I’ve been getting messages on Instagram asking what the best camera equipment are for video and photography. Some of you are going on trips and want to know what to take and some of you have just been asking for everyday purposes.
Let me start by saying, I’m not a professional photographer or videographer and I’m so flattered that people are even asking. When I started my YouTube Channel, I couldn’t afford to hire someone so I learned how to do a lot of it on my own.
It’s actually by accident that our first DSLR camera ( Canon 60D) ended up being “my camera”. The camera was originally a gift I got Chris for Christmas because we talked about possibly starting a side hustle shooting weddings together. We were in the early stages of his business, times were tough and as some of you may know, it can take years before you pay yourself from a new startup. So without any hesitation, I used our “Euro Fund” that I was saving for our dream trip.
Well, we didn’t end up ever starting the side gig (which I’m now grateful for because it allowed us to focus on other things) but that also meant that the camera was just sitting there collecting dust for months. It wasn’t until I went through a period of time where I felt like I lost my identity after I decided to retire from the IFBB (competing in the fitness industry). For 4 years I competed professionally as an IFBB Bikini Pro and dedicated soo much of my time to it. When I decided to hang up the heels, I was a little depressed and felt like I was missing something although I definitely knew it wasn’t competing. I loved inspiring women all over the world with my fitness career that I felt like I wasn’t doing that anymore plus it was fun getting dolled up lol since I had my pageant background. So I got to thinking maybe I can start a YouTube channel and empower women to do their own makeup and I get to have fun getting dolled up.
Not too long after, I started doing beauty tutorials on YouTube. My first probably 6 videos on YouTube were done with the photobooth video feature on my Macbook Pro. Omg please do not go to my first YouTube videos or wait, maybe you should so you can see that I “started from the bottom” haha. My hubby saw a couple of my videos and was sooo confused on why I was using photobooth when we have a “DSLR” camera. I told him I didn’t even know what that meant and didn’t know how to use it so I didn’t even try haha. Oh Shelsea! It wasn’t until probably my 7th video on there that I used it. Since I didn’t know anything about cameras then, the focus was sooooooo bad. I struggled so much for a while before we invested into our next camera which was one step up the Canon70D (my baby). It was one of the best things I could have done because it has auto focus which meant I no longer messed with the focus. Some of those unfocused videos are even on the FitnessRX for women’s online magazine (did beauty videos for them) and they will forever haunt me lol. I’m not perfect and at the end of the day, I want people to see them so they can see how I started – they say every pro was once an amateur (check out my early videos for proof).
So before I get started on what I use for my camera equipment I want to say, you really don’t have to buy all of this equipment when starting out and nowadays can even use your iPhone and apps for editing. When I buy equipment now, I make sure it’s a long term investment in my business and if available I rent the piece of equipment first to test it out. We use a few different cameras at the Sanchez household and they all pretty much have different purposes. We use it for vlogging, underwater videos, and also for photography.
So for photography and video I still use my Canon70D. Majority of the photos that you see on the blog or on instagram are done with the Canon70D. For a while we used the stock lens and realized by investing in our lens, we could get way better photos. This year we recently purchased the 24-70mm.
A lot of people say this is one of the best vlogging cameras but for me it’s just way too big and heavy to hold to vlog. I tested it out for Vlogging in my “Week in my life” Vlog and I didn’t love lugging it around lol. We now have a separate camera that we use specifically for vlogging.
our lens was a really big investment and if you’re starting out, I recommend a 50mm or whatever comes with the camera you choose on using. If you’re not ready to purchase it, you can always rent it (I usually do this first for bigger purchases). I love that it’s very diverse and functional. You can capture wide shots and portrait shots with this lens.
CanonM6– This is the camera that we use for vlogging and it’s amazing!!! We used it for our last two trips (Tulum and Cali). It has the great quality of the 70D that I love but without all the weight. My favorite part is that it has a built in stabilizer. Not as great as an actual stabilizer but pretty good. I love smooth videos so stabilizers are a must. But I’ll go more into the stabilizers we use when I chat about the GoPro 🙂
Joby Gorilla Pod-the Gorillapod lets you mount your camera just about anywhere you want so that you can include everyone in your automatic shots. I love how flexible the legs are. You can mount it just about anywhere. You can even wrap the legs around a pole and it will hold the camera up. We have a big tripod that I use at home for all my videos on YouTube that aren’t vlogs but this tripod is great for being mobile and so much smaller.
In our Tulum video, we propped it at the edge of our table in scene 1, directly in front of us in scene 2, and put it on the ground for scene 3 for the behind the scenes of the Shop Wanderwear shoot.
Movo Universal Microphone – This was a great inexpensive purchase and really allows you to capture the perfect sound. We also used this for our Tulum video and loved how it picked up our sound even when it was really windy outside. Usually when it’s windy and you’re not using a good microphone, you can hear so much muffling.
GoPro Hero5 Black – If you’re starting out and want to get something where you’ll get the most use and don’t want to spend a lot, I highly recommend the GoPro Hero5!!! You can take this underwater, almost anywhere since it fits in your pocket, capture not only videos, but photos too and it shoots in 4k quality. We use a stabilizer for ours to get all the smooth shots.
Karma Grip Stabilizer – this was the next investment after getting our go pro. The stabilizer really allows you to get smooth shots. Great for car shots, 4 wheeler shots, running etc… We take this stabilizer on all of our trips and we’re so happy with it. We bought a stabilizer for our Canon70D as well but it’s so big and realized we don’t love packing it unless we know for sure we’re going to use it.
Neewer Ring Light – I originally purchased the Stellar Diva Ring Light about 4 years ago but Amazon now carries them and way more affordable! It’s about a third of the price there. I bought this bad boy for filming but also use it on a daily basis to do my makeup because it allows you to see better with the day light capabilities. I can’t do my makeup without it. We also use this light at the salon for all pictures of our clients we take for before and afters.
DJI Mavic Pro – this is more of Chris’s toy since he’s the one that flies it. We got our first drone, the Phantom 3 right before our Thailand trip and it was too big to carry. When we returned home, we returned it and got the Mavic Pro. It’s so much smaller and fits in our camera bag. Be careful flying them because we crashed ours a few months after having it. We had to take it to get fixed and are so happy it didn’t break. Such a great drone and at a reasonable price.
alrighty guys, if you have any questions on any other equipment questions, comment below!