If you’re interested to know what gear we use for our YouTube sailing channel, read below! We bought some of this filming gear before really setting off to sail for an extended period, not knowing what the conditions would be like to film in. Since then we have a fairly good idea of what works, what’s been our best improvement for our sailing channel and have also eyed up some upgrades on what we’d purchase next time around. If you’re thinking of buying a boat and taking photos for home or a youtube channel then read below to get an idea of what will come in handy!
Our Main Camera – Fujifilm X-T20
We bought this DSLR Fujifilm camera in Australia before we started sailing and at that point, we really didn’t know much about the world of vlogging or photography. We chose it because it was on the cheaper end of the scale but could still produce good, high-quality film and pictures. We filmed with an iPhone for a long time and you can you see a difference in quality when we switched to using the DSLR!
It’s a great starter camera and we plan to upgrade with a range of better lenses down the track. It’s easy to use and light in weight, so we have been able to use it on a hand grip that wouldn’t work with heavier cameras.
One downside is that that screen only pops out to 90 degrees, not the 180 degrees we would prefer so you can’t view yourself while you film.
There is a good reason that most vloggers recommend this microphone; it’s small, relatively cheap and comes with its own fluffy cat thing to help reduce wind noise.
We have now learnt that a microphone is an essential part of the equipment when filming on a boat as it turns footage from sounding like we’re in the middle of a hurricane to something semi-usable!
We spent a long time using this on the iPhone and were disappointed that we didn’t hear any difference in the audio quality… turns out a different cable is needed if you film from an iPhone which doesn’t come with the base set – so something to be aware of!
Once upon a time we had a Go Pro Hero 3, and on one fateful day Adam and I both tried to squeeze on the hammock we had set up on the spinnaker pole above the water… The hammock was not designed for two… consequently, another GoPro was bought.
That was at the start of our GoPro journey and we’re now 3 GoPro’s in (which says something for the product!)
Someone once asked us whether they should buy a DSLR or a Go Pro for their child to document their next holiday and we 100% recommend the GoPro.
We recently upgraded to the GoPro Hero 8 Black and our filming quality has gone up 3 fold, the stabilizer is fantastic and the microphone is the best of them so far (an external mic is still needed in windy conditions)… and then you can just jump straight in the water with it to boot! We Can’t recommend this enough!
Gimbal Stabilizer – Zhiyun Smooth 4
The newest addition to our filming gear and WOW does it make a difference! It looks like we’re filming from a drone; totally amazing! Can’t recommend it enough!
After doing a ton of research, and learning about the many handheld phone gimbals available it was clear there are two leaders in the game; this Zhiyun Gimbal Stabilizer or one from DJl. The prices are similar, but we chose this as it’s slightly cheaper (even more so when bought from eBay as we did!)
It has a great app that lets you use your phone with a bit more finesse than the usual ‘prod your finger on the screen’ to focus.
Check out Episode 45 to see it in use with a side by side comparison of an iPhone with no stabilizer.
We now have a new drone! We’re a little scarred from our previous experience which is why we haven’t used the drone too much, but it’s incredibly user-friendly with a LOT of pre-loaded flight options, so you don’t really need to steer if you don’t feel comfortable (great!!)
We are trying to practise grabbing the drone or landing it on our palm but we think it might be hard to do this on a boat, we have witnessed other sailors doing it though!
Great drone but it was bulky, and we were newbies who should have done a few more practices on land before launching it from a boat (and consequently sinking it in 5 metres of water – FYI, it sinks like a rock!)
We would love to get another Phantom though as they’re a bit easier to catch on a boat than our new drone…