Casey Neistat is a YouTube vlogger that has been gaining a lot of popularity lately because of his great cinematography skills. And a lot of people are wondering what type of camera setup is he using to make his videos look so good. Well I’ve looked into it. And I’m going to do a review of his setup. Plus suggest some of my own modifications and my own little tweaks to it. So, put on my glasses like Casey. Here we go.
So the first thing we’re going to do is run through the whole camera setup– the gear– and then let’s dig into some of the specifics about the things you need to know about how to best use this setup.
Canon 70D and RODE VideoMic Go
The camera body that he uses is a Canon 70D. And the reason why he chose this one is because it has autofocus features built in, which are really nice for getting a good crisp, clear shot. So autofocusing here. The lens that he’s using is the Canon EF-S 10 to 22 millimeter. Also, the microphone at the top is called a RODE VideoMic GO. And this is not the one that he uses. He uses one a little bit more similar to this one because this is battery-powered. And it gets a little bit better audio. And you can boost the signal that it’s sending into the camera. And you can cut wind and stuff too.
But the problem I was having when I was using this mic is that quite frequently, I would forget to turn it on. Or rather, I’d turn it on and I’d have to carry around the nine-volt battery it uses and then they would die on me, or something like that. And so I would get these shots when I was vlogging. I’ve been vlogging with this camera actually for a few weeks now over at our family’s vlogging channel. So that’s what I’m basing all this on. And I would find that I would just forget to turn this microphone on.
So this one isn’t battery-powered and there’s no on or off switch. It just plugs right into the microphone port on the camera. And I love it so much better because the sound quality is still very good. So very directional– it picks up what’s in front of the camera, in front of the microphone. And it eliminates a lot of the background noise– which is awesome. But I don’t have to worry about another battery and forgetting to turn it on and then having no audio at all.
And then this is the JOBY tripod. And you can get it in different sizes. This is the one for mobile. He has a bigger one than this. And it’s nice because these legs are extremely flexible. You can wrap it around stuff. It makes it very portable. If you just want to get a quick time-lapse like he does, you can just set the legs out and set it down. Or you can do what he does and that’s put them like this. And this gives it kind of like a selfie stick. It’s very adjustable, very sturdy. I love this JOBY tripod. And this is how he uses it. Keeps his arm out of the shot too, rather than holding it up like this and then having this in the shot. By the way guys, the links to all of this stuff is in the description below this video here on YouTube.
Purchase at B&H Photo
I highly recommend you pick up your gear at B&H Photo. That’s where I get all of my stuff. Mostly because they are super, high professional. If you have any questions at all, you can just call them. They’ll help you decide what you really need for your project. And their prices are either the lowest or they are the exact same price as the lowest price that I can find anywhere on the internet, including Amazon, or any other place like that.
Best Camera Settings for Vlogging
As far as a couple of settings on the camera that I have found worked best for vlogging– This is a touch screen. So that is nice. So you could have this focus one. I found that the multipoint one tends to keep the most amount of things in focus while I’m shifting around. If I just want to focus just on my face and I know my face is going to be in the middle the whole time, without moving, I’ll switch it to that one sometimes. Most of the time, I use a FlexiZone-Multi subject one there.
Best Settings for Audio for Vlogging
As far as the audio is concerned, if you go into here, I found just leaving it at auto with this microphone works really well. As you can see, even though I’m standing behind it right now, it’s still picking up exactly at the right levels just because there’s no other sound right now. But it does a fairly good job. Sometimes it will peek into red even on auto. But I haven’t found it to be enough to switch it to manual. You don’t want to disable your audio, obviously.
Also really important is if you have the autofocus method on the tracking one. Remember we went through these just a second. But if you have it on tracking– if you want to have it automatically– you can enable this. It will automatically keep focusing on the faces that it detects– which it actually does a really good job at keeping the faces. But as it says, “Using an external microphone will reduce the amount of lens noise that is recorded.” And I have found that even with the external lens on top with the road, it still picks it up.
So if I switch back to this, you can turn it on and off just by tapping this while you’re recording, which makes it kind of nice. So you can use it when you want. But I have decided not to use that because it does get to be a little bit too much noise. So I just keep this disabled. And I just keep this on FlexiZone. The cool part about using the FlexiZone though is that if you hold and you hit this button right here– this AF focus on– while you’re doing it, you can hold it while you’re recording. And it doesn’t give enough noise. See how it’s focusing in these spots right here, now. So if I was to put my hand right here and then pull this– see how it’ll all focus over here on my hand. You couldn’t hear it, but I could hear the lens make this noise.
Best Lens for Vlogging on DSLR
And the other thing about this lens, you can see how wide it is when you zoom out on this one. So you can see how much of the room this lens is actually picking up– this 10 to 22 millimeter– that’s on this one. So this is at 10. And if I was to zoom in, it gives you just enough. You can go in about that far. That’s at 22 millimeters now. And I like it because I have found for vlogging, wide is really good.
And this is a crop sensor, which means it zoomed in a little bit more than you normally would have on a full sensor one. But it’s still really good. Just enough range where you could zoom in, focus the eye on something that you want to draw attention to, but then zoom back and then have just yourself in the whole room. And you have lots of empty space around you to pick up a lot of the environment. Another thing to consider with this is that it does weigh maybe four pounds or so– which doesn’t sound like a lot. But if you’re holding it out trying to talk to it for any period of time, it does start to get pretty heavy.
And the other comment I would make is that vlogging with this– although you have a lot of flexibility, you get great sound quality, great image– you really do you need to know how to use a DSLR camera. It’s not something you can just pick up like a point-and-shoot, or a GoPro, or your phone, or something like that. I’m not Casey. I can’t wear those when I’m on video.
So you do need to know how to actually use a camera– a lot of manual settings– in order to know how to use it to its full potential when you’re vlogging with it. If you want to see the vlogs that I’ve shot on this camera, and this lens, and this microphone– to hear how it all sounds and see a little bit more about it– I’ll put a link to a playlist in the description of this video that will contain all the vlogs that I’ve shot using this exact setup. So you can get a little bit more idea what it looks and sounds like.
GoPro HERO4 Black
So while I do like vlogging on the GoPro HERO4 Black– which is what I’ve been using– because you can do 2K, 4K. It’s got time-lapsed stuff built in. I can mount it anywhere. It’s much less inconspicuous. The audio on here– a problem. I did a full review on vlogging with this one which I’ll make up around here. There are some problems with it.
This definitely overcomes almost all those problems. But it has other problems of its own. It’s big. It’s far more expensive than a GoPro. And you can’t just throw it in your bag when you’re traveling like you can with a GoPro.
If you’ve been vlogging with a rig like this, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What you’ve learned, works best, and what doesn’t, and any tips. Share those down there. And I will definitely look forward to learning from you guys. And the rest of you who are thinking about vlogging with this, read the tips other people are saying and other recommendations that you guys have found work really well for your vlogging setup.
And if this is your first time here, I’d love to have you subscribe. Every week, we give you guys YouTube tips just to help you with your YouTube channels, grow your audience, and sometimes give you equipment reviews like this, as well. So thanks for hanging out. And I will see you guys again tomorrow for some YouTube Q&A. See you then. Bye.
- Canon 70D (body only)
- Rode VideoMic Go
- Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens
- Joby GorillaPod Hybrid Flexible Mini-Tripod with Ball
- GoPro Hero4 Black