My YouTube Studio Setup

Here at Primal Video, we get a lot of questions about our YouTube studio setup. Questions like “What YouTube gear do you use in your studio?” and “How can I make my YouTube studio setup better?” are constantly coming our way, so it’s time to give you some answers!

Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

In this guide to setting up YOUR YouTube studio, we’ll give you all the details on how we set up OURS. Learn all about the gear and gadgets we recommend – and use! – for creating a studio setup that will take your videos to the next level

How to Setup a YouTube Studio

There’s a lot of gear out there that can help you to create engaging, professional-looking videos. A LOT. But what many people don’t realize is that it’s best to start with what you already have. 

Even though you could easily spend thousands on a YouTube studio setup at home, you don’t have to. Nowadays, it’s possible to get great results without breaking the bank, even if that means using your smartphone to film and edit videos. 

Before spending a fortune on brand new gear, use what you already have!

That said, there is some gear that can help to make your results even greater. If you are interested in buying a few new pieces of equipment to improve your setup, here’s are the most important gear categories to focus on:

Over the years, we’ve tried and tested items for each of these categories, so keep reading to learn about our favorite products for lighting, audio, cameras, computers, and more.

Recommended Cameras & Lenses

First thing’s first, let’s talk about camera equipment for YouTube. Cameras are obviously an essential part of the filming process, and we have a lot of experience with different camera makes and models. 

When it comes to cameras and lenses, here are 5 of the top products on our radar:

  1. Panasonic GH5 
  2. Panasonic GH4
  3. Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 lens 
  4. Panasonic 12-35mm lens 
  5. Metabones Canon EF Lens to Micro Four Thirds Speed Booster (lens adaptor) 

The bulk of Primal Video content is shot using the Panasonic GH5 camera with a Sigma 18-35mm lens, but the GH4 camera comes in a close second place. 

In order to use the Sigma lens on a Panasonic camera, you’ll need a lens adaptor, like the Metabones Canon EF Speed Booster

The Panasonic GH5 camera + Sigma lens + Metabones adapter combination creates a nice blurry background

If you plan on moving around in your shot and want the camera to move along with you, using a lens with image stabilization and auto-focus features, like the Panasonic 12-35mm lens, is a great choice.

Top Camera Pick: Panasonic GH5

One of the biggest reasons the Panasonic GH5 camera is our top choice for filming is its impressive battery life. This gives you a lot of freedom to move around while you film. 

To extend battery life even further, the GH5 easily connects to an additional power pack

Another reason we love the GH5 is its advanced WiFi control. It allows you to connect the camera to a tablet or smartphone so that you can watch your filming progress from a secondary screen. This makes solo filming super easy. 

The third big reason we strongly recommend the GH5 is that it comes with two built-in SD card slots. This allows you to record with redundancy and cut out the risk of lost footage by recording to two memory cards instead of just one.

In addition to utilizing the two SD card slots, it’s recommended that you use an HDMI feed and Camlink 4k to connect the camera directly to a laptop or desktop

Recommended Microphones

Now that we’ve covered our top picks for cameras and lenses, it’s time to move on to audio and using an external microphone is an amazing way to boost the audio quality of your video content. 

After lots of trial and error, here are the audio tools we recommend for your DIY YouTube setup: 

  1. RØDE Wireless GO 
  2. RØDE Lavalier GO 
  3. RØDE NTG 
  4. BOYA BY-M1 
  5. Zoom H5 Recorder

Up until recently, our go-to microphone for recording was the BOYA BY-M1 wired lapel mic. It’s an amazing audio tool that costs around $20, and the bulk of Primal Video footage is shot using this microphone. 

Top Pick for Audio: RØDE Wireless GO 

We recently decided to make the switch to the RØDE Wireless GO. This is a completely wireless device that fits in the palm of your hand. Best of all, it gives you complete flexibility to move around while filming since there are no wires connecting to the camera. 

The Wireless GO may be small, but it’s capable of delivering powerful audio

Top Pick for Audio Backup: RØDE NTG

Just as you should have a backup system for your footage, the same goes for audio. Our recommendation for a backup microphone is the RØDE NTG

This is a shotgun microphone that’s compatible with smartphones, DSLR devices, mirrorless cams – pretty much any camera you’re using to film. 

Not only is the RØDE NTG great for backup audio, but it’s also a top pick for podcast-style microphone

The NTG is a standalone mic that doesn’t connect to a camera, so we recommend using a tool like the Zoom H5 Recorder to capture the audio. 

Recommended Lighting

Your YouTube lighting setup is another critical element for creating quality video content. The perfect starting place for your lighting setup is to use what you have. This could be overhead ceiling lights, floor lamps, desk lamps, or natural light coming in through a window.

If you do want to invest in additional lighting that’s specifically designed for filming, these are our top picks: 

  1. YongNuo YN-300 Air 
  2. Lume Cube Air
  3. Phillips Hue Light Strip
  4. Phillips Hue Globe

Top Pick for Lighting: YongNuo YN-300 Air

The light that we use most in our DIY YouTube studio is the YongNuo YN-300 Air. Thanks to its built-in diffusion system, the YN-300 gives off a nice, soft light that’s never too harsh.

The YongNuo YN-300 Air throws soft light, so you don’t have to worry about harsh shadows with this one

Other Light Recommendations

The only other lights currently in the PV YouTube setup are the Phillips Hue Light Strip and the Phillips Hue Globe to light up the background. The Hue Globe is an LED bulb that works well in any lamp you have lying around. 

The Light Strip has a really cool color-changing feature that can be controlled by a smartphone. Just use your iPhone or Android to change the color output and give the shot a completely different look. 

You can change the color output of a Phillips Hue Light Strip using your smartphone

Our last recommendation for lighting is the Lume Cube Air. This little guy easily attaches directly to your camera or webcam setup and throws soft light in every direction. It’s great for brightening yourself up while you live steam or use a webcam to create YouTube content.

Recommended Webcam

If you’re hoping to create video content using a webcam, our favorite right now is the Logitech Brio 4K Webcam.

For webcam filming, you can’t go wrong with the Logitech Brio

This cam records in 4K, so you’re guaranteed a crisp, clear shot every time you sit down to shoot. Unlike many other webcams on the market, the Logitech even works well in low-lighting.

Recommended Computers & Accessories

The video editing process will go a lot smoother if you have a high-spec computer to keep up with your heavy-duty editing software. Pairing it to a large monitor screen like the Samsung 34” Ultra Wide Curved Monitor does wonders for viewing and editing your footage.

This Samsung monitor allows you to view a huge video timeline as you edit

The main computer used to edit and upload Primal Video content is the 2019 MacBook Pro. It gets the job done, but there are tons of effective computers out there right now that are compatible with the best editing software options. 

The PC we’re currently using is the MSI PC. Having a PC on hand is great if you need some extra horsepower when it comes time to edit.

Recommended Tripod

When taking the Primal Video studio tour, you’ll quickly notice the Slik Video Sprint II tripod that’s positioned front-and-center. 

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t make this specific model anywhere, but the similar Slik 504QF II works really well as a desktop tripod.

Recommended Teleprompter

If you’re in the market for a teleprompter, our top pick is the Parrot Teleprompter V2. This handy tool will keep you on topic as you film and make sure you don’t miss any of the main talking points.

Teleprompters like the Parrot V2 are great for reading out long scripts

The V2 connects to any smartphone and attaches directly to the camera lens. The camera-attaching design was extremely smart on Parrot’s part; as you read the script, it looks as if you’re talking directly to the audience.

Recommended Echo Reduction

Distorted, echoing audio can be extremely distracting to your viewers. That’s why the Primal Video studio is lined with an Acoustic Foam Studio Soundproofing Panel. Placing this sound-deadening foam directly behind the camera can drastically reduce any echo.

Pretty much any Generic Foam Soundproofing can be used for echo reduction in your studio.

Complete List of Recommended Gear for DIY YouTube Studio Setup

We’ve covered a lot of gear in this guide on how to setup a YouTube studio. The only thing not mentioned in the video studio tour so far is the Primal Video dog, Russell. 

Unfortunately, Russell isn’t available for your studio setup, but feel free to let your own pet hang out in the studio while you film!

Here’s a quick recap of our recommended equipment for setting up your studio:

Recommended Cameras & Lenses

Recommended Microphones

Recommended Lighting

Recommended Tripod

Recommended Webcam

Recommended Teleprompter

Recommended Computers & Accessories

Recommended Echo Reduction

Now You’re Ready to Set Up Your YouTube Studio Like a Pro!

That completes our YouTube studio tour! 

While you don’t have to buy all the best equipment for YouTube videos, investing in a few pieces here and there can make a world of difference. You can quickly improve audio, lighting, video quality, and more with just a few affordable filming tools. 

If you want to stick to a budget with your studio setup, why not try filming on your smartphone? Chances are, you have a smartphone in your pocket right now, or maybe you’re even reading this post from a mobile device.

We have tons of smartphone filming tips and tricks, so check out our Free Guide to Filming Amazing Videos on Smartphone for iPhone and Android

For more helpful information on how to make your YouTube videos better, download our guide on the ULTIMATE Process for Editing Videos Faster. This free guide provides you with tons of video editing tips and tricks that can take your videos to an entirely new level. 

Links

When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

Recommended Gear for YouTube Studio Setup:

Recommended Tutorials:


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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