Content creation has exploded into a multi-billion-dollar industry with no signs of slowing down. While it’s true that anyone with a smartphone can become a content creator, the shift toward polished productions might have you browsing some more professional gadgets. Luckily, affordable, easy-to-use gear is widely available for every kind of content creator. Let’s explore some options you might consider snagging for your new hobby or upcoming project.
Best vlogging cameras for content creators
Best webcams for content creators
Best tripods for content creators
Best gimbals for content creators
Best on-camera shotgun mics for content creators
Best wireless lav mics for content creators
Best podcasting mics for content creators
Best on-camera LED lights for content creators
Best backpacks for content creators
Vlogging cameras have a lot to offer content creators. Smartphones are only capable of doing so much, while the right camera will easily produce beautiful, professional footage in which you look and feel your best. There are a lot of vlogging cameras on the market, but we’ve selected two great choices if you’re looking to kick off your search.
Best Budget: Sony ZV-1F
The Sony ZV-1F continues to be a competitively priced vlogging camera, offering a pared-down user experience for native smartphone creators. The familiar 1.0-type sensor and 20mm equivalent fixed prime wide-angle lens is a significant step up from a regular smartphone, while other features like UHD 4K30p recording, livestreaming, and beautifying effects set it apart from the rest. If your sole focus is producing post-worthy videos quickly and easily, this might be the perfect camera for you.
Best Overall: Sony ZV-E1
Sony’s entire vlogging fleet is worth checking out, but if you’re an ambitious creator looking for breathtaking quality and ease-of-use, the ZV-E1 is a great camera for you. This camera packs a full-frame 12MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and a BIONZ XR image processor to bring cinematic quality to vlogs, interviews, and product demos. It is one of the smallest cameras available with an interchangeable lens mount, making it comfortable and practical for daily content production. It hosts all the intuitive vlogging features and modes alongside advanced functions that promise to be worthwhile for the users who take advantage of them.
Read More: The Best Vlogging Cameras of 2023
Whether you are presenting, conferencing, or streaming, good video quality is crucial. While many creators have a dedicated digital camera for streaming or conferencing, this approach might not be practical for every creator’s skill level, workflow, or budget. It’s hard to beat the simplicity and minimalism of a professional webcam, so let’s check out two options worth considering.
Best Budget: Logitech C920s
Logitech offers an extensive selection of webcams for every budget, but we are highlighting the C920s for its solid price-to-features ratio. This webcam supports up to 1080p video at 30 fps and provides a seamless user experience with automatic focus and light correction functions. The built-in microphones capture clear, even audio, while the intuitive Capture Software makes fine-tuning your settings easy. If you’re looking for better frame rates, the higher-priced C922 is also available, allowing users to choose between Full HD 1080p at 30 fps or Hyperfast HD 720p at 60 fps.
Best Overall: Logitech BRIO
The BRIO is our top webcam for its premium blend of image quality, flexibility, and feature integration. It eclipses our budget picks with 4K Ultra HD video at 30 fps and the ability to choose from multiple resolutions depending on your need. If you need to fit more than one person in frame, the BRIO offers an adjustable field of view from 90° and 5x digital zoom for more focused communication. Other perks include noise cancellation technology and RightLight3 exposure adjustments to ensure optimal audio and video quality.
Whether you are working with a smartphone or a professional camera, a good tripod will add a lot of functionality and value to your workflow. Especially for solo creators, a tripod will allow you to broaden your shot diversity, stabilize your footage, and incorporate useful tools like lights or a secondary camera. Undoubtedly, tripods are important for content creation, so let’s look at two options below.
Best Budget: JOBY GorillaPod
If you’ve spent some time on social media, you will probably immediately recognize the distinct JOBY GorillaPod. This mini tripod has had a hold on the influencer community for years now, and not without reason. Its flexible jointed legs can easily wrap around objects and are adjustable on uneven terrain, making it easy to get the best shot almost anywhere. Compatible with 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16 screw threads, the GorillaPod is an excellent budget choice for mounting your lights, speakers, and cameras. We recommend grabbing a smartphone adapter like this Xuma mount to maximize its usefulness in your kit.
Best Overall: Peak Design Aluminum Travel Tripod
While tabletop tripods are certainly handy, they might not be adequate for production-minded individuals with serious gear. For this kind of content creator, we recommend Peak Design’s Aluminum Travel Tripod. Weighing only 3.4 lb, this surprisingly light tripod enjoys a great strength-to-size ratio with the ability to support up to 20 lb. It boasts great height adjustments from 5.5 to 60" and folds down to just 15.5", making it a comfortable accessory to tote all day. As a bonus, it comes with its own mobile mount and standard plate alongside other accessories, so you can start using it right away.
Read More: Recommended Travel Tripods
Tripods are certainly helpful in stationary applications, but if you plan to produce content on-the-go, you will want to grab a gimbal, as well. Gimbals are used to stabilize your camera while shooting handheld, producing usable, shake-free footage. For the aspiring walk-and-talk vlogger or day-in-the-life tiktokker, a solid gimbal is a must-have. Let’s look at two options worth considering.
Best Budget: Zhiyun-Tech Smooth-Q4
For smartphone vloggers, it’s hard to beat the performance and price of Zhiyun-Tech’s Smooth-Q4. This smartphone gimbal anticipates the needs of every creator with an extension rod, onboard controls, gesture controls, tripod support, and a companion app to assist with shooting. As far as stabilization goes, the Smooth-Q4 excels. Users can choose tailored stabilization modes like Lock, Pan Follow, and Point of View to capture smooth footage easily.
Best Overall: Zhiyun-Tech CRANE-M3
Zhiyun-Tech’s CRANE-M3 is our favorite choice for creators working with a range of compact cameras, smartphones, and action cameras. This all-in-one stabilizer offers 360° pan, 309° tilt, and 333° roll rotation, a broader selection of gimbal modes, and an OLED display to toggle them. Not only is the visual display user-friendly, but it also features scale marks and memory locks to make balancing your camera easier. Unlike the Smooth-Q4, the CRANE-M3 requires an app to control your camera’s functions remotely, which might be impractical for a smartphone-exclusive creator. But if you’re looking for broad compatibility and great performance, the CRANE-M3 is a great gimbal for the job.
Read More: Best Gimbal and Camera Stabilizers of 2023
Audio quality is just as important as video quality in content creation, so it’s important to find the right mic for your workflow. If you consume content regularly, you are likely familiar with the distinct on-camera shotgun mic that adorns many a digital camera. This compact and lightweight tool is a worthy addition to any camera user’s kit, isolating background noise and capturing audio from a specific direction. There are also smartphone shotgun mics available for smartphone users, but we will be highlighting on-camera shotgun mics in our top options.
Best Budget: RØDE VideoMicro
If you’ve ever shopped for an on-camera shotgun mic you will probably recognize the unique design of the RØDE VideoMicro. Donning the flashy red of RØDE’s VideoMic fleet, the VideoMicro is the most affordable and compact of the bunch, making it a great choice for new users with smaller cameras. Convenience is a major selling point for this little guy, with simple plug-in power and everything you need to get started, including the furry windshield.
Best Overall: Sennheiser MKE 600
Sennheiser’s MKE 600 is admittedly a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth the price if you’re looking for longevity and versatility. A battery or phantom-powered shotgun mic, the MKE 600 can be mounted on your camera, tripod, mic stand, or boompole to handle a variety of production scenarios. The mic itself is lightweight despite its length and boasts advanced circuitry to improve sound quality. You will definitely notice the difference between this mic and others, especially when capturing distant sound sources. If you’re looking for a more advanced shotgun mic to grow with, the MKE 600 is worth checking out.
Great audio quality doesn’t end with shotgun mics. Lavalier mics are another important accessory that you will regularly see clipped to the shirt of your favorite Youtuber, Tiktokker, or vlogger. These little mics are used to isolate voices and are especially handy for voiced content like interviews and vlogs. Many creators also use these as handheld mics. If you’re strictly a smartphone creator, you might consider smartphone wireless lav mics like Hollyland’s LARK C1 SOLO or BOYA’s BY-WM3T2-D1 and BY-V20. If you’re looking for a wireless lav mic for your camera and smartphone, we have some recommendations for you to check out below.
Best Budget: GVM-MIC LM2
GVM’s GVM-MIC LM2 is a surprisingly robust wireless lav mic kit at an extremely competitive price. This microphone system includes two clip-on transmitters with built-in microphones, a dual-channel receiver, furry windscreens, a charging case, and all the necessary cabling for your smartphone and camera. Capable of communicating up to 328' away, this unit enjoys great flexibility, convenience, and power for content on-the-go creators.
Best Overall: DJI Mic
The DJI Mic is undoubtedly a favorite among content creators right now, and with good reason. This wireless lav system includes two clip-on transmitters with built-in microphones, a compact receiver, a charging case, windscreens, and all the necessary cabling and adapters to work for a variety of smartphones and cameras. The transmitters double as backup recorders, allowing for more worry-free operation. Offering the ability to record audio up to 820' away, this system is extremely powerful, flexible, and easy to use, making it a desirable choice for all kinds of content creation.
Podcasting has become an incredibly popular form of content creation over the past few years. In response, we have seen a surge of podcasting equipment that can make a functional recording space out of basically anywhere. There’s a lot that goes into starting a podcast, but if you’re ready to find your best podcasting mic, you’ve come to the right place.
Best Budget: Blue Yeti
It’s hard to scroll through TikTok or Instagram without seeing a Blue Yeti these days. This space-age-looking USB mic encapsulates the Logitech for Creators catalogue, offering style, functionality, and affordability to a range of creative pursuits. The Blue Yeti itself enjoys intuitive built-in controls to fine-tune your recording quality effectively. Covering cardioid, omni, and stereo settings, users can record anything from ASMR broadcasts to guest interviews. As a bonus, the included VO!CE software provides an array of vocal filters, FX, and samples to users looking for more extensive control.
Best Overall: Shure SM7B
If you’re serious about podcasting, it is worth investing in a piece of core studio equipment like the SM7B. This vocal microphone features a cardioid polar pattern and provides a smooth, polished sound that is favored among broadcasters and podcasters. It works well in untreated environments, omitting background noise while delivering natural-sounding audio. Available in a variety of configurations, the SM7B makes it easier for new podcasters to make the jump from a familiar USB setup to something more advanced.
Read More: Best Recording Microphones of 2023
If you’ve ever worked without an on-camera LED light, you have undoubtedly experienced how challenging it is to achieve your desired results without the right lighting. Whether you’re shooting in a dark space, working outside, or just trying to look your best, on-camera LEDs provide the control, consistency, and convenience necessary to capture usable, well-lit footage.
Best Budget: Lume Cube Panel Mini
The Lume Cube Panel Mini hits the sweet spot in terms of features and affordability. It features a 3200 to 5600K adjustable color temperature, 96+ CRI rating, 1 to 100% brightness, and an LCD screen to manage settings and track battery life easily. The built-in battery runs approximately 1.2 hours at full brightness and 2.2 hours at half brightness. Because this light gets surprisingly bright, you can extend its run time effortlessly. Compact and lightweight, the Panel Mini is a great option for smaller cameras and even smartphones with the right mount.
Best Overall: Genaray LED-7100T
Genaray's LED-7100T is as suitable for on-camera applications as it is for AC-powered, continuous studio setups, which is why we have designated it as our best overall on-camera LED light for content creators. It features 3200 to 5600K adjustable color temperature, 10 to 100% brightness, and stepless color/brightness dials to fine-tune your settings. While it can be powered by two included NP-F550 batteries, users can alternatively opt for the included AC adapter or any Sony L series batteries. Other useful inclusions like the car charger, ball head, and carrying case make the LED-7100T a convenient lighting solution for a broad range of creative projects.
While you can probably use any bag to carry your gear, a dedicated backpack is worth considering as a content creator. While a good bag will hold your gear, a great bag will protect and organize it, making it easier to capture content.
Best Budget: Case Logic ERA Camera Backpack
If you’re looking for a step above a sling bag without the bulk of a full-sized backpack, an option like the ERA Small Camera Backpack might be worth considering. This compact backpack can hold a mirrorless camera, 2-3 lenses, and related accessories, like a small tripod, with ease. The padded dividers ensure your gear won’t jostle, while the entire pack remains lightweight enough to wear comfortably all day.
Best Overall: Lowepro m-Trekker BP150
Lowepro’s m-Trekker BP150 is our best overall backpack for content creators. With the ability to carry up to two mirrorless cameras with three lenses and a flash, this bag enjoys great capacity without becoming too bulky. Other notable features like a quick-access pocket and removable dividers make this backpack ideal for creators who work with a variety of gear. Featuring weather-resistant construction, this backpack also comes with a seam-sealed cover that will protect your gear from the rain.
Did we leave out your favorite content creation product? What is your content creation hot take? Let us know in the Comments section, below.