entire film crew on set. They typically connect to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth.

Want even more information? Check our complete post about why you need a Bluetooth camera remote.

External Flash

Preview

Best Quality Option

Best Deal Option

Best Budget Option

Title Profoto C1 Plus Mobile Light Lume Cube Light 2.0 Aputure AL-M9
Battery 2 hours or 2000 flashes 2.54 lb 5.1 ounces
# of Settings 20 (ten hot and ten cool) Controlled by knobs 12 inches
Compatibility Most newer smartphones Universal via Lume-X iPhone/Android App (working distance of 60′) Not required
Our Rating 9.7/10 9.3/10 9.0/10
Cost $$$ $$ $
Link Check Price Check Price Check Price

 

 

 

Best Quality Option

Preview
Title Profoto C1 Plus Mobile Light
Battery 2 hours or 2000 flashes
# of Settings 20 (10 hot and 10 cool)
Compatibility Most newer smartphones
Our Rating 9.7/10
Cost $$$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

 

Best Deal Option

Preview
Title Lume Cube Light 2.0
Battery 1 1/2 hours at 100%
# of Settings Controlled by knobs
Compatability Universal via Lume-X iPhone/Android App (working distance of 60′)
Our Rating 9.3/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

Best Budget Option

Preview
Title Aputure AL-M9
Battery 1 1/2 hours at full or 13 hours at minimum brightness
# of Settings 9
Compatability Not required
Our Rating 9.0/10
Cost $
Link Check Price

 

If you’re looking to increase your social media following, you’re going to need good lighting in your YouTube videos. It’s a bad idea to use the flash on your smartphone for this as it can create weird shadows and unflattering lighting. Instead, you’ll need an external light source.

One of the most popular light sources for YouTubers is a ring light. Ring lights provide even, professional lighting that will take your videos to the next level. As with many of the other products on this list, most ring lights will work no matter what type of smartphone you’re shooting with and what kind of content you create.

Cell Phone Microphone

Preview

Best Quality Option

Best Deal Option

Best Budget Option

Title Deity V-Mic D3 Pro RØDE VideoMicro Microphone RØDE Lavalier GO
Battery 51 hours Powered by phone Powered by camera(replaceable battery)
Compatability Smartphonehone, tablet, DSLR (pretty anything with a 3.5mm jack) Smartphone only Requires a 3.5mm TRS jack
Our Rating 9.5/10 9.1/10 8.9/10
Cost $$$ $$ $$
Link Check Price Check Price Check Price

 

 

 

Best Quality Option

Preview
Title Deity V-Mic D3 Pro
Battery 51 hours
Compatability Smartphonehone, tablet, DSLR (pretty anything with a 3.5mm jack)
Our Rating 9.5/10
Cost $$$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

 

Best Deal Option

Preview
Title RØDE VideoMicro Microphone
Battery Powered by smartphone
Compatability Smartphone only
Our Rating 9.1/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

 

 

 

Best Budget Option

Preview
Title RØDE Lavalier GO
Battery Powered by camera
Compatability Requires a 3.5mm TRS jack
Our Rating 8.9/10
Cost $$
Link Check Price

 

If you’re dreaming grow your channel, the microphone that comes standard on your smartphone probably isn’t going to cut it. You can produce the most beautiful videos on the internet, but if your audio is bad, you’re going to lose viewers.

Thankfully, external microphones are easy to use and relatively budget-friendly. There are several different varieties to choose from.

One of the most popular choices is a lapel microphone that you simply attach to your clothing, such as this one made by RØDE. You may also be interested in a handheld microphone similar to those used by reporters, but we recommend finding one that mounts like the Deity.

The microphone that works best for you will depend on what type of videos you’re producing. If you’re working in the peace and quiet of your home studio, any type should be fine. However, if you’re shooting outdoors or in a noisy area, you’ll need to look for something that will help reduce wind or background noise.

Youtube Backdrop

peter mckinnon Backdrop

Peter McKinnon

Whether or not you need a backdrop will depend on your target audience. Obviously, if you’re shooting outdoors or in public places, you won’t need one. If you’re planning on filming in your home, a backdrop can be helpful in keeping the viewers’ focus on you rather than your home décor.

Backdrops are available in a huge variety of colors and patterns, so you’ll need to choose something that suits you and your message. Whether you choose a bold color or something softer, be sure that it compliments your video and your topic.

Some types of Youtube backdrop are designed to be pinned on your wall, but if you’d prefer not to repair the wall when you’re done filming, you can always choose a freestanding backdrop.

Video Editing App

video editing apps

InShot

As always, once you’ve finished filming your videos for YouTube, you’ll want to polish them up with an editing app.

There are a ton of different options available for both Android and iOS smartphones, but here are a few of our favorites.
Different apps do have different features so you may want to try a few of them out on your target audience before committing to one. There are so many options though, you’re sure to find an app that’s ideal for your personal style and your unique YouTube content.