The Vlog Blog: Our Setup and some Vlogging Tips
What is Vlogging and Why Are We Doing it?
Vlogging is simply a video blog. It provides content creators, businesses, brands, and literally anyone who grabs a camera the ability to connect with their audience on a personal level without the requirement of high-budget productions.
A Little Vlogging History
The rise of vlogging almost perfectly follows the rise in consumption of video content on YouTube and other online video platforms. The first vlogs become popular in 2004 with notable shows like Rocketboom that condensed news, arts lifestyle, and web-blog drama into 3-5 minute digestible pieces. While these were popular, creating your own vlog was still extremely time consuming, potentially expensive, and difficult to gain followers. There was no central platform to distribute and host content with creators relying on RSS feeds, and their own servers to stream videos or provide them for download. Still, the benefits of connecting with audiences were apparent. The first internet celebrities were being born.
YouTube changed everything. YouTube quickly pivoted from straight video-hosting to a content creation and connection platform. The ability to host, distribute, and grow a following via subscribers and dedicated channels effectively turned user-generated content creators into legitimate entertainers. Vlogging and online video consumption made up 69% of all online traffic in 2017. Video is hear to stay.
Our Vlogging Production Setup
YouTube and other online platforms give you all of the online tools to start vlogging. Really, all you need is a camera, and something to say, and someone to listen. However, creating engaging vlog content is enhanced with the right equipment. You should err on the side of creating a kit that allows you to work fast, and efficiently.
A Reliable Video Camera
We use the Lumix GX85. It's small, shoots 4K, produces an amazing image and fits into our larger workflow extremely well. Its biggest downfall is no microphone input. However, the 5-axis in-body-image-stabilization makes up for any audio misgivings. The ability to walk around without needing a stabilizer for every handheld shot makes setups easy, and mobile vlogging lighweight.
Clear Audio Capture
Clear, crisp, high-quality goes a long way in forgiving sub-par video quality. If there is one piece of equipment you should not skimp on it's this. We use a Rode Video Mic Pro lavalier microphone feeding into out Atomos Shogun Flame recorder.
Edit Friendly Codec
You're not shooting the next Blade Runner. You don't need to shoot in a log-profile, or shoot with a massive bit-rate codec. Edit-friendly ProRes files are what we utilize. The 4k native files out of our GX85 struggle in Premiere, especially on some of our older machines, as the files utilize a "Long GOP" codec. This means the editing software has to do a lot more computing to properly interpret the footage. This is why we connect our GX85 to our Shogun Flame via the HDMI out. This allows us to capture 8bit 4:2:2 4k images in edit-friendly ProRes files that already have the audio synced.
Where Will Our Vlogs Take Us?
Honestly, we're not 100% sure, but hopefully closer to our viewers. We have a pretty solid plan outlined that involves giving you a deeper look into our process, and developing a 1-on-1 relationship with our viewers. We're going bring in guests we look up to, respect, and find fascinating to talk, shoot, and experiment in the studio. We have a series idea called White-Board Wednesdays where we'll dive a bit deeper into tools, methods, strategy, and other topics in a more interactive matter. But, the biggest benefit is more useful and entertaining content that builds a community of collaboration and learning.
We hope you'll subscribe! And please let us know if there are any topics you'd like us to cover in a Vlog or Blog!