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 – Panasonic Lumix GH5
We recently upgraded to this camera and luckily it was 3rd time lucky. This is a fantastic camera for video, shooting in 4k as well as photos.
We use the kit lens with it for filming and a beeeautiful lens for taking b-roll footage (we literally “ahhhhh” at how crisp and beautiful some of the footage looks later).
I wish I could say we’ve gotten better at filming but really, we owe the great footage to the lenses!
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…