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What equipment do you need to start a YouTube channel?

So, you want to be a YouTuber? Perhaps you’ve got a lifehack you want to share or an amazing recipe to demonstrate. Maybe you just want to share your story, insight, or lifestyle with the wider world. YouTube is a fantastic tool for connecting with others, building a community, and maybe even making a little cash on the side.

Whatever you’re planning, having that initial idea is only a small part of the journey. After all you might have no clue as to what equipment you’ll need to create your amazing video content. Or even how to start a YouTube channel in the first place.

Well, whatever your goal, you’ve come to the right place for support. Read this Gadget Cover guide to the equipment you’ll need to start up a YouTube channel of your own and you’ll be pulling in the subscribers in no time!

But remember, if you’re investing so much time, effort and money then you need to make sure everything is covered just in case of mishaps. For example, do you have the right mobile phone insurance in place? Get in contact with the helpful team at Gadget Cover and get all your essential tech tools covered in an instant.


Developing your YouTube vision – the 10 most popular YouTube channel ideas

Are you considering creating your own YouTube channel but haven’t worked out the best niche for you yet? Well, before we start looking at your tech needs, here are the 10 most popular!

  1. Personal vlogging
    Probably the easiest way to get started. Just record your daily life, your thoughts, and your opinions and upload them. Of course, if you want people to watch then it helps to have a particularly interesting personality, or quirky take on things.
  2. Gaming
    Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, Call of Duty… the list goes on and on. If you love playing any of these games, then you could have a potential goldmine at your fingertips. YouTubers who specialise in gaming have some of the biggest audiences of all.  From news and reviews of the latest releases to walk-throughs of popular games, there are lots of ways to succeed in this niche.
  3. Cooking
    Recipe books are great for leafing through, but most people really want to see exactly how the dish is prepared and cooked. You might choose to focus on a particular region or style of cooking. And there could be lucrative opportunities for linking up with commercial partners here.
  4. Product reviews
    Some of the most popular YouTube channels are those that review products and services and offer useful advice on making the right purchase. Common popular formats include unboxing videos, product testing videos and instructional videos like an iPhone 13 Pro Max tutorial for beginners.
  5. Health and fitness
    Workout videos are particularly popular among those looking for some motivation with their exercise. Sponsorship opportunities may also arise if you prove popular in this highly competitive space.
  6. Travelling
    Whether you travel to far off exotic places or stay closer to home, sharing your experiences and the people you meet along the way can be very interesting. All you have to do is to remember to take your camera with you wherever you travel. If you do fancy this then make sure you’ve got worldwide cover as part of your mobile phone insurance policy.
  7. Gadgets
    If you know your way around gadgets then your expertise can be invaluable for viewers. From software tips and tricks to hardware fixes, sharing your skills through entertaining and informative ‘how to’ videos will soon see your YouTube views mount up.
  8. Restaurant and food reviews
    Foodies are a passionate bunch who can get pretty obsessed about anything food or restaurant related. Whether at home or out and about, people are always looking for new food content to sample.
  9. Life hacks
    Finding new ways to save time or money is something beloved by many in our hectic 21st Century world. From general life hacks to make-up hacks, cooking hacks, or household hacks, these are all popular ways to attract new viewers.
  10. Comedy
    Not the easiest channel to get right. But if you can ‘do’ comedy then viral video stardom may be just around the corner. Putting a smile on people’s faces will see your videos being shared far and wide.

Equipment essentials for starting a YouTube channel

The fact is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to start a YouTube channel. Indeed, you may not need to spend any money at all! Obviously, you’ll need some equipment, but you don’t need to immediately rush out to buy a studio’s worth of flashy gadgetry.

A better approach for those just starting out is to assess your needs on a video-by-video basis. As you work through your first few video uploads, you’ll be able to work out what you really need. It’s an approach that promotes smart spending, something that we always recommend.

So, without further ado let’s take a look at some of the gear options you’ll want to consider.

Cool cameras to get the perfect shot every time

If you’re serious about getting your YouTube channel up and running then you’re going to need to have a decent camera for shooting videos. Remember, most people prefer to view videos in Full HD or even 4K format, that way they can enjoy every single detail. When it comes to this essential piece of kit there are plenty of options to consider.

Smartphone camera

Modern smartphones often contain high-powered cameras already. So, before you rush out to buy an expensive camera it’s worth having a look at the one already in your pocket. To help you capture solid footage with your smartphone we recommend going online and working through some of the tips and tutorials available there.

Wondering which smartphone is best for shooting video? Or how to shoot a professional video on a smartphone? Then Gadget Cover has a ‘how to’ guide that’s perfect for you.

When you’re busy trying to get the best shot for your next viral video it’s all too easy to drop your precious device. But if you have an accident and your smartphone screen gets cracked, don’t despair. Unlike some insurers, even minor screen cracks could be covered by your mobile phone insurance with Gadget Cover. And if the item can’t be repaired, we’ll replace it.


Full HD webcams are relatively inexpensive and probably of a much better quality than the one built into your laptop. They’re ideal for gamers and other YouTubers who want to record while they’re in front of their computer. They also make live streaming easier since they can be directly connected to your computer or laptop.

According to the experts over at TechRadar, the Logitech C920 webcam is still the best value webcam you can buy, despite it being released almost 10 years ago. It features full HD 1080p and 720p video recording capabilities at 30 fps, is great for streamers and gives plenty of options for mounting.

If you don’t fancy the extra investment then we’ve also got help on how to use your phone as a webcam. At Gadget Cover we really think of everything.


Specifically designed for recording video, camcorders are still a popular option among YouTubers. If you’re looking for something compact, lightweight, fairly affordable, and built to handle most shooting situations then a camcorder could be the answer.

Whether you’re just filming around the house or out on a vlogging safari even a budget camcorder will have you creating high-quality professional videos. Camcorders also come with plenty of settings allowing you to continually adjust contrast ratios, brightness, add filters, shoot in slow-motion and so on.

Digital Camera World has some great suggestions for the best camcorders to buy in 2022. For 4K capability, we have our eye on the Sony FDR-AX43 with its 20x optical zoom and multichannel microphone.

Action camera

Tough, compact and extremely versatile, action cameras are beloved by the more intrepid YouTubers. For those who want to capture first-person POVs of their exciting travels or extreme sports adventures then an action camera is vital.

Perhaps the most highly-regarded brand of action camera is the GoPro, and most ‘best buy’ gadget lists will feature their products. With so many GoPros available, performed the vital public service of putting them all through their paces to decide which was deserving of the ‘Best GoPro’ crown. No surprise that the current flagship GoPro Hero 10 won the top prize with its super-fast GP2 processor and video which tops out at a massive 5.3K, 60 fps.

Getting out in the open air is a great idea when it comes to interesting YouTube content. But if you do, make sure liquid damage is also covered by your mobile phone insurance policy. If you get an accidental soaking when you’re shooting on water, you’ll want to know you won’t be left out of pocket and without a phone.

DSLR or mirrorless camera

Okay, things are starting to get a bit fancier and more expensive now. If you’re really serious about your YouTube channel and you want to upload video footage of the best quality possible, then you’ll need to consider investing in a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

There are lots of high-quality cameras on the market. And who says you need to buy a brand-new device? There’s a huge market for second-hand DSLR or mirrorless cameras ideal for novice YouTubers. And they can be bought from online retailers for a reasonable price.

When choosing a camera remember to keep versatility at the front of your mind and focus on what it is you want the camera to do. Take the time to brush up on filming techniques and don’t be afraid to ask your favourite YouTubers what they use. They’ll probably be only too pleased to help.

Recommendations from Digital Camera World for the best YouTube cameras include the vlogger-oriented Sony ZV-E10 and the stunning yet pricey Sony A6600.

Just like finding the right mobile phone insurance, when you’re making such a serious investment it’s important to get the best buying advice first.

Lighting matters to make everything look gorgeous

No matter what you’re pointing your camera at, if you want your videos to be viewed and shared for all the right reasons then you’ll need to pay close attention to lighting. Taking the time to consider the best lighting for the job will instantly boost your production values and help your content stand out from the badly-lit crowd.

Ring lights

Using its ring shape, these send light all around a subject, eliminating shadows and making everybody look even more gorgeous than in real life. No wonder these lights are so beloved by vloggers who pride themselves on their flawless appearance.

They tend to be very affordable and usually come with a mount and tripod for ease of use. Creative Bloq recommends the Joby Beamo 12-inch Ring Light for its excellent do-it-all approach.

Softbox and umbrella light

If you want your videos to be bathed in a beautiful flattering light, then you might want to invest in one or both of these. Both softboxes and shoot-through umbrellas create the soft light needed to eliminate imperfections, cut out harsh shadows, and create great looking content.

And if you’ve never experimented with lighting, don’t worry. Even absolute beginners can soon lock down the lighting basics in no time at all. Why not take a look at this YouTube Lighting Tutorial to get started?

Microphones for superior sound quality

Even if your video content looks high class, if viewers can’t hear what you’re saying then they’ll soon turn off and find something else to watch. The microphones in your smartphone, laptop or camera often don’t feature the best audio quality and aren’t great at eliminating ambient sounds.

youtube vlogger

So, the next piece of kit you’ll want to pick up is a good external microphone. Now there are many different microphones on the market but you’ll probably want to consider one or more of these main types.

Shotgun microphones

A great all-purpose option that mounts on top of your camera and records whatever you point it at. As you would expect, anything from Sennheiser is going to boost audio quality to the next level. Digital Camera World recommends the Sennheiser MKE 400 (2nd Generation) very highly.

Lavalier (clip-on) microphones

If you’re shooting lots of interviews then a microphone that clips to someone’s clothing is a good choice. Small and lightweight, the Rode Wireless GO is perfect for capturing clean audio in even crowded settings.

Studio microphones

These work in all directions and are useful if you’re recording group discussions like podcasts. Everyone who is anyone opts for the stunning and easy to use Blue Yeti. It really is the ultimate in professional studio-quality recording!

Other essential accessories worth investing in

Once you’ve sorted your lights, camera and sound you could be forgiven for thinking that you’re good to go. However, there are few additional extras that it’s well worth investing in.

Tripod or gimbal stabiliser

Leaving your viewers feeling dizzy or seasick is never a good result and unsteady footage is a real no-no for anyone looking to make the right impact. Tripods and gimbal stabilisers are both great tools for keeping your videos steady. Tripods tend to be cheaper but if you’re constantly on the move in your videos, then a gimbal is more helpful.

Video editing software

When it comes to great video content, it’s not all about the hardware. You’ll also want decent video editing software for post-production. While YouTube does have its own video editor, if you want more creative freedom then you’ll want to consider something like Adobe Premiere Elements 2022 or Final Cut Pro. Both are very popular choices for videographers in general.


If you want the ability to travel around while posting high-quality videos, a laptop is ideal.

Gadget insurance

A YouTube channel kit list can soon start to mount up so you’ll want insurance cover in place to keep everything well protected. If you want to stay in business then get yourself some gadget insurance to complement your mobile phone insurance.

Top five qualities of a great YouTube video

What’s the difference between a good YouTube video and a great one? Just like most things in life the people who create the best video content on YouTube tend to be the ones who put in the most effort. They’ve worked hard to work out what it takes to make a video great, and now you can, too. Make sure your videos are:

  1. Helpful – People love YouTube so much because whatever they need there’ll be someone somewhere who can help them with a quick video. From makeup and maths to car maintenance and cooking, whatever the topic of your video, make sure it’s as helpful and as practical as can be.
  2. Short – Modern media consumers aren’t known for their lengthy attention spans, so keep it short. If you want to give more depth, then consider breaking up your video into multiple ‘episodes’ on the same topic. Ask your viewers for feedback on the type of content they’d like to see.
  3. High-quality – Hopefully, if you’ve listened to our advice about decent cameras, microphones and lighting then you should be well on your way to high-quality content.
  4. Well-edited – The name of the game is to create a smooth, easy flow. It’s a good idea to do more than one take and then edit together the best bits from each one.
  5. Understandable – When you’re nervous it’s all too easy to rush your delivery. Take a breath, go slow, and speak clearly.

Mobile phone insurance from Gadget Cover

Whatever YouTube niche you plan to fill, one decision that’s simple is the need to get mobile phone insurance for your treasured tech. After all, how else will you be able to communicate with all your fans!

Mobile phone insurance policies arranged through Gadget Cover can include protection for things like accidental damage, breakdown and theft. And even loss for an extra fee.

Other great perks you’ll enjoy with a policy arranged by Gadget Cover include worldwide cover, family cover, and cover against unauthorised usage if your phone is lost or stolen.

For a quick mobile phone insurance quote, choose Gadget Cover today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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