8 Things You Need to Start Vlogging on Your Smartphone

Making vlogs is a great hobby that you can turn into a side gig. But if you want to start making high-quality videos, you have to invest in your equipment.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a professional camera. Instead, you can purchase or upgrade other accessories that will help you produce professional-grade videos right from your smartphone.

So, what devices, software, and services should you prioritize for smartphone vlogs? Here are some items to consider.

1. Portable light

Whether you’re shooting video indoors, outdoors, or in a studio, it’s a good idea to have at least one or two portable lights. That’s because you can use them to make sure your audience sees you clearly, especially in difficult lighting conditions.

There are several affordable options like portable LED video lights and LED ring lights. And, if you’re primarily planning to shoot indoors or in a home studio, you can even use softbox or umbrella lights for softer highlights and shadows.

Of course, once you’ve got your devices, you should know how to use them, too. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you can use a number of lighting techniques while making your vlog, such as three-point lighting, butterfly lighting, or low light.

2. External microphone

While smartphones have improved the quality of their built-in microphones, there’s still no substitute for a proper standalone microphone. After all, while your audience may suffer from poor quality video recordings, it can be difficult to hear audio in degraded quality. If viewers can’t hear you or can’t understand what you’re saying, they won’t watch you.


If your smartphone still has a 3.5mm audio jack, you can use any microphone equipped with it. You can even use a 2.5 to 3.5 mm adapter to convert a traditional microphone used by professionals into something you can attach to your phone.

However, if you’re using a flagship device without a jack, there are several USB-C microphones on the market today. And if you’re using a Lightning-equipped iPhone, you can use a USB-C to Lightning adapter to use a professional-grade microphone for your vlogs.

3. Tripod

Wherever you plan to record, you must have a tripod to hold your smartphone while recording. Shaky handheld video isn’t great to watch. They give off an amateur vibe and if you’re moving around, it can even cause dizziness and nausea in the viewer.

Tripods will allow you to have fully stabilized video, and you can even use them for simple movements, like panning and tracking, as long as you have someone operating the camera. Some smartphone tripods can also act as selfie sticks, perfect for walking and travel vlogs.

4. Smartphone gimbal

You should consider buying a gimbal for your smartphone if you plan to shoot B-roll scenes. The stability and smooth motion this device offers allow you to have professional-quality recordings of the scenes and subjects you are shooting.

What’s more, some models even allow for automatic subject tracking, allowing you to freely move around in a scene without requiring the camera operator to keep you in the frame.

5. Teleprompter

A telephoto camera is an important tool to keep you engaged with your audience. After all, eye contact is very important in public speaking. Even though you’re not talking directly to people when you’re creating a vlog, you still need to make eye contact with the camera so that viewers feel as though you’re talking directly to them.

Furthermore, it’s not unreasonable to have a copy of your script, especially when you’re filming a talk video. If you don’t keep in mind what you want to say in your vlog and look at your copy of the script, you’ll be looking out of the camera, thus disrupting eye contact.

Teleprompters are affordable, but if you don’t want to spend money on one, you can simply use a smartphone or tablet. While a smartphone or secondary display placed near the camera lens can do the trick, discerning observers will still notice you’re not looking directly at them.

6. Video editing apps

Unless you’re just doing live videos, you’re required to have a video editing app on your smartphone. You need these apps to remove blobs, improve color quality, and splices to create a coherent, smooth video.

You can also use these apps to create intro and closing clips, which you can use to remind viewers of who you are, or add effects and other on-screen elements to make the video more appealing. Yours is more attractive.

If you’re new to video editing, or if that’s not your forte, you can check out our video editing tips to help you get started. Alternatively, you can hire a professional video editor to do the work for you.

7. External memory

Video recording takes up a lot of space. This is especially true if you are shooting in 4K HDR quality. Even Full HD videos can quickly use up your smartphone’s storage space.

If you think that 512GB is ample space to store your footage, you are wrong. 512GB can usually only hold about four hours of 4K video or 24 hours of Full HD 1080p video. This doesn’t even take into account your phone’s operating system, apps you’ve installed, and other data you have on your phone.

Furthermore, 512GB memory is usually found only in the top-end variants of the latest flagship models. If you’re on a lower model, you’ll probably only have 64GB to 256GB of storage.

So if your phone is capable, you should insert the largest possible microSD card that it supports. Otherwise, you should invest in a Lightning or USB-C flash drive, where you can save your videos after you shoot and edit them.

8. A good smartphone

While most mid-range smartphones these days offer decent video quality, they often struggle in difficult lighting conditions, like high-contrast or low-light scenes. If you are looking for a new smartphone and are planning to start vlogging, consider buying a flagship model.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max both get great reviews for their video capabilities, so those are the models you should consider. While you can also get a vlog camera instead of a smartphone, these are bulkier and more intrusive than smartphones.

Furthermore, you cannot use them for anything but taking pictures or recording videos. You can’t even do extensive editing on them. That’s why smartphones might be a better choice.

Start making vlogs on your smartphone

You don’t have to invest in an expensive camera to start vlogging. But when you already have your channel and want to improve the quality of your content, these are the items you should prioritize. They not only allow you to have more visually engaging content, but they also make you a better and more effective storyteller.

We hope you enjoy the items we recommend and discuss! MUO has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from some of your purchases. This won’t affect the price you pay and helps us make the best product recommendations.

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https://www.makeuseof.com/smartphone-vlogging-things-you-need/ 8 Things You Need to Start Vlogging on Your Smartphone

Sarah Ridley

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