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How to Start a YouTube Channel on a Budget

So, you want to be a YouTuber?

You’ve got thousands of ideas about a passion that you want to share with the world, but you don’t have a studio or expensive equipment to film with. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. In this guide, you’ll learn all about how to start a YouTube channel on a budget.

Although It may seem like people on YouTube have spent fortunes on their setup to make videos, it’s actually very possible to create professional content with a relatively low budget.

We have compiled a list of the best equipment and tips to create content with a high production value whilst on a low budget.

This includes the best budget cameras to buy, some cheap and effective lighting options and some easy to use editing software to get you started.

After reading this article you will have everything you need to launch your YouTube channel!

Best Budget YouTube Cameras

Whatever content you are making, to create great YouTube videos, you must have great visuals. This means well lit, in-focus shots with good image quality. To get this, you are going to need to have a good camera, that is suited to the kind of content you are planning to film.

Here’s a quick glance at the best budget-friendly cameras for different types of content.
Nikon B500 Coolpix Digital Compact Camera GoPro HERO 5 Black Waterproof Digital Action Camera Logitech C930-E Business Webcam Smartphone

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Nikon B500 Coolpix Digital Compact Camera

Price- £219.99
Ideal for- Vlogging, filmmaking, travel

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This camera is the perfect first step photography or vlogging camera. It is small, lightweight and runs on AA batteries so it is very convenient if you are out and about, as you don’t have to rely on a rechargeable battery pack. The 3-inch screen can tilt up and down so is perfect for shooting at unusual angles or for vlogging.

One of the great features of this camera compared to other cameras of similar price is that it has Bluetooth connectivity allowing you to download footage to your phone. This camera also has a 40x stabilised optical zoom which means it is perfect for shooting sport and nature where you may be at a distance.

Obviously, with a smaller budget, you will have less control over elements such as exposure. However, this camera has settings such as an auto-exposure mode which is ideal if you are starting out or don’t have a great deal of camera knowledge.

Overall, the Nikon B500 Coolpix is easy to use and perfect for use out and about to shoot nature, vlogs or sports. The easy to use features such as autofocus and auto-exposure mode, optical zoom and wireless connectivity mean it is a great budget-friendly option for beginners in the YouTube world.

GoPro HERO5 Black Waterproof Digital Action Camera

Price- £159.99 (renewed)
Ideal for- Travel, sport and action

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The GoPro HERO5 black is the perfect budget camera for anyone interested in action-packed YouTube videos. The GoPro manages to have great image quality whilst also being very compact.

The HERO5 is waterproof to a depth of 10 metres without a case, so is perfect for surfing, skiing and sailing. Then with the addition of a case, it can be used for scuba diving and underwater adventures. The touchscreen and voice control mean that controlling the GoPro whilst you are out filming is very easy.

The quality of the GoPro camera is fantastic for its price, it can record in resolutions up to 4K. You can also reduce the resolution and record at higher frame rates (up to 240fps) for super slow motion.

Overall, the quality of the footage for the price is incredible and if you are looking to shoot action-packed content, then this is the obvious choice. It is easy to use, lightweight and can fit in your pocket wherever you go.

Logitech C930-E Business Webcam

Price- £177
Ideal for- Gaming, Livestreaming

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If you plan to enter the world of gaming videos and live streams on YouTube, then this is the best camera investment for you. The Logitech C930 webcam shoots a 30 frames per second and has autofocus and light detection which means you get higher quality shooting in low-light.

The audio quality is also crisp and would mean you wouldn’t necessarily have to invest in a microphone for your gaming videos. The webcam is compatible with both Mac’s and PC’s and mounts very easily onto laptops or can be used on a tripod. Once you press record you can focus on gaming and creating good content knowing that the webcam is shooting quality footage.

Overall, this is one of the best webcams on the market, the audio and video quality is great and the camera has features that will allow for a high production value. It doesn’t require knowledge of cameras or settings and is easy to set up and get started.

Smartphones

The final camera on the list is the smartphone.

Many smartphones now have built-in cameras that match the quality of some high-end camera brands. The best thing about smartphone cameras is that they are so easily accessible. Most of us already own a smartphone meaning this option is very budget-friendly if you don’t want to invest in an expensive camera.

Some stand-out smartphone cameras include the Apple iPhone 11 pro, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 65G and the Huawei P40 Pro.

However, if you own a smartphone then, with a bit of creativity you can get started at making your own videos. Smartphones offer a whole range of apps and add-ons that can improve quality and add effects, which boost the standard of your content.
They are easily accessible, easy to use, and fit right in your pocket. They are a great way to begin making videos for YouTube.

How to Start a YouTube Channel on a Budget: Guide to Lighting.

Turning Your Bedroom into a Studio With Good LIGHTING.

So now you have your camera set up and ready to go, you will need some good lighting to set your video quality to a high standard.

If you are working on a very low budget then you can purchase some cheap clamp lights. These can be mounted onto various surfaces and moved around easily.

Buy here.

However, they will need to be diffused as to avoid harsh lighting. This can be done by bouncing the light off a wall or ceiling to create a softer light.

Alternatively, if you have a slightly higher budget, you can purchase some studio softbox lights that use large fluorescent lights. These include diffusion material which provide a much softer light.

Buy here.

These lights also allow you to have much more control as the adjustable stand allows for easy movement.

Three-point Lighting for YouTube videos

Whichever lighting option you chose, you can follow an easy 3-point lighting plan to create professional studio lighting. This involves three lights in an arrangement-

⦁ The key light- This light provides most of the light for the subject.
⦁ The fill light- This light is less intense and gets rid of the shadows caused by the key light.
⦁ The backlight- This light separates the subject from the background and can be a hard light and doesn’t need diffusing.

Setting up these three lights in a way such as the diagram below allows a professional lighting setup and will rocket your YouTube videos from amateur to professional.

How to Start a YouTube Channel on a Budget: Best Free Editing Software for YouTube

Once you have your professional shots uploaded to your laptop or on your smartphone, you will need to have some software to edit your clips together.

Below is a summary of the top three free editing software for making YouTube content.

OpenShot

Price- Free
Available for- Windows, Mac
Where to buy- Download for free here

If you have never edited a video before then this software is the best way to learn.
It has a minimal design, making it easy to navigate and offers title cards, credit scrolling, digital video effects such as altering brightness and unlimited layers.
It doesn’t contain any complex tools like other more advanced software but it has everything you need to cut footage together for a YouTube video.

Lightworks

Price- Free (or monthly payment for Pro version)
Available for- Windows, Mac
Where to buy- Download for free here

Lightworks is another great beginner editing software. It is easy to use and the Lightworks website has detailed instructional videos to help you make the most out of the software.

The precision detail that Lightworks offers is what makes it stand out in comparison to other free editing software, it allows you to tweak every aspect of your images and allows a high level of detail and control.

If you are willing to spare a bit more time to learn and fine-tune your projects then this is definitely the software for you, and you will reap the rewards with a professional outcome.

The only downfall to this software is that it has limited export resolution and format, maxing at 720p in the free version. However, you can export directly to YouTube.

Smartphone Editing Software

If you are creating your YouTube videos on your smartphone, then there are a whole variety of apps you can download to edit your footage. The list below shows a few of the best ones for beginners on a budget.

iMovie

⦁ Price- Free
⦁ Available on Mac, iOS

iMovie is easy to use and has a range of templates and themes to help you get started. It supports 4K video and you can easily upload to YouTube straight from the app.

QUIK

⦁ Price- Free
⦁ Available on iOS, Android

QUIK is an app to compile footage and images quickly to create a smooth and fast edit experience. You can change the style, font and titles and the app has an automatic edit feature. It is very easy to use and is perfect if you want to make short snappy videos.

Videoleap

⦁ Price- Free version, monthly payment to unlock all features
⦁ Available on iOS, Android

Videoleap is a more advanced editor, it has an amazing array of tools to use such as video effects, animations, stickers and transitions. You can create exciting videos with this app and it’s quite simple to get the hang of. The only downfall is the limited number of layers you can use with the free version before having to include the videoleap watermark on your videos.

A Brief Summary on How to Start a YouTube Channel on a Budget

To summarize, there are a great range of low budget options to allow you to make professional and high-quality content.

Buying the right equipment for your style of videos is essential. The budget cameras that come around the £200 mark include the Nikon B500 Coolpix digital camera, perfect for vlogging and filmmaking. The GoPro HERO5 black is a cheap but great quality action camera and for gaming videos with great camera quality, the Logitech C930-E webcam cuts above the rest.

In terms of lighting, you can follow the simple three-point lighting setup to create studio lighting from your bedroom. This low budget technique will boost your video quality immediately.

And, finally, there are many free editing software’s out there such as Lightworks and Openshot that allow you to quickly learn and create stunning video content. It can even be done from your smartphone.

Anyone can be a YouTuber with the right tools and passion. It doesn’t have to be expensive to create great quality content and with a small investment, you will be making professional videos that draw in the eyes of the audience.


This article was written by guest contributor Liz Cartwright. Give her a follow on Instagram or Twitter!

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